The shift to Saas based computing might have proved a boon for business-line managers who wanted to escape from the control of IT departments. But for a while it proved disastrous for the top end systems integration and consulting firms.

Big four accounting companies like Deloitte, Accenture, PWC and KPMG, and more traditional SI’s like Capgemini or Wipro found themselves locked into old-fashioned development models and riotously expensive cost models, while more nimble companies from the world of marketing moved quickly to fill the gap.

Which-50 knows of one example of a major local retailer being quoted $30M by one of the companies we just mentioned and eventually getting the solution it needed from one of the newer generations of digital agencies for one tenth of that price.

More recently though the traditional integrators have had more success dealing themselves back into the game – largely by adopting the more agile approaches of agency insurgents, or simply buying them.

The big four are also managing shift from IT integration to customer experience by hiring talent from ad land and buying up creative agencies, like Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of The Monkeys.

We caught up last week with Capgemini’s local leadership to try and better understand teir approach.

As CMOs continue to spend on technology, Capgemini wants to help them get the best value from their investments.

Capgemini, the French professional services and IT consulting company, is also investing heavily in services for the marketing function, but with a more narrow focus on implementing technology solutions for the CMO.

“The difference we have with Accenture and PwC is our positioning is more about helping the CMO to get the best value of the IT,” Nicolas Aidoud, CEO of Capgemini ANZ told Which-50.

“Our value proposition is very simple and clearly positioned: How to get the best return of investment for a CMO in terms of technology.”

For its part Capgemini has hired Paul Bennett, the former head of marketing at Metlife and Vice President of Sapient Nitro, as its VP Digital, Marketing & Customer Strategy lead.

“We recruited him to build this vertical position dedicated for CMOs,” Aidoud said.

In terms of sectors, Capgemini is targeting financial services, government and, energy and utilities.

Digital and cloud has also been a major area of investment for Capgemini. In 2017 digital and cloud revenues were up 24 per cent year-on-year according to the company’s full-year results released last week.

Revenues from these two disciplines reached €4.9 billion in 2017 and accounted for 40 per cent of Capgemini’s business in the fourth quarter.

Globally the group’s profit was €820 million and revenue grew 4 per cent €12.8 billion in 2017.

Capgemini doesn’t reveal the performance of specific markets but Aidoud said revenue in Australia was growing at double digits.

Paul Hermelin, Capgemini’s chairman and chief executive, said Capgemini was capitalising on demand generated by clients’ digital transformation agendas.

“We won significant contracts to help our customers, as global strategic partners, attain their objectives in terms of both productivity – leveraging our automation technologies – and innovation. We enriched our offerings in these areas with several bolt-on acquisitions, particularly in ecommerce and digital design, including the acquisition of the digital customer engagement firm, LiquidHub, announced last week,” he said in a statement last week.

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