Capgemini merges consulting, digital and creative units into Capgemini Invent

12 September 2018 8 min. read

Capgemini has merged its management consulting, digital and creative businesses into one single brand. The new unit, Capgemini Invent, bundles the expertise of Capgemini Consulting, LiquidHub, Fahrenheit 212, Idean, Adaptive Lab, and Backelite to form an advisory group with over 6,000 consultants in 30-plus offices and 10 creative studios around the world.

According to Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO of Capgemini – a professional services firm with around 200,000 professionals generating revenues of €12.8 billion – the decision to transition to one brand follows from the need to benefit from the firm’s multi-disciplinary strengths in consultancy and innovation, while complementing that offering with expertise in technology and data science. "We have built Capgemini Invent to meet client demand for advanced digital services,” he comments, adding; “This integrated global business line combines perfectly our specialist capabilities and expertise that are needed to design, create and trial new digital solutions and business models of the future, supported by the strengths of our broader business to implement them at speed and scale.”

Cyril Garcia, formerly CEO of Capgemini Consulting and now the top boss of Capgemini Invent, says that the launch of the broader subsidiary comes at a time when businesses are more than ever facing digital-led change. Across all dimensions of an organsiation’s value chain, from primary processes to back-office or even outsourcing models and ecosystem partnerships, digitisation is radically transforming strategies and operating models. No matter which area of digital change is taken under scrutiny – whether it is the Internet of Things, blockchain, robotics or Industry 4.0 – studies from economists and academics all point at the strategic and operational benefits that can be unlocked through embracing smart technologies.

In fact, research by Capgemini itself released last year found that those companies that excel in adopting digital within their ranks – digital masters – book significantly higher revenues and profits vis a vis their lagging peers. The group that enjoys such a digital edge is however strikingly small – under 20% of the companies analysed by the firm’s researchers managed to make the cut. Among the barriers to successfully reaping the perks of digitisation are a host of classical challenges that need to be overcome, including leadership support and capabilities. Despite the huge investments they are approving to flow towards digital, set to exceed $2 trillion by 2021 in the eyes of IDC, only 35% of surveyed leaders feel their organistion has the right leadership capabilities on board, while less than half feel they have the right digital capabilities in place.

Capgemini merges consulting, digital and creative units into Capgemini Invent

Garcia says that with the blended capabilities of Capgemini Invent, the consultancy will in today’s digital realm be better able to “help business leaders plot a path to the future and provide the right vehicle for getting there”.

The business units that have come together to form Capgemini Invent are; Capgemini Consulting, the firm’s management consulting arm; LiquidHub, a customer engagement firm acquired in February 2018 for £400 million; Fahrenheit 212, an innovation consultancy bought in the first quarter of 2016, and; three creative design agencies – Idean, Adaptive Lab and Backelite. Digital strategy and experience design consultancy Idean was purchased in February 2017, in a move that added offices in Palo Alto, Austin, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Helsinki and Berlin. London-based Adaptive Lab, a digital design studio with a team of 50 professionals, was picked up in June this year, while digital technology innovation wing Backelite has been a Capgemini brand for a longer period and has been groomed internally over the past years.

Together, Capgemini Invent's advisors will be able to “ideate and design digital transformation strategy and deliver tangible digital solution prototypes and transformation plans”, ultimately helping clients to “stay relevant and be ahead of the competition”. With a team of over 6,000 employees working under a harmonised brand, the firm will also enjoy a larger scale to its current setup, making Capgemini Invent one of the largest consultancies with European-origin. In comparison, Netherlands-headquartered BearingPoint has approximately 4,500 employees, France’s Wavestone draws on a workforce of 2,800 employees, German-origin strategy consultancy Roland Berger around 2,400 employees, while the likes of Atos Consulting, L.E.K. Consulting and Simon-Kucher & Partners, among other renowned consultancies, are all much smaller.

The team of Capgemini Invent has been organised internally across major functional practices such as Strategy, Organisation, Digital, Innovation and People & Change, with industry groups spanning all major sectors. On top of the firm’s functional offerings, the consultancy has crafted six integrated practices – fields that build on combined capabilities across units. These are:

  • Innovation and Strategy: focused on helping organisations strategise, design and build the products, services, and business models of the future.
  • Customer Engagement: focused on supporting businesses improve their client interactions and customer journeys.
  • Future of Technology: focused on helping businesses capture the possibilities of emerging technologies such as robotisation, blockchain, Internet of Things, etc.
  • Insight Driven Enterprise: focused on guiding clients with how they can embrace advanced data analytics, AI and automation to enhance strategic and real-time business decision-making.
  • Operations Transformation: focused on helping organisations with increasing productivity and efficiency as well as reducing time to market, across supply chains, operations, logistics, etc.
  • People and Organisation: focused on ensuring that change is successfully embedded in the organisation by developing the culture, workforce and skills needed in the digital age.

Capgemini Invent offers a new model for digital transformation delivery, bringing key sector expertise together with a broad cross-section of disciplines, from strategy and technology to data science and creative design.”
– Cyril Garcia, CEO of Capgemini Invent

Retiring Capgemini Consulting

Capgemini’s decision to retire its Capgemini Consulting brand will however raise some eyebrows in the consulting space. The brand has a strong recognition in the market, in particularly in Europe, both among clients and candidates seeking to enter the industry. In France, Capgemini’s home market, Capgemini Consulting was recently ranked as one of the top providers of consulting services by consultancy buyers, while in the UK the firm was named by FT and Statista as a top 50 leading management consulting firm and in the Netherlands Capgemini Consulting ranked as one of the country’s top provider of strategic consulting services. Meanwhile, on the recruitment side, the brand last year was named a top 100 employer by Universum in five European countries, with the broader Capgemini group featuring in the list in over 20 countries.

The Capgemini Consulting brand was formally formed in 2004 when the Group unveiled its current brand and made a few structural changes in its organisation. Its consulting subsidiary’s heritage traces back to the 1990s however. In 1991, Gemini Consulting was formed through the integration of two management consulting firms: United Research and The MAC Group. The advisory business received a major boost in 2002 when Capgemini acquired the entire consulting business of Ernst & Young for roughly $11 billion, as part of the move to divest its advisory business in the aftermath of the Enron scandal. The deal came months before Big Four rivals KPMG and PwC sold off their consulting businesses, respectively to KPMG Consulting (today BearingPoint) and Atos in some parts of Europe (today Atos Consulting) and IBM, with Deloitte the only of the four giants retaining its advisory arm.

While the move in essence is no more than a redesign of internal capabilities, Capgemini Invent will in the coming months have to work hard to build brand awareness in the marketplace. Garcia highlights that the new name better conveys the firm’s broader capabilities: “Today, it is not only advising clients on digital innovation and transformation, but is also designing, building, operating and transferring expertise to help them reinvent their core businesses, along with inventing and implementing truly new processes, products and services. Capgemini Invent offers a new model for digital transformation delivery, bringing key sector expertise together with a broad cross-section of disciplines, from strategy and technology to data science and creative design. It also engages with its growing innovation ecosystem of partners and start-ups to benefit digital projects.”