A Consulting-Led Sales Strategy Positions Accenture and IBM for Best Growth in IT Services, Says IDC

LONDON – September 8, 2008 – A recent study published by IDC analyzes the competitive positioning of the leading services vendors in Western Europe, and shows that Accenture and IBM continue to be in the best position for growth.

With strong competition in the IT and business services market, and the leading suppliers being global vendors that are, without exception, strong players, a small number of critical criteria differentiate the leaders in the market, according to new IDC research. A market-leading vendor needs a well-recognized brand, truly global delivery capabilities, and a consulting-led sales approach with the ability to drive business-level dialogue with the customer. It needs to be well "joined up" (tightly integrated across service lines, geographies, and offerings), and to standardize and reuse the building blocks that underlie its services, but must also focus on selling what is unique – or at least differentiated.

"In today's market it is not enough to be excellent in one key area," said Mette Ahorlu, consulting director of IDC's European Software and Services team. "To ensure continued growth and market-share gain, the services company must perform well on all key success parameters. The area where most seem to struggle is in developing a consulting-led sales process and in ensuring that the company is well joined up internally so that the whole company can exploit the opportunities created by the consultants, who are often the first to identify and even create demand among clients.

"Sadly for Europe, the U.S. companies seem to be better joined up than the European leaders; Europe-based services companies struggle more to integrate their geographies and competencies, and are therefore also less able to take advantage of capabilities across the European organization. Accenture is the absolute leader in this joined-up, consulting-led market approach."

IDC's analysis shows that Accenture and IBM are the leaders in the IT and business services market, with Capgemini, HP (including EDS), CSC, and Fujitsu Services trying to achieve leadership by investing in expanding their capabilities. A clear leader has not yet emerged in the group of vendors following IBM and Accenture.

IDC's Top 10 Western European Services Vendors' Competitive Strength – 2008 Leadership Grid (IDC #Q04Q, August 2008) analyzes how well positioned the leading vendors (Accenture, Atos Origin, BT Global Services, Capgemini, CSC, EDS, Fujitsu Services, HP, IBM Global Services, and Logica) are in today's market opportunities and how able they are to gain share. 18 success criteria are defined, and the vendors' capabilities in each of these areas are scored to evaluate the companies' potential.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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