Sopra Steria acquires German IT consulting firm Bluecarat

19 January 2018

European IT services company Sopra Steria has added €33 million to its revenue base in Germany following the acquisition of Bluecarat, a Germany-based IT consultancy with offices in Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Formed in 2014 following the merger of the two large French digital services companies Sopra and Steria, founded respectively in 1968 and 1969, Sopra Steria is today one of Europe’s largest companies specialised in technology and digital transformation services. The firm’s headcount tallies around 40,000 employees across more than 20 countries – together Sopra Steria’s workforce generate €3.7 billion in revenues. 

The company’s German arm accounts for about 7% of group revenues (in comparison; France’s share is 41%), and in line with its ambition to ramp up its position in Europe’s largest economy, Sopra Steria have turned to M&A for acceleration. The purchase of Bluecarat sees the firm add 50 employees and €33 million in revenues, but, more importantly, add a range of specialised services and clients with potential for further growth. 

Bluecarat provides a range of IT consulting services, spanning digital advisory, cybersecurity, agile working and API management, the majority of which are facing booming demand on the back of the growing need for digital transformation. Its quality of work has been recognised by clients in recent years – German magazine brand eins for instance last year named Bluecarat one of Germany’s top 30 IT consulting firms.

Sopra Steria acquires German IT consulting firm Bluecarat

Sopra Steria itself offers a comprehensive suite of services, including consulting, systems integration, software development, infrastructure management and business process services, although its German outfit in some areas trails the maturity of its French and UK business units. 

“This acquisition strengthens Sopra Steria’s position in the German market and provides the local subsidiary further growth opportunities and access to major strategic accounts,” the company said in a press statement. The integration of Bluecarat, which was founded in 2001, into Sopra Steria Germany  is planned to be completed in the second half of 2018.

The deal marks Sopra Steria’s third major transaction in the space of twelve months. In September last year, the Paris-headquartered group bought Galitt, a specialist in payment systems, while one month prior to that, it bolted-on Swedish consultancy Kentor, which was previously part of Norwegian group TeleComputing.

Other deals completed in recent months in Germany’s consulting landscape include the acquisition of Track Two, a Frankfurt-based asset management consultancy, by UK-headquartered Alpha FMC, and the purchase of the German arm of OC&C Strategy Consultants by Parthenon-EY.

PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI deal

09 April 2019

Accounting and consulting firm PwC has bolstered its Salesforce portfolio in the Benelux with the acquisition of ABSI. The move adds around 100 consultants and technology experts to its Salesforce practices in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. 

The move comes at a time when demand for Salesforce implementation services is rising rapidly. Salesforce is a provider of cloud-based systems that help companies build and nurture their (potential) clients through a rigorous and personalised customer relationship management approach. Over 150,000 companies today use Salesforce CRM to support their sales, service, commerce, marketing and e-commerce objectives. 

In the Benelux, ABSI was Salesforce’s first certified partner, back in 2002, and the firm has since grown into one of the region’s larger IT consultancies dedicated to the Salesforce platform. The company specialises in the implementation of Salesforce systems, the design of blueprints and business processes, the migration of data, and application integration.

“In a world that is digitising, organisations want to offer a personalised experience to customers, employees and business partners,” explained Maarten van de Pol, who leads PwC Advisory in the Netherlands. “The technological ecosystem of Salesforce meets this need – with the acquisition, PwC is strengthening its fast-growing digital transformation services on the Salesforce backbone.”PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI dealThe integration sees ABSI’s 100-odd employees in Belgium (where the company was founded in 1995 in Brussels), the Netherlands (located in Nieuwegein, close to Utrecht) and France (Paris) join PwC’s ranks. As well as adding deep Salesforce expertise to its offering, PwC also expects to benefit from ABSI’s experience and propositions in the area of Dell Boomi, Sitecore, ServiceMax, Riva, Neurored and Ebsta. 

Doubi Ajami, founder and CEO van ABSI, remarked on the deal; “PwC and ABSI complement each other perfectly. Together we will be able to better serve our customers. While our focus remains 100% on Salesforce, thanks to the power and network of PwC we will also be able to work on broader projects at a strategic digital level.” 

PwC’s acquisitions in the Benelux build on previous Salesforce deals globally. At the end of 2017 the consulting firm for instance acquired UK-based cDecisions, shortly after it also bolted-on a Salesforce specialist in South Africa. The investments are part of PwC’s broader strategy to ramp up its technology consulting arm, amid a booming market for digital transformation services.  

Recently, PwC was named one of the globe’s top advisory and implementation partners for the Salesforce platform.