We had the opportunity to attend the CapGemini global analyst summit held close to Paris at the beautiful conference hotel LesFontaines. A great location always contributes to a great meeting and that was the same here, it had the unique mixture of a classic chateau with a modern conference center, a balance the French know how strike very well. Due to thunderstorms (!) I was 8 hours late to the event and missed the first half day of the event, so checkout my colleagues Alan Lepofsky and Guy Courtin takeaways (Guy’s is here already) for more color and perspective on the event.

It is always tough to select the Top 3 takeaways, but with global system integrators like CapGemini, it is even harder, nonetheless my best effort here:

CapGemini is in transition – It became clear that CapGemini is not only in the transition all major services players see –shifting client needs, faster implementation, more partnership, globalization, and more – but is also transforming itself from a Europe an player with a little global activity to a more global player with a European DNA. E.g. in 2010 European revenue was 79%, in 2015 it was down to 62%, with North America taking the bulk with 30% (these are numbers before iGate). As such CapGemini brings a unique European DNA to the mix, with all its pros and cons. On the pro side it does not have to chase every latest trend in North America and can take a more wait and see European approach. And it truly understands global, that for some competitors is more lip service than understanding. On the con side it has a more rigid skill base. It was good to see that CapGemini acknowledges the issue and had Head of People Management and Transformation Hubert Giraud speak to the analyst attendees. The training and re-skilling plans and progress are interesting and look successful, but they better be as CapGemini needs to work with the people they have in Europe for the next decades to come. 
LesFontaines Paris Chateau by Alan Lepofsky @Alanlepo
Unique Setting at LesFointaines (picture credit to +Alan Lepofsky)
The Cloud is coming – CapGemini sees the cloud as the most profound technology shift hitting enterprises. CTO Cohen walked us through how CapGemini wants to leverage cloud in the form of a combination of products and services that CapGemini calls the Business Cloud. CapGemini sees itself offering a complete cloud implementation and management portfolio from Cloud Strategy and Workload Migration all the way to BPaaS and CyberSecurity. CapGemini then walked us through an example vertical, financial services, on how it has offered these services successfully to a number of references. The example were a regional government and a postal delivery serviced, which both have benefitted from the CapGemini Business Cloud. Remarkably one of them is live on Amazon AWS already. As usual with system integrator events, the customer references were very good, talking about their experiences with ease and authority, as usual presenting with a CapGemini partner. 
Paul Hermelin Cap Gemini Les Fointaines June 2015 CEO
A very relaxed Hermelin addressing the analyst crowd
Ready for customers – but ready to transform itself? – It was good to hear CapGemini executives candidly and openly speaking about the challenges ahead, actually quite remarkable given the cultural background and the usual reclusiveness of system integrators. It was pretty clear that CapGemini has the skills, understanding, expertise and vision to play with all next generation application use cases of the 201x years (Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, IoT, BigData etc.) – but the integrator still sees that very much from a services angle. In some areas we have seen CapGemini making bets on products, for instance IaaS (e.g. Amazon AWS), PaaS (e.g. IBM Bluemix and SaaS (e.g. on Salesforce), but it seems not be fully on board with them, the service provider mentality is still strong (‘we can make you successful on any product / platform / tool’ mentality). Nothing wrong with that, as it has served the industry well for many decades, but things are changing in the 201x years, where customer want to have ready to use, pre-built solutions beyond the ‘prebuilt IP’ toolset. We live in exciting times, where business best practices have to be redefined and reinvented on top of the new technology capabilities available now – but we are not sure how well CapGemini is going into more of a product direction than the classic services business. Future will tell.
CapGemini iGate synergies system integrators
How CapGemini and iGate complement each other


A very good analyst event, in a very nice setting, with a ton of content and very good attendance. It is clear that CapGemini can be the right partner for enterprises facing strategic transformation projects – in all aspects of use cases that are thrown towards them (see above). And CapGemini is very well positioned to take advantage of a multi-national and multi-cultural perspective, given its European roots. At the same time the integrator is becoming more global, in particular more North American and more Indian with the iGate acquisition (it just closed – see here).

On the concern side CapGemini needs to become more global, successfully re-skill its European workforce and find more productized go to market offerings. It is good to have identified over 4 dozen IP assets, now they need to be built out into product, something system integrators have traditionally struggled with, but the prize is too big in the 201x years for trying (at least). We would like to see CapGemini make a few full hearted (real) product bets. Customers want faster, shrink-wrapped, business user driven solutions that do not require RfPs, project teams and people travelling the world in small boxes.

Overall CapGemini is ready for the Digital Economy, as ready as a system integrator can be in 2015, with all the questions that we are facing in the age of uncertain business best practices. It is fast paced and exciting times, we will be watching.


Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard