Consulting giant BearingPoint is launching a new 'Business Services' unit that will house its own intellectual property and that of its alliance partners, as part of a strategy to hit €1bn revenues by 2020.
Currently, the Dutch partner derives around twenty per of its revenues from its software and solutions business.
Pivoting to services
Talking exclusively to CPI, Kiumars Hamidian (pictured) said that the global team will have 70 staff (out of a global headcount of more than 5,000), and offer ten different solutions, including data analytics and cloud solutions.
"BearingPoint Business Services will offer a range of different offerings. Some will be based on our own IP, some on the IP of our alliance partners," he said.
"For example we have just launched InfonovaGo, which is a cloud solution for billing of ecosystems, based on Salesforce…
"The team is spread across different locations because it is important. Offering these business services requires a different set up and demands vary regarding infrastructure and skills. It's not a typical consulting offering…"
"We're seeing more and more that our clients are demanding that we do more joint ventures with them…They are asking us ‘What should we do with the data and can you help us to get more benefits from it more efficiently?
"Our business services unit is an important investment for us… We're at €739m now…If we move forwards with eight to nine per cent growth, then a billion euros is not too far away."
Slower growth than expected
However, that rate of growth is less than half what BearingPoint was able to log in its most recent full year results.
Last month, the Amsterdam-based firm saw revenues rise by four per cent year over year in its FY2018 financials.
Hamidian conceded that the rate of growth fell short of his 2018 target of "six to seven per cent" but highlighted that it was the first full year results since BearingPoint's integration with international supply chain and business operations consultancy LCP Consulting.
Investing in the UK market
The UK-based firm was snapped up in 2017. At the time BearingPoint claimed that it was a "leading specialist in supply chain management tools and fact-based methodologies", adding "six of the top ten UK retailers" to its client list.
"Personally, I think it was one of the best investments we've ever done." Hamidian said.
"I think it was an extremely positive acquisition for us. LCP really add a lot of value not just in the UK market, but outside of it, too.
"First of all, the culture of the people made it very easy to integrate them. Secondly, the skills, competencies and offerings they brought to the table were something that we didn't have much of in the firm before….We have also been able to leverage their experience for clients outside of the UK."
It's an early success story for Hamidian who was installed as BearingPoint's new boss in October last year.
At the time, he told CPI that the UK&I, where BearingPoint's UK&I headcount is around 350, was a market he wanted to focus on
Six months later, Hamidian was happy to highlight the UK&I as one of the best performers in the firm's FY2018 results.
"It performed very strongly, and that's important for us…Strategically we need to continue to invest here…"
"Of course, we are closely following the discussions around Brexit, nevertheless, from a consulting market point of view, there are a lot of opportunities…I think there is much more we can do there."
BearingPoint's acquisitive streak
Unusually for a channel firm, BearingPoint is wholly owned by its management team.
This summer it will mark its ten-year anniversary since its MBO.
Hamidian said that the flexibility that private ownership gives the firm enables it to be more agile in the market.
However, he acknowledged that achieving BearingPoint's €1bn target through solely organic growth is unlikely.
"Right now we want to strengthen our core markets - the UK&I, Italy, the Netherlands, the US and China - these are the markets where we really want to grow our teams to get critical mass," he said.
"We are dedicating people to our new business services unit…Our new business-as-a-service offerings, so to speak, which leverages data and really give business value to our clients, will help us grow across our markets."
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