Point of View

Sourcing teams must look for strong regional teams – Capgemini shores up capability in APAC with Whitesky Labs acquisition

April 28, 2020

The talent crunch is biting deep for any providers building a services business around ISVs—pushing delivery partners to loosen purse strings and invest in developing and acquiring brains and brawn. From ServiceNow to Salesforce, providers are shoring up their capabilities as the appetite for design, development, and implementation services continues to outstrip talent pools. So, to ensure success in challenging talent markets, sourcing teams must invest in regional talent to ensure they can access the necessary resources for successful engagements.


Integration expertise is the key to uniting disparate best-in-breed technologies


As enterprise leaders and IT teams push to bring in best-in-breed technologies to support transformation initiatives, it’s becoming increasingly important to focus on the integration of separate solutions. The focus on integration—and particularly the rationalization of data sets—has fueled the rise of high-value platforms such as Mulesoft and the subsequent push for service providers to develop talent and, where necessary, buy it to help deliver services to clients. Indeed, Mulesoft’s rise to prominence has soared even further after its acquisition from Salesforce, which fueled a widespread ramp-up in Mulesoft talent from leading service providers in a bid to support their business in a heated and competitive market.


Enterprises’ appetite for integration and the futureproofing and adaptability of systems through APIs is leading to a growing Mulesoft partner ecosystem that is as reliant on access to experienced talent as the ISVs the platform works to integrate.  As a result, many enterprises looking to find a partner with the requisite skills need to carefully scrutinize the real capabilities of potential partners, particularly at a regional level.


Capgemini shores up Mulesoft and broader IT transformation capabilities in APAC through the acquisition of WhiteSky Labs


A firm that has taken this demand seriously is Capgemini, which recently announced its acquisition of WhiteSky Labs, a reputable IT transformation firm with a strong track record of delivering solutions using the MuleSoft toolset. Client success stories from the firm include supporting rapidly growing FinTech Mynt in its move from long-winded point-to-point integrations of legacy systems—a major barrier to future growth and system scalability—to leveraging the Mulesoft Anypoint Platform as a core technology for data integration. According to the CTO, Greg Igaya, “Mynt is committed to driving innovation in the payments and financial services space. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform and WhiteSky Labs’ integration team played an essential role in our successful project delivery, and together we have achieved great outcomes.”


Bringing WhiteSky Labs’ talent and capabilities into the Capgemini fold is key to the firm’s success. It helps Capgemini evolve services not only in the APAC region where WhiteSky is predominantly focused but also in a core suite of technologies executives are increasingly seeking. According to Fernando Alvarez, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, “MuleSoft provides the world’s leading platform for building application networks across any cloud and on-premise. The addition of WhiteSky Labs’ specialist and award-winning expertise to our Australia and Asia operation will not only help to meet the digital transformation needs of our clients across the region, enabling them to unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps, and devices, but it will also bolster our expertise in this space, [which is] very much in demand across the globe.”


To be successful, acquisitions need more than client demand—Capgemini must tread carefully in a competitive market


Market demand for the key capabilities that WhiteSky brings to Capgemini is a double-edged sword. Retaining talent in a lucrative and competitive market is unforgivably challenging, particularly in regions where talent is particularly sparse, boosting the commodity value professionals attract. Capgemini must balance the acquisition carefully and ensure it retains valuable talent. To an extent, Capgemini has a better track-record with tuck-in acquisitions than some of its competitors, with several business units formed out of acquisition and operating in a semi-independent state. Using its experience with the successes and failures of past acquisitions is the key to success. Existing and future clients should watch carefully as the situation develops to ensure the boosted regional talent pool remains in place.


We spoke with the CIO of a major distribution company that made the point that service engagements are about the quality and attitude of the people the service provider brings to the table. Methodologies, IP, and process help projects, but ultimately, success and failure are determined by the talent of the people, from top to bottom, within the team—particularly engagements that use agile methodologies. It’s not just having the people on paper; it’s about being able to muster them at the right time and location.


The Bottom Line: Regional talent is the key to success for some core technology groups—sourcing leaders must make sure they pick a partner with the people to drive success.


Capgemini’s acquisition of WhiteSky Labs is an important step in shoring up global delivery capabilities and onshore resources in key APAC markets. Clients looking for a partner in the region with the capability of an expert boutique and the scale of an IT services giant now have an extra option to add to their shortlist. As with all acquisitions, however, the road is likely to be bumpy.

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