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2010 Edition


TOP 25

Copyright © 2009 by, Inc. All rights reserved.

All information in this book is subject to change without notice. Vault makes no claims as to the
accuracy and reliability of the information contained within and disclaims all warranties. No part of this
book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any
purpose, without the express written permission of, Inc.

Vault, and the Vault logo, are trademarks of, Inc.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, contact, Inc., 75
Varick Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10013, (212) 366-4212.

Library of Congress CIP Data is available.

ISBN 13 : 978-1-58131-680-3
We are extremely grateful to Vault's staff of writers, editors, production and sales staff
for all their help in making this book possible. A special thanks to Philip Stott for his
hard work, attention to detail and superb insights.

To ensure that our research was thorough and accurate, we reached out to a number
of people within the consulting firms in this guide. Thank you to all of the recruiting
managers, public relations executives, marketing professionals and consultants who
graciously provided feedback whenever we needed it.

To the consultants who took the time to be interviewed or to complete our survey, we
could never thank you enough. Your insights about life inside the top technology
consulting firms are invaluable, and your willingness to speak candidly will be a great
service to job seekers and career changes for years to come!

Table of Contents

A Guide to this Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Ranking Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

The Vault 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Practice Area Ranking Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9


Quality of Life Ranking Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

The Best 10 Firms to Work For . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Quality of Life Rankings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Diversity Ranking Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

The Best 10 Firms for Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Diversity Rankings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

State of Technology Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Practice Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

1. McKinsey & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

2. Booz Allen Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

3. Deloitte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63

4. Gartner, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77

5. Accenture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83

6. IBM Global Technology Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95

7. Cisco Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Table of Contents

8. Lockheed Martin Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112

9. Oracle Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120

10. Capgemini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125

11. Northrop Grumman Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132

12. HP Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137

13. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

14. Computer Sciences Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151

15. Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158

16. Infosys Consulting Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164

17. Unisys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

18. Cambridge Consultants Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .182

19. Perot Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .186

20. Tata Consultancy Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190

21. Keane, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201

22. Sapient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .208

23. CGI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .214

24. Hitachi Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221

25. Cognizant Technology Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231


Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241

Ajilon Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .248

Alliance Global Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257

Atos Origin, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263

CIBER, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268

Clarkston Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273

CTG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .277

Detica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .281

Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285

Fujitsu Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294

viii © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Table of Contents

HCL Technologies Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .298

IDS Scheer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .303

Interactive Business Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .307

Logica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .310

Mahindra Satyam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .314

MindTree Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319

PA Consulting Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .324

Patni Computer Systems Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .330

Perficient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335

Protiviti Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344

Smartronix, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

SRA International, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356

SunGard Consulting Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .366

Telcordia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369

Wipro Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .374

Index of Firms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383

About the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .387

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Welcome to the sixth edition of the Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Firms, which
covers everything from tech strategy stars to top implementers. The 25 top firms
were chosen and ranked by over 1,700 practicing technology consultants through an
exclusive Vault survey. In total, you’ll find 50 companies in this guide.

Like everyone else these days, tech consulting firms are finding themselves dealing
with the same harsh economic realities as every other sector. They’ve also been
faced with slowed spending on technology, as clients seek to cut costs wherever
possible. While the overall outlook for tech consulting certainly isn’t as bleak as it is
far many industries, there are signs that firms in the field are behaving in much the
same way as those outside of it: by focusing on reducing spending (leading to a
slowdown in hiring); increasing their offshore capabilities (to offer cheaper services to
clients); and—for those that can afford it—focusing on making strategic acquisitions
at knockdown prices. This last aspect may well be causing something of a paradigm
shift in the industry, with mergers and consolidations of previously unrelated outfits
and capabilities suggesting a new focus on firms offering one-stop shopping for

The technology consulting firms in this book are all at the leading edge of their
industry, whether they’re the traditional tech powerhouses like IBM and Cisco
Systems, consulting mega-firms like McKinsey and Deloitte, or more specialized
boutiques. Located all over the world, each is a strong bet to prevail in the current
recession—making them some of the most desirable technology consulting
employers out there and attractive propositions for anyone seeking employment in the

Technology—and technology consulting—is a key factor in the workplace of the 21st

century. Do your research. Take a look at the firms in our guide—you might be
choosing your next employer.

Good luck with your job search!

The Editors, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition

A Guide to this Guide

If you’re wondering how our entries are organized, read on. Here’s a handy guide to
the information you’ll find packed into each firm profile in this book.

Firm Facts

A listing of the firm’s offices, with the city (or cities) of its headquarters in bold. For
firms with a relatively small number of offices, all cities are included. Countries for
international offices are typically not specified unless the location is uncommon.

Practice Areas:

Official departments that employ a significant portion of the firm’s consultants.

Practice areas are listed in alphabetical order, regardless of their size and

Uppers and Downers:

Good points and, shall we say, less positive points of the firm, as derived from
consultant interviews and surveys, as well as other research. Uppers and Downers
are perceptions based on surveys, research and interviews, and are not based on

Employment Contact:

The person, address or website that the firm identifies as the best place to send
resumes, or the appropriate contact to answer questions about the recruitment
process. Sometimes more than one contact is given.

The Buzz
When it comes to other consulting firms, our respondents are full of opinions! We ask
them to provide their opinions and observations about firms other than their own, and
collect a sampling of these comments in the Buzz.

When selecting the Buzz, we include quotes most representative of the common
perceptions of the firms held by other consultants, even if, in our opinion, the quotes
do not accurately or completely describe the firm. Please keep in mind when reading
the Buzz that it’s often more fun for outsiders to trash than praise a competing
consulting firm. Nonetheless, the Buzz can be a valuable means of gauging a firm’s
reputation in the consulting industry, or at least of detecting common misperceptions.
We typically include two to four Buzz comments. In some instances, we opt not to
include the Buzz if we do not receive a diverse pool of comments.

2 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition

The Stats
Employer Type:

The firm’s classification as a publicly traded company, privately held company or


Ticker Symbol:

The stock ticker symbol for a public company, as well as the exchange on which the
company’s stock is traded.

Chairman, CEO, etc.:

The name and title of the leader(s) of the firm, or of the firm’s consulting business.


When disclosed, the total number of employees, including consultants and other
staff, at a firm in all offices (unless otherwise specified). Some firms do not disclose
this information; figures from the two most recent consecutive years the information
is available (if at all) are included.


The gross sales the firm generated in the specified fiscal year(s). Some firms do not
disclose this information; numbers from the two most recent consecutive years the
information is available (if at all) are included. In some cases, revenue is given in
euros (€).

The Profiles
The profiles are divided into three sections: The Scoop, Getting Hired and Our Survey

The Scoop:

The firm’s history, clients, recent firm developments and other points of interest.

Getting Hired:

Qualifications the firm looks for in new associates, tips on getting hired and other
notable aspects of the hiring process.

Our Survey Says:

Actual quotes from surveys and interviews with current consultants at the firm on
topics such as firm culture, diversity, hours, travel requirements, pay, training and
more. Profiles of some firms do not include an Our Survey Says section.

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition

The Best of the Rest

Even though the name of this book is the Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology
Consulting Firms, we didn’t stop there, adding over 25 other firms we thought notable
and/or interesting enough for inclusion. These firms are listed alphabetically.

4 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms
Ranking Methodology
For the 2010 edition of the Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms,
we selected a list of leading tech consulting firms to include in the Vault survey.
These firms were chosen because of their prominence in the technology consulting
industry and their interest to job seekers.

The survey was distributed to the firms on Vault’s list in fall 2008. In some cases,
Vault contacted practicing consultants directly. Survey respondents were asked to do
several things. They were asked to rate each consulting firm in the survey on a scale
of 1 to 10 based on prestige, with 10 being the most prestigious. Consultants were
unable to rate their own firm, and they were asked to rate only those firms with which
they were familiar.

Vault collected over 1,700 survey results and averaged the score for each company.
The firms were then ranked, with the highest score being No. 1, down to No. 25.

We also asked survey respondents to give their perceptions of other consulting firms
besides their own. A selection of those comments is featured on each firm profile as
the Buzz.

Remember that Vault’s top-25 technology consulting firms are chosen by practicing
consultants at top consulting firms. Vault does not choose or influence the rankings.
The rankings measure perceived prestige (as determined by consulting professionals)
and not revenue, size or lifestyle.

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The Vault 25
[The 25 most prestigious technology consulting firms ] • 2010

Rank Firm Score Rank 2009 HQ/Largest Office

1 McKinsey & Company 8.242 1 New York, NY

2 Booz Allen Hamilton 7.330 2 McLean, VA

3 Deloitte 7.152 3 New York, NY

4 Gartner, Inc. 6.862 NA Stamford, CT

5 Accenture 6.830 4 New York, NY

6 IBM Global Technology Services 6.714 6 Armonk, NY

7 Cisco Systems, Inc. 6.621 5 San Jose, CA

8 Lockheed Martin Corporation 6.251 8 Bethesda, MD

9 Oracle Consulting 6.215 7 Redwood City, CA

10 Capgemini 5.820 9 Paris/New York, NY

11 Northrop Grumman Corporation 5.800 NA Los Angeles, CA

12 HP Services 5.791 10 Palo Alto, CA

13 SAIC* 5.285 13 San Diego, CA

14 Computer Sciences Corporation 5.105 15 Falls Church, VA

15 Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc. 5.086 16 Munich/Norwalk, CT

16 Infosys Consulting Inc. 4.993 14 Freemont, CA

17 Unisys 4.691 17 Blue Bell, PA

18 Cambridge Consultants Ltd 4.657 NA Cambridge, MA

19 Perot Systems 4.655 20 Plano, TX

20 Tata Consultancy Services 4.564 23 Mumbai/New York, NY

21 Keane, Inc. 4.509 24 San Francisco, CA

22 Sapient 4.484 18 Boston, MA

23 CGI 4.470 25 Montreal/Fairfax, VA

24 Hitachi Consulting 4.425 NA Dallas, TX

25 Cognizant Technology Solutions 4.424 NA Teaneck, NJ

*Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

8 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Prestige Rankings

Practice Area Ranking Methodology

Vault also asked consultants to rank the best firms in operations and implementation,
and in outsourcing consulting. Consultants were allowed to vote for up to three firms
as the best in each area.

The following charts indicate the rankings in each practice area, along with the total
percentage of votes cast in favor of each firm. (As long as at least one consultant
voted for more than one firm, no firm could get 100 percent of the votes; if every
consultant had voted for the same three firms, for example, the maximum score
would be 33.3 percent.)

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Prestige Rankings

Operations & Implementation

Rank Firm Score

1 Accenture 16.49

2 IBM Global Technology Services 13.21

3 Deloitte 9.98

4 McKinsey & Company 6.86

5 Booz Allen Hamilton 6.52

6 Lockheed Martin Corporation 4.27

7 SAIC 3.98

8 (tie) Capgemini 3.23

8 (tie) Northrop Grumman Corporation 3.23

9 HP Services 2.83

10 Cisco Systems, Inc. 2.71

Outsourcing Consulting
Rank Firm Score

1 Accenture 14.50

2 IBM Global Technology Services 14.43

3 Infosys Consulting Inc. 8.54

4 Tata Consultancy Services 8.11

5 Wipro Ltd. 6.68

6 HP Services 3.73

7 (tie) Computer Sciences Corporation 3.37

7 (tie) Deloitte 3.37

8 Capgemini 2.73

9 Cognizant Technology Solutions 2.15

10 (tie) Booz Allen Hamilton 1.79

10 (tie) SAIC 1.79

10 (tie) Lockheed Martin Corporation 1.79

10 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms
Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

Quality of Life Ranking Methodology

In addition to ranking other firms in terms of prestige, survey respondents were asked
to rate their own firms in a variety of categories. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being
the highest and 1 the lowest, respondents evaluated their firms in the following quality
of life areas:

Overall satisfaction Relationships with supervisors

Firm culture Interaction with clients
Travel requirements Formal training
Hours in the office Compensation
Work/life balance Overall business outlook

Ranking the firms

A firm’s score in each category is simply the average of these rankings. In compiling
our quality of life rankings, we only ranked firms from whose consultants we received
five or more responses for a particular question. Only consulting firms that distributed
the Vault survey to their consultants were ranked. The firms that distributed the
survey this year were:

Accenture Infosys Consulting Inc.

Ajilon Consulting Keane, Inc.
Alliance Global Services MindTree Ltd.
Booz Allen Hamilton Patni Computer Systems Ltd.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Protiviti Inc.
Deloitte Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc.
Detica Smartronix, Inc.
Diamond Management & Technology SRA International, Inc.
Consultants, Inc. SunGard Consulting Services
Hitachi Consulting Tata Consultancy Services
IBM Global Technology Services Unisys

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings


Which are the best firms to work for? For some, this is a far more important
consideration than prestige. To determine our Best 10 firms, we analyzed our initial
list of 50 firms using a formula that weighted the most relevant categories for an
overall quality of life ranking. Each firm’s overall score was calculated using the
following formula:

20 percent overall satisfaction 5 percent overall business outlook

15 percent compensation 5 percent formal training
15 percent work/life balance 5 percent interaction with clients
10 percent hours in the office 5 percent relationships with supervisors
10 percent travel requirements 5 percent firm culture
5 percent overall diversity

Like our Top 25 rankings, our Best 10 is meant to reflect the subjective opinion of
consultants. By its nature, the list is based on the perceptions of insiders—some of
whom may be biased in favor (or against) their firm.

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 8.848

2 SRA International, Inc. 8.224

3 SunGard Consulting Services 8.126

4 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.005

5 Alliance Global Services 7.867

6 Hitachi Consulting 7.771

7 Deloitte 7.723

8 Detica 7.470

9 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 7.385

10 Ajilon Consulting 7.328

14 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would
you rate your overall satisfaction with your firm?

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 9.381

2 Deloitte 8.680

3 SRA International, Inc. 8.649

4 SunGard Consulting Services 8.625

5 Hitachi Consulting 8.588

6 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.381

7 (tie) Detica 8.167

7 (tie) Alliance Global Services 8.167

8 Accenture 8.149

9 Diamond* 8.073

10 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 7.929

*Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc.

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all pleasant and 10 is extremely pleasant,
assess your firm’s culture.

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 9.171

2 SunGard Consulting Services 9.125

3 Hitachi Consulting 9.000

4 Deloitte 8.949

5 SRA International, Inc. 8.741

6 (tie) Alliance Global Services 8.667

6 (tie) MindTree Ltd. 8.667

7 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.623

8 Diamond 8.386

9 Accenture 8.208

10 Detica 8.167

16 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means excessive and 10 means minimal, how would
you rate your firm’s travel requirements?

Rank Firm Score

1 Alliance Global Services 7.778

2 Ajilon Consulting 7.776

3 Smartronix, Inc. 7.750

4 Booz Allen Hamilton 7.622

5 SRA International, Inc. 7.615

6 Detica 6.667

7 Keane, Inc. 6.644

8 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 6.643

9 Unisys 6.548

10 Hitachi Consulting 6.267

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings


On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means not at all satisfied and 10 means extremely
satisfied, please rank your satisfaction with the number of hours you spend in the
office each week.

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 9.143

2 Alliance Global Services 8.833

3 SRA International, Inc. 8.379

4 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.322

5 Hitachi Consulting 8.059

6 SunGard Consulting Services 8.000

7 Ajilon Consulting 7.958

8 Unisys 7.800

9 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 7.615

10 Keane, Inc. 7.414

18 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, how would you rate
your firm’s efforts to promote a livable work/life balance?

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 9.429

2 Alliance Global Services 8.818

3 SRA International, Inc. 8.614

4 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.274

5 Hitachi Consulting 8.235

6 SunGard Consulting Services 7.875

7 Ajilon Consulting 7.873

8 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 7.786

9 Cognizant Technology Solutions 7.600

10 Deloitte 7.513

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Quality of Life Rankings


On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would
you rate your relationships with your superiors/supervisors?

Rank Firm Score

1 SunGard Consulting Services 9.125

2 Smartronix, Inc. 8.976

3 SRA International, Inc. 8.759

4 Detica 8.667

5 Alliance Global Services 8.583

6 Deloitte 8.507

7 Hitachi Consulting 8.471

8 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 7.929

9 Ajilon Consulting 7.914

10 Booz Allen Hamilton 7.857

20 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings


On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your opportunity to interact with your
clients’ top-level management?

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 9.139

2 Hitachi Consulting 9.125

3 Alliance Global Services 8.818

4 SunGard Consulting Services 8.750

5 Deloitte 8.613

6 Diamond 8.279

7 Protiviti Inc. 8.257

8 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 8.231

9 SRA International, Inc. 8.160

10 Keane, Inc. 8.135

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Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you
rate your satisfaction with the training offered by your firm?

Rank Firm Score

1 Hitachi Consulting 8.313

2 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.238

3 Deloitte 8.104

4 SunGard Consulting Services 7.625

5 Accenture 7.542

6 Smartronix, Inc. 7.450

7 SRA International, Inc. 7.236

8 Diamond 7.182

9 Protiviti Inc. 6.778

10 Detica 6.667

22 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Quality of Life Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is far below average and 10 is far in excess of industry
average, how would you rate your firm’s compensation (including salary and bonus)?

Rank Firm Score

1 Smartronix, Inc. 8.286

2 Deloitte 7.260

3 SRA International, Inc. 7.232

4 Diamond 7.140

5 Booz Allen Hamilton 6.449

6 Infosys Consulting Inc. 6.417

7 Alliance Global Services 6.273

8 Keane, Inc. 6.018

9 IBM Global Technology Services 5.955

10 Accenture 5.935

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Quality of Life Rankings


On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, how would you rate
your firm’s overall business outlook?

Rank Firm Score

1 Booz Allen Hamilton 8.974

2 Smartronix, Inc. 8.881

3 SunGard Consulting Services 8.857

4 Accenture 8.444

5 SRA International, Inc. 8.418

6 Hitachi Consulting 8.400

7 Deloitte 8.351

8 IBM Global Technology Services 7.984

9 Cognizant Technology Solutions 7.842

10 Alliance Global Services 7.444

24 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms
Diversity Ranking Methodology
Vault’s survey asked consultants to rate their firm’s diversity with respect to women,
with respect to minorities and with respect to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and
transgender individuals. When asking consultants to assess their firm’s diversity in
these categories, we asked them to think about hiring, promoting, mentoring and
other programs.

The Best 10 Firms for Diversity

To determine an overall diversity score, we took the average of the scores firms
received in each of the three diversity categories (women, minorities and GLBT).

Rank Firm Score

1 Deloitte 9.298

2 IBM Global Technology Services 9.140

3 Booz Allen Hamilton 9.089

4 SRA International, Inc. 9.039

5 Smartronix, Inc. 8.895

6 Accenture 8.784

7 Diamond 8.460

8 Unisys 8.078

9 Hitachi Consulting 7.982

10 Ajilon Consulting 7.978

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Diversity Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means needs a lot of improvement and 10 means
exemplary, how receptive is your firm to women in terms of hiring, promoting,
mentoring and other programs?

Rank Firm Score

1 Deloitte 9.493

2 SunGard Consulting Services 9.333

3 Booz Allen Hamilton 9.127

4 Smartronix, Inc. 9.105

5 IBM Global Technology Services 9.046

6 SRA International, Inc. 8.821

7 Alliance Global Services 8.714

8 Accenture 8.674

9 Unisys 8.194

10 Diamond 8.075

28 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Diversity Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means needs a lot of improvement and 10 means
exemplary, how receptive is your firm to minorities in terms of hiring, promoting,
mentoring and other programs?

Rank Firm Score

1 Deloitte 9.247

2 SunGard Consulting Services 9.167

3 IBM Global Technology Services 9.139

4 Smartronix, Inc. 9.056

5 SRA International, Inc. 9.039

6 Booz Allen Hamilton 9.030

7 Accenture 8.911

8 Alliance Global Services 8.714

9 Diamond 8.650

10 Patni Computer Systems Ltd. 8.546

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Diversity Rankings

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means excellent, how would
you rate your firm’s commitment to diversity with respect to gays, lesbians, bisexuals
and transgender individuals?

Rank Firm Score

1 SRA International, Inc. 9.257

2 IBM Global Technology Services 9.234

3 Deloitte 9.154

4 Booz Allen Hamilton 9.110

5 Accenture 8.767

6 Diamond 8.656

7 Smartronix, Inc. 8.524

8 Ajilon Consulting 8.194

9 Hitachi Consulting 8.182

10 Unisys 7.944

30 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms
State of Technology Consulting
The new bust—better than the last bust?
Those in the information technology field with any kind of recollection of the previous
economic downturn will surely recall it with a kind of horror—a stock market bust that
set the tech industry back by years, decimated leading companies and saw
thousands of people in that industry alone lose their jobs. Those still in or new to the
field could be forgiven, then, if they find themselves in a state of anxiety over the
current recession—an event that has been referred to so often as “the worst financial
crisis since the Great Depression” that it should be trademarked.

Undoubtedly, there is cause for concern for people in all sectors of the economy. The
U.S. unemployment rate is widely expected to rise above 9 percent by the end of
2009, while less conservative estimates have ranged significantly higher. By
comparison, according to the Bureau of Labor Services, at the height of the previous
recession—the one modestly known as the “tech bust”—the unemployment rate
stood at 6.3 percent. Worrying times, indeed, but there is reason to suspect that this
recession will be kinder to the IT industry than the last one.

First, and most obviously, this recession wasn’t caused by the technology industry (or
a bubble on tech stocks), which means its impact is likely to be less acutely felt by
the IT sector than its predecessor. A second point to consider is that, even with the
downturn, IT spending in some sectors is still expected to grow through 2009 and
2010. Despite predicting a decline in global IT spending of around 3 percent,
Forrester Research estimates that U.S. IT spending will grow at an annual rate of
around 1.6 percent through 2009 and 2010. Not as impressive as the 6.1 percent
the firm had initially projected, but it represents growth nonetheless. There’s a similar
story to be found in India—a country that until recently had been enjoying growth
rates in its IT sector in excess of 40 percent annually. The bad news is that those
rates have gone south. The good news? NASSCOM, the premier trade body and
voice of the Indian IT BPO industry, projected a growth rate of around 16 to 17
percent for 2009.

A third reason for those in, or seeking to be in, the IT field to be optimistic during this
recession is to be found in the very piece of legislation introduced to try and mitigate
its effects—the stimulus bill—which contained close to $50 billion in funding for new
technology projects. Among those projects are commitments to digitize health
records, roll out high-speed internet access to remote areas and to build a “smart
grid” power network. As the amounts of money involved would imply, none of these
are small undertakings, and all are sure to require a great deal of expertise. And
where expertise is required, consultants are sure to follow.

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Cautious clients
Though work has remained steady at many IT consulting firms, the ongoing recession
has seen a new era of caution and cost-consciousness gripping many of the industry’s
clients. While that has manifested itself most obviously in wave after wave of layoffs
(a phenomenon that hasn’t spared the consulting industry either), it has also seen
companies curb expenditure on “nonessentials” like upgraded data systems. And,
given the unprecedented nature of the crisis, very little in the way of consistent
opinion exists on the outlook for the IT services industry in the near future. While
some analysts began calling a turnaround as early as the first quarter of 2009, there
are still many who believe that the pain caused by the recession—and therefore a
contraction in the tech industry—is likely to last well into 2010 and beyond. As was
mentioned above, the global IT market is projected to decline by around 3 percent in
2009—down to $1.66 trillion—ending six consecutive years of growth for the
industry. That 3 percent figure seems likely to haunt the consulting and outsourcing
world in 2009, too, with Forrester Research predicting that $484 billion will be spent
on IT consulting, systems integration and outsourcing services—also down 3 percent
on 2008’s figures. “IT outsourcing services will do a bit better than IT consulting and
systems integration services,” according to the company, “with the latter vulnerable
to the slowdown in purchases of software to be implemented and integrated.”

Over the long term, however, the outlook appears a bit more favorable. Prior to the
credit crunch that sparked the downturn, the demand for IT consulting had been
buoyed by factors such as the onward march of globalization, a growing market for
postmerger integration work and increasing industry deregulation. Ostensibly, all of
those factors should still exist on the other side of a recession (mergers especially),
and help to ensure that the industry bounces back quickly.

Consulting projects that support core business operations, such as infrastructure or

regulatory requirements, are areas that will likely remain in high demand, while
outsourcing of some tech functions will likely continue to increase as companies seek
to reduce costs. A recent example of this can be found in cash-strapped Citigroup’s
sale of its India-based technology services unit to Wipro for $127 million in January
2009—a deal that also netted Wipro a contract to continue providing outsourcing
services for Citi for at least six years, guaranteeing the Indian firm some $500 million
in revenue.

Effects of the new frugality

Facing a market that’s sensitive to economic shifts, IT consulting firms must
continually adapt their strategies to suit the current marketplace. In recent years,
clients have become more sophisticated and knowledgeable about what to expect
from consultants, and tend to have specific demands relating to their industry sector,
forcing consulting firms to really prove their worth. Clients also tend to be more price-
sensitive, and want to know what the bottom-line savings will be before a project
begins. As a result, consultancies have had to concentrate on services that add

34 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Industry Overview

tangible value and measurably boost profit margins. To protect profits, they have
been aiming for short-term projects that require less labor and expense, like
implementation, as well as higher profit margin services, like taking over a client’s
entire business processes in HR or finance.

The focus on cost control is already having other effects on the industry—changes
that are likely to be less-than-welcome news for those working, or seeking to work, in
the U.S. In response to client demands for lower prices, many consulting firms are
responding by moving more of their operations offshore to take advantage of cheaper
labor costs. A concept that only came into vogue during the last downturn,
outsourcing seems certain to be one of the few business areas to benefit during this
one. A perfect example of this—and one that provoked considerable outrage in the
U.S.—is IBM, which announced 5,000 US layoffs in March 2009, but is pressing
ahead with plans to expand its headcount in China and India. While increasing its
footprint in low-cost markets has long been a policy at IBM (the firm has hired more
than 90,000 workers in India since 2003 and is in the midst of a $6 billion expansion
in the country that began in 2007), the timing of the layoffs couldn’t have come at a
worse time, as the firm was also seeking to pick up work from the government
stimulus bill, which is aimed at creating U.S. jobs. Making matters worse, from a U.S.
consulting perspective, is that many of the layoffs were targeted at the firm’s services
division which houses IBM’s tech consulting unit.

That said, hiring in foreign markets is not expected to explode, either; in response to
firms like IBM increasing their footprint in the country, top outsourcers in India (still
the leading country for offshore IT services) began requiring longer hours from their
staff in order to increase their competitive edge almost as soon as the downturn
began, effectively squeezing more work from the same number of employees And
most have followed up on that policy by announcing greatly reduced hiring targets for
2009—something that has come as a shock to an industry that has gotten used to
exponential job growth. Far from increasing its headcount, in fact, Tata Consulting
Services announced early in 2009 that it would be cutting around 1 percent of its
workforce. Major competitors such as Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies,
meanwhile, all confirmed that they were limiting the number of experienced (and
therefore more expensive) hires they were bringing on, while committing to honoring
offers made to (less expensive) graduates in 2008.

India—still the destination of choice

Since the outsourcing craze began, India has dominated the market as the go-to
location for lower cost labor. The country’s skilled labor market and large English-
speaking population have given India a distinct advantage over other developing
countries, and American consulting firms continue to pour resources and talent into
it to capitalize on the well-established market. In 2008, Cisco announced plans for a
talent development program there, aiming to increase its staff in the country six-fold
to 360,000 in the next five years, while KPMG announced plans to raise headcount
in the country from 3,000 to 5,000 by 2010. Accenture has also taken a substantial

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interest in the Indian market; it maintains 12 global delivery centers in the country,
and plans to increase its headcount there to 50,000 by the end of 2009, up from
around 37,000 in 2008.

India’s business process outsourcing market is still growing steadily, keeping tech
consulting firms supplied with a stream of engagements. NASSCOM reports that the
BPO market was worth some $12.2 billion in 2008—well short of the $50 billion
figure frequently cited as a market target for 2012 (and one that becomes ever less
likely as the recession wears on). A McKinsey Global Institute report, meanwhile,
indicates that India’s outsourcing industry revenue will expand to $60 billion by 2010.
And, where the country may seem especially vulnerable to a downturn in foreign
markets, Indian firms seem upbeat about the prospects for generating more business
domestically to replace some of what may be lost from international clients in the
short term as the recession continues to bite. That ability to attract work domestically,
which would have seemed unlikely even as recently as the last downturn, is a practice
that even the biggest foreign firms are adopting within the country; Springboard
Research points out that IBM is the largest provider of IT services in the domestic
market in India, controlling some 10.8 percent of the market at the beginning of

Look out, India!

Though most consulting firms are still investing resources in the subcontinent, India’s
rising labor costs and shortage of talent have firms eyeing China. According to a 2007
report from research firm IDC, China is expected to overtake India as the top
outsourcing destination by 2011. Deloitte aims to have 20,000 employees in China
by 2015, up from 8,500 in 2007, and Ernst & Young plans to expand from 8,000 to
30,000 in the country over the next decade, adding two or three new branches in Asia
annually within the next few years. Additional areas popping up as prime BPO
centers include Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. In fact, IDC predicts that the
Asia Pacific BPO market as a whole will expand to $14 billion by 2010.

Coming up with contingency plans

While BPO continues to be a solid growth area for many IT consulting firms, even this
sector is under pressure due not only to a falling demand for tech services, but the
precarious fiscal health of many existing clients—a factor that is likely to translate into
canceled contracts and unpaid bills for many outsource providers. In fact, research
firm Gartner predicted early in 2009 that the financial crisis would see as many as 25
percent of the top-20 BPO providers cease to exist as separate entities by 2012.
Describing the BPO market as moving “from adolescence to maturity,” Gartner
predicted that flexibility will be key for BPO providers in the coming years—
suggesting that companies with contingency plans to deal with client consolidations
and the like should fare much better than those without, or those that are heavily
reliant on one or two big clients.

36 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Industry Overview

How badly the BPO industry gets hit during the recession because of clients seeking
to cut costs is something that is only likely to become clear in hindsight. Certainly, it
would appear that the appetite for “mega-deals” in the industry has waned
somewhat. Despite posting a record number of high-value deals throughout the first
six months of 2008 (12 worth a total of $17 billion), the market dropped off markedly
in the second half of the year, with just three mega-deals with a combined value of
$6.5 billion going through (an unprecedented drop-off that coincided with the worst
events of the economic meltdown).

The flipside of the global coin

Even as the big U.S. consulting shops head for lower-cost markets, some of the most
lucrative engagements remain within the U.S., prompting some firms that were once
outsourcing-only shops to make inroads into the high-end IT consulting market.
While the trend has noticeably slowed since the onset of the recession, many
outsourcing firms looking to move into higher-profit services had already established
themselves in the U.S. and Europe by the time it started, and can be expected to
resume this policy as the recession eases. The advantages for such firms are easy to
see: the opportunity to gain regional and industry traction, to get closer to their
customers and to leverage existing client relationships built on outsourcing to
establish a more comprehensive IT consulting practice.

Tata Consultancy Services, for example, increased its U.S. presence with a new
development center in Cincinnati, Ohio, opened in March 2008. The firm has not
been shy about its intention to steal business from the traditional consulting giants—
like HP Services and Computer Sciences Corporation—and already has 50 U.S.
offices and a headquarters in New York. And while Western firms seeking to offer
clients a “global delivery model”—one where work is sourced at home and completed
abroad—have to deal with the uncertainties of setting up shop and finding qualified
consultants in foreign markets, the opposite is true for existing firms making inroads
into Western markets. Already equipped with facilities and staff, all that is required for
them is to establish an onshore presence to win business and carry some of the work

Staffing gets political

But for the most profitable tech engagements on U.S. soil, there’s no doubt that
American firms have the longstanding relationships it takes to establish client trust—
which gives them a distinct advantage over newcomers. This could soon change as
competitors willing to undercut these firms’ prices establish a stronger presence in
the West. As those competitors gain a foothold in the U.S. market, however, they’re
facing problems of a different kind, namely an increasing volume of objection over
their staffing practices. Responding to accusations that firms are abusing foreign
worker visas (mainly the H-1B visa) to bring in cheaper labor, the new Obama
administration has vowed to take a close look at how the programs operate—which

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could lead to tighter restrictions on consultancies attracting top talent from outside
U.S. borders.

Like every good story, the H-1B saga has two distinct sides and a truth that probably
lies somewhere in the middle. Supporters of the program claim that it brings much-
needed skilled workers to the U.S., while opponents protest that the program deprives
U.S. workers of jobs in favor of less expensive foreign workers, driving down wages
across the industry while giving a pricing advantage to companies that benefit from
the lottery that decides which of the 120,000 or so applicants gets awarded one of
the 65,000 H-1Bs on offer. And, while companies such as Microsoft and Google have
made headlines in the US for relying on H-1B workers while sacking U.S. staff, it
turns out that the top-four recipients of H-1B visas are all Indian outsourcing firms
(Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and Tata Consultancy Services, in that order), while no fewer
than nine of the top-10 recipients have a hand in technology consulting.

Adapting to the new marketplace

While IT has long been a job seeker’s market—particularly for those with hard-to-find
skills and experience—2009 may be marking the beginning of a new era for those
searching opportunities in the field. With more clients seeking to cut costs, the
consulting industry is responding with an increased focus on its global delivery model
(i.e., relying on offshore workers to complete tasks). And, with companies seeking to
squeeze figures on their balance sheets, while measuring unemployment continues
to spiral upward, it seems that control of the employment market is swinging ever
further in the direction of the firms seeking to hire, and away from job seekers. Of
course, there are always those who will find themselves in demand. Consultants with
a wide range of skills (and therefore capable of working on many different types of
engagements) are in increasingly high demand as firms seek to do more with less.
On the other side of that equation, those with an extremely specialized level of
ability—especially in niche areas—are likely to find their skills just as highly sought
after. Particularly desirable candidates these days are those with experience in cloud
computing, web development, database management, wireless networking and
applications engineering.

Firms are also more concerned now about applicants’ business savvy, as the line
between IT services and business consulting is becoming increasingly blurred.
Candidates with a deep understanding of business concepts as well as IT skills are
the top picks for the most selective consulting firms. This is reflected in findings from
research firm Hays, which predicted in January 2009 that a number of factors would
ensure that IT recruitment remained ahead of much of the rest economy. Those
factors include public-sector spending (mostly the bailout), telecom innovation
(thanks to the bailout) and a desire for better systems management as companies
seek to manage their costs by ensuring that every dollar spent on IT is spent
effectively—a situation that creates openings for consultants.

38 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Industry Overview

Speculate, consolidate and (hopefully) accumulate

The need to find new ways of pulling in revenue saw the emergence of another
nascent trend in early 2009: tech outfits moving ever closer to a one-stop-shopping
model. Thus, Cisco announced in March 2009 its intention to build its own servers
for corporate data centers, a new positioning that will see the firm compete more
directly with the likes of HP and IBM. In a previous life (which ended with Cisco’s
server announcement), the firm would often partner with HP and IBM to offer clients
complementary services—partnerships that helped generate billions for Cisco.
Perhaps the most notable deal in this realm of late, however, remains HP’s mammoth
acquisition of EDS in the summer of 2008—a $13.8 billion merger that seriously
enhanced HP’s existing consulting capabilities and brought EDS’ outsourcing
capabilities into the fold. While integrating the firm as a unit within HP Services will
undoubtedly be a challenge, the deal nonetheless reflects an attempt on HP’s part to
be at the cutting edge of the industry.

Practice Areas
Systems integration
This is one of the key functions of an IT consultant, and an area of expansion as
companies add increasingly complex IT systems to update their business operations.
Systems integration work involves integrating computers and other instruments to be
able to share data and information. When two companies merge, or a single
company wants to implement new hardware or software, systems integration
consultants make all functions compatible. Sometimes this is a simple matter of
installing upgrades, but more often, it’s a long and arduous process of writing new
code to force all the machines and existing software to play nicely together.

Business process outsourcing clients are often able to cut costs and reduce
management responsibilities by handing over core IT processes to a third party.
Consultants, in effect, become the client’s IT department. They may handle claims
processing for an insurance company or payroll for an HR department. Often, BPO
work involves maintaining servers and running help desk operations. Almost every
large corporation or public-sector organization is a BPO client these days, from
Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Proving just
how big the market is, even in a downturn, EDS signed a 10-year deal valued at over
$1 billion to provide outsourcing services for Aviva early in 2009. IBM also pulled in
a new customer early in the year, agreeing to provide outsourced HR services for
Unilever’s Latin American operations. The deal came as something of a shock to

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many in the industry, as Unilever had previously entrusted all of its BPO work to
Accenture. In another sign of what may be to come in the industry as companies
seek the best deal possible, it seems that Unilever will be working with multiple BPO
providers going forward.

Enterprise solutions
The 2002 passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a wake-up call for many companies
that initially considered themselves capable of managing the technological aspects of
compliance on their own. After a couple of years, SOX-compliance consulting
contracts became common as companies found they didn’t have the data
management or security systems in place to maintain confidentiality of the reams of
financial information produced. Nor did they have the capacity to facilitate the
required audit, tracking and reporting. Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is one of many
types of consulting that falls under the “enterprise solutions” category.

Enterprise resource planning is another huge portion of the enterprise solutions

consulting business. ERP solutions help companies respond to marketplace
strategies and might also combine front- and back-office processes. These solutions
might involve product planning, customer service, order tracking, finance or HR
processes. As part of an ERP solution, consultants may implement SAP, Oracle or
another packaged software. Currently, applications development and maintenance—
the creation of custom applications and software services for companies—is a hot
growth area within ERP.

Customer relationship management systems stormed the tech world in the late
1990s, only to be hit hard by an economic downturn that meant even the most
technologically sophisticated customer management system wasn’t going to grow
sales. Following several years of consistent growth as the economy recovered from
the dot-com bust, the general freeze in spending is having exactly the same effect on
CRM this time round—although CRM providers have more tools at their disposal to
help them attract customers. These include the likes of SaaS and cloud technology,
as well as applications built on a social networking platform. Another problem, at least
as far as providers are concerned, is that customers expect much more for their
money, and some providers have reportedly begun experimenting with pricing options
that link fees to customer profitability—a risky proposal, but one that also has the
potential for a big payoff should the economy take a turn for the better. Regardless
of how they’re billed, however, CRM projects focus on helping clients gain a
competitive edge with customers through sales intelligence, analyzing customer
information or establishing customer care portals. CRM engagements often involve
creating a complex software solution for collecting, storing and retrieving large
amounts of customer data.

40 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Industry Overview

IT strategy
IT consulting engagements that cover the strategic side of the client’s business or
high-level technology decisions are referred to simply as “consulting” or “strategy”
projects, and often involve using IT to support a company’s overall business strategy.
Most of the large, brand-name management consulting firms have technology
strategy practices, such as McKinsey’s Business Technology Office, HP’s IT strategy
and architecture group, and Accenture’s strategic IT effectiveness (SITE) group.
These units are often managed by industry specialists (e.g., financial services,
pharmaceuticals) who are deeply familiar with the specific IT challenges that clients

Some IT strategy engagements fall into the business process management category.
BPM projects center around improving all processes within an organization to help
the client save money through improving efficiency and effectiveness. Changing
processes often means automating or semi-automating a process that has been
performed manually, so BPM projects usually involve implementing a new software
suite. Over the past few years, the market for BPM software services has exploded.
Gartner estimates the worldwide market for BPM suites to more than double from
2006 levels, hitting $2.6 billion in 2011.

Another much-hyped area within IT strategy is service-oriented architecture. SOA is

a way of connecting disparate IT systems to help align strategy and IT goals. It
involves designing a complete set of independent and changeable business services
that make up an end-to-end process. Through SOA, businesses can more quickly
update and streamline one process without making changes to an entire system.

Building on the standards laid down by SOA, meanwhile, is the hottest IT concept to
have emerged since, well, SOA: cloud computing. A term that is notoriously difficult
to pin an exact definition on, cloud computing essentially allows organizations to build
on their existing IT capabilities without investing in servers or new technology—those
are owned by providers of services “in the cloud,” such as IBM, who allow clients to
access their capabilities. So hot is the cloud concept, in fact, that Gartner predicts
that 30 percent of consulting and systems integration revenue will come from it by
2011. IDC, meanwhile, predicts that spending on cloud services will reach $42 billion
by 2012—a figure that represents a tripling of current annual spending. The bulk of
that figure, it should be noted, is likely to be distributed among providers of cloud
services—everyone from and Amazon Web Services to firms such as
Cisco and IBM. However, even firms that don’t offer cloud services directly are likely
to find an interest from clients seeking assistance on them in the form of advisory,
support and integration services.

Web services
With the growth of cloud computing, the line between IT strategy and web services is
likely to become ever more blurred. Whereas in the last decade web services

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Industry Overview

primarily covered website design and hosting, with the work carried out by specialist
firms in Silicon Alley (New York’s tech center), today, web services have become more
complex, and now include any automated services that are conducted over a
network. This description is increasingly coming to encompass the “cloud.” Web
services consulting, therefore, has now moved beyond considerations such as Web
2.0, a key concern just a year or two ago as companies clamored to learn how to
make use of knowledge sharing, social networks, blogging, wikis and RSS feeds.
While there is still a demand for these services, many more companies are now
looking to the web not only to enhance their business functions, but to cut costs, as
evidenced by the growth in popularity of CRM provider, which
provides its services via the cloud. It’s not only newcomers that are getting in the act,
either; as big players such as IBM and HP Services have the capability to deliver
solutions for both web services and IT strategy from one source, giving them a distinct
advantage in a fast-changing marketplace.

Security consulting became a booming area for IT firms after the September 11
terrorist attacks, when businesses and residents raised their awareness of threats to
U.S. security. IT businesses have capitalized on increased vigilance in the business
climate by developing a wider range of advanced security and fraud prevention
methods for the financial services and government sectors, as well as for other
industries. Businesses hire security consultants to protect them from hackers and
viruses, and government agencies use these services to protect their national
transportation, infrastructure and public spaces against terrorism. Biometrics (the
science of identifying a person via retina patterns, voice, fingerprints and other
unique biological characteristics), access control, data encryption and other types of
secure communications are growing areas within the industry today.

Research and development

Some consultants are actually full-time researchers, creating new hardware and
software to solve problems. Currently, “innovation” is the buzzword in the IT world,
and undoubtedly the firms that come with the most cutting-edge applications can
turn those into major profits. A large portion of this work focuses on developing new
proprietary products (i.e., semiconductors and analysis software) to help a consulting
firm sell its services and complete engagements. Consultants might also carry out
this type of work for a specific client’s use (contract R&D). Specialists in the contract
research field include the likes of Gartner, which claims that some 65 percent of the
Fortune 1000 and 80 percent of the Global 500 rely on its research and advisory
services when making IT decisions.

42 © 2009, Inc.

TOP 25
Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms


55 East 52nd Street THE STATS

New York, NY 10022
Employer Type: Private Partnership
Phone: (212) 446-7000
Managing Director: Ian Davis
Fax: (212) 446-8575
2008 Employees: 16,000+
2007 Employees: 14,000

90 offices in 50 countries
• “You will never be around so many smart
people at once [anywhere else]”
PRACTICE AREAS • “Incredible, interesting problems to solve”
• Uncontested reputation in the industry
Business Technology Service Lines
Application Management
Business Process Outsourcing & DOWNERS
• “Having the right relationship with your
Enterprise Resource Planning
boss is one of the few real ways to
IT Architecture
IT Governance
• Up-or-out culture
IT Outsourcing & Offshoring
• “A ‘corporate’ mindset is maybe more
Lean IT & Cost Performance
required than in other similar companies”
Technology Infrastructure
Tech & Ops in Merger Management
Tech & Ops in Supply Chain EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Technology in Product Development
Technology in Sales Marketing
Technology in Service Operations
Technology Strategy

what other consultants are saying

• “Best of breed”
• “Known for strategy, not execution”
• “Über-selective and sophisticated”
• “Highly arrogant and stressful culture”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
McKinsey & Company


What’d you expect?

Though not as universally known for its business technology expertise, McKinsey is
nonetheless a powerful force in the technology consulting field. The firm’s tech
practice, created in 1997, is known as the Business Technology Office. The structure
of projects undertaken by the practice is similar to those of the management
consulting practices, in that consultants work in teams, but they may be drawn from
any McKinsey office. Additionally, the client’s experts tend to work alongside the team
as part- or even full-time members. Services include nearshoring and offshoring of
end-to-end operational processes, IT architecture, IT cost assessment, IT governance
and organization, and IT in operations, such as enterprise resource planning and
software configuration management. Among the industries targeted are banking,
insurance, telecom, information services and software, media and entertainment,
health care, and the public and retail sectors.

The firm’s other practices include corporate finance, marketing and sales, operations,
organization and strategy, and serve most of the same industries as BTO. Clients and
engagements are protected by strict confidentiality agreements, but it’s still well
known that the firm has worked with some of the world’s biggest and most powerful
organizations. In all, it fields more than 16,000 consultants, and has 90 offices in
more than 50 countries.

No free pass for techies

The firm was founded in Chicago in 1926 by James O. McKinsey, a professor at the
University of Chicago, though he would be little more than a namesake, leaving the
company in the 1930s and having had little influence on what it would ultimately
become. Then again, his departure did pave the way for Marvin Bower, who became
managing director in 1950 and started McKinsey on its path to iconic status. Bower
believed there was a strict standard involved in doing business. He drew up a code
of conduct for the firm, still used today, that states: Client interests must take
precedence over company interest; the end value of a project for a client should
always exceed the cost of that project; only active partners can be owners of the firm;
and staff must be loyal and capable of superior work. Business technology
consultants are no exception—they take on the code of conduct the moment they
take on the mantle of McKinseyite.

In good company
Engineers and computer experts feeling especially pressured by the code of conduct
can take comfort in knowing they’re part of an elite group. McKinsey is known for
bringing in the best of the best, whether it’s raw, malleable talent or decorated

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McKinsey & Company

veterans. Rhodes Scholars, law review editors, PhDs and even nuclear physicists are
all on the payroll. From this high-brow talent pool, managing directors of the firm are
elected by senior partners, in a process that has been likened in some media outlets
to electing a new Pope. White smoke aside, one crucial difference between the
McKinsey MD and the Pontiff is the notion of term limits; McKinsey elections are held
every three years, with the incumbent eligible for no more than three consecutive
terms. Having first been elected in 2003, the phrase “current head Ian Davis”
changed to “outgoing head Ian Davis” in February 2009, when Dominic Barton was
named Davis’ successor—an appointment effective July 2009. A U.K. native, Davis
has been with McKinsey for nearly 30 years. His replacement, meanwhile, is a native
of Canada, one of the aforementioned Rhodes Scholars (he, like Davis, attended
Oxford University) and has been with the firm since 1986. He is also an expert on
Asia, having spent 11 years working for McKinsey in that region—a period that
includes five years heading up the firm’s Seoul office, and five in Shanghai as leader
of the overall Asian operation.

A February 2009 Financial Times article announcing Barton’s election alluded to

some clues as to what to expect from him during the present economic uncertainty.
“A clue may be found,” the reporter notes, “in an article titled ‘How to win in a
financial crisis’ that Mr. Barton co-wrote in 2002: ‘For executives willing to make bold
moves, a crisis can be a burning platform that creates an opportunity to change
corporate culture and operations drastically,’ it said.”

Distant connections
McKinsey is said to generate more than half its revenue from non-U.S. engagements,
something made possible by its aggressive global expansion in the 1990s, when it
entered as many as 20 new countries. Lately, the firm has concentrated on
opportunities in Asia. In 2004, it started Asia House, a talent-building program that
would additionally act as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Initially, the program
was a cooperative effort between the Frankfurt office and the Greater China offices,
but its success prompted an expansion into most of the firm’s offices in Asia, as well
as other European offices in Switzerland, France, the Benelux region and
Scandinavia. Asia House engagements are sometimes even carried out in the Middle
East and North America.

Consultants qualifying for the program join for two- to three-year stints; they start out
in Frankfurt or Paris, and are then placed in Asia. They benefit from formal training
that is paired with actual project engagements. Consultants in the program are all
multilingual, and many nationalities are represented in each new hired class.
Projects are carried out in the same disciplines and for the same markets as the firm
itself would.

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A thing or two to say

In another example of BTO being similar but separate from the management
consulting practices, the division has its own quarterly journal, McKinsey on Business
Technology. The publication reports on trends in the industry and provides an outlet
for the firm’s professionals to showcase their knowledge. Recent topics have
included an investigation of the rise of outsourcing in Eastern Europe and a look at
the best way of meeting IT demand within a large enterprise. Business technology,
of course, is also a welcome subject in the firm’s more well-known magazine, the
McKinsey Quarterly.

Play to win … and advise

McKinsey’s regional headquarters in Germany recently made headlines by
participating in a recruiting event that pitted young consultants and students against
each other in an online game called CEO of the Future. The game, a business
simulation inspired by Donald Trump’s show, The Apprentice, involved various
strategic tasks, such as presenting a plan for a product launch and smoothing a
business transition from Europe to Asia. The competition was drawn out over several
months, with the top-scoring individuals receiving cash prizes and, for some of them,
employment contracts. Allianz, Credit Suisse, SAP and other companies were also
sponsors of the event.

Conscientious corporation
McKinsey is a big contributor to charity, and about half of its consultants work on pro
bono engagements at least once in their career. Beneficiaries of these engagements
include museums, theaters, operas, festivals, schools, watchdog groups, land trusts
and zoos, plus other organizations. McKinsey also sponsors a Community Fellows
program, which supports longer pro bono projects of six to nine months. More
generally, within the social sector, the firm supports and facilitates efforts to improve
global public health, economic development and opportunity creation, and


Pay attention to details

McKinsey’s hiring process is the stuff of legend, with a highly prescriptive format
involving experience and case study interviews. So well planned is the interview
process, in fact, that the firm devotes a substantial section of its careers site to telling
prospective candidates exactly what it expects from them and, in turn, what they
should expect from it. This includes everything from advice on laying out a resume

48 © 2009, Inc.

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McKinsey & Company

to a (count ‘em) 23-minute video detailing the interview experience—a must-watch

for any prospective McKinseyite. Undoubtedly, it’s the case studies for which
McKinsey is best known, and the firm includes plenty of help (more than half of the
video time, plus a couple of in-depth, interactive practice cases) so that candidates
will have an idea of what they’ll encounter. Half the battle, one assumes, will be in
turning up for the interview after wading through all this material—which can be
intimidating in both its volume and complexity.

Insiders, meanwhile, tell us the interview is both “demanding” and “smart,” but also
“extremely respectful.” One source even goes as far as to say that, despite offers
from other firms of McKinsey’s caliber, “my decision to go to McKinsey was mainly
made on the quality of the interview process.”


The best and the … humblest?

“Contrary to the reputation,” say insiders, McKinsey has a “great culture.” Staff are
universally lauded as being exceptionally smart, but while one might assume that that
lends an air of “arrogance” (as one U.S.-based consultant puts it), a source in France
reckons that “people are nice and relatively humble.” Perhaps that comes from a
culture where there is a constant emphasis on performance improvement—and not
only in terms of the client’s business. “McKinsey’s most distinctive attribute is its
overhaul on feedback,” says one source. “From the moment you walk in, you’re
being groomed to be a partner and you’re constantly receiving feedback in order to
help you reach that bar.” The type of feedback, meanwhile, is described as “90
percent developmental.” The makeup of the other 10 percent, however, remains a

So good is the firm’s focus on developing its consultants that one insider is moved to
state that “coming out of undergrad, I believe it is the best choice you can make.”
That’s high praise, indeed, even if the period of adjustment can a bit jarring at times:
“It is startling at first,” says one consultant. “Everyone here is used to getting
everything right. But once you sit back and take it all in, you realize how much you
are learning and developing day after day.”

Expect long hours

Not surprisingly, insiders stress that “you have to be ready to travel” to have a
successful career at McKinsey. While the extent to which consultants are away from
their home base obviously varies from project to project, a European source reports
that, “on most of my missions, there was a significant proportion of foreign
consultants sleeping in hotels all week long, working from their home country only on

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As might be expected under such conditions, hours can be extreme as well. While
they “range [depending] on the assignment,” a senior source reports a workload that
is “normally never less than 75 hours per week.” Managers or senior associates,
meanwhile, can easily “pile up 100 hours per week.” Those doing the math will know
that that amounts to some weekend work, which, incidentally, “is not incentivized,”
but which appears to be an accepted, if unacknowledged, fact of life at McKinsey.
“Everyone does at least six to eight hours over the weekend,” a source attests, “but
would rarely admit it.”

50 © 2009, Inc.



8283 Greensboro Drive UPPERS

McLean, VA 22102
• “Resume booster”
Phone: (703) 902-5000
• Flexible schedules and telecommuting are
Fax: (703) 902-3333
supported and encouraged
• “Enthusiasm for the firm is real”
• “All the options ... You can really grow in
LOCATIONS whatever direction you choose”

McLean, VA (Global HQ)

80 offices worldwide DOWNERS
• No bonus structure for nonmanagement
PRACTICE AREAS • “Road to promotion seems slow and
Assurance & Resilience
• “Not having the respect, confidence and
Economic & Business Analysis
support from our management to perform
Information Technology
autonomously in our assigned client
Intelligence & Operations Analysis
Modeling & Simulation
• “Sometimes too rank-dependent and
Organization & Strategy
Supply Chain & Logistics
Systems Engineering & Integration

Employer Type: Private Company

Chairman & CEO: Dr. Ralph W. Shrader
2009 Employees: 20,000
2008 Employees: 18,000
2009 Revenue: $4.4 billion
2008 Revenue: $4.8 billion (includes
results of Booz & Company)

what other consultants are saying

• “Top drawer; long history”

• “Too big for its britches”
• “Takes care of its employees”
• “Old school, traditional thinking”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Booz Allen Hamilton


Two Booz businesses

The Booz Allen Hamilton of today looks a lot different than it did a year ago. For most
of its existence, the Virginia-based consulting firm had two very distinct businesses—
one that advised government clients and one that worked with commercial
companies. In December 2007, CEO Ralph Shrader emailed employees, informing
them that the firm’s leadership team was considering a separation of the two Booz
groups. A deal was unveiled in early 2008; the commercial and international
business was spun off as an independent firm, now operating as Booz & Company,
while the U.S. government business retained the name Booz Allen Hamilton, but sold
a $2.54 billion majority stake in itself to private equity giant The Carlyle Group.

Some of the motivating factors behind this realignment are evident in the hard
statistics of the business. As a combined entity, the company generated over $4
billion in annual sales in fiscal year 2008, with approximately one-third coming from
the commercial side, even though two-thirds of the firm’s partners worked on that
side. The government practice, making up the lion’s share of sales, had only one-
third of the leadership and, with 18,000 staff, a less favorable partner/consultant ratio
than the commercial group, with about 3,300 staff. These differences ultimately led
to distinct consulting models between the two units—a schism that, among other
factors, logically led to the formal separation. Ralph Shrader remains head of Booz
Allen Hamilton, while Shumeet Banerji took the reins at Booz & Company.

A powerful partner
Although the Booz-Carlyle investment was seen as encouraging news during the
economically glum summer of 2008, some industry observers raised concerns about
Carlyle’s growing influence in federal dealings. The Washington, D.C.-based private
equity firm, which manages over $81 billion in assets, has a habit of buying lucrative
defense contractors like Booz Allen; it also has ties to a number of former government
officials (ex-President George H.W. Bush is an adviser, as is retired SEC Chairman
Arthur Levitt). This is something Carlyle and Booz Allen have in common—the
consulting firm’s executive ranks include Mike McConnell, former U.S. director of
national intelligence, and R. James Woolsey, who led the CIA in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, in 2007, The Carlyle Group sold a minority stake in itself to an investment
fund affiliated with the government of Abu Dhabi. To quell any misgivings, Carlyle
executives say they will hold no management roles at Booz Allen (although three hold
seats on Booz Allen’s board), nor will they have access to any of the firm’s classified

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Booz Allen Hamilton

When Booz met Allen (and Hamilton)

In 1914, Edwin Booz, a graduate of Northwestern University, founded a small
management consulting firm in Chicago. Edwin G. Booz, Business Engineering
Service got off the ground thanks to a loan from State Bank & Trust in nearby
Evanston (the bank also became Booz’s first client).

James Allen was hired in 1929—becoming Booz’s third employee—and the company
quickly graduated to big-name Chicagoland clients like Goodyear, Montgomery Ward
and the Chicago Tribune. Carl Hamilton joined the firm as a partner in 1935, and a
year later the business became Booz, Fry, Allen & Hamilton (the fourth partner,
George Fry, opened a new office in New York City). Disagreements between the
partners led to Allen and Fry’s departures in the 1940s; Fry never returned, but Allen
did, and in 1943 the name Booz Allen Hamilton was officially adopted. In fact, it was
Allen who steered the business through the post-WWII era; Hamilton died in 1946
and Booz cut back his work at the firm, leaving Allen in charge.

By the end of the 1950s, Booz Allen Hamilton had become the country’s preeminent
management consulting firm, and it opened its first international office in Zurich. The
company began providing technology consulting services in the 1970s, and in 1970
the privately held firm went public. That only lasted until 1976, however, when
partners bought back the stock, reformed the private ownership structure and
relocated the headquarters to New York. As business with government agencies
grew, the firm moved to its current location in McLean, Va.

Present-day status
Today, Booz Allen is owned by its 115 top executives. In 2009, it was named to
Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, for the fifth year in a row,
and since 1999, Working Mother has listed it as among the 100 Best Companies for
Working Mothers. Following the 2008 split, Booz Allen’s services lineup includes IT
and systems solutions, strategy, operations, organization and program management,
all aimed at government agencies, institutions and infrastructure organizations.

Number seven
Dr. Ralph W. Shrader is the seventh chairman in Booz Allen’s 95-plus-year history,
and he’s held that title and the CEO spot since 1999. Before assuming those
positions, Shrader was president of the firm’s worldwide technology business, and
before that he was head of the firm’s technology division. Shrader came to the firm
after serving as national director of advanced systems planning for Western Union,
and earlier in his career, he was on the staff of RCA’s government communications
system division.

A former chairman of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association

board, Shrader currently serves on the board of The Neediest Kids, Inc., and Abilities,

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Inc., the latter an organization dedicated to improving career opportunities for people
with disabilities. This is a cause close to Shrader’s heart: His son lives with mental
challenges and epilepsy, and Shrader has become a leading advocate for people with
disabilities in the workplace. At Booz Allen, Shrader has established a forum for
employees with disabilities, introduced ASL interpretation at major meetings and
began closed captioning of corporate videos. He also works closely with the
President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (PCEPD) Business
Leadership Network and is the recipient of leadership awards from the National
Business & Disability Council.

To the moon
A big deal landed on Booz Allen’s doorstep in May 2008 when the Defense
Information Systems Agency awarded it a contract under ENCORE II, a $12.2 billion
contracting system that provides IT services and support to the military, the
Department of Defense and other federal agencies. Booz Allen and 25 other firms
were selected to design, develop and implement new IT architecture and support
systems; the firm’s role will include assistance with systems engineering, operational
support services, program management, and integration for hardware and software

One month later, the firm inked another deal, winning a five-year NASA contract for
systems engineering and integration, and test and evaluation services. Specifically,
Booz Allen will provide IT services to the space agency’s Constellation Program, which
is developing next-generation spacecraft, coordinating lunar landings and launching
missions to support the International Space Station.

Preventing medical fraud

When the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
needed help evaluating the scope of medical identity theft in the United States, it
turned to Booz Allen and offered a $450,000 contract in June 2008. ONC’s goal is
to shed light on financial fraud and patient care errors brought about by medical
identity theft and, to that end, Booz Allen is launching a three-part IT assessment.
First, it will conduct a study of health IT and its impact on identity theft. Then, it will
organize a summit of health care experts to find out how medical technology can be
used to prevent and detect identity theft. Finally, in 2009, the firm will release a
health IT and medical identity theft report, setting forth suggested steps for the federal
government to take.

Command performances
Government contracts kept rolling in through the second half of 2008. In July, Booz
Allen was selected to provide services under the United States Strategic Command
Systems and Missions Support (USAMS) contract. It was one of six firms chosen to

54 © 2009, Inc.

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Booz Allen Hamilton

compete for up to $900 million worth of high-tech advisory services over the next five

Then, in October, the firm received a three-year, $120 million contract for IT services
support for the Army Material Command. Under the terms of the deal, consultants
will provide systems engineering and integration services to help revamp the Army’s
enterprise logistics business. This will include consolidating and centralizing hosting
environments, redesigning dashboards for operations centers, improving data
accuracy for commanders and uncovering potential cost reductions.

Digging in to the IC
Booz Allen’s links to the federal government were explored in investigative reporter
Tim Shorrock’s 2008 book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence
Outsourcing. Shorrock’s research into the intelligence community (or IC, as those in
the know would say) revealed that the government outsources 70 percent of its
intelligence budget—over $42 billion per year—to corporate vendors, some well
known, others less so. And in the intelligence-hungry world of post-September 11th,
some of these vendors are routinely tasked with covert operations and top-secret
intelligence activities that were once reserved for agencies like the CIA.

Shorrock described a “revolving door” between Booz Allen and the IC (and included
intelligence official Joan Dempsey’s 2004 remark that “I like to refer to Booz Allen as
the shadow IC”). One of the most noteworthy people to pass through that revolving
door was Mike McConnell, who joined the firm after serving as President Clinton’s
head of the National Security Agency. McConnell later returned to the Beltway as
President George W. Bush’s director of national intelligence, before once again joining
the Booz Allen ranks as a senior vice president in February 2009. Chances are he
hasn’t paid his last visit to the White House, however—in January 2009, the Obama
administration extended McConnell an invitation to serve on the President
Intelligence Advisory Board.


Getting grilled
Insiders say Booz Allen “has an extensive interview process” in which “a potential
candidate can expect to interview with at least four people.” Some add that the
“intensive group interviewing” is “grueling on purpose, to see how well prospective
employees handle the stress.” Question topics may vary. Some interviews focus on
“skill/experience level and whether you will be a good fit for the team.” As one
consultant recalls, “Most questions were behavioral, no case questions,” but he does
note that “one interview was strictly brainteasers.” Others comment that brainteasers
are “common with level-1 consultants.” Moreover, a newbie states, “hypothetical

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business strategy scenarios are presented to gauge the candidate’s thought process
and problem-solving abilities.” An experienced staffer reports that “some values-
based case questions are used, i.e., if the client asked you to do something not
included in the contract, how would you respond?” We’re also told that there’s a
required “writing test for some positions,” and “if it’s a technical position, then one
interview will focus on technical questions.”

In a nutshell, says a senior manager, there’s “usually a multiple perspective interview,

with sessions on consulting skills, resume probing, technical abilities (if needed) and
cultural fit.” Another longtimer explains, “Due to the team approach to interviewing,
the group of interviewers changes and each one conducts their segment of the
interview process differently. When I interviewed, I had a number of case questions
and was asked to draw any part of a computer network. When I was part of an
interview team, we didn’t ask any case-type questions. My questions were open
ended, requiring explanations and/or examples of our knowledge and experience in
the areas we were interested in.” In all, “be prepared for a lengthy process with
multiple interviewers asking many difficult and important questions about experience,
commitment and expectations.”

Check your rolodex

One recent hire adds that the interviews aren’t the only process that’s lengthy,
reporting that an interviewee “could wait a long time for interview
setups/feedback/offers.” Another agrees: “The process can be slower compared to
other companies,” but feels it’s “worth the wait.” Meanwhile, others say the process
is “quick”—even “very relaxed”—and they “received an offer within a week.” A
director explains that the “hiring process is relatively varied between different parts of
the business. Some are quick and dirty, while others are formal, drawn out and

The firm recruits from “top-ranked colleges,” “universities in the

D.C./Maryland/Virginia area close to the firm’s headquarters and other select
schools.” And for experienced candidates, it helps to know the right people; a staffer
in Texas says “employee referrals are a big source of potentials, and they are
encouraged with a bonus program.”

It also helps to start off a Booz Allen career through its summer internship program.
A recent hire recalls that as an intern, he “got the opportunity to interact with senior
staff members that were later helpful in the hiring process.” Another says the
program was “excellent” and that he was “able to perform client work and had an
individual project that lasted for the duration of the internship.”

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Booz Allen Hamilton


A “source of pride”
Booz Allen insiders are chock full of adjectives when it comes to characterizing the
firm’s culture. Only a handful of these are less than enthusiastic, including “stifling,”
“slow-moving” and “jealous.” One staffer states, “I feel it’s better than most, but still
has room for improvement. The culture can be intimidating. If you or your work can’t
provide immediate and obvious value to another, you can be quickly dismissed.” He
adds that “with so many people [working] remotely, it’s difficult to form office
relationships or collaborate.”

But these negative impressions appear to be in the minority. An associate in Virginia

remarks, “The Booz Allen culture is a source of pride within the firm. As the firm
continues to grow, and with many of the consultants on client site, Booz Allen has
worked to ensure that we do not lose this culture. This is done through the Workforce
Leadership Council at every office. This elected committee is responsible for
coordinating frequent events that bring together employees across that location. This
allows Booz Allen consultants to network with one another and fosters an
understanding of what each functional team is doing. Moreover, it creates a very
unified team that’s fully vested in the success of the firm.” The numerous
descriptives colleagues throw out certainly seem to capture this spirit: “collaborative,”
“entrepreneurial,” “network-oriented,” “cooperative, “supportive,” “encouraging,”
“value-to-client focused,” “professional” and “ethical” are just a few that creep up. A
Florida-based associate states, “Booz Allen truly believes in a team approach. As an
employee, it feels good to know that you are not in this alone. You have tremendous
reach-back capability to all levels of management. Everyone is very supportive and
quick to lend a hand.” Echoes a senior consultant, “If consultants ever need
assistance or advice when working on a problem, thought leaders and subject matter
experts are only a phone call away. By design, Booz Allen fosters a culture of
developing individuals to become ‘go-to people’ for specific functional skills or market
knowledge, or both.”

Work from wherever

On another positive note, we’re told that Booz Allen is “very respectful of family and
life priorities,” and offers “many programs to help balance work and life
commitments, such as telecommuting, flexible hours and part-time work.” “I work
part time remotely from home in Sicily,” shares a midlevel consultant, “while my team
is located in the States. My team and the firm are very supportive of this
arrangement, allowing me the flexibility to work and also take care of my small child.”
And a recent hire agrees, “I like the option of a flexible schedule. As I am a full-time
student and a working single mom, it makes it much easier to balance all of my
responsibilities.” Another fellow mom feels similarly: “I have a two-and-a-half-year-

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old and was able to take time off to raise her. When I decided to return to work, I was
welcomed back at my same level, but with a pay raise. In addition, my manager
discourages work done too late on the clock. I am able to work from home if it’s

This flexibility isn’t limited to special circumstances. One source reports, “I have the
freedom to accomplish the majority of my work from outside the office walls. This
ability provides me the flexibility to take care of ‘life,’ while minimizing the impact on
work.” A colleague offers a similar take: “I have a flexible schedule and I can
telecommute. All I have to do is meet my deadlines and work a minimum of 40 hours
a week. I also can take extended leave without pay when I take long trips to visit
family (for instance, I took off two months to help my son and his wife when their
daughter was born).”

Higher-ups work hard

These flexible options, however, don’t always make for a relaxing ride. “It is all team-
and manager-dependent; if one’s manager does not believe in work/life balance,
there are limitations to arriving at a true balance,” explains a consultant. A midlevel
source notes that, “due to the nature of the work, sometimes work commitments roll
into late nights and weekends,” while another warns that “workload really depends
on the project you are on at the time. Whether you work full time from the client site
or if your client is supportive of you teleworking/working from hom—it all makes a
difference in work/life balance.”

Others add that “there are always things that may be pushed to be resolved over the
weekends due to client commitments.” On those occasions, it seems that everyone
stays to pitch in; one source remarks, “When this happens, I’ve seen management
lead by example—meaning the most senior person in the room stays there to crunch
through it with you. I’ve experienced this with several Level 4 (senior associate)
managers.” In fact, respondents give the impression that the higher up you are at
Booz Allen, the harder you work. A source warns that “the balance diminishes greatly
as you move from consultant (Level 1) to associate (Level 3) and beyond.” A co-
worker explains, “The firm encourages work/life balance, but also expects long hours
if you want to advance beyond associate. As an associate, I am able to balance work
and life, but that balance will suffer if I decide I want to become a senior associate.”
A director concurs: “Most VPs in the firm work day and night and most weekends,
and expect other senior leaders to do the same.”

One consultant offers the bottom line: “Work/life balance is what you make of it.
There are great opportunities for working parents to work abbreviated or modified
schedules. Time is always available to take care of personal issues or commitments,
as well. However, those who want to succeed quickly do have to put in some extra
hours to achieve their goals in the time frame desired.”

58 © 2009, Inc.

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Booz Allen Hamilton

Choose your adventure

The fact that travel is limited at Booz Allen certainly helps with the balance factor,
although we’re told there’s no standard travel schedule. Sources say “travel is based
more on client requirements than firm requirements,” and so “may vary from year to
year.” But that doesn’t mean it comes down to the luck of the draw; a senior
consultant reports, “You usually have the ability to control the amount you travel
through your project selection, so if you want to travel a lot, your administrative
manager is usually able to find a project that works for you.” However, not everyone
is guaranteed a choice—in fact, one D.C.-based rookie says that “at the consultant
and senior consultant levels, one has little opportunity to express preference of
location in their work.”

Working 9 to 5
Travel or no, insiders say they typically work a 40- to 45-hour workweek, with a
workload that’s “pretty constant.” Weekend work is reportedly unusual, or at least not
expected. It’s the rare staffer who puts in extra time, although there are a few; one
senior consultant attests to working “10-hour days and four hours on weekends. I
choose to do so—people are counting on me to be there for them.”

Why would he do such a thing? A higher-up remarks, “If you want to move up the
ladder, you probably need to work more than 40 hours a week.” And a colleague
agrees: “Volunteering to help with proposals or other work outside your billable project
will increase your work hours. These activities are voluntary, but are strongly
encouraged to develop a strong network of resources within the firm.”

Cool with coasting

In general, when it comes to promotions, sources say the firm’s “policy is not strictly
up or out. Consultants advance at the pace of their ability to satisfy the qualifications
required for promotion.” A staffer who’s been at the firm for nearly five years notes,
“Consultants advance fairly quickly to associate (four to six years). However,
promotions beyond the associate level are much slower.” As a result, a co-worker
explains, “once you reach an associate level, most people either strive for a
promotion, stay as a functional expert or leave.” Another insider shares, “I’ve been
an associate for 13 years because I prefer to do the work, rather than wrestle with all
the aggravation that comes with promotion.”

Give back to go up
We’re also told that “it is extremely difficult to get promoted without showing that you
were involved in volunteerism or charitable giving,” and a longtimer stresses that
participating in community projects “can be career-enhancing.”

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To that end, there are “extensive community outreach opportunities” at the firm.
Sources say “employees are constantly bombarded with opportunities to be involved
in firm-sponsored charities”—to the point where “sometimes the encouragement can
become overwhelming.” Insiders explain that “there is something for everyone who
is interested to get involved,” and there’s a “dedicated department—the community
relations team—that focuses on promoting the firm’s involvement in the community
and contribution to charities.” To keep everyone informed, there are “community
involvement emails and newsletters that are delivered to staff,” as well as “fairs to
advertise volunteer opportunities.” Some of the organizations and initiatives Booz
Allen supports are Toys for Tots, school mentoring programs, fund-raising walks,
hospice and volunteering at local homeless shelters. A consultant adds, “If we spend
a lot of time volunteering with an organization, we can also apply for a monetary grant
from the company to the organization.”

Capped compensation
Although Booz Allen is generous with its philanthropy, salaries at the firm are
reportedly “less than the industry standard,” and the “pay doesn’t keep up with
inflation.” One disappointed senior consultant complains that “the average pay scale
for my level of training, education and experience is about $20,000 higher in my
geographical area than what I am currently paid,” and a higher-up adds, “There is a
limit in the raises a person can receive. Depending upon the labor category you are
in, you can hit a ceiling and then just receive a cost-of-living adjustment and no more.
I am in that category.”

It does help that “after the first year, the firm puts 10 percent of your salary into your
retirement account,” with no required employee contribution. A recent hire, however,
notes that the “long vesting period” for this benefit “makes it useless as an incentive,”
adding, “I have to wait five years to get all the money.” Another staffer mentions that
there are “performance awards ranging from $100 to $1,000,” but annual bonuses
are only awarded to “senior associates and above.”

Other extras include a “24-hour help desk for anything,” office parties, “food at every
meeting,” “free chair massages,” “great health benefits,” cell phone discounts,
happy hours, “corporate discounts with most major vendors” and “generous vacation
time.” Specifics evidently vary between cities, as one staffer mentions a “parking and
metro reimbursement of $120 per month,” while another says there is “no
transportation benefit.” Some offices also have big to-dos: A consultant in D.C. says
his office “rents out a local amusement park on one weekend day in September for
the exclusive use of the firm’s employees and family members. In 2008, the firm
rented Kings Dominion; in 2007, it was held at Six Flags in Maryland.”

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Booz Allen Hamilton

Fostering diversity with forums

Booz Allen also provides domestic partnership benefits and, overall, insiders insist
that the firm is “very committed to diversity.” We’re also told that “the firm supports
minorities in multiple ways and is a leader in the community.” And while some insist
that they “would like to see more minorities in partner ranks,” most observe that
“teams are ethnically diverse” and say the firm fosters an environment of “respect
and accommodation for all minorities and cultures.” A senior associate explains,
“The firm has an excellent diversity program that seeks to make members of
minorities comfortable and competitive. Forums exist that provide a way to meet and
discuss common experiences and solutions that are shared among people with
similar backgrounds.”

More specifically, there’s a “firm-sponsored GLBT forum, known as GLOBE, and a

very active women’s forum.” A female consultant reports that there are “many
women partners and leaders,” remarking that “women are definitely treated equally.”
A colleague agrees: “Being discriminated against is the furthest thing from my
mind—it simply will not happen here.” Others claim the firm is “is a leader for
opportunities for women/working moms.” “There are lots of women who have
advanced to high levels while working part time at the firm and staying home with
their kids part time.”

Remnants of the old boys

But not everyone agrees. One recent hire feels that “Booz Allen is still an older white
men’s club. There is an active appreciation of diversity, professionalism and especially
values, however all minorities must take extra initiative to make their presence known
and be of measurable value to the whole. Women often take on brusque personas to
model their male counterparts.” And an associate adds, “I see no difference in the
duties, responsibilities, opportunities, promotions or anything else with regard to men
or women on my team,” though he notes that there are proportionally more male than
female partners. The firm reports that out of 115 partners, 22 are women. A longtimer
agrees that while in “most areas of the firm there is extreme respect for all genders and
cultures,” it’s also the case that “there are still some ‘old school’ folks in certain areas.”
As another puts it, while the “firm has good policies, the reality is that people are
people and carry their prejudices with them.”

Three out of four ain’t bad

Given that Booz Allen is such a large firm, it’s no surprise that there are differences
in opinion about the quality of its management team. “This seems to be hit or miss
based on the team you are associated with,” states a longtimer. Overall, though, most
respondents say they are “generally satisfied with supervisors.” “There are probably
three good ones for every marginal supervisor,” a consultant conjectures. Some
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discuss career plans,” while others note that supervisors may be “out of touch with
the local environment due to distance.” “In five years with the same supervisor, he
has visited my location once,” one staffer gripes.

But insiders praise those at the top, describing them as “engaging, encouraging, and
open to feedback and suggestions.” “The entire chain of command above me has
been excellent,” raves an associate, adding, “My supervisors have a genuine concern
for my success. They take the time to lay out my performance objectives so I know
what I need to do in order to grow within the firm.” Echoes a colleague, “My
supervisors have always been extremely accessible and willing to help by helping me
to help myself.”

And when it comes to client interaction, a recent graduate shares, “I’ve been
impressed by the opportunities I’ve had right out of school to meet with and brief top-
level government clients, including senior government advisors such as the special
assistant to the secretary of defense for chemical and biological programs, as well as
one- and two-star generals.”

Trained through technology

To help newbies prepare for such situations, “informal training is an integral part” of
life at Booz Allen. A source tells us there’s plenty of “official classroom-based training
hosted by our training department,” adding that “40 hours per year is the general rule
of thumb,” although that “varies by team.” There’s also “extensive web-based
training—there are as many as 500 computer-based courses on demand from a
central intranet site, brown-bags, technology focus groups and other ad hoc
opportunities” to learn. In addition, the firm “will fund course work, certifications,
etc., up to $5,000 annually.”

While some warn that it can be “really challenging to fit in” all these opportunities,
most agree with a New York-based source who raves, “Booz Allen offers fantastic
training courses that span every facet of business. I feel lucky to be at a company
that is so interested in my learning and development.”

Gotta wear shades

Insiders also seem to feel lucky that they’re at a firm with such a sunny business
outlook. The firm “is doing well and still growing during the current recession,” says
a senior source. A colleague agrees, noting that “Booz Allen is still holding on to its
reputation as the top government consulting firm. The name carries weight with
clients. We are projected to grow at the same double-digit rate. Splitting from our
former commercial arm now looks like a genius move, given the current state of the
economy.” A consultant adds, “The U.S. government is never going away, and will
always have complex problems for us to help them solve. [Our business] does not
depend on the stock market or consumer spending. Therefore, it is recession-proof
and the outlook is rosy.” To put it simply, “Life is good here.”

62 © 2009, Inc.



1633 Broadway THE STATS

New York, NY 10019
Employer Type: US Member Firm of
Phone: (212) 492-4500
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Fax: (212) 492-4743
Deloitte LLP US CEO: Barry Salzberg
Deloitte LLP US Chairman: Sharon Allen
Deloitte Consulting LLP Chairman &
2008 Employees: 44,375 (Deloitte &
New York, NY (HQ)
Touche USA)
102 national and regional offices in 92
2007 Employees: 40,998 (Deloitte &
cities throughout the US, along with access
Touche USA)
to audit, tax, consulting and financial
2008 Revenue: $10.98 billion
advisory professionals in 140 countries
2007 Revenue: $9.85 billion
through the member firms of Deloitte
Touche Tohmatsu (DTT)
PRACTICE AREAS • Wide variety of projects in a wide variety
of industries
Enterprise Applications
• “Leadership is very supportive of the firm’s
Human Capital
values and will always assist if issues
Strategy & Operations
• “No school or book could teach me what I
Technology Integration
have learned over my short period of time
EMPLOYMENT CONTACT • “Hard work is appreciated and rewarded”
• “There is a heavy administrative load in
addition to project requirements”
• Top performers can be pigeonholed
• “No compensation/bonus for outstanding
THE BUZZ • “Strict promotion timelines can be
what other consultants are saying
• “Old standard”
• “Bull-doggish demeanor”
• “Ultimate professionals”
• “Up-and-out is alive and well”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


A box within a box within a box …

One of the most recognizable names in business the world over, Deloitte is a company
with arms and legs almost everywhere; considered altogether, parent company
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) and its network of member firms and their
subsidiaries have offices in 140 countries. One of those countries, obviously, is the
United States, where DTT member firm Deloitte LLP operates. Its consulting arm
reaches throughout the 92 U.S. cities where Deloitte LLP has offices, and is
responsible for almost one-third of the firm’s U.S. revenue.

The last of the Big Four firms to retain both an accounting and a consulting practice
(although the others have since re-entered the consulting fray), Deloitte stands alone
as a colossus that has consistently straddled both worlds for over a century. Even in
the post-Enron world of Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, the company’s potential in both
markets is enormous. With an approximately 22 percent share of the global auditing
market, the consulting side of the business is free to go after the remaining 78
percent of the large-company arena—a considerable incentive in a fragmented
market where no one firm has more than a 10 percent share.

Deloitte’s consulting arm specializes in many different areas, with an increasingly

strong focus on technology. On that front, one of its core strengths is in technological
integration, specifically as it applies to business. The firm also specializes in the
growing fields of information management and systems development, and boasts
capabilities in technology advice and platform architecture and infrastructure to boot.

View from the top

Being CEO of Deloitte is in some ways like being president: Both jobs come with a
term limit. In Deloitte’s case, that limit is four years, after which time an election for
a new manager takes place, a process that doesn’t preclude the incumbent from
serving an additional term. The current occupant of the CEO seat is Barry Salzberg,
who was elected to the post in July 2007 after 30 years of service to the firm. That
same year, Sharon Allen—the first female chair of a major professional services
organization—was re-elected as chairman for a second four-year term.

The leader of Deloitte’s consulting arm is Doug Lattner, a position he has held since
2003. A Deloitte employee since 1975, Lattner is widely recognized as being the
driving force behind the consulting arm’s success in the years since the other
members of the Big Four elected to rid themselves of their own consulting units over
conflict of interest concerns.

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Pulling in the big guns

Having such a plethora of talent doesn’t mean Deloitte is happy to rest on its laurels,
however, and it frequently pulls in big names from the federal world to bulk up its
practice. In November 2008, for instance, the firm added retiring Virginia
Congressman Tom Davis to its roster of federal government services employees.
Davis, who served seven terms in congress, was appointed as a director of the FGS
division, and specializes in technology innovation and government transformation.

A few months earlier, in September, the firm secured the services of Colonel Gary A.
McAlum, a former chief of staff for the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations at
the U.S. Strategic Command. An expert in cyber security, McAlum will utilize his
knowledge in developing cyber security strategies and solutions for Deloitte’s federal
and commercial clients.

All about alliances

While it has a number of strategic relationships and alliances, Deloitte is perhaps
tightest with Oracle, being a certified advantage partner, the highest membership
level available in the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The two established a supply chain
innovation center in June 2007 to support the research and development of
“thoughtware” for supply chain management.

A mark of the relationship between the firms is that Deloitte consistently takes home
honors from Oracle’s annual Titan Awards, with the 2008 ceremony proving to be a
banner event. On that occasion, Deloitte became the first firm to win four Titans in
any one year. The awards were presented for the firm’s excellence in applications
momentum, CRM solutions, Oracle e-business solutions and industry solutions.
Further proving Deloitte’s expertise in all things Oracle, meanwhile, independent
analyst Forrester Research ranked the firm a market leader in the Oracle
implementation services market in April 2008. Citing Deloitte’s “strong
implementation capabilities” of Oracle services, Forrester Research was also
impressed with the firm’s industry breadth and depth.

Deloitte furthered its commitment to the relationship in July 2008 with the acquisition
of Solbourne, a consulting firm that focuses on Oracle applications. The purchase
brought more than 100 employees into the Deloitte fold, where they joined the
company’s enterprise applications, technology integration and human capital service

And don’t forget about SAP

Deloitte also is an SAP global partner (yep, it’s the highest level of strategic alliance
with the company)—a relationship that dates back to 1989. Deloitte’s SAP practice
now numbers over 5,400 consultants, and has completed more than 1,200

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Through the alliance, Deloitte offers a complete range of implementation services—

from business case development and system design to configuration, testing and
deployment. As a testament to Deloitte’s SAP skills, in 2008, Deloitte earned both
the Services Partner Award of Excellence, and a global Pinnacle award in the area of
supply chain management for sales and marketing and innovation excellence.

More eggs, more baskets

While Deloitte may be on BFF footing with Oracle and SAP, it does have other
partnerships and alliances in the tech field, and continues to find new companies
with which to ally itself. In June 2008, for example, Deloitte entered an agreement
with Cisco to develop service offerings that combine Cisco’s network abilities with
Deloitte’s specialties in business process and technology consulting. The initial focus
of the agreement is on the development and delivery of services that deal with risk,
compliance and performance management.

In November 2007, the firm also established a strategic alliance with Teradata, a
specialist in data warehousing and intelligence analytics. That relationship is aimed
at increasing both companies’ abilities in the ever-growing data storage market, with
an initial focus on financial reporting and analytics.

Solutions for the digital age

In September 2008, Deloitte rolled out an initiative that it claims will help to streamline
yet another growing area: digital media distribution. Dubbed the Deloitte Digital
Media Framework, the initiative combines Deloitte’s consulting expertise with
proprietary tools to address the problems in the increasingly complex world of digital
media. According to the firm, the solution is to simplify the “digital media value
chain.” How is such a thing to be done? Best to let Schaffer Hilton, Deloitte
Consulting national managing director of technology, media and telecommunications,
tell the tale: “The premise of our solution is simple, yet critical: each company must
declare its unique role in the digital media value chain in order to maximize returns
and meet rapidly increasing consumer demands.” Piece of cake, really.

Of course, complexity isn’t the only IT issue at stake for businesses these days. In a
world with an increasing focus on being “green,” it’s perhaps fitting that a firm known
for the green dot at the end of its corporate logo is also committed to the concept of
greening its IT processes and infrastructure. As such, Deloitte has a green IT initiative
in place to reduce waste and increase the efficiency of its systems by focusing on
such issues as power usage and cooling process of its data centers, promoting video
teleconferencing over travel for meetings, and establishing protocols for staff when
using technology such as laptops and printers.

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition

Tech forecasts
Deloitte produces plenty of research of interest to techies. Perhaps most notable is
its annual Technology Fast 500, which tracks the fastest growing tech companies
worldwide. Its technology, media and telecommunications group, meanwhile,
regularly issues forecasts on global technology, highlighting trends and challenges
facing the industry. Given that the list measures growth rates, it’s not too surprising
that many of the names on it are less than familiar in the wider tech market, although
it may be of more use to those seeking out the biggest names of tomorrow. Case in
point is the firm that appeared at No. 1 on the 2008 list—its first appearance on Fast
500. That firm, Hughes Communications, is a provider of broadband networks and
services, and has seen its revenue grow from $699,000 in 2003 to over $970 million
in 2007.

Trophy room
When it’s not handing out awards and accolades, Deloitte seems to spend the rest of
its time picking them up—with a consistent theme of being a good employer. In 2008
alone, Deloitte (the whole firm, not just the consulting wing) was named on Fortune’s
list of 100 Best Companies to Work For and BusinessWeek’s Best Places to Launch
a Career, and is the only professional services firm to rank in the top three since the
survey launched (placing second, behind accounting rival Ernst & Young). Other
awards included the company’s 15th straight appearance on Working Mother
magazine’s annual 100 Best Companies list, marking its entry into the publication’s
hall of fame, and the sixth straight appearance on Working Mother’s list of Best
Companies for Multicultural Women. Rounding out its impressive haul for the year,
the firm also appeared on DiversityInc’s list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and
received its third-consecutive 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign
for its Corporate Equality Index.

Even with all those awards, the firm continues to find new ways to invest in its
employees. In June 2008, for example, Deloitte announced a $300 million
investment to build a learning and leadership development center in the Dallas-Fort
Worth area in Texas. Scheduled to open in 2011, the 700,000-square-foot campus
will boast 800 guest rooms upon its completion, along with conference spaces and
classrooms for hosting events with recognized industry leaders and academics. And,
despite the fitness center on campus, it’s not just for Deloitte bigwigs to go on
retreat—the center is expected to serve as a training destination for everyone from the
newest recruits to the upper echelons of management. In fact, according to CEO
Salzberg, the new campus is of critical importance to the future of the firm. “We
expect this facility to become the heart of our organization. The place where we meet,
learn and develop our next generation of leaders.”

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Community spirit
When it’s not investing in its people, Deloitte likes to get out and invest in the
community at large. As such, in 2008, it committed $50 million in pro bono services
to nonprofit organizations as part of its commitment to corporate responsibility. One
example of such a project was announced in December 2008, when Deloitte teamed
up with the Tech Museum of Innovation to create a renewable energy exhibit. Based
in San Jose, Calif., the Tech Museum of Innovation is a nonprofit that offers
technology and science exhibits. Deloitte is assisting the museum in developing a
new display featuring renewable energy technologies, and has assigned to the project
a team of pro bono consultants specializing in clean technology, alternative energy
and sustainability. More than 40 other projects are currently under way, ranging from
technology implementations, to conducting risk assessments, to streamlining
financial processes and more.

That same corporate ethos was behind another Deloitte announcement in February
2008—the establishment of a problem solvers fund. Aimed at financially supporting
local community initiatives where Deloitte employees are deeply involved in pro bono
and volunteer work, the fund provides large-scale grants to selected initiatives. In
2008, the company committed more than $1 million to the fund.

As part of Deloitte’s commitment to volunteerism, it runs an annual IMPACT Day,

when staff are encouraged to volunteer their skills and time for local causes. The firm
also runs an alternative spring break program—another annual event—that brings
together employees and college-aged recruits to work on volunteer projects while
getting to know each other. In 2008, for example, alternative spring breakers worked
with United Way on the Gulf Coast to provide aid to areas still struggling to rebuild in
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


No sugarcoating here
Insiders tell us Deloitte’s recruiting process gives interviewees a good sense of what
the firm is really like; there’s no hard sell to be wary of. One senior consultant who’s
been at Deloitte for three years explains: “The people I met throughout the recruiting
process were engaged, interesting and genuinely seemed to like what they did. They
did not sugarcoat the ‘bad’ parts, and made themselves constantly available for
questions throughout. When they brought us into the office as offerees, everyone in
the office was interested in seeing us join the firm. In contrast, at the other firms,
there was not the same enthusiasm or interest. What I saw during recruiting has
translated into what I experienced when I walked in the door—it was not a show that
was turned off once we signed our letters.”

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The firm’s hiring process tends to follow a fairly standard protocol. Qualified
candidates can expect to go through “two rounds of interviews,” the first off site (on
campus or over the phone) and the second in the office. One longtimer says
experienced hires generally go through “a series of interviews, normally three, with
senior managers and a partner.” A business technology analyst adds that that the
interviews may span two days. “The first day will be a 30-minute behavioral interview.
If the candidate is called back, they come in the next day to complete another 30-
minute behavioral interview, as well as a 30-minute case interview. The leadership
levels increase as candidates progress through the interview process.” One way or
another, qualified candidates can expect at least one case interview, one “consulting
fit” interview and one behavioral interview.

It’s not about being right

We’re told that “every candidate should feel comfortable in a case situation.” That
said, an executive reports, “We try and help out candidates through the case
interview,” adding that the aim is to “test their ability for structured/logical thinking.”
A colleague agrees: “The goal is not for the interviewee to get the ‘right’ answers, but
rather to understand the interviewee’s thought process and general technical
knowledge.” We’re told “the case is usually derived from a project situation, rather
than estimation or other brainteasers.” A case team leader shares a sample question:
“Take a look at this web page. In what ways would you consult with your client to
improve it, thinking about general look and feel, as well as functionality?” Others say
“typical case study questions involve mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, system
upgrades, build versus buy,” and may be as technical as, “Explain how you would
create a data model for a college course catalog.” A higher-up notes, “Blowing the
case doesn’t always mean you won’t get an offer, but it’s better to do well on the
case.” Behavioral and fit questions might be along the lines of, “What is your future
outlook/potential, your expectations for the next five years, flexibility, leadership,
ability to grow people, etc.”

Deloitte recruits across the country and internationally at over 90 schools. “We are
heavy recruiters,” says one staffer. If your school isn’t on the list, “you can still submit
your resume at various professional organization conferences (i.e., NSHMBA, ALPFA,
NSBE).” Prospective campus hires can also get a foot in the door through Deloitte’s
10-week internship program, in which “summer scholars and summer associates are
assigned to a project and operate just like an analyst or consultant would.” A former
intern remembers, “During my summer internship, I was able to interact and meet
with the client on a regular basis. I was treated and respected as a full-time
employee.” And a colleague shares, “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and
learned a lot,” adding, “This experience aided in my career decision-making

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College for adults

Deloitte insiders rave about the “collaborative,” “people-focused,” “collegial,” “team-
based” and “inclusive” culture at the firm. We’re told there are “many Type A
personalities looking to constantly excel and advance,” but at the same time, “Deloitte
fosters collaboration, mentoring and teamwork.” The firm “makes you feel part of a
family, not a cost center,” remarks an engagement manager. A recent hire speaks for
many when he says that the firm “promotes networking, eminence, relationship
building, collaboration, partnership, integrity, intensity, diversity and dedication.”

A senior consultant shares, “The firm’s culture is one of the best parts about working
here, and is one of my primary reasons for choosing Deloitte over other firms.
Leadership truly cares for their staff and values their contributions to the team.
Everyone’s ideas and work are taken seriously, from the newest analyst to the most
senior partner, with an emphasis on hard work and good judgment.” An engagement
manager agrees, “Deloitte is very collegial. There is a strong tradition of helping each
other, and of coming together to challenge ourselves and each other.” Plus, “it’s like
college!” insists a senior consultant, adding, “I hang out with my co-workers on the
weekends.” A longtimer tells us that the firm even has “a rock band (with several
partner members) that performs from time to time at Deloitte and external events.”
And not only that—”they’re good!”

Counting on 3-4-5
Staffers emphasize that the people at Deloitte are one of the firm’s greatest draws, and
one case team leader adds that the atmosphere is “almost family-like on traveling
engagements.” Good thing, because nearly everyone spends a lot of time on the
road. We’re told that “the firm makes every effort to observe 3-4-5,” which translates
into “three nights away, four days at the client and the fifth day at your home office”—
but that still leaves most staffers away four days a week. Some add that they “have
seen a slight pullback from four-day travel schedules to five-day in the last year,” but
that is expected to be a temporary change that’s been “largely determined by the

Still, there are few complaints, as most recognize that travel is par for the course in
consulting, not a Deloitte-specific issue. “This is the job. Work and travel are driven
by where the project is located,” a consultant remarks. Plus, we’re told, “the firm
really tries to work out the best work schedule with our clients to ensure that our
people don’t get burnt out,” and, “Deloitte does not do anything excessive. I always
feel like I have an option to come home.”

And although travel is likely, it’s not a given; there are times when “you may be local
and not have to travel at all,” depending on the project. A senior source adds, “In

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cases where you cannot travel for personal reasons, the firm is willing to work on
finding an assignment that allows you to work from your home office.” One mom tells
us, “I spent most of my consulting life on the road and assumed that I would have to
leave Deloitte once I started a family. Instead, I was surrounded by great mentors and
supporters that worked with me to find the best role to suit my travel restrictions.
They treasure their high-talent professionals and recognize that we all have ebbs and
flows within our careers.” That said, warns a recent hire, “the firm highly encourages
travel and highly discourages a person desiring to work locally.” Either way,
respondents say, there are no surprises: “Travel requirements are made clear before
one joins the firm.”

“Work comes first”

All that travel makes it tricky to strike a decent work/life balance. One parent says he
“would like to have a more flexible work schedule to be with my four-year-old
daughter.” But “you have to be realistic,” an experienced staffer states. “Consulting
is a very tough business and, at the end of the day, it’s about the client and the
project.” Things don’t seem to get any easier as you move up; a case team leader
notes, “As I move up in the firm, it gets more difficult as responsibilities grow.”
Generally, though, getting personal time “requires working evenings and weekends,
on occasion, to free up time during the day with my wife and kids,” says a senior
source. Likewise, consultants can “work longer hours on weekdays to free up
weekend hours.”

It does help that there’s “an excellent personal time off structure that allows us to
balance our personal lives” (with as much as six weeks of paid time off). A recent
hire explains that Deloitte also offers the Mass Career Customization™ initiative, “a
web-based tool that you share with your counselor” that “allows consultants to dial up
or dial down their career depending on work/life goals.” A colleague adds, “The Mass
Career Customization program standardizes the options available and makes it much
simpler to request an arrangement to fit your needs.” Plus, says a business
technology analyst, “if there are important events or vacations, most of the time they
can be accommodated.” “When I truly need the time,” shares a senior consultant,
“project leadership is always willing to work with me. For example, when my mother
suddenly became ill and I was staffed across the country, I was able to jump on a
plane and take all the time I needed, no questions asked.”

Time well spent

The travel, nights and weekend work add up to an average of 55-hour workweeks.
“Rarely does the workload drop below 45 hours,” notes a Chicago-based consultant,
but it also doesn’t seem to climb higher than about 60, although there are some
fluctuations over the year. Some staffers say that they’ve had “very few spikes” in
their workload, while others say things get particularly busy as many as “three times
a month.” The “average length of time of assignments depends on your industry,”

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but tends to be 12 to 18 months. In all, shares an engagement manager, “the

quantity of hours may be a little higher than I’d like, but the quality of the work makes
the hours fulfilling.”

Make the most of your marbles

When it comes to the fine art of attaining work/life balance at Deloitte, one longtimer
shares a story that the firm’s COO is evidently famous for telling “at many, many
events,” which illustrates Deloitte’s commitment to its staff. He states, “I first heard
this story when I started with Deloitte ... The story is: Everyone who starts with Deloitte
gets a bag of 10 marbles. This number never goes up, but does go down as people
decide to ‘spend’ their marbles. Spending marbles can occur due to not doing well
on a project, deciding to roll off of a project at that person’s request, being particularly
selective in choosing a project, deciding to want to be staffed locally and forgoing
other opportunities, etc. Basically, the moral of the story is that no one should leave
Deloitte unless they’ve spent all their marbles. The worst thing that can happen is
someone leaving Deloitte with marbles left, as that means that person didn’t approach
Deloitte and give us a chance to figure out a way to make that person’s career at
Deloitte work out—whether that was due to work/life balance, needing time off for
family issues, whatever the case may be. If people don’t provide the opportunity for
Deloitte to respond, that’s a tragedy.”

Compelling compensation
The paycheck, no doubt, helps keep staffers content. In addition to high base
salaries, the firm typically offers annual bonuses “starting at the senior consultant
level” and “profit sharing for partners.” Signing bonuses are also offered, although a
recent hire notes that her signing bonus was given “under condition that I work a full
two years. If I had quit within the first year, I had to pay back the entire bonus. If I
had quit during the second year, I would have had to pay half back.” A senior
consultant reports, “The firm adjusts compensation based on market rates every
couple of years. This can sometimes mean a large jump in YOY compensation,
especially at lower levels, but this will generally be balanced by years of smaller
jumps. The firm adjusts compensation yearly based on performance as well as level
(e.g., if two people are promoted but one has a higher performance rating than the
other, the higher performer will receive a larger raise).” We’re told the firm also offers
a “fully funded retirement plan” that kicks in after three years, as well as 401(k)
matching of “25 cents on every dollar up to 6 percent.”

Expense your Wii

On top of the standard compensation, consultants may receive Applause Awards, or
“monetary ‘gifts’ that can be exchanged for merchandise, gift cards, etc.” These are
“usually awarded by project management or as part of year-end compensation

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decisions.” There’s also a “graduate school assistance program that helps pay for
grad school and offers you a job on return.” And for fitness buffs, Deloitte “splits the
cost of health club membership, sports activities or fitness gear up to a limit of
$500”—including “items like Wii Fit.” Other perks include “automobile discounts,
software product discounts (Microsoft products, for example) and discounts at
preferred stores.” And, a senior consultant notes, “we have box tickets at most sports
arenas. You can get tickets and see games!” The intense travel can pay off, too:
Staffers “get to keep all our credit card/frequent flyer miles,” and Deloitte’s “alternate
travel policy allows travel to other locations or flying a spouse into your project location
if the price is same or less than flying to your home.”

New parents also are well taken care of. They are able to “come back to work under
a flexible work arrangement or otherwise alter their role (e.g., switch to a nonclient
service role) to help balance their work and family life.” Parental leave is apparently
generous, and anyone who would like to take extra time “can request an unpaid leave
of absence for the balance of time requested.”

Dedicated to diversity
Deloitte also offers “domestic partner health benefits” and has “a strong GLBT focus
group and development group,” known as GLOBE. A senior consultant shares, “I
have heard from GLBT friends that Deloitte has a great reputation for commitment to
GLBT diversity and is a gay-friendly work environment.” One respondent who falls
into this category raves that Deloitte is “the best firm in the world for GLBT.”

As the first professional services firm to do so, Deloitte maintains an active women’s
initiative, WIN, now in its 16th year, which “involves practitioners in each office and
includes training, networking, leadership lectures, mentoring and other opportunities
to network with women in the firm.” Sources agree that there are “lots of females in
leadership roles.” That’s not necessarily the case with other minorities, though; a few
staffers warn that the firm’s diversity efforts “vary with office and location
demographics,” saying that “the support is not uniform across the organization,” and
while “diversity is there for Asians and those of Indian descent,” it’s also the case that
“Latinos and African-Americans are not advancing into the partnership.” But most
feel that things are “changing in the right direction.”

To that end, Deloitte “has an incredible number of diversity programs and initiatives.”
An analyst reports, “The firm is extremely dedicated to diversity and has a diversity
and inclusion initiative.” She adds, “I have helped with this initiative at a national
level and believe the firm exceeds its competitors in its commitment to diversity and
diverse ideas.” A colleague adds that there are “programs specifically addressing the
challenges of minorities, such as communication skills training for nonnative English
speakers.” “As a minority,” shares a source, “Deloitte has offered many opportunities
to network with other professionals both within and outside Deloitte. They provide
career development programs targeted to minorities to assist in building our pipeline
of future executive leadership. In addition, they offer business resource groups at a

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local level to help build networks and community, and provide workshops on related

Making an impact
Insiders also insist that Deloitte’s philanthropic activities are extensive. One senior
consultant says he joined the firm “because of its involvement and commitment to
the community.” A colleague boasts, “We probably give more to the community by
way of services, pro bono and donations than some large nonprofits.” “Commitment
to community is a genuine value of the firm and is supported and encouraged at all
levels,” emphasizes a manager.

On one day each year, known as IMPACT Day, “all employees take the day off from
client service to give back to the community.” In addition, reports an analyst, “most
offices have their own community involvement teams; Pittsburgh’s own focUS team
supports many local charities and community activities.” He says, “It’s really amazing
what our company does on a national scale.” The firm sponsors causes including
Race for the Cure, the MS bike ride, “various charities near the holidays” and
tutoring. Deloitte is also “a strong partner to the United Way,” with “more Tocqueville
donors [individual givers of $10,000-plus] than any other company in America.”

Get paid to learn

Deloitte puts a high value on training, as well, and staffers happily report that they
have “the flexibility to define and work on individual learning plans.” We’re told that
the firm “takes people development very seriously with strong mentoring programs,
on-the-job training and year-round opportunities for growth and development.” There
are also “webinars provided by colleagues on key topics.” In all, “there is about a
50/50 mix between official and unofficial training.” Part of this is “an official 40 hours
of training per year”; plus, new undergraduate hires take part in “an excellent analyst
training program that is at least two weeks long.”

A recent hire states, “At times, it feels almost like being in college, except I’m getting
paid to learn, not the other way around.” “It is a fast-paced but teachable
environment. It is great being around such smart people who are willing to share their
knowledge with the team,” a colleague notes. Moreover, “we are spending hundreds
of millions of dollars to build a Deloitte University in Dallas, Texas, which will be a
best-in-class dedicated facility for training.” We’re told that “even in a tough market,
our training initiatives are never compromised.” The firm has so many training
offerings on the table that the toughest part may be fitting it all in; one source warns,
“They don’t do a very good job of reducing project expectations to allow for staff to
get to the training.”

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Managers who mentor

Many respondents feel that their managers are “genuinely caring about professional
development,” adding that they are “extremely smart” and “talented” with “excellent
industry knowledge” and “great skills in serving clients.” “The open-door policy is
one of the items that attracted me to Deloitte,” shares a recent hire. A colleague
remarks, “The partners and directors that I have worked with have been extremely
approachable and great mentors.”

Some, however, are less complimentary. “My supervisor and a good amount of
managers on the project are not well trained or equipped for a managerial position.
They make poor project plans, do not treat their teammates with respect and,
typically, all of us manage ourselves.” More generally, a senior consultant warns,
“Deloitte has a matrix structure, which can at times lead to ambiguous or multiple
supervisory relationships.”

Consultants at all levels, however, feel they get good client exposure. An executive
states, “Our expectation is that all our practitioners work with our clients at the client
site in solving some of their most complex business/technology problems.” And a
staffer agrees, “Even as a junior resource, I was able to interact with C-level
executives at a Fortune 50 company.”

Diverging paths
When it comes to promotions, Deloitte evidently has two primary career paths: the
partner/director path and the specialist path. Insiders agree that the latter is not up
or out, but rather is “designed to retain talent that have reached their potential in
management without overburdening or forcing good resources out because they are
not ready for the next level.” Staffers disagree about whether the traditional path is
up or out, but note that “consultants usually advance to the next level every two to
five years, depending on the level.” A recent hire explains, “Promotion from analyst
to consultant, for example, is usually two to three years for the technology practice,
and two years for the strategy and operations group.” And an associate adds, “From
the senior consultant to manger level and above, it depends on ratings and career

Some say that “promotion is performance based,” while others warn that “there is
more emphasis on years of experience than merit.” A recent hire insists that there is
a “very defined promotion path,” which makes it “tough for someone to advance
more quickly than the defined path,” although a senior consultant notes that “there
is a lot of flexibility to move laterally within the firm (e.g., moving from consulting to
HR).” A colleague notes that “if an individual chooses to leave to pursue a graduate
degree, they may ‘pause’ at a given level until they return.”

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Leaders for the long haul

And there’s no need for staffers to re-evaluate career plans in light of the current
economic downturn. Although one engagement manager notes, “I can’t imagine any
company sees the next six months as easy,” insiders are convinced that Deloitte’s
“long-term prospects are good,” and say they are “not concerned about the five- to
10-year outlook.” Some feel confident because “lessons were learned during the
September 11 economic crash” and because “firm leadership has weathered this
storm before.” “We have an action plan ready,” a consultant reports.

It helps, of course, that Deloitte has “a strong share of the market in consulting … We
also compete and win with all of the top names in each practice, whether it be
McKinsey and BCG in S&O, or IBM and Accenture for our technology practice.” An
engagement manager emphasizes that “the firm is doing all the right things to handle
the current and future market conditions. They are still investing in professional
development of our people, which is critical since it is the firm’s main asset.” A
colleague adds, “The firm quickly evolves to meet ever-changing client needs. I
believe our service offerings are competitive, but the overall Deloitte client experience
is our true differentiator.” In all, reports a senior consultant, Deloitte is well positioned
for the future because it “has found its niche in the market and continues to build its
people and serve its clients above and beyond what’s expected.”

76 © 2009, Inc.



56 Top Gallant Road UPPERS

Stamford, CT 06902
• Ability to work independently and with
Phone: (203) 964-0096
flexible hours
• Access to mounds of research only boosts
the firm’s brand in the tech industry
Stamford, CT (Global HQ) DOWNERS
Operations in 80 countries
• Lack of clear criteria for promotion
• Lots of recent turnover in leadership
Architecture & Critical Technologies
Business Consulting
Comparative Analytics
Program Management
Gartner Events
Gartner Executive Programs
Gartner Research

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: IT (NYSE)
CEO: Eugene A. Hall
2009 Employees: 4,006
2008 Employees: 4,000
2008 Revenue: $1.27 billion
2007 Revenue: $1.19 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Top of its kind”

• “Thinks, doesn’t do”
• “Everyone listens to Gartner”
• “Corporate structure limits their growth

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Gartner, Inc.


Saatchi steps aside

In 1979, Gideon Gartner, an Oppenheimer technology securities analyst and former
IBM staffer, launched GartnerGroup to provide IT consulting services. In the
beginning, the firm had just four employees, and Gartner soon led it off Wall Street,
establishing a headquarters in Greenwich, Conn. Two years later, the headquarters
was relocated again, to its current home in Stamford, Conn. The firm went public with
an $11.6 million IPO in 1986, and two years later it was acquired—to the tune of $90
million—by British ad company Saatchi & Saatchi. The tie-up proved short-lived,
however, as Gideon Gartner led a $63.5 million leveraged buyout and reclaimed his
eponymous firm.

A second IPO was issued in 1993, and in 1998 Gartner began trading on the New
York Stock Exchange under the symbol IT—lest anyone question its specialty. In
2001, GartnerGroup officially changed its name to Gartner. Current CEO Eugene Hall,
a former Automatic Data Processing executive and McKinsey senior partner, has held
the top job since 2004.

Research first
Gideon Gartner, an analyst to the core, built his firm based on research. The
company’s four service units are research, consulting, events and executive
programs, but each of these draws heavily on the work done by the research division.
The firm’s industry verticals currently include financial services and banking, health
care, utilities, telecommunications and media, and the public sector, which covers
state and local governments, the federal government and educational institutions.

According to the firm, 65 percent of the Fortune 1000 and 80 percent of the Global
500 rely on Gartner’s research and advisory services when making IT decisions. The
firm’s 4,000-plus employees in 80 countries serve over 60,000 clients worldwide.

Fine fellows
Each year, Gartner designates some of its best and brightest analysts as Gartner
Fellows, a group that forms an exclusive research think tank. Fellows may be
nominated by Gartner employees or clients and, once appointed, serve two-year stints
in the group. This honor gives them time and flexibility to work on three to five “high-
impact” ideas, the results of which are published by Gartner’s research division and
made available to clients and the business media.

The 23 current fellows are working on a number of cutting-edge research topics,

including studies of effective CIO leadership, enterprise IT agility and its impact on
business performance and emerging technology trends. As part of their research,

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Gartner, Inc.

fellows conduct and publish interviews with some of the leading minds in their field.
A recent example of this is an interview conducted with business process
management pioneer Dr. Geary Rummler in May 2008. Conducted by Gartner
Fellows Daryl Plummer and Elise Olding, the interview explored the field of BPM and
process improvement, and is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the field.
Be warned, though; sentences like this are common: “BPM ties that bottom-up
continuous-improvement aspect with a top-down strategic view, since you’ve got
everything interconnected.” And that was part of a question.

Understanding the hype

Clients can take advantage of Gartner’s research prowess in several ways. The firm
calls its core research channel “the foundation of most client relationships at
Gartner,” acting as a one-stop link to analysts’ growing piles of data, reports and
advice. Those who choose the core research reference option receive self-service
access to research materials, including blogs, fellows’ reports, white papers, Hype
Cycles and Magic Quadrants (more on those in a moment). The upgraded core
research advisor package lets clients connect directly with research analysts.

As for those Magic Quadrants: These reports provide visual snapshots of different
markets’ behavior, including trends, maturity and participants. These are designed
to help clients select products or services and manage vendor relationships more
effectively. Similarly, the Hype Cycle models are intended to depict the impact of
different technologies and applications in an effort to break through the hype and
assess the practical function of new IT products. Hype Cycle methodology shows
how a given application will evolve and its implications for real-world business

Streamlining and saving

A look at some recent Gartner projects shows how the firm tackles complex IT issues.
A leading financial services information company hired the firm to shift its siloed IT
system to a unified enterprise model, in the interest of increasing productivity and
consistency. Gartner consultants began by creating an IT optimization roadmap, then
assessed the maturity of existing processes and evaluated their potential for
revamping. Finally, they outlined steps for selecting new enterprise solutions. As a
result, the client was able to implement new IT tools and build a cross-enterprise
solution environment.

In another assignment, Gartner was hired by a Fortune 100 health care company that
needed a global IT consolidation strategy and a unified application environment in
order to realize critical cost reductions. Gartner completed a benchmarking project
to identify opportunities for savings, then analyzed best practices for sourcing and
offshoring. This led to a redesign of the client’s program management and
applications process. The bottom line? Over $100 million in savings.

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Gartner, Inc.

Beating expectations
Posting a 9 percent increase in revenue, Gartner’s annual results for 2008 made for
some rare positive reading these days. Indeed, even as the economy slumped in the
fourth quarter of 2008, Gartner still pulled out 1 percent growth over the previous
year, which was largely driven by increases in consulting and research.

Breaking down the full-year numbers: revenue for the research segment rose 15
percent year over year to $773.3 million, while the firm finished the year with a record
research contract value of $834.3 million. The consulting segment had a pretty good
year, too, posting a 7 percent increase in revenue (although currency fluctuations
were responsible for around 1 percent of that figure). The events segment was hit
pretty badly, however, posting a 6 percent drop in revenue (7 excluding currency

You’re invited
Gartner doesn’t just advise on IT—it also puts on world-class events for IT
professionals through its Gartner Events division. With a yearly schedule of over 60
conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia,
the firm’s events attract more than 44,000 executives each year. These happenings,
which feature technology showcases, keynote speeches, workshops and one-on-one
meetings with Gartner research analysts, are open to clients and non-clients alike.

Reacting to the economic crisis that began unfolding in 2008, the firm was moved in
January 2009 to cancel a couple of its keynote events that had been scheduled for
later in the year. Citing “a thorough review of our worldwide event portfolio,” the firm
decided to “make adjustments based on the trends and performance of individual
events.” Out, then, went the planned Spring Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas and
Barcelona. In a further sign of bad times in the IT sector, that same month saw the
company lay off some 117 workers—around 3 percent of its workforce—a number
that included several analysts.

Making strides in Asia

In August 2008, Gartner ramped up its presence in Korea, transitioning its operations
there to a direct sales channel. Previously, Gartner’s Korean sales agent, Quality
Consulting, provided dedicated client management and business development
services. Mike McCarty, a Gartner vice president, justified the shift by pointing out
that the strategy had already paid off in another Asian market: “At the beginning of
2007 we transitioned to direct sales in Taiwan, and last year it was our fastest-growing
market in Asia-Pacific year over year.”

The firm’s Seoul office is expected to do more hiring in the coming years as it expands
its range of service offerings and increases its market research coverage. According

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Gartner, Inc.

to Gartner’s own forecast, Korean enterprise IT spending will hit $50.8 billion by
2012, up from $43.4 billion in 2008.

The future is cloudy

Cloud computing is one of the tech industry’s latest buzzwords; according to Gartner,
cloud computing will eventually be as influential as e-business in terms of its impact
on companies and consumers. So what, exactly, does cloud computing mean? In
the Gartner playbook, the term is defined as “a style of computing where massively
scalable IT-related capabilities are provided as a service using Internet technologies
to multiple external customers.” (Think Google Apps.)

Daryl Plummer, a Gartner fellow, explained in a June 2008 report that the trend
toward cloud computing “is due in part to the commoditization and standardization
of technologies, in part to virtualization and the rise of service-oriented software
architectures, and most importantly, to the dramatic growth in popularity of the
Internet.” Another fellow, David Mitchell Smith, added that the focus is shifting “from
the infrastructure implementations and onto the services that allow for access to the
capabilities provided,” which means that CIOs and other top executives need to be
prepared for the dawn of a new online business model.

Masters of data
In 2008, for the first time, Gartner created the Master Data Management (MDM)
Excellence Award to recognize “any end-user organization that has implemented a
successful MDM strategy with resulting business impact.” Nominations were
collected via an online form and analyzed by a team of Gartner experts. Three
finalists were chosen, based on Gartner’s in-house MDM framework, dubbed “the
Seven Building Blocks of MDM”—those would be vision, strategy, governance,
organization, processes, technology infrastructure, and metrics and performance.
Johnson and Johnson Health Care Systems was unveiled as the winner of Gartner’s
first annual Master Data Management Excellence Awards Program, held in Chicago
in November 2008.

Book it
Gartner has teamed up with Harvard Business Press to publish a series of books
aimed at IT and business managers, rolling out several titles over the years. The most
recent read is Jackie Fenn’s and Mark Raskino’s Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to
Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time, which was released in October 2008.
The book is focused on Gartner’s Hype Cycle framework, and gives an in-depth look
at how the model works and how it can be applied in an organizational setting.

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Gartner, Inc.


Tips from the horses’ mouth

Gartner’s careers site features a series of interview transcripts with employees at all
levels of the company, explaining everything from what they do to personality traits
that they consider important to success at the firm. Vice President Carlton Joiner, for
example, touts the importance of “an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a willingness
to assume responsibility.” And given its scale, opportunities with Gartner exist all over
the world, so for those willing to travel, and possibly relocate, the firm may be of
especial interest.

Those interested in applying are advised to do so via the careers site—Gartner

identifies it as the “preferred method” for receiving applications. The site features a
portal to search for positions, as well as a link for submitting a resume, even if no
suitable job opening currently exists. Once submitted, Gartner then electronically
notifies candidates of the progress of their application and/or any additional vacancies
they may be qualified for.

Handily, the site even includes a tip sheet for what to do before, during and after the
interview—something that most candidates would be well advised to read. Among
the most pertinent (i.e., nongeneric) pieces of advice is the suggestion to bring “a
notepad, pen, work samples and certificates of qualification (or professional roles).”
Additionally, “at the conclusion of the interview,” candidates are advised to “state your
degree of interest in the position clearly and compellingly,” and to follow up with an
acknowledgement or letter of thanks.

82 © 2009, Inc.



1345 Avenue of the Americas UPPERS

New York, NY 10105
• “Best reputation in the industry for
Phone: (917) 452-4400
technology consulting”
Fax: (917) 527-5387
• “Our CEO is the most down-to-earth CEO
I’ve met so far in my career”
• “Competitive but not hostile”
LOCATIONS • “You’re valued as a human and not
calculated as a resource”
Offices and operations in more than 200
cities in 52 countries
PRACTICE AREAS • “Salary is not at the top”
• “Promotion policy is not always
Communications & High Tech
Financial Services
• “Firm-sponsored MBAs are only offered to
Management Consulting
management and strategy resources”
• “Politics among some of the leadership”
Public Service
Systems Integration & Technology

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: ACN (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: William D. Green
2009 Employees: 186,000
2008 Employees: 186,000
2008 Revenue: $23.39 billion
2007 Revenue: $19.69 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Best in the Big Five (technology and

• “Sells the sizzle, not the steak”
• “Everywhere”
• “Churn and burn”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


From many firms to one

Accenture began as the consulting division of Arthur Andersen, which entered into
the consulting business in 1953 when General Electric requested an automated
payroll processing feasibility study. In 1989, a group of Arthur Andersen consulting
partners struck out on their own, forming a new company—Andersen Consulting—to
provide technology consulting, systems integration and business process
improvement services. The firm quickly diversified, adding management consulting,
outsourcing and other IT services, but since it was still legally affiliated with Arthur
Andersen, it had to pay its former parent a percentage of revenue. At the same time,
Arthur Andersen had launched a competing in-house business consulting arm, which
led to a lengthy legal tangle between the two firms.

On the first day of 2001, Andersen Consulting became Accenture, making a final split
from Andersen Worldwide Société Cooperative, the administrative parent of Arthur
Andersen (which went on to earn worldwide notoriety in the 2002 Enron scandal). A
few months after its name change, Accenture undertook a massive reorganization.
Since its founding, it had operated under the old Arthur Andersen model: Instead of
being a single corporate entity, the firm was a global partnership of independent
member firms. By July 2001, Accenture had transitioned to a corporate structure,
with public shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange. At the same time, a
comprehensive rebranding campaign was unveiled, as well as a firmwide contest to
come up with a new name for the firm. Kim Petersen, a consultant in the Oslo office,
emerged as the big winner with his suggestion—Accenture—intended to convey “an
accent or emphasis on the future.” The name now also conveys Tiger Woods’
powerful golf swing.

Up the ladder
Current CEO William D. Green took the top spot in September 2004 when longtime
leader Joe W. Forehand stepped down. It was Forehand who steered Accenture
through its renaming and IPO; he was widely credited with planning the firm’s early
growth and directing the split from Arthur Andersen. Green, who had previously
served as the firm’s chief operating officer in the client services division, also inherited
Forehand’s chairmanship two years later.

Although he’s now a high-flying member of the Business Roundtable, the G100 and
the International Advisory Panel of the Infocomm Development Authority of
Singapore, Green got his start at Accenture (then Andersen) in 1977, and made
partner in 1986. He rose through the ranks to become head of Accenture’s
communications and high-tech operating group in 1999, turning that division into the
firm’s biggest business.

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Breaking it down
Accenture is divided into five operating groups, each of which contains a number of
industry groups: the communications and high-tech operating group includes
communications, electronics and high tech, and media and entertainment; the
financial services group covers banking, capital markets and insurance; the products
group serves the automotive, consumer goods and services, health and life sciences,
industrial equipment, retail, and transportation and travel industries; the resources
group includes chemicals, energy, natural resources and utilities; and the public
service group serves public-sector clients, including government and municipal

In 2008, the products group was the revenue leader, raking in $6.06 billion.
Communications and high tech trailed close behind with $5.44 billion, and the public
service group earned the least, $2.87 billion. Of Accenture’s three geographic
regions, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region led the way with revenue
of $11.54 billion. The Americas came in second with $9.72 billion, followed by Asia
Pacific with $2.11 billion.

Still going strong

Even as the economy imploded in the second half of 2008, Accenture continued to
sail on. Given the shifting definitions of “success” in times of crisis, Accenture’s stock
even proved to be something of a safe haven for investors, losing only slightly more
than 10 percent of its value throughout 2008—a year that saw the Dow and the NYSE
losing between 30 and 40 percent of their overall worth.

An Ovum Summit researcher noted that Accenture “couldn’t have asked for better
numbers” in its 2008 year-end earnings (although it should be noted that these were
filed in August, prior to the worst ravages of the economic downturn): Annual revenue
of $23.39 billion was a new firm record, and Accenture saw growth in each of its
geographic regions, with the Americas business ticking upward because of cost-
conscious clients’ demand for new outsourcing solutions. For 2009, Accenture is
said to be “zeroed in on its U.K. business,” making plans to grow its IT and
management consulting operations there.

The likelihood of achieving that aim, however, will largely depend on the economic
situation. The firm was concerned enough about this fact that, in March 2009, it was
moved to lower its predictions for the remainder of the year. Despite the dire situation
globally, however, the firm’s revised predictions weren’t exactly the stuff of
nightmares: Revenue is expected to grow somewhere between 0 and 4 percent, while
new bookings were revised downward to a range of $23 to $25 billion, from a range
of $24 to $27 billion.

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Don’t scuttle the IT budget

As 2009 began on an uncertain economic note, many tech consulting firms
wondered at the fate of their business. After all, corporations large and small were
trimming costs in an effort to offset losses from the global credit crunch, soaring fuel
prices and a weak dollar. According to a January 2009 New York Times article,
however, tough economic times ought not call for reduced IT spending—just smarter
IT spending.

Frank Modruson, Accenture’s chief information officer, told the paper that cutting IT
from the budget isn’t necessarily cost effective if the company winds up stuck with
outdated, inefficient systems. Continuing to invest in IT systems and services “can
save money fairly quickly because of the rapid pace of improvement in computing
technology.” He offered up Accenture as a prime example, noting that the firm is
spending less on technology in 2008 than it did in 2001, despite seeing its global
headcount double over the past eight years. How is that possible? “We invested
during the last downturn,” Modruson explained.

If you can make it here ...

In April 2008, Accenture landed a three-year, $79.6 million contract with the city of
New York. The firm will provide IT and business process support to NYC’s Health and
Human Services Connect (HHS-Connect) program, an initiative to improve city
services, accessibility for residents and information management. On the to-do list:
developing enterprise architecture and case management capabilities for various
HHS agencies; implementing a system to accept online forms and applications; and
expanding existing screening systems. This isn’t the first time Accenture has done
business with the Big Apple. In 2005, the firm was brought on to design and build
ACCESS NYC, an award-winning online system that lets residents access 35 different
health and human services programs through one simplified web portal.

Busy, busy
In another health-related project, pharmaceutical giant—and longtime Accenture
client—Bristol-Meyers Squibb handed the firm a $550 million, 10-year contract for IT
and financial consulting in September 2008. Under the terms of the deal, Accenture
will provide dedicated application maintenance, accounts payable services,
application development services and global financial support to Bristol-Meyers
Squibb operations in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

That same month, Amtrak tapped Accenture to design and deploy enterprise
resource planning solutions designed to standardize and streamline the railroad’s
operations nationwide. Accenture consultants will start by creating a blueprint for
Amtrak’s strategic asset management initiative, then follow up with ERP infrastructure
solutions, IT analysis and system consolidation. The goal? Greater efficiency in
scheduling and maintenance—and happier travels for passengers.

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Around the world

In July 2008, Accenture completed a strategic IT buy, snapping up Brazil’s ATAN, a
privately held provider of industrial IT and automation solutions to the metals and
mining, energy and utilities industries. Sander van’t Noordende, chief executive of
Accenture’s resources operating group, noted that the “worldwide market for
automation and industrial IT services is growing rapidly as rising commodities prices
have led companies to make significant investments in their core operations.” ATAN,
which was founded in 1987 by two Brazilian engineers, had grown to over 500
employees by the time of the acquisition.

Accenture’s overseas capabilities grew in April 2008 with the acquisition of SOPIA
Corporation, a Tokyo-based IT consulting firm that specializes in Oracle solutions and
integration, particularly in the manufacturing, distribution and logistics sectors.
SOPIA, which was founded in 1984, was folded into Accenture’s Japanese
operations, which have seen increased demand for ERP services in recent years.

Cutting-edge security
Since 2004, Accenture has been under contract to the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, providing IT and integration services to the agency’s United States Visitor
and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. The contract was
extended in August 2008, which means Accenture will continue to work with DHS on
its biometric identification and analysis systems. Sounds high tech, and it is—the
cornerstone of US-VISIT is a scanning system that analyzes digital fingerprints from
non-U.S. citizens at American ports and visa offices. This information is sent to
immigration officials who use the results to help identify potential terrorists and make
decisions as they issue visas.

In 2007, US-VIST rolled out one of Accenture’s most critical developments—new

scanners that can read 10 fingerprints, instead of just two, for more precise analysis.

New, but familiar, faces at the top

Two major executive moves came in August 2008. Lisa Mascolo, a 25-year
Accenture vet, was promoted to U.S. country managing director, as former MD Ed
Fikse stepped down from the position. Mascolo, who is now responsible for
overseeing Accenture’s approximately 32,000 employees Stateside, had previously
served as group chief executive of the public service operating group. She’s also
president of the Accenture Foundation, and was named one of the 25 most influential
women in Washington, D.C., by the Washington Business Journal.

Replacing Mascolo at the top of the public service business is the group’s chief
operating officer, Juan Domenech. Based in Barcelona, Domenech has been in the
public service group for 18 years, and was formerly the public service group MD for
its EMEA, Latin America and Canada operations.

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What about women?

In 2008, for the second year in a row, Accenture landed on DiversityInc’s Top 50
Companies for Diversity list, landing firmly at No. 38—a nice bump from its No. 50
seating in 2007. Also in 2008, the firm celebrated its fourth annual International
Women’s Day, offering women’s workshops, networking events and keynote speeches
for employees in 45 countries. At the same time, Accenture published an exclusive
analysis of women in the global workplace. The report, “One Step Ahead of 2011: A
New Horizon for Working Women,” used survey results from 4,000 businesspeople in
17 countries to measure job preparedness in different countries, and to analyze
specific challenges and opportunities women face around the world.

Read all about it

There are lots of ways to keep up with Accenture’s thought leadership, online and off.
Outlook, the firm’s online magazine about business performance, tackles topics from
software applications to industry developments to international business issues. The
cover story of the first issue of Outlook in 2009, for example, posited that times of
economic turbulence see the greatest changes of companies’ relative positions within
their industries. A timely study, given the, uh, economic turbulence gripping the
world, the piece also offered advice on how companies can grasp the situation and
use it to their advantage (you’re forgiven if Rahm Emanuel’s comment about not
letting a good crisis go to waste comes to mind). The list of suggestions for
companies, meanwhile, makes timely if not exactly revolutionary reading: The usual
suspects of managing costs, acquiring and retaining new customers, and exercising
operational excellence are all in there, as is a suggestion that now might be a good
time to find a bargain in the M&A markets.

Here’s how to green

Green is the hottest color in business these days. Accenture got its head in the game
in July 2008 when it launched the Accenture Green Technology Suite, a set of tools
that lets companies assess the performance of their eco-initiatives and measure their
carbon footprint. Not only that, the software makes recommendations for reducing
an organization’s environmental impact by suggesting new initiatives and IT
improvements. Steve Nunn, who heads green IT operations at Accenture, said the
suite’s tools can be “used together or individually,” depending on each client’s needs.
These tools include a green maturity model, which makes suggestions for IT and
corporate initiatives; a data center estimator, which measures the impact of using
data centers; and a workplace estimator, which makes suggestions for office
equipment, practices, technology and recycling. By putting the system’s
recommendations into practice, Nunn noted, “organizations can achieve measurable
environmental improvements that contribute to bottom line savings.”

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Accenture isn’t, well, green when it comes to using technology to improve

environmental efforts. In March 2008, a Forrester Research report titled “The Dawn
of Green IT Services” named Accenture the only service provider with the “full
capability” to offer green IT consulting for assessment, planning and implementation.


Fit for consulting

Accenture’s recruiting teams comb campuses nationwide, seeking candidates from
Ivy League schools, as well as smaller schools targeted for geographical location or
specialty. Insiders say recruiters are quite selective about who gets an interview.
Reveals a source, “They have a fairly strict policy in choosing candidates based on
resumes. The first interview is strictly a character interview. They can see by your
resume that you’re capable, but do you really know what consulting is about and do
you have the right fit?” Respondents mention that the recruiting process also gives
candidates a chance to see if Accenture is the best fit for them. “Most importantly,
the type of people I met in the recruiting process were people I could see myself
working well with. They were smart, fun and intriguing people,” an insider notes.

The A-Team
Undergraduate recruits usually face four interviews containing a “well-balanced”
blend of personal and work history questions. After an introductory interview, an
hour-long interview focuses on questions of the “tell us a time …” variety. This is a
candidate’s chance to show he has the “personality type to work well with peers and
clients in a team environment,” tips an insider. Another source says a typical
question to expect would be: “When you had a difficult group assignment, how were
you able to rally the troops and get the project finished?” Case study questions are
not part of the process, we’re told.

The last interview is conducted in an Accenture office and is just as important as

previous meetings, according to one manager: “Some recruits believe this visit is a
formality before an offer is extended, but it should be treated as an interview.” Adds
a senior source, “At the last in-person interview, a general competency test is given.
This is more a measure of your ability to present yourself professionally and elaborate
on specific issues succinctly.”

For experienced hires, staffers say “there is a skills test, which is based on your area
of expertise and what the interviewer thinks you should know to fill a role. There is
also a psychological interview to make sure you are able to function appropriately at
a client and deal with difficult situations.”

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A “hip” place to be
Consultants claim Accenture’s “fantastic” culture makes it a “young and fun place to
grow your career.” Says a source, “The people here make the work worth it. All of
your peers work hard and are very capable. At the same time, they like to have fun
and try to keep even intense situations relaxed and manageable.” And though there’s
no denying that one side of Accenture is undeniably “very high pressure,” it is
balanced out with a more relaxed environment at other times. “There is a work-hard,
play-hard culture in the firm that recognizes and appreciates hard work and
celebrates success,” indicates a respondent.

Staffers describe their colleagues as “open, polite and helpful,” and reiterate that the
collaborative nature of the firm gives it a positive atmosphere. “The culture is very
supportive and, while competitive, it is not cutthroat,” a consultant states, while a co-
worker stresses that it “is an extremely collaborative culture.” Another source notes
that the firm’s adaptability gives it a positive feel: “The culture is very hip and up to
date. It changes quickly as needed. The firm makes an effort to install the same
ideals and beliefs across the board. [This is] one of my main reasons for staying with
the company.”

Support from the top

Managers win favorable ratings from insiders at the firm. “Like anything in life, some
are better than others but, for the most part, the senior executives are a sharp group
of well-seasoned executives that will go out of their way to help others in the firm,” a
source claims. A cohort concurs, stating, “At Accenture, I have had more positive
experiences with my supervisors than I have with other jobs.” Respondents say that
traveling to clients means there often “isn’t enough chance for face-to-face”
interaction with managers, but even at a distance, managers can be counted on to
lend support. “Supervisors have a lot to manage, and yet do a great job of mentoring
and growing project teams to get them ready for future roles and growth in the firm,”
insists an analyst. Another consultant boasts, “I have had amazing management
above me since starting with the company. They have been very understanding of
work/life balance requests (i.e., vacation and flex travel), and have also been very

Lots of baggage
Sources agree that the toughest part of the job here is the nonstop travel schedule
that most consultants are subjected to. “Travel is part of this job. When one is hired,
they expect should expect travel from Monday through Thursday or Friday every week
of the year. The requirements are known, so there are no surprises here,” a

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respondent explains. And as a colleague puts it, “If you do not like it, this
industry/company may not be for you.” “I usually just travel Monday through
Thursday. It can be a pain. It is not excessive, but is average. Some people might
have to go to two or three locations in three or four days. That is excessive,” a source
points out. Aside from a few folks who get a local assignment, “the expected
requirement is 100 percent travel,” a manager reiterates.

Several consultants admit they’d be happier if the firm had a local staffing model. An
insider reports, “I have been lucky to be staffed at home for the past year, but am
looking at having to head back out on the road. I do not feel the firm does enough to
attempt to staff resources close to home. There is nothing in place to assist resources
in this effort.” And one staffer expresses that though it is necessary, travel at this level
isn’t likely sustainable: “As a consultant, you need to be in a stable personal
environment that will allow you to be away for most of the year. This is a stressful
situation, but is not insurmountable. It is best to view this opportunity as a way of
moving to better things in the future. The independence this fosters is addictive but
ultimately, for anyone with a family, it is not the last job you will ever have.”

And while it is admittedly taxing, consultants say the firm does everything possible to
make travel tolerable. “Travel is required, but I’ve found that people try to make
things as comfortable as possible, e.g., I can choose to fly out Sunday night or
Monday morning. If Sunday night, I sleep in and show up to work around 9:30,” an
analyst explains. Additionally, “working virtually on Fridays is common,” one
respondent shares, adding, “Of all of my working Fridays, I have only been in the
office four times in over two years.”

Tweaking the schedule

Consultants admit it is difficult to balance work and life at Accenture, since nonstop
travel means there is “little room for home life.” “Going in accepting that you’ll be
away from home four out of seven days makes it OK. But if you like being home, then
the travel can derail the life component of work/life balance,” a consultant says. But
most respondents indicate that there are ways to maintain some balance, beginning
with communicating individual needs to managers. “Flexibility increases as seniority
increases, but making personal needs understood helps tremendously when
identifying ways to maintain balance,” a senior source comments. An analyst
explains, “We have instituted a policy for those who travel to their clients called ‘5-4-
3.’ We work for our client five days, four days on site and three nights away from
home. This means that we strive to travel to our clients on Monday mornings and
return home on Thursday nights, working remotely on Fridays. We also have other
flexible work schedules that can be coordinated with your direct supervisor or human

One consultant claims to have found enough time for a personal life despite being on
the road: “I am able to balance work and life with the firm. This usually means
working long hours while on the road, but I am able to relax and spend time with

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family and friends on virtually all weekends.” Another staffer says, “To the degree
possible with a road-warrior career, I’ve been able to successfully balance work and
life. The firm is very open to creative ways of helping folks achieve work/life balance
and I’ve been able to define a more flexible travel schedule to better manage all
aspects of life.”

Several insiders assert that it’s up to the individual to press for the balance they need.
A consultant states, “I traveled for a year-and-a-half and became worn out. After that
point, I said ‘No more traveling for a while. I need a break.’ I met with initial
resistance due to demands in the marketplace, but I eventually got it. I had to fight
a little and have a little luck, but I got it. So I was able to stay local and not travel for
a while, which really helped me recharge my batteries.” Sources indicate that
although each person achieves it in different ways, there is management support for
employees in this regard. “I think this is the first firm I’ve worked for that actually tries
to make its employees happy,” a consultant claims.

Well trained
“Training is one of the best things about the company,” raves a source. Insiders say
Accenture offers both unofficial and official training, and there are plenty of
opportunities to take advantage of both. According to one consultant, “The majority
of training we receive is computer-based, with a core training required at each career
level (analyst, consultant, manager).” An analyst adds, “Accenture has a very large
training budget. You will spend at least five weeks when you start and one week a
year learning corporate methodology and essential skills. The more valuable training
is learned on the job or through skill-specific courses you can sign up for.” A
colleague notes that client work makes it hard to squeeze in any nonessential training:
“Topics covered are good. But as budgets have tightened up, it’s becoming harder
to get away from client work to take classroom sessions. And with so many required
annual corporate courses, very little time is left over to pursue my own development

Unofficial training takes the form of virtual classes. “We have thousands of training
courses that can be taken virtually in a lot of different fields, based on what interests
an employee has. In addition, we can request to take vendor training, usually
involving travel to and from a vendor location. We also have informal mentoring with
our career counselors and sponsors,” a staffer mentions.

On track
We’re told that the career path at Accenture is basically set in stone—and sources
claim that it works. “The Accenture structure is set up to help get you promoted, and
if you work hard, you should expect it,” asserts one respondent. “The promotion
policy is pretty strict up or out. There is a minimum and maximum time at level. It
is really hard to get promoted before serving the minimum time at level, and you

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should start looking for other jobs if you don’t get promoted by the average maximum
time at level,” an insider explains. New hires can expect to spend up to three years
as an analyst, three to four years as a consultant, three to five years as a manager and
three to five years as a senior manager before making it to the executive level. “Then
there are varying levels of senior exec that are kept secret from us low-level people,”
a source pipes in. Although the promotion timeline is established, “consultants can
advance to management in 36 months, and less if they demonstrate strong
capabilities.” For instance, a manager relates, “I’ve met several folks who were
promoted early when they had earned it.”

All around, insiders are satisfied with the clear-cut advancement track. “The
promotion process is very well structured with lots of good communication going in,
so you feel more comfortable in the process,” a consultant explains.

Not exactly top dollar

Accenture’s salary offerings don’t earn it high marks, but insiders mention that other
types of compensation are offered to some. Explains a source, “Accenture has an
employee stock purchase program, where employees can buy stock at a 15 percent
discount. They also match up to 3 percent of your salary in 401(k) donations.”
Employees at the consultant level and above receive an annual bonus, however
analysts only receive a bonus “if they are ranked as a top performer, or in the top-40
percent of their peer group.” Additional compensation can include a “profit-sharing
bonus (in addition to performance bonus) and ‘Celebrating Performance’ awards.”

Staffers say the basic benefits include 27 personal days per year and health
insurance. “The health insurance they offer me has saved me about $17K this year.
That’s pretty awesome,” a respondent gushes. Parental leave is “eight weeks paid
time off for mothers and one week paid time off for fathers.” One source appreciates
the “extensive benefits for frequent travelers, including an Amex platinum card,
airport lounge access and access to medical personnel while traveling,” and a
colleague is glad that “you get to keep your Amex rewards points.” Staffers note that
“flex trips” are another plus: “Instead of flying home from an out-of-town client, you
can fly to a different city for the weekend.” Another cool perk is the “Accenture
Development Partnerships, which allow employees to work in nonprofits at foreign

Works well for women

Respondents report that they are pleased with the firm’s commitment to gender
diversity, though things aren’t entirely balanced. “I think we try to be diverse and hire
a lot of excellent female candidates, but we lose a lot as they reach the executive and
senior executive levels,” notes one insider. Staffers feel that ratio is more a factor of
consulting, in general, rather than the firm’s promotion and retention policies. “We
have several very strong female role models in the partner ranks. The firm works hard

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to advance women, though the numbers unavoidably dwindle in higher ranks as

travel demands can conflict with home life,” asserts a manager. Singing the same
tune, another source states that “Accenture actively hires and promotes women as
much as men. The majority of the workforce is still male, but that is more a reflection
of the appeal of the work and lifestyle of travel.”

Accent on inclusivity
When it comes to other categories of diversity, one insider sums up: “Accenture is the
most diverse company I have ever worked with, by far. No discrimination is
tolerated.” Most sources feel the firm fosters an open environment. “Accenture
offers many interest organizations to employees, allowing involvement within the local
office among cross communities. A few groups include military, women, Hispanic
American, analysts and experienced hires,” one source lists off. A colleague adds
that “there is a group inside our firm that meets together, specifically for GLBTs.
Many leaders openly discuss their personal choices and create a welcome
environment for GLBT diversity.”

A generous bunch
Insiders are proud of Accenture’s widespread support for philanthropic efforts. “The
firm encourages involvement at the local, regional and international level,” a source
mentions, rattling off some of the charitable activities the Chicago office undertakes:
“Toys for Tots, an employee giving campaign, Chicago CARES, campaign and pro
bono consulting for local places. I also saw a business clothing drive at some point.”
A cohort in Austin colleague recalls that “locally, opportunities are available to teach
to local schools through Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity and other local
charities, such as sponsorship and involvement in 5K runs and local bike races for
causes.” Everyone pitches in once a year, when Accenture supports the “Day of
Service,” during which staff perform service activities in their region, rather than take
a day off on a federal holiday. “The firm also sponsors an employee giving campaign
where time and/or money can be donated to local charities with an Accenture
match,” a colleague points out.

On the global level, the firm runs the Accenture Development Partnership and
Volunteer Services Overseas, which offer “not-for-profit consulting for charities,
governments and NGOs that otherwise would not have access to the expertise we can
bring to bear.”

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New Orchard Road UPPERS
Armonk, NY 10504
• “Outstanding global brand equity”
Phone: (914) 499-1900
• “Great people and interesting
Fax: (914) 765-7382
• Flexibility in determining your work hours
• “Huge, global knowledge and experience
LOCATIONS base available to draw on for help”

Armonk, NY (HQ)
Operations in over 170 countries DOWNERS
• “Really high utilization targets force you to
PRACTICE AREAS take projects that are not ideal”
• “Not enough time and money spent on
IT Services
management and direction”
Business Continuity & Resiliency • End
• Easy to get lost in the shuffle
User Services • Integrated
• “Training is often cut to pad quarterly
Communications • IT Strategy &
Architecture • Maintenance & Technical
Support • Middleware • Outsourcing •
Security & Privacy • Server • Site & EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Facilities • Storage & Data

Employer Type: Division of IBM
Ticker Symbol: IBM (NYSE)
Senior Vice President: Michael E. Daniels
2008 Employees: 398,455 (IBM as a whole)
2007 Employees: 386,558 (IBM as a whole)
2008 Revenue: $39.26 billion
2007 Revenue: $36.1 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Granddaddy of all”
• “Overworks employees”
• “Stable company to work for”
• “Very slow to learn and change”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
IBM Global Technology Services


A limb of the Big Blue tree

IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) is the IT infrastructure and business process
services segment of IBM, one of the largest IT and software companies in the world.
It offers strategic outsourcing, business transformation outsourcing, integrated
technology services, and maintenance and support, while the industries it targets
include public sector, automotive, banking, chemicals, consumer products,
education, electronics, energy and utilities, financial markets, health care, insurance,
retail, telecommunications and others. Clients come in all shapes and sizes—the
firm’s solutions are available at any scale, from small business to multinational

IBM itself has been around since the 19th century, when it was making the earliest
possible versions of computers—clockwork machines that computed, tabulated and
recorded times and figures. The history of GTS is considerably shorter, having
solidified as a major force in the industry in 1990s after IBM acquired
PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, doubling its consulting staff and allowing the
company to shift its focus away from manufacturing and commodities toward
services. As the wheel of the business rotated and pushed services at the top, Sam
Palmisano, previously the head of global services, was named CEO in 2002, and
subsequently elected chairman of the board. Not long after, in 2005, IBM divested
its PC business and the swing toward services was complete. Also at that time, Mike
Daniels was put in charge of GTS as senior vice president.

Setting a course
Starting in 2006, IBM embarked on a major transformation for the GTS unit, the
effects of which are still in place today. On the one hand, the changes sought to
streamline things within IBM itself. Strategic changes included simplifying the
portfolio of IT Services and introducing standardized service products; installing a
new sales structure to sell the simplified services; and establishing tighter
relationships with the other parts of IBM to sell complete solutions that include
hardware, software and services. The idea was that these changes would also help
the firm hone its focus on the client side. Also to that end, the firm launched new
programs to ensure client satisfaction throughout the engagement life cycle.

Sound advice
GTS’ IT strategy and architecture service practice, one of its primary consulting
offerings, encompasses technology management consulting, transformation and
optimization advisory, and SOA infrastructure consulting services. Engagements can
address cost reduction, operational efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, improved

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time to market and customer satisfaction. In a “success story” published in February

2009, the firm reported that it had recently completed an engagement with Sisters of
Mercy Health System, an organization with 27 medical facilities (18 acute care
hospitals, two heart hospitals and seven “other medical facilities”) and some 33,500
employees. In a bid to improve its medical record keeping, Sisters of Mercy had
recently purchased a new information system to manage its records, but required
assistance with training and implementing the system across its facilities and
workforce. Accordingly, IBM provided templates that standardized much of the
rollout and training across all facilities. Additionally, the GTS team deployed a number
of existing IBM applications to support the record-keeping system going forward.

Spread across the subcontinent

The firm has had a strong presence in India since the early 1990s, with more than
70,000 employees currently there. The firm maintains offices in 14 cities and is
active in 200 towns and cities, either through its network of business partners or by
the stationing of a direct contact. In June 2007, IBM was honored as the overall best
U.S. company in India by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, the firm’s share of the Indian IT services market stood at 10.8 percent at
the beginning of 2009, according to Springboard Research. The reason for that share
isn’t difficult to fathom, especially when considering some of the contracts the firm
pulled in throughout 2008. Those deals include a contract with Hindustan Petroleum
Corp. to help track the movement of gas cylinders along its supply chain, and a 10-
year strategic partnership with Bharti Retail, pursuant to which IBM will provide
comprehensive IT infrastructure, among other technology services.

The sky’s the limit

While IBM as a whole is making a name for itself in the cloud computing realm, it can
be found working in the more common kind of clouds, too. It has become a major
IT provider to airlines and airports, especially through the design and servicing of
check-in kiosks. Recent clients include JetBlue Airways, Air Canada, Alitalia, British
Airways, United Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines, KLM Airlines, Japan Air
Lines, Gulf Air and Air New Zealand. The firm is also in demand for other types of
solutions, having been hired by Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in October 2007 to
create and implement an RFID-enabled baggage management system. The system
is expected to improve handling efficiency and security, while also reducing incidents
of baggage loss or misrouting.

Acquisition time
IBM has something of a reputation for growth by acquisition—a reputation backed up
by some 15 acquisitions throughout 2008, most of which were in the firm’s software
division. The GTS unit got in on the act as well, closing the purchase of Arsenal

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Digital Solutions in January 2008. Previously a privately held company, Arsenal is a

provider of security-rich information protection services for global clients. Its services,
designed to handle increasing data retention requirements, were folded into the GTS
unit, and now form part of its offerings.

Mother tested, magazine approved

IBM is a favorite of Working Mother magazine. In 2008, it was named to the
publication’s list of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers, marking the 23rd
straight year it has received the honor. What’s more, it was the 20th consecutive year
that the firm was a top-10 finisher on the list. Working Mother identified IBM’s family-
friendly policies—among them ample maternity leave and flexible scheduling, as well
as on-site child care centers—as major reasons for its continued selection.

Reaching out
IBM has shown a commitment to corporate citizenship over the years, often
supporting charities that promote education. It is a global sponsor of the school
reform program Reinventing Education, which evaluates schools and provides
support and technology to aid in boosting student achievement. The firm also funds
EXITE (Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering) Camps for middle school-
aged girls. The camps encourage young women to pursue math, science and

Additionally, in June 2007, the firm announced that Cal State at Los Angeles and San
Jose State University had joined up as partners in its Transition to Teaching program.
The program works to smooth the transition of IBM employees into teaching as a
second career, generally in the disciplines of math or science. The addition of the two
schools allows the program, which got its start in New York and North Carolina, to
spread westward.


What to expect with Big Blue

Given its size, it’s inevitable that IBM’s hiring process is “different every time,” albeit
consistently “very organized and well managed.” Applicants can expect to have at
least two rounds of interviews, including a “first-round screening interview,” as well
as one, two or more “interviews with senior practice leaders in the final round.” A
third round may also include a technical interview.

While the firm does rely on case studies, one recent hire in Boston reports that they’re
likely to be fairly conventional, with “no unusual questions, cases or brainteasers”
being sprung on interviewees. The questions asked, meanwhile, “are generally

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targeted to understand the best fit for the particular job position, but there is a
likelihood of [interviewees] being referred to other departments if the candidate is
found to be a good fit.”

College recruitment is another category to file under the “inevitable for a big
company” header. All top schools in the country are on its recruiting list.

On the case
Insiders reveal several examples of the type of interview questions they faced. Here’s
one sample question provided: “You are the manager of a project. You determine that
the go-live date is at risk since the work is not 100 percent complete due to
nonavailability of the right resource numbers/skills. You have tried hiring contactors
but could not find any in the timeframe. You have determined that there is no way
you can complete 100 percent of the enhancements/developments that the client
needs. What would you do as a manager and how would you approach this problem
so that you do not jeopardize the relationship with the client?”

According to the source, the answer that landed him the job involved cutting the
scope of the project, managing the client’s expectations and convincing the client to
use a “bare-bones” go-live with limited functionalities, while the rest of the project
was completed.


Safety in numbers
Respondents tell us that IBM is a “very open” company, where the culture is “based
on individual performance and less on teamwork.” It’s also a place where employees
feel secure, even as the rest of the economy seems to implode: “While the economy
may be down, IBM’s pipeline always seems full,” says one source. Still, the sheer
scale of the company means that it’s inevitably home to a variety of opinions. For
example, on one side of the aisle, some laud the company’s meritocracy-driven
approach, its “healthy and positive work culture,” and the fact that it is “very diversity-
oriented and includes a large range of cultures.”

On the other side, however, some insiders complain that the firm is “a bit stodgy at
times,” that it “operates by quarterly numbers,” and that it’s “a little too politically
correct,” as there is “too much emphasis on diversity and cultural balance instead of
on efficiency and quality of work.” Despite these frustrations, there’s plenty of job
satisfaction among staffers, not to mention a sense of pride to be working for a leader
in the field. That viewpoint is explicitly summed up by one senior consultant, who
concedes that, even though “there’s always room for improvement and we have some
bureaucracy issues,” there’s still reason to cheer. That reason? “When we deliver,

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we are the best at what we do. We have the widest scope and capabilities. Our
competitors are only competitive at the functional area or industry segment. Nobody
is our competitor across every business, product or service line we sell.”

A 24/7/365 kind of thing

Balancing work and life at IBM is not easy, sources report, largely due to the fact that
many consultants “travel 100 percent” and “work on weekends and evenings.” It’s
not that IBM doesn’t try: “The firm’s efforts [toward promoting work/life balance] are
good, but project realities often dictate otherwise,” says one Charlotte-based staffer.
Those realities mean that tales of canceled vacations and 80-hour weeks abound,
with one consultant complaining that “there is little regard for phoning any hour of the
day or night, regardless of time of year or vacation schedule.” Others, meanwhile,
point to the fact that “IBM agrees with the client to have consultants stay at the client
site until Friday evening, then fly home with the expectation to be back at the client
site on Monday morning.” And speaking of expectations, the firm’s utilization
philosophy also comes under fire from some sources: “In our consulting practice,
only revenue and billable utilization are important, and our targets do not take into
account normal time off like holidays and vacation. We have to work ‘overtime’ to hit
our targets if we take any time off.”

Still, there are exceptions—although they would appear to be largely dependent on

the client, rather than IBM itself. “My firm allows working at home,” a staffer explains.
“I work at home two days a week.” Additionally, “some engagements with good
project managers/partners will fight for the consultant’s work/life balance—but those
are very few,” reports a colleague. Another insider, based in Tulsa, disagrees, and
asserts that the issue boils down to the individual consultant, stating, “It appears to
be up to the employee. Those that wish to work harder to achieve career goals can
do so, while those more interested in nonwork can do so as well.”

As for the average workweek, respondents report putting in anywhere from 40 to 80

hours, depending on workload spikes. There’s not really such a thing as “typical”
assignment duration, either; those can stretch from a few weeks with a client to a
period spanning several years.

Travel woes (with some perks)

When a consultant starts a discussion of the travel requirements for his job with the
comment, “Unfortunately it’s the nature of the business,” it’s pretty obvious what’s
coming next. While there’s a pragmatic bent to many insiders’ responses—”You have
to go where the demand exists” is typical—they do wish the firm would take their
geographic location into account more often. “Increasingly, we pay little attention to
where someone lives versus where they will work,” says one staffer. “They will ask
you to travel from the West to East Coast,” laments another, adding that “unless you
are a star performer, it’s very difficult to say no to an assignment.” That sentiment is

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echoed by a colleague, who says consultants “better have a good reason to refuse an
assignment within the [contiguous] 48 states.”

It’s not all bad news on the travel front, however, with some respondents pointing out
that, although “travel is high in the consulting division,” for the most part “managers
are accommodating, and you do get a chance to take corporate apartments at the
client sites and live there.” Not only that, but consultants stationed far from home
have a choice of fly-backs or visitation by family members. “The in-lieu travel policy
allows flying in one family member as long as the total cost to the project is not
increased.” There are other perks for airport regulars, too: “I have been platinum on
Delta for eight years running,” one staffer boasts. Someone get this guy a drink!

Respondents also point out that would-be IBMers are likely to be made aware of the
travel demands before they take the job. “IBM is very clear on its definition of travel
requirements,” says one source. “Some of the job profiles are clearly travel intensive,
while others can be as much as no travel at all.” Other positions can vary significantly
in their travel demands. One longtime staffer notes that “travel can vary greatly
depending on the type of engagement. One year may see very few trips, another may
have you travel every week.” Not only that, but given the right circumstances, “the
employee can also choose which engagements he desires.”

Stay billable
For the most part, respondents seem reasonably satisfied with their compensation
packages, while the impression that emerges is that they’d be happier if they didn’t
have to work so hard for them. “There is seldom, if ever, a time that I am not
supporting either a billable effort or development of a billable effort,” says one senior
source. That approach is largely due to the fact that “being on the bench is not
acceptable” at IBM, meaning that “all measures must be taken by the individual to
find a new billable assignment as quickly as possible.” The limit for non-billable time
doesn’t appear to be too generous either, although none of our contacts seemed to
have tested it overly much. “I’m not sure how often IBM would tolerate more than
three weeks not billing to a client,” a source ventures.

As far as actual compensation levels go, for a firm of IBM’s size comments are always
likely to vary significantly. For every consultant who believes he is “fairly
compensated,” there’s another who will claim that, “based on my responsibilities, I
am very underpaid compared to the industry.” Not all compensation is cash-based,
however, and contacts report details of the full package on offer. “Other than annual
bonus,” says one, “there is a discounted employee stock purchase plan, 401(k)
matching of up to 6 percent after one year of service and occasional quarterly merit
awards with cash bonuses.” In addition, another source comments, “I believe IBM,
in general, pays for advanced education, such as a master’s degree. However, that
option is not provided within my department.”

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Cash incentives are available, according to some, with reports of modest signing
bonuses and even occasional mention of a retention bonus here and there. That
said, “annual pay raises are rare, except for executives,” says one veteran, before
going on to make exactly the same claim about bonuses. That assertion is supported
by a more recent hire, who says he’s seen “no salary adjustment in two years with the

Beneficial arrangements
Perks and benefits at IBM are “pretty standard,” insiders say, although “the health
plan is better than most firms in the industry.” When it comes to other extras,
however, the list isn’t overly long. “Great discounts to IBM retail partners” such as
Panasonic, Sharp and Apple, are close to the top, as are airline miles and the like.
According to a senior source, however, “they do not let us keep [company] credit card
points, which is disappointing,” though consultants do get to keep car rental and
hotel loyalty points.

Perhaps most intriguingly, the firm operates a “give a gift” program, where staffers
can “thank one another for a job well done throughout the year. The thanked person
may select a gift from a website ranging from polo shirts to gym bags.” The firm also
offers “opportunities to work on innovative volunteer projects overseas for selected

Still, some of the perks mentioned have nothing to do with material or personal gain
whatsoever. One insider cites the “prestige of the company” as a major plus, while
another recognizes that IBM is a “solid company not likely to go under”—a major
upside given the state of today’s economy. “Working with the caliber of people I do
is one of the best perks IBM offers,” says another contact.

Managing expectations
There’s a definite dichotomy when it comes to discussing the role and effectiveness
of IBM’s management. A common complaint among consultants is that “group
managers are very good,” while “project managers sometimes are not.” Part of the
reason for that, according to a source, is that projects managers “are definitely more
demanding, and their expectations are sometimes difficult to manage.” That, says an
insider in Washington D.C., probably comes down to the fact that they “have too
many responsibilities. Along with guiding career development for their assigned staff,
they must win more work, develop new methodology and complete plenty of other
assignments that divide and distract their attention.”

Even those who lavish praise upon their superiors tend to add caveats while doing so.
A New York City-based consultant, for example, says, “My particular personal
management is very good. They listen, become involved at appropriate times, and
overall try to work with us and support us.” Sounds great, until he continues this way:
“I believe this is an exception. When meeting other managers or listening to other co-

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workers, my impression is that their management (partners) are god-like people who
don’t seem to even try to act on their account. My current management is one of
several reasons I choose to remain within IBM.”

A colleague in Massachusetts, meanwhile, proves that there are exceptions to every

rule, stating, “I have worked for multiple managers in my time at IBM, and have been
pleased with all of them.” However, that may be because of longevity and
experience—something that, as a veteran of the firm, means he also has access to
other high-ranking officials: “I have established my credibility with my IBM peers,
which allows me to interact with client senior managers.”

Other issues surrounding management and supervision concern remoteness;

consultants and supervisors often are not based in the same office, leading to “very
little direct communication with direct supervisors.” That means consultants “must
be able to work independently to be successful,” and should expect evaluations to be
“web-based and focused on documentation of results.”

Getting up the ladder

IBM is “definitely not up-or-out,” so “there are no hard-set timelines for promotions.”
Having said that, sources explain that “the higher you are in the chain, the harder it
is to keep someone who is not advancing.” At lower levels, “consultants can advance
in two years,” while at the upper levels “promotions become much more rare.” For
those interested in climbing the ladder (and if you’re reading this, we assume you
are), “there is a formal review process, along with mentoring, which leads to
promotions. You may choose to remain at your grade level, but ongoing education
and skill growth is expected.”

We’re told that most training at the firm is “unofficial because no one will spend
money on education,” with an insider in Houston claiming that “we have been in a
spending freeze for three years.” No word on whether that’s a local or a
companywide thing, however. A colleague in North Carolina leads us to believe it’s
the latter, reporting that the “training budget was severely limited for the past few
years and cut entirely this year.” Even if the funds are available, “timing [for training]
has to be coordinated with the client activities and availability of local training.”

A diverse crowd
Depending on whom you ask, IBM either has the “best diversity policies in the world”
or goes “way over the top” and places “way too much emphasis on the issue. Either
way, few would argue that there isn’t enough diversity at the firm. The policies, which
“usually precede everyone else’s by decades,” seem to keep all groups happy, with
only a passing reference to the fact that “if you look at senior leadership, there is still
a heavy bias toward old white men.”

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The company’s commitment to all things diverse and community-oriented also

stretches to its getting involved—and encouraging employees to get involved—in
good causes. Consultants “can be involved as [their] time permits,” which “becomes
impossible” on projects that require a lot of travel. The primary focus of IBM’s
charitable work is on educational initiatives, though a source explains that “groups do
get together and participate in fund-raising activities for medical research” and other
causes. Charitable activities are usually undertaken “on a regional basis.” A staffer
in Massachusetts reports that “in my office, there is involvement with local schools to
develop technical interests and skills.” A cohort in New York, meanwhile, says that
“at least once a year, they invite people to help clean a school or park.

104 © 2009, Inc.



170 West Tasman Drive UPPER

San Jose, CA 95134
• “Good diversity balance”
Phone: (408) 526-4000
Toll Free: (800) 553-NETS DOWNER
• Very much hardware-focused
More than 100 offices worldwide See the careers section of the firm’s website

Advanced Services
Developer Services
Remote Operations Services
Technical Services

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CSCO (Nasdaq)
President & CEO: John T. Chambers
2009 Employees: 67,600+
2008 Employees: 66,129
2008 Revenue: $39.5 billion
2007 Revenue: $34.9 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Excellent place to work”

• “800-pound gorilla”
• “Experts at what they do”
• “Product-oriented”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Cisco Systems, Inc.


Cisco inferno
Cisco Systems designs, makes and sells internet protocol-based networking products,
as well as other products used in the communications and IT industry. It additionally
provides advisory and support services associated with the use of its own or similar
products. The firm specializes in the transfer of data, voice and video through its
routers, switches and other advanced technologies. Its clients include large
enterprises, public institutions, telecommunications companies and commercial
businesses, while its products can be found even in private residences.

The firm’s enormous success and size—it has more than 100 offices worldwide and
made almost $40 billion in sales in 2008—belie its humble beginnings. In 1984,
Sandra Lerner and Leonard Bosack, two Stanford computer support staffers who
named their startup after the city of San Francisco, developed the blue box, one of
the first multiprotocol routers. Early networks were able to transfer and share data,
but compatibility between computers was an obstacle. Cisco’s routers enabled
computers to communicate across different network protocols. Some venture
capitalists recognized Cisco’s potential in 1987, supplying $2 million in funding that
led to the development of interior gateway routing protocol, a key element of the first
large internets. The firm was listed on the Nasdaq in 1990, and soon after, the world
wide web began to enter the national consciousness. The sudden demand for
network communication products allowed Cisco to expand globally, opening locations
in multiple locations in Europe, South America and Asia. The firm’s growth was also
bolstered by an aggressive acquisition strategy and, by 2000, it was a multibillion-
dollar enterprise.

Cisco’s routers and switches have become essential vectors for much of the internet
communication between businesses, governments and even individual personal
computers. If data is sent far enough, it will eventually pass along a Cisco system—
if not many times. This universality is mirrored in the firm’s spectrum of products,
which can be applied to the most complex networks, but are also available for the
functions of home networking, small businesses, service providers and consumers.
Cisco’s name will surely crop up even more in daily vernacular, after a March 2009
announcement that it would begin to build its own servers, pushing it into direct
competition with HP and IBM.

Because of the broad applicability of its products and services, the firm targets a
range of industries, including the energy, financial services, government, real estate,
health care, legal, manufacturing, retail, public safety, and media and entertainment.
Services and products are frequently sold as a bundle, ensuring that any

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implemented systems operate at peak efficiency and continue to make use of the
most up-to-date software.

For example, in November 2008, Al-Othaim Markets, a supermarket chain in Saudi

Arabia, tapped Cisco to build and maintain its entire system architecture, as well as
provide data center services. The project will result in all of the client’s supermarkets
being connected to a single network for inventory, delivery, sales data and other retail
functions. In October of that year, meanwhile, the firm helped Hofstra University
deploy a wireless network for use during the final presidential debate between John
McCain and Barack Obama. More than 3,000 media representatives used the
network to blog, broadcast and communicate. And in December 2007, AT&T chose
the firm’s Carrier Routing System-1 as the platform of its IP/MPLS backbone network,
responsible for the global delivery of voice, video, data and mobility services.

Slices of the pie

Cisco’s global strategic consulting unit is known as the internet business solutions
group. It advises Global Fortune 500 companies and public organizations on issues
of customer experience, global IP economics, supply chain management, business
technology, network accelerated innovation and workforce optimization,
communication and collaboration. Services typically account for around 15 percent
of total annual revenue, a figure that also includes software development and
networking services, such as application networking services and network
management. The remaining 85 percent of revenue comes from the sale of routers
and switches, and related products.

Going easy on the little guys

In April 2007, the firm introduced a new offering called Cisco Smart Care Service,
designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as midmarket customers.
The service is automated to track performance, identify problems, maintain security
and, on the whole, simplify network maintenance. Use of the firm’s network
appliances also grants the advantage of regular monitoring by Cisco consultants and
its partners. This allows for early warnings of disruptions within the devices that might
otherwise have led to downtime or costly errors.

Staying ahead of the curve

Cisco consistently puts time and effort into expanding its portfolio. A current area of
focus is the integration of telephony services with email, IM, video and web
conferencing, and Web 2.0 technologies. The firm is also working to further develop
its TelePresence virtual meeting technology, which can be used to simulate face-to-
face interaction from distant locations. Multiple organizations adopted the
TelePresence technology in 2007, including Bell Canada, Wachovia and the Xiamen
Municipal Government in China, marking the first direct public-sector interest in the

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system. Earlier in 2007, Cisco had donated TelePresence systems to the

governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to
facilitate their business communications.

In October 2008, the firm deployed TelePresence for use by the public for the first
time, installing “rooms” with the technology in Santa Clara, Calif., Boston, London
and several cities in India. The cost for using the rooms varies from $299 to $899 an
hour, depending on the size. The largest TelePresence room can accommodate 18

Shop smart
Cisco often makes acquisitions of companies, small and large, that will enhance its
portfolio or give it a strategic advantage in an emerging market. This has been a part
of its growth plan since its earliest days and, to date, the firm has purchased well over
100 companies. In January 2009, it bought Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence, a
California-based provider of intelligent middleware technology that improves building
performance (especially energy consumption) by integrating building infrastructure
and IT applications over a common IP network. In November 2008, meanwhile, it
purchased Jabber Inc., a Denver-based firm that specializes in presence and
messaging software. The firm will become part of Cisco’s collaboration software
group, enhancing the capabilities of multiple communication platforms. In
September that year, Cisco picked up PostPath, Inc., a California-based provider of
email and calendaring software, which also became part of the collaboration software
group. PostPath’s technology will be integrated into several of the firm’s existing
applications. One month prior, the firm bought up Pure Networks, a Seattle-based
provider of home networking management software and tools. Cisco expects to
develop new applications with Pure Networks’ technology.

In addition to acquiring new firms, Cisco also forms strategic alliances with select
outfits to enhance its offerings and capabilities. In February 2009, for example, the
firm reported the expansion of an alliance with Accenture, forming a virtual group
aimed at helping large enterprises around the world (hint: Accenture’s clients) to
“increase business agility” through technology such as data center virtualization (hint:
Cisco’s technology) and the like. Also in February, the company struck a similar deal
with India’s Tata Consultancy Services to collaborate in helping customers to build
next-generation data centers that utilize the network as the platform. Under the
agreement, TCS will build a new technology practice that focuses on—guess what?—
Cisco’s data center networking and security solutions. Under the terms of the
partnership, Cisco also established a technology lab at TCS’ campus in Chennai.

Go where there’s room

The firm divides the geographic management of its business into five regions: the
U.S. and Canada, European markets, emerging markets, Asia Pacific and Japan.

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Emerging markets currently consists of Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle
East and Africa, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In recent
years, Cisco has focused efforts in these underserved regions because of their huge
growth potential.

In Africa, a new headquarters in Nairobi was opened in November 2007, to act as a

hub for the sub-Saharan market and also as a training and competency center.
Additional offices on the continent are in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Dakar and South
Africa. Also in November, the firm launched an investment initiative aimed at the
technology industry in Central and Eastern Europe. Through the Technology in
Central and Eastern Europe S.C.A. SICAR fund, a joint effort with Eastern European
private equity firm 3TS Capital Partners, Cisco will invest in high-growth, small- and
medium-sized companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

Investing in India
As are many IT companies these days, Cisco is paying a lot of attention to its
operations in India. The firm predicts particularly strong demand in the near future
for its routers in country, since the Indian telecom industry is in the process of
deregulation and private companies are starting to build broadband networks. In
October 2008, the firm launched its Global Talent Acceleration Program in Bangalore,
an initiative aimed at—you guessed it!—cultivating local talent. Through the program,
engineering students will be trained at the CCIE level, the most stringent professional
certification offered by the firm. Additionally, in 2007, Cisco opened a new R&D and
customer support facility in Bangalore, with a capacity for 1,200 staffers. The center
and the program, among other ventures, were part of a commitment by the firm,
announced in 2005, to a three-year, $1.1 billion investment plan for India.

Getting and giving

Cisco shows up from time to time on popular industry best-of lists. In 2008, it was
named No. 6 on Fortune’s rundown of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. This
was the 11th consecutive year the firm appeared on the list. It was also honored as
one of the best companies to work for by Working Mother and Computerworld
magazines in 2007, but failed to repeat on either list in 2008.

Additional evidence of the firm’s top-employer status can be found in one of Cisco’s
own publications: the “Corporate Citizenship Report,” a summary of the charitable
and progressive efforts the firm makes each year. It tends to throw support behind
education programs in the world’s least developed countries, sometimes through
alliances with private organizations. Through the Cisco Networking Academy, the firm
has established classrooms in 53 countries, where tens of thousands of students
have received instruction and training in IT skills. And in partnership with the World
Health Organization, the firm created the Cisco Health Academy, which promotes
health and wellness for populations in remote and underserved areas. The program

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works to make medical knowledge more available through internet-based


Domestically, the firm started the 21st Century Schools Initiative in Louisiana and
Mississippi to assist the rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The
initiative amounted to an investment of $40 million, having supplied essential
technology and sponsored training programs for schools, teachers and administrators
in the affected areas.


Enthusiasm abounds
Cisco insiders love the company’s culture and the opportunity to be surrounded by
dazzling peers. “Cisco’s corporate culture is the reason that I came to this company,”
says one particularly breathless source. “Everyone here is brilliant, ambitious and
motivated.” Not only that, but they’re “the most friendly and helpful folks I have met.”
Throw in good looking, and it starts to sound suspiciously like paradise.

Current Cisco staffers report a hiring process that can verge on strenuous. One
insider mentions going through “approximately five rounds of interviews,” which
included sessions with “HR, various managers and then a more technical and on-the-
job interview with a senior person that’s in the position you’re applying for.” Fit to
company culture is deemed as an important aspect of the process—hardly surprising
given the sort of glowing testimonial evidenced in the previous paragraph.

The enthusiasm doesn’t end with our insiders, however; Cisco’s careers site hosts a
six-minute video featuring yet more Cisco employees extolling the benefits of working
for the firm. Chances are, those employees were culled from some of the top schools
in the U.S. and around the world—the firm is a major graduate recruiter and operates
something called the Cisco New Hire Network, specifically geared to help new
employees build the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead.

Best of the Web

The firm is determined to pull the best candidates from wherever it happens to find
them, however, and for that reason utilizes all the bells and whistles Web 2.0 has to
offer to get the job done. In its college recruitment, for example, the company utilizes
virtual information sessions and meetings, while more experienced candidates can
expect to find themselves interviewed remotely, utilizing Cisco’s own technology. The
firm reports that “since January 2008, about 40 candidates for executive positions
have participated in approximately 250 Cisco TelePresence interviews. Each
candidate took part in interviews with several Cisco executives remotely, simplifying

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and shortening the hiring process without requiring the participants to take significant
time off from work.”

In addition to all of that, Cisco also maintains a recruiting presence in Second Life, as
well as—of course—posting all vacancies and recruitment information in the careers
section of its website.

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6801 Rockledge Drive UPPERS
Bethesda, MD 20817
• “Flexible schedule and tuition
Phone: (301) 897-6000
reimbursement “
Fax: (301) 897-6704
• The Lockheed Martin name carries some

Bethesda, MD (Corporate HQ)
• “Excessive yearly ethics and compliance
Offices in 75 countries and territories
• Very bureaucratic
Electronics Systems
Integrated Systems & Global Solutions
Space Systems

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: LMT (NYSE)
President & CEO: Robert J. Stevens
2009 Employees: 146,000
2008 Employees: 140,000
2008 Revenue: $42.7 billion
2007 Revenue: $41.9 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Premier US defense contractor”

• “Shortsighted when it comes to their people”
• “Superb research and analysis”
• “Too big to manage or develop personally”

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The best defense

Lockheed Martin is a global security company focused on domestic and foreign
defense and civil markets, with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal
government agencies accounting for the majority of its business. Historically, more
than 80 percent of the firm’s annual revenue has come from the U.S. government,
with sales to international governments and a small amount of commercial activity
making up the remainder.

The firm designs and manufactures advanced technology systems and products, and
also offers management, engineering, technical, scientific, logistics and information
services. Its activities are organized around four principal areas: aeronautics,
electronic systems, information systems and global services (IS&GS), and space
systems. It maintains locations in 500 cities and 46 U.S. states, as well as in 75
foreign countries and territories.

Rocky roads
Lockheed Martin’s current incarnation is surprisingly young, having come into being
in 1995 when Martin Marietta merged with Lockheed Aircraft. Martin Marietta was a
manufacturer of building materials and chemicals, as well as electronics and
aerospace products. Founded in 1961, it built the first intercontinental ballistic
missiles. Following some difficult years of asset sell-offs and complicated takeover
attempts, the company combined with Lockheed Aircraft in 1995.

Lockheed Aircraft was founded in 1926 by early aviators Allan and Malcolm
Loughead (they switched to the phonetic spelling of Lockheed upon incorporation).
The brothers presided over the creation of a number of major American aircraft,
among them the P-38 Lightning fighter, the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71 Blackbird
spy plane. The company was implicated in a highly damaging bribery case over
contributions made to foreign government officials from the 1950s through the 1970s
to guarantee manufacturing contracts. The scandal nearly upended the company,
but it was eventually able to right itself through management changes and increased
discipline in its practices. Lockheed Aircraft would go on to produce the Hubble
Space Telescope and the F-117A stealth fighter before the merger with the also
weathered Martin Marietta.

Above and below

For so young a company, Lockheed Martin has an exceptionally high profile. Even
the layman is familiar with the name, and can probably identify it as a maker of fighter
jets and other military aircraft. These activities, carried out by the aeronautics

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practice, are not all the firm does, however, though they might be the most
glamorous. The electronic systems practice designs, researches, develops,
integrates and maintains high-performance systems for undersea, shipboard, land
and airborne applications. The space system practice designs and develops
satellites, long-range missiles and airborne defense systems, while the information
and global technology practice—through which the firm’s consulting is done—offers
business process management, e-government, enterprise architecture, homeland
security, information assurance, and systems development and integration.

Clients of Lockheed Martin’s IT consulting services include defense, intelligence and

other government agencies, among them the Departments of Agriculture, Health and
Human Services, Commerce Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and
Transportation, as well as NASA, the Social Security Administration and the U.S.
Postal Service. The practice has also worked with the governments of China and the
United Kingdom.

In the crosshairs
To bolster its IT and global services capabilities, Lockheed Martin frequently makes
acquisitions. In August 2008, the firm bought out its former joint venture partner
Tenix Group’s interest in RLM Holdings Pty Ltd. RLM is a radar, systems engineering
and integration, and logistics management business based in Australia. The
acquisition gives the firm undiluted control over the direction of the entity, which had
been formed with Tenix in 1997. Also in August 2008, the firm purchased the
government business unit of Nantero, Inc., a Massachusetts company that makes
carbon nanotubes for next-generation electronic devices. The government unit
focuses on nanotechnology for military and intelligence applications. Lockheed
Martin viewed the acquisition as an opportunity to strategically enhance its product
portfolio. A few months earlier, in May, the firm acquired Eagle Group International,
LLC, an Atlanta-based provider of logistics, information technology, training and
health care services to the U.S. Department of Defense. This transaction, too, served
to strengthen its existing capabilities.

Outgrowing its bowl

The firm doesn’t expand through acquisitions alone. In fact, in recent years it has
built a number of new facilities to house its growing business. In April 2008, it
opened the Wireless Cyber Security Center in Hanover, Md., which acts as a testing
lab for defense and intelligence agencies seeking to evaluate the uses and limits of
wireless systems like 802.11 Wi-Fi or broadband satellite links in a classified
environment. In September 2007, Lockheed Martin opened Stonegate II, a
supplemental office in Chantilly, Va., for use by the IS&GS group in providing
enterprise-level systems integration for government command, control,
communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
functions. A facility was also opened in Hampton, Va., in July 2007, to house

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activities related to the Air & Space Operations Center Weapon System Integrator
program, an initiative launched by the U.S. Air Force to standardize and modernize
its Air & Space Operations Centers around the world.

Armed with contracts

Due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lockheed Martin has benefited from
multiple projects for the U.S. armed forces, particularly the Navy. In September
2008, for example, it was granted an $8.9 million contract from the Navy to produce
and support low-cost conformal arrays (LCCAs) for use on submarines. That same
month, it scored an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity fixed-fee contract (with a
potential value of $189 million) to provide systems life cycle support services for the
Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego. The firm’s
responsibilities will include logistics planning, configuration management, system
integration, system installations, technical documentation, training development,
training, 24/7 customer support center and technical field support.

The Army and Marines have come a-calling, as well. In August 2008, the U.S. Army
contracted the firm to design and build simulators and trainers that will mimic close
combat and tactical vehicle use. Renewable options on the contract could ultimately
bring its value to $147 million. One month prior, Marine Corps Systems Command
brought the firm on to provide program office support services, such as analytical,
acquisition, administrative and logistics support, for the its optics and nonlethal
systems operation—work valued at approximately $30 million. Additionally, in
October 2007, the firm agreed to a $52.5 million job with the U.S. Marine Corps to
develop combat convoy simulators.

Plainclothes work
The various branches of the armed forces, though their contracts are lucrative and
plentiful, are not Lockheed Martin’s only clients. It also frequently works for
organizations in the civil sector. In September 2008, the Securities and Exchange
Commission tapped it for a $122 million project (if all options are exercised) providing
service desk operations, data center support and operations management,
technology deployment and support, and technology lab support. In March 2009,
meanwhile, the firm was awarded a $39 million contract to enhance the IRS’ taxpayer
self-service systems. That deal comes after previous contracts for the IRS—including
a $33 million deal announced in January 2008, under which it will operate, maintain
and enhance e-Services, a suite of web-based products that give tax professionals
and payers electronic access to the agency. This contract, in turn, followed up on two
signed in October 2007 for which Lockheed Martin agreed to help modernize the IRS’
technology—first by automating the processes behind taxpayer service and then by
updated the publishing system for tax forms and other printed material.

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Authenticity guaranteed
In an enormous February 2008 contract with the FBI—amounting to $1 billion over
10 years—Lockheed Martin will develop and maintain the bureau’s next-generation
ID system, doubling the capacity of its fingerprint database and adding palm print,
iris and facial recognition technologies. After having automated the FBI’s fingerprint
ID system in the 1990s, then creating similar systems for the U.S. Department of
Defense and the government of Pakistan, the firm is now celebrated for its expertise
in biometrics, that is, the measurement and analysis of biological data for
authentication purposes.

To further its research and capabilities in the field, in May 2007 the firm unveiled the
Biometric Experimentation and Advanced Concepts (BEACON) center in White Hall,
W.V. The facility is being used by the firm, its customers, academic institutions and
other industry partners to develop integrated biometrics solutions.

The firm’s expertise in the area was rewarded in March 2009, when market research
and analysis firm Frost & Sullivan selected it as company of the year for its leadership
in technology and innovation in the biometrics field. The award is further proof that
Lockheed Martin is becoming ever more capable in the burgeoning field.
Additionally, since January 2007, the firm has been the prime contractor for the
Transportation Security Administration’s Transportation Worker Identification
Credential program—a program to provide biometric credentials for allowing
unescorted access to secure areas of ports and ships for select (read: heavily vetted)
maritime workers.

Energy experts
Hands up if you know which organization uses more energy than any other in the U.S.
The gold star goes to those who guessed the federal government—but it’s hoping to
change that, and Lockheed Martin is hoping to play a part in it. Accordingly, in
December 2008, the firm announced that it had been selected by the U.S.
Department of Energy as one of 16 firms permitted to compete for future contracts
under the DOE’s energy savings performance contracts (ESPC).

Many contracts, including the fabulously lucrative-sounding multiple-award

indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders will be available for bidding under
the ESPC, all of which are aimed at helping the government reduce its energy costs
and environmental impact. Under such task orders, Lockheed Martin (if it is
selected) would be responsible for conducting an energy audit to identify energy-
saving improvements at a government facility. That audit would be followed by the
design and construction of a project that meets the needs and budget of the agency.
And the contracts aren’t merely an example of the government throwing money away
to chase a politically worthy cause—far from it; any project under the program is
required to generate enough savings to not only cover the cost of the project, but to

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provide cash flow to the government, as well. How’s that for cutting down on

Excellent trajectory
BusinessWeek picked Lockheed Martin, for the third consecutive year, for its 2008
Best Places to Launch a Career ranking. Cited for its flexible hours and extensive
perks, the firm ranked No. 8, one better than 2007’s ninth-place finish. And it’s not
only periodicals that are impressed by Lockheed Martin; according to Universum, an
employer branding and research organization, the firm came in as the No. 2 choice
among engineering and science undergraduate students for ideal employers in 2007.

Locked in on charity
The firm and its employees frequently get involved in community efforts or wider
support of charities. Programs centered around education are popular choices for
support; in recent years, more than half of Lockheed Martin’s contributions have been
to math, science and engineering education programs, sometimes in the form of
college and university grants. For instance, in summer 2008, as part of the Bay area-
based Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education, Lockheed Martin invited
20 elementary school, middle school, high school and community college teachers to
participate in eight-week research labs. Also in 2008, employee volunteers helped
the United Way in renovating and beautifying the Central Florida Primrose Center, a
nonprofit organization that assists developmentally disabled adults with both
educational services and therapeutic activities.


Choose your assignment

Lockheed Martin maintains a careers page on its website with full details of the hiring
process for everyone from college students to experienced professionals, as well as
those seeking to transition into the firm from the military. For those interested in
meeting with representatives of the firm before applying, there is a full list of
upcoming recruiting events provided, with details on appearances at military bases,
colleges and career fairs around the country. For those who already know that
Lockheed Martin is their employer of choice (or are curious as to the jobs on offer),
there is a job search portal, with an option to apply online or simply submit a resume.

Insiders report that the career fairs are a good way to establish a personal relationship
with recruitment staff that might otherwise be difficult to achieve. And it seems to pay
off, with one source reporting being “invited to interviews after a career fair.” Beyond
that, the recruitment process seems fairly intensive. There’s an “initial interview” that

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is primarily behavioral in focus, after which, “if rated high, you will be called to a
regional recruiting center in an area where there are openings.” There, candidates
can expect to “interview with three to four managers.”


Serious work, casual culture

Despite the serious nature of the business it’s involved in, Lockheed Martin staffers
report a culture that ranges all the way from “semi-casual to casual.” Others cite a
“joking, fun atmosphere, even though we’re dealing with mission-critical projects.”
Further evidence of the firm’s relaxed approach can be found in its dress code,
summarized by one insider as follows: “There is no dress code.” Not so in all
locations, however, as a consultant in another office points out that “the dress is still
pretty casual, although jeans are no longer allowed.” And regardless of where you
are, “when meeting with clients you would need to dress up.”

The company’s laid-back atmosphere seems to extend to its approach to working

hours as well, with very few insiders reporting feeling overworked. The company
apparently operates on a “flexible, 40-hour schedule,” meaning that employees can
“adjust time to your personal schedule/habits.” So how good is it? Well, one insider
notes that “perhaps one week per month I may work 45 to 50 hours. Once or twice
I may go up to 60 in a week.” Others report similarly reasonable demands on their
time, and point out that they can also “get extra hours or make up hours at leisure.”
Still sound like a bit much? Sources say the ability to “work from home when
necessary” helps smooth out the rough spots.

Get ready to plan your next vacation

Lockheed Martin boasts an impressive array of benefits for its staff, including “good
health and dental plans,” “tuition reimbursement” and parental leave. Additionally,
a three-year firm veteran explains that “vacation accumulates fast,” and adds that
he’s already entitled to “three weeks plus one week of floating holidays.” Just in case
you can’t use all that at once, meanwhile, “vacation can be carried over to next year.”

What to expect when you’re expecting

The path up the corporate ladder seems to be another pretty well-defined plus that
staffers enjoy. “Entry level will get promoted within two years,” says one source, while
further education can speed the process along even further. Consultants “can move
up to level three relatively quickly with a master’s degree,” with some positing that the
level can be attained in just three years, provided the consultant also holds an MS.
Those seeking to get higher than that, however, should be prepared for a wait—and

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some solid competition: “Level four and above will take longer and must be applied
for,” says one source.

Still, there are ways to continue to keep ahead of the pack at the firm—including a
leadership development program that can help fast track talented and ambitious
consultants. “If you are in the leadership development program,” says one
respondent, “you have more opportunities than the average employee.”

For those worried about the current state of the economy, meanwhile, perhaps the
major benefit of working at Lockheed Martin is its stability. One staffer points out that
a big plus of his job is that Lockheed Martin’s “products and services are utilized in
a variety of industries.” What that translates to, in other words, is a firm that is “very
diversified—a downturn in one industry will not hurt the corporation.”

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500 Oracle Parkway UPPERS

Redwood City, CA 94065
• “A great company to include on any
Phone: (650) 506-7000
• Not strictly up-or-out

Redwood City, CA (HQ)
• “Career development and management
More than 145 offices worldwide
guidance are significantly undervalued”
• Large and impersonal
Oracle Technology Consulting Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Business Intelligence
Content Management
Oracle Fusion Middleware
System Performance & Architecture

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: ORCL (Nasdaq)
CEO: Lawrence J. Ellison
Executive VP, North American Sales &
Consulting: Keith G. Block
2008 Employees: 84,233
2007 Employees: 74,000+
2008 Revenue: $3.48 billion (consulting
2007 Revenue: $2.87 billion (consulting

what other consultants are saying

• “Progressive, technology-savvy”
• “Cutthroat, unfriendly environment”
• “Diverse”
• “Difficult to work with”

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Oracle Consulting


One of the giants

Along with Microsoft and IBM, Oracle is one of the three largest software companies
in the world. It specializes in database and middleware software, as well as
applications, but also has a large consulting business through which it offers strategy
and analysis, business process optimization, product implementation, enhancements
and upgrades, and ongoing managed services. Although the consulting division only
accounted for 15 percent of revenue in fiscal 2008, it was still a billion-dollar
enterprise, bringing in almost $3.5 billion. Just over half (51 percent) of 2008
revenue was generated in the Americas, with Europe, the Middle East and Africa
(EMEA) accounting for 35 percent, and the remainder (14 percent) coming from Asia

The firm was founded by Larry Ellison in 1977 as Software Development Laboratories.
The name, of course, didn’t stick. After a brief run from 1979 to 1982 as Relational
Software, it became Oracle Systems, reflecting the success of its flagship product, the
Oracle Database. The firm’s history in the consulting biz doesn’t go back quite as far,
however, having developed out of a sales force split in 1992 that divided sales
personnel into those selling database software and those selling applications. During
the tech boom of the late 1990s, applications and consulting services were in such
high demand that the firm’s services division tripled its revenue and became a major
practice area.

Seeking the Oracle

The firm is active in an enormous range of industries, including aerospace and
defense, automotive, chemicals, communications, consumer products, education
and research, energy, engineering and construction, financial services, health care,
high tech, homeland security, industrial manufacturing, life sciences, professional
services, public sector, retail, travel and transportation, and utilities. Its client list
features corporations starting with every letter of the alphabet, with AstraZeneca, BP
and Coca-Cola at the start, to Xerox, the YMCA and Zebra Technologies bringing up
the rear. Oracle claims that its technology is a component of the databases of 99 of
the Fortune 100.

Because the firm is a major software vendor, it is frequently in a position to offer

consulting services to clients who have purchased licenses or application packages.
It’s common in the industry for IT companies to separate their services and software
lines, but Oracle is up front about tying the two together. The firm often strikes deals
to implement and maintain the software it has just sold. This creates a dual
relationship not only with its clients, but also with its rivals. Oracle holds alliances with
a number of other vendors, such as Accenture, HP and IBM, with whom it also

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Get and spend

Oracle takes an aggressive stance on growth through acquisition. In fiscal 2008
alone, it spent $9.4 billion snatching up other companies. By far the largest deal that
year was the $8.6 billion purchase of BEA Systems, a provider of enterprise
application infrastructure solutions. The acquisition enhanced the firm’s middleware
portfolio, especially with regard to service-oriented architecture infrastructure.
Following the fiscal year’s end in May, the firm went on to make several more
acquisitions, including the October 2008 pickup of Primavera Software, Inc., a
provider of project portfolio management solutions. The purchase will enhance
Oracle’s service offerings for project-intensive industries, such as engineering and
construction, the public sector, aerospace and defense, utilities, oil and gas,
manufacturing and high tech, and IT and services.

A couple of significant (and pricey) acquisitions were also made in 2007. In April that
year, the firm completed a $3.3 billion transaction for Hyperion, a maker of
performance analysis and tracking software that counts 91 of the Fortune 100 among
its clients. The deal greatly increased the firm’s presence in the enterprise
performance management market. One month later, Oracle came away with Agile
Software Corporation, a provider of product lifecycle management solutions, for $495
million, giving a substantial boost to its existing product lifecycle assets.

Facing East
Beginning in mid-2007, Oracle began a series of initiatives aimed at spurring growth
in Asia Pacific. It has an established customer base in the region, consisting of both
large corporations and small and medium businesses, and revenue generated there
increased 26 percent from 2007 to 2008. The firm intends to build its presence by
opening new offices, building research and development and technical support
facilities, brokering partnerships with governments, and cultivating a skilled local
workforce. China is considered a major target, and the firm has already opened a
second Oracle Partner Solution Center in Beijing, supplementing an established
facility in Shenzhen, and has built a new research and development center in
Shanghai. Additional support in the region comes from the firm’s existing R&D
centers in Gurgaon, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

But not neglecting EMEA

Growth remains a priority in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well. The
geographic region showed a 32 percent jump in revenue from 2007 to 2008. Some
of this increase was driven by heightened demand from the financial services, public
services, communications and retail markets, but Oracle also had a greater capacity
to serve the region, having added nine offices in 2007 in Bucharest, De Meern,
Dubai, Istanbul, Lagos, Limonest, Moscow, Nairobi and Tirana.

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Oracle Consulting

Showing an environmental bent, the firm has also qualified for ISO 14001
environmental certification in 14 countries in Europe and Africa. The achievement is
based on adherence to a model of business practices, set and audited by the
International Organization for Standardization, which minimize the negative impact on
the environment. Oracle has expressed its desire to pursue the certification in more
countries in the EMEA region.

For the common good

The firm is involved in a number of social and philanthropic causes, both through
corporate giving and volunteerism. Each year, it sponsors Oracle Global Volunteer
Days, a two-week period in which employees are encouraged to donate their time and
effort to select charities. The firm’s focus is on the advancement of education,
protection of the environment, promotion of diversity and overall social investment. It
participates in initiatives aimed at the advancement of women and minorities in
business, and has launched a job and training program for injured veterans, which
helps soldiers hurt in the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars transition to civilian
employment. Additionally, through its nonprofit organization, the Oracle Education
Foundation, Oracle provides disadvantaged students with technology and skill
training to prepare them for 21st-century careers.


Consult the Oracle

The careers portion of Oracle’s website is a good place to start for anyone interested
in securing a position with the firm. In addition to a searchable database of open
positions, it also maintains a separate portal dedicated to college recruiting that
contains everything a college job seeker could hope to learn about the firm before
applying—from its recruiting brochure to information on the firm’s sponsorship of
further education for its employees.

Insiders report an interview process that is intensive but well managed, with
consultants in both Europe and the U.S. noting that four interviews is standard
procedure. That doesn’t mean prospective hires will be spending all their time
running to and from Oracle campuses, however. As one consultant in Chicago puts
it, the “first three of the four rounds of interviews were on the phone with different
managers,” while the “last one was in person at the Chicago main office with a senior
director.” As for what to expect, an insider reports that “the interviews were strictly
technical, except the last, which had a sprinkle of behavioral questions.” Meanwhile,
many applicants will be relieved to hear that there is “no case interview.”

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Star performers take the cake

Insiders rate Oracle as a place that is both “innovative” and “open,” and they praise
the fact that it is a “thoroughly diverse company—particularly the consulting division.”
Consultants also report that, in their division “everyone telecommutes … except a
handful of mission-critical managers at and above the vice president level.” That
atmosphere leads to a “casual dress code,” except for “the first day at a client site.”

Another positive, according to a recent hire, is that “opportunity for advancement is

huge, particularly if you register a minimum of 75 percent utilization every year and
excel at client sites.” Career progression can’t be billed as standard, however; while
the firm doesn’t follow a strictly up-or-out promotion policy, “you have to be a star
performer to have any headway in Oracle.” Not only that, but a source reports that
competition intense: “The greatest problem is how you get selected for projects with
a throng of equally competent and driven colleagues, especially as a new consultant.”
Why is that such a problem? Utilization rates—that magic figure of 75 percent—must
be maintained, since “failure to do so you will lose your job in an instant!”

124 © 2009, Inc.



Place de l’Étoile PRACTICE AREAS

11 rue de Tilsitt
Consulting Services
75017 Paris
Local Professional Services
Outsourcing Services
Phone: +33 (0)1 47 54 50 00
Technology Services
Fax: +33 (0)1 47 54 50 25
Agent Technology • Application
623 Fifth Avenue, 33rd Floor Development & Integration • Business
New York, NY 10022 Intelligence • Infrastructure & Security • IT
Phone: (212) 314-8000 Transformation: Strategy & Architecture •
Fax: (212) 314-8001 Mobility Transformation • Open Source • Oracle • Portals • Radio Frequency
Identification • SAP • Siebel • Software
Quality Management & Testing
Paris (HQ)
New York, NY (US HQ)
Offices in 33 countries • “It’s well organized”
• Good annual bonuses
• “Smart people who are motivated and
THE STATS take pride in their work”
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CAP.PA (Paris Bourse)
CEO: Paul Hermelin
Chairman: Serge Kampf • Firm’s culture is in flux
2009 Employees: 92,000+ • Salary packages “not as attractive as
2008 Employees: 86,000 other consulting firms”
2008 Revenue: €8.71 billion • Not much training offered
2007 Revenue: €8.7 billion


what other consultants are saying

• “Has a good foothold in Europe”

• “Vanilla “
• “Blends technology and strategy”
• “Behind the curve”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


A winning combination
Capgemini is a global consultancy engaged in information technology, management
consulting, outsourcing and professional services. Headquartered in Paris, it
employs over 92,000 people through offices in 33 countries. The firm’s clients are
active in the automotive, consumer products, distribution, energy, chemicals,
financial services, health care, life sciences, manufacturing, retail, media and
telecom industries, as well as the public sector.

Capgemini was founded by Serge Kampf in 1967 as Sogeti, a boutique provider of IT

services targeting only local French markets. It was too successful to maintain a low
profile for long, however, and by 1975, with the acquisitions of the larger companies
CAP and Gemini Computer Systems, the firm had a presence in 21 countries. Kampf
toyed a bit with the corporate name, working for a while as Cap Gemini Sogeti, then
opting for Cap Gemini. In 2000, the firm merged with the consulting unit of Ernst &
Young and, apparently abandoning the earlier lessons of superfluous nomenclature,
became Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. This was shortlived, though, as a 2004
rebranding not only shortened, but compressed the name to Capgemini.

The firm underwent a further shift in its identity in April 2009, creating a new strategic
business unit known as Capgemini Consulting—a move that brought all of its
worldwide consulting operations under one banner, and installed the firm as the
largest European consulting outfit at a stroke. Under the new banner, it seems to be
business as usual, although the firm’s existing operations are now grouped under
three separate global practice networks: strategy and transformation, operations
transformation and technology transformation. According to the firm, the new
structure allows it to better utilize its global standing to benefit clients through sharing
of best practices and experience across the firm.

Better late than never

Though it was a bit slower than most in the industry to make the trip, Capgemini
opened up shop in India for the first time in October 2004 with a Bangalore IT center.
Additional facilities were subsequently added in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata
and, most recently, Chennai. The firm showed even further commitment to
accelerating its offshore efforts, with the announcement in November 2007 that it
would double its headcount in the country to over 40,000 staff (up from the current
number of 17,500) by the end of 2010.

Capgemini has also sought growth in India through acquisitions—in February 2007,
it picked up Kanbay International for $1.25 billion. Though based in Chicago, Kanbay
enjoyed a significant presence in India, providing IT and consulting to the financial
services, consumer, health care and media industries. Capgemini additionally bought

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a 51 percent stake in Unilever India Shared Services, a unit of the Unilever Group
engaged in finance and accounting BPO in India.

Since those deals, there have been some signs that the firm is beginning to feel the
effects of the downturn. In January 2009, contractors on the company’s landmark
Aspire project in the U.K. were told to accept a pay cut of 15 percent or leave. The
company’s thinking, according to U.K. IT publication The Register, was that market
rates had dropped due to the recession, and the company would have been remiss
not to take advantage of that. No doubt the firm’s client—the U.K. government—
would have agreed with that approach as well.

If it works in India, it works in Holland

Capgemini takes a similar approach to strategic acquisition outside of the
subcontinent. In July 2008, it announced a deal to purchase Getronics PinkRoccade
Business Application Services BV, a division of Getronics PinkRoccade, for 255
million. The company is one of the top IT services providers in the Dutch public
sector, offering solutions that address the entire applications lifecycle, from
applications management consulting to project development, integration and
implementation. Its clients include planning agencies, state administrations and
social security bodies, plus insurance and banking corporations outside of the public

Capgemini also makes asset purchases on a smaller scale, where appropriate. In

May 2008, it bought, as intellectual property, the software assets of Advantage
Consulting Group, a provider of data conversion services to the insurance industry.
The software suite offers a toolset designed for consolidating and migrating insurance
policy data—which Capgemini intends to use as a profitable niche service.

Engagements all around

Capgemini has picked up plenty of new contracts recently. In November 2008, for
example, it was tapped by Finnish forestry company Stora Enso for a multiyear project
to provide transaction processing services. The firm will perform financial and
accounting services, such as vendor invoice handling, from delivery centers in India,
Poland and Brazil. It will also help Stora Enso open a centralized shared service
center in Kotka, Finland, through which any remaining finance functions can be
carried out. In a joint project, in October 2008, Capgemini and PCO Innovation were
hired by French engine manufacturer Snecma to build a new IT system based around
product lifecycle management strategies. The three-year project will be led by
Capgemini, with PCO supplying team support. And in June 2008, banking giant
HSBC renewed its contract with the firm for IT and technical support, including
services for legacy systems, compliance, product launches and other initiatives.
Because of the renewal, the bank, which has 10,000 locations worldwide, will have

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access to 4,500 man years (a man year amounts to 2,000 hours) of Capgemini
resources by the end of 2010.

Carbon checker
Statistically, the global carbon output of the IT industry is equivalent to that of the
aviation industry; but unlike the aviation industry, there is no officially recognized
standard of sustainability or green policies for IT companies. In response to this, in
October 2008, Capgemini released “The Green IT Report 2008—The Computer
Equipment Lifecycle Survey,” a breakdown of the environmental policies of major
hardware manufacturers. EMC, HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems were reviewed
based on their commitment to conducting business in a fair and reasonable manner,
while still taking the planet, natural resources and human welfare into consideration.
The report showed that those businesses and others are making efforts to reuse and
recycle, reduce energy waste and remain aware of the environmental impact of a
product throughout its lifecycle.

Hats off to Capgemini

Capgemini has consistently been recognized by clients and vendors as a top provider
in the tech industry. In May 2008, it was given a Pinnacle Award from SAP in the
category of “showcases leadership for service partners.” The firm was chosen for its
strong record of collaboration with SAP and SAP’s clients. It was additionally
shortlisted for awards in the “thought leadership for service partners,” “collaborative
revenue contribution” and “customer satisfaction” categories. That same month,
Vodafone singled out Capgemini as the recipient of its corporate responsibility
engagement award, an honor given for showing ethical standards in doing business.
And in June 2008, analyst firm Gartner, Inc., identified Capgemini as a customer
relationship management leader in its “Magic Quadrant for CRM Service Providers,
North America, 2008” report. As Gartner put it, “Leaders are performing well today,
gaining traction and ‘mind share’ in the market, have a clear vision of market direction
and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the

The firm’s awards aren’t based on singular achievements, either: December 2008
saw the firm named a top-25 technology provider on the FinTech 25 for the fourth
straight year. The list, ranked by American Banker and Financial Insights, recognizes
the largest global enterprise technology firms.

Continental shift
Capgemini has done some recent rearranging in its management ranks. In May
2008, Olivier Picard joined up as development director, a position comparable to chief
financial officer. Picard had formerly led the Europe and South regions for Alcatel
Lucent. The year prior, in February 2007, Capgemini named Lanny Cohen, at the

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time the head of the Eastern region, as the CEO of the North American project and
consulting operations. Cohen’s predecessor, Salil Parekh, became executive
chairman of Capgemini India, taking on responsibility both for overseeing growth in
the region and for smoothing the way for Kanbay International, post-acquisition.
Then, in October 2007, Vincent Shepherd rose to chief people officer for two North
American divisions—project and consulting and business process outsourcing.
Another change in 2007 was the appointment of Henk Broeders as head of Asia
Pacific and Continental Europe, which covers Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Italy
and Eastern Europe.

Heading for the clouds

Recognizing a trend that seems likely to become a standard of business life in future
years, Capgemini added a new option to its suite of IT consultancy options in
November 2008: cloud computing. Not that it’s going to be doing anything like
hosting software, running data processing or storing clients’ data itself—the firm’s
U.K. wing signed an outsourcing deal for all of that with Amazon Web Services, a
subsidiary of retailer

Capgemini’s role in the cloud sphere will be limited initially to a new Cloud Computing
Center of Excellence, which will be staffed with a team of Amazon Web Services-
trained professionals. Located in North America, Europe and India, they will help
Capgemini’s clients evaluate and implement the appropriate web services offerings.
Those, meanwhile, will initially come in three major areas of technology: Microsoft
Sharepoint in the cloud, Oracle ERP in the cloud, and cloud-based development and
testing of applications.


Anything goes
Capgemini’s hiring process seems to vary depending on location, as do opinions of it.
A consultant in New York, for example, thinks “the interview process was pretty
fair”—even after having gone through a technical interview that was “really intense,”
as “the person who interviewed me … basically just refuted everything I said.” How
to deal with that, should it occur? “Just don’t back down from your original answer
and you’ll be OK.”

In Dallas, however, a contact found that the whole recruiting process was “very
disconnected,” as there was “no reliable go-to person” dealing with recruitment.
That same contact, who was recruited straight from undergrad, reported undergoing
“two rounds of interviews—one on campus, one in the office.” He notes, however,
that there were “no cases,” and that the interviews were “purely behavioral.”

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Staffers in other parts of the country—and the world, for that matter—report different
experiences. An Australian consultant, for example, recalls “one round of interviews
that was a day long,” which included activities such as “working in teams to display
the leaders, the creative thinkers and the followers,” a “one-on-one presentation
based on a scenario” and a one-on-one interview.” In Canada, meanwhile, an insider
reports “two rounds of interviews—a case interview in the first round and a case
presentation in the second.” The bottom line is, be prepared for anything.

For campus recruits, the firm claims its activities are “organized and executed
nationally” across the U.S., and advises interested candidates to contact their college
career centers for more information. Applying online, of course, is another option.


Culture shift
Though we received feedback from only a fraction of the firm’s immense consulting
population, some strong opinions do emerge, both positive and negative. Capgemini
staffers are a pretty diverse bunch in terms of the skills they bring to the table, which
suggests the firm places an emphasis on team-building. “We have people from a
range of backgrounds, in terms of skill sets and experience—some with great in-
depth technical knowledge and others with fantastic project management skills,” says
one staffer. Insiders also report a “down-to-earth” culture at Capgemini, where
people are “open and honest.”

Well, some sources say that, anyway. Others feel let down by the version of the
company that was sold to them in the recruitment process. “In general,” says one
recent hire, “efforts presented during campus recruiting are quite different from
reality. The original view of a short-term engagement for strategy work turns out to be
long-term implementation work.”

Part of that may be due to the fact that “the culture has gone through a shift since
the acquisition of Kanbay,” according to one source. How bad can it be? Well,
“Kanbay culture means relocating for projects, a stricter expense policy and what
feels like a lack of trust in the employee. While things have progressed, we still don’t
have the great culture that Capgemini sans Kanbay had.”

Morale waxes and wanes

Insiders feel quite positive about the firm’s direction, on the whole. “I think Capgemini
is growing and gaining control over certain markets,” says one source. The Kanbay
acquisition still looms large in the thoughts of many, however, providing proof for
some that the firm is going places, while others view the period of integration since
the acquisition as a trial period. One staffer sums it up as follows: “I think the

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integration with Kanbay has been a good and bad thing. Good for Capgemini, bad
for the employees—it’s been a rough ride integrating, and it seems more like Kanbay
acquired us. I’m riding the wave out, though, because I like Capgemini’s odds.” And
while some comment on the firm’s ups and downs in terms of winning projects, a
consultant states, “I think it is a great time to work for Capgemini now due to its aim
to grow in terms of size. And there are lots of great opportunities for growth as a
consultant and a manager.”

As far as working hours go, that “varies depending on projects—just like most
consulting firms.” A source in Europe agrees, chipping in with the news that “I am
free to decide when to work. My office is open from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. I can
also work at home if I want.” That said, insiders tell a different story when they’re
working on site. According to one respondent, “If I am based at a client’s site, it’s up
to the client to determine whether I can decide my own working hours and whether I
can perform my work at home.”

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1840 Century Park East UPPER
Los Angeles, CA 90067
• “Cutting-edge technology”
Phone: (310) 553-6262
LOCATIONS • “Lack of communicated strategy and how
it is rolled out”
Los Angeles, CA (HQ)
Operations in all 50 states and in more
than 25 countries EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Information & Services

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: NOC (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: Ronald D. Sugar
2008 Employees: 123,600
2007 Employees: 122,600
2008 Revenue: $33.8 billion
2007 Revenue: $31.8 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Dominates the defense industry”

• “Too focused on system infrastructure”
• “Reputable company”
• “Blurs the line between consultant,
integrator and service provider”

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Northrop Grumman Corporation


Up high and down low

Northrop Grumman is an aerospace and defense technology company, and also the
world’s largest shipbuilder. It is involved in the design, manufacture and
maintenance of defense systems across all environments, including underwater, on
the ground, in the air, in outer space and online. Most of the firm’s business is with
the U.S. federal government, especially the Department of Defense, but it also
contracts with state and local governments, foreign governments, and domestic and
international commercial clients. Northrop Grumman had over 123,000 employees
and almost $34 billion in revenue at the close of 2008, with a record total backlog of
$78 billion.

Get together and see

The firm is the end result (or perhaps the still-in-progress result) of a number of
corporate combinations. The present incarnation was created by the 1994 merger of
Northrop Corp. and Grumman Aerospace—both airplane manufacturers founded in
the first half of the 20th century. New tiles were added to the mosaic through both
the 1990s and the 2000s, which saw the acquisitions of defense electronics maker
Westinghouse Electronic Systems; defense IT contractor Logicon; unmanned systems
builder Teledyne Ryan; IT, electronics and shipbuilder Litton Industries; shipbuilder
Newport News Shipbuilding; and many other providers of defense and technology
services. An attempted multibillion-dollar merger in 1998 with Lockheed Martin,
fellow aerospace and defense behemoth, was nixed by federal regulators over
antitrust concerns.

Make the most of the mission

Northrop Grumman’s IT consulting activities are carried out primarily through its
information and services practice, which is divided into three segments: mission
systems, information technology and technical services. The mission systems
segment focuses on complex systems integration for military command situations,
intercontinental ballistic missile modernization, air defense, airborne reconnaissance,
intelligence management and processing, and decision support systems. The
information technology arm, meanwhile, provides more general systems engineering
and integration across a full lifecycle, as well as enterprise solutions and
cybersecurity. And through its technical services segment, the firm provides a range
of support-based services, such as logistics, sustainment, and training and

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Northrop Grumman Corporation

Support the troops

Revenue from the U.S. government typically accounts for 90 percent or more of the
firm’s annual intake. As a defense specialist, Northrop Grumman frequently receives
large, lucrative contracts from branches of the military, not only for its aerospace and
shipbuilding capabilities, but also its IT services. In October 2008, the firm entered
into a $206 million deal with the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in
Redondo Beach, Calif., to provide technical support for its DSP spacecraft—orbiting
satellites engaged in missile and other launch detection. Northrop Grumman will
perform mission analysis on the infrared sensor data being transmitted from the
spacecraft. And in June 2008, the firm was engaged by the Army to provide training
and instruction on battle command systems at the Army Command General Staff
College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Over the course of the five-year contract, Northrop
Grumman will design and implement simulation-based exercises for students at the
school’s main campus and auxiliary campuses in Virginia and Georgia.

It’s not only combat units that the firm contracts for, however: Since 1997, Northrop
has been providing business process management and IT services for the FAA, and
signed a contract in January 2009 to further the relationship between the two
organizations for another year. While the contract is worth the comparatively small
sum of $9.4 million over a single year, it also comes with the option of three one-year
extensions and provides an interesting insight into some of the smaller deals that
keep the firm’s finances ticking over from year to year.

And service the states

Perhaps taking a cue from Uncle Sam, state governments are also frequent Northrop
Grumman clients. In October 2008, the firm scored a contract with the Arkansas
Department of Human Services to provide IT systems support for the agency’s
children’s reporting and information system, the state network for welfare, eligibility
and reporting, and the developmental disabilities services system, plus others. The
project, which includes modernization and enhancements, data warehousing and
overall maintenance, will cover 15 offices. The contract is good for $13 million over
a period of one year, with the possibility of six renewals, each worth an additional $13

Also in October 2008, the Ascension Parish School Board in Louisiana hired Northrop
Grumman for four-year implementation and support for the firm’s ASPIRE system, a
learning and assessment solution meant to refine the teaching and learning process
by identifying gaps in progress and targeting students for special intervention. One
month earlier, the child support enforcement division of the Oklahoma Department of
Human Services tapped the firm to provide IT maintenance and support for its child
support system, including project management, quality control and planning.

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Northrop Grumman Corporation

Homecoming drama
Defense and surveillance work is not without its dangers and intrigues. In February
2003, three Northrop Grumman employees conducting airborne drug surveillance
over Colombia crashlanded in territory controlled by FARC, a group of guerrilla
insurgents. The men—Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell—were
captured and taken into the jungle to be held as bargaining chips for the release of
imprisoned FARC members. The pilot and a Colombian military officer who was also
on the plane were immediately shot. After more than five years in captivity,
Gonsalves, Howes and Stansell, along with 12 other hostages, were liberated by the
Colombian military in a rescue mission known as Operation Jaque (Spanish for the
chess term “check”). Northrop Grumman arranged for the reunion of the three
employees with their families, upon their return to the U.S. in July 2008. The firm
had provided assistance to the families throughout the ordeal.

Learning to float
In 2006, Northrop Grumman launched the Weightless Flights of Discovery program,
a charitable initiative to promote science, math and engineering among elementary,
middle school and high school students. In a city-by-city tour, the program picks
local teachers to attend workshops and experiments, which culminate in a simulated
zero-gravity flight. The teachers are then encouraged to return to the classroom with
video recordings of the experience that can be utilized in their teaching. Since its
inception, the program has rendered 240 teachers weightless. The 2008 tour of four
cities ended in October, with 55 Chicago teachers taking a flight over Wisconsin and
Lake Superior. The firm has indicated that teachers are chosen, rather than students,
because it increases the reach of the experience, which can be passed on in an
inspiring lesson to an entire class. It estimates that 25,000 students have now been
given special insight into the possibilities of weightlessness (and it’s not a bad bit of
PR for the firm, either).


Northrop on the net

Northrop Grumman’s careers site has information on hiring for everyone from current
college students to experienced hires and those seeking to transition from a career in
the military. In addition to hosting a job search function for all those different groups,
the site also has an “events” section that contains details of every upcoming
opportunity for prospective candidates to meet with representatives of the firm face to
face. While that list obviously includes campus visits, it also covers forthcoming job
fairs aimed specifically at experienced hires.

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Should you happen to find a suitable job opening on the site, choosing to “apply now”
will prompt the first-time applicant to create a profile that can be saved and utilized
in the future. For those who make it to the next stage, insiders tell us the interview
process involves a minimum of three interviews, and that each is likely to have at least
two or three interviewers present.

136 © 2009, Inc.



3000 Hanover Street UPPERS

Palo Alto, CA 94304
• “The opportunity to work internationally for
Phone: (650) 857-1501
short periods of time”
Fax: (650) 857-5518
• Many company-funded training
• “There is some choice in projects; if you’re
LOCATIONS really unhappy in something, you can
move to something else”
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
Operations in more than 170 countries
PRACTICE AREAS • Internal competition with EDS consultants
in some areas
Technology Solutions Group
• “Some managers that think you’re
Business Applications • Continuity &
available 24/7”
Availability • Education & Training •
• Too much focus on quarterly numbers
Infrastructure Services • Leasing &
Financing • Outsourcing Services •
Packaged Services • Support Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: HPQ (NYSE)
President & CEO: Mark V. Hurd
2009 Employees: 321,000
2008 Employees: 172,000
2008 Revenue: $20,977 million (HP
Services revenue plus EDS Q4 revenue)
2007 Revenue: $15,329 million (HP
Services revenue only)

what other consultants are saying

• “HP + EDS is right up there”

• “System integrator approach”
• “Growing, diverse”
• “Bureaucratic”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
HP Services


A two-headed tech monster

In the grand scheme of all things Hewlett-Packard, the firm’s own information
technology consulting unit, HP Services, is one small cog in an increasingly large
machine. In the world of tech consulting, however, it’s a very big deal indeed. The
reason for that split perception is entirely a question of perspective: $20,977 million
is a big number for a consulting firm, but only around 19 percent of HP’s overall
revenue take of $118.4 billion for 2008. Add to that the fact that the company
acquired tech giant EDS for $13.9 billion in August 2008, and the folks over at HP
Services could be forgiven for thinking that they’re not much valued at their parent
company. Little, however, could be further from the truth.

The major indication of that is that both EDS and HP Services have retained their
separate brand identities since the acquisition went through, despite several
crossover areas of service (application services, infrastructure and outsourcing). As
of January 2009, EDS had become a business unit within HP’s technology solutions
group. The business unit is led by Joe Eazor, senior vice president of EDS, who
reports directly to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP’s technology
solutions group.

Growth of a giant
While the EDS acquisition was undoubtedly one of the major talking points in the tech
business in 2008, it isn’t the biggest deal in HP’s storied history. That particular
accolade belongs to the 2002 merger with Compaq that propelled HP into the exalted
realms of the tech megacorporations. The main drivers for the merger were related
to hardware (servers, storage and PCs), but it also created a much more robust
services division at HP, as the existing units from the two firms were combined under
the umbrella of HP’s technology solutions group in 2005.

Headed by Livermore, the technology solutions group is tasked with providing a

sterner challenge to IBM’s dominance of the services sector. That goal is another
reason for HPers to cheer the EDS purchase: IBM’s service revenue in 2007 (the last
year prior to the EDS deal) came in at around $54 billion. That same year, HP
Services brought home $16.6 billion, while EDS pulled in approximately $22 billion.
Combining the two firms under HP’s roof, then, creates an entity—however disparate
or fragmented at present—with less of a gap to the industry leader than would have
been imaginable had they stayed separate. That can be seen in the firm’s 2008
results, which rolled EDS’ fourth-quarter performance into HP Services’ figures for the
year. The result: a 35 percent increase in year-on-year revenue, almost 25 percent
of which can be attributed to just one quarter of EDS earnings.

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Growth has been a major component of the HP ethos ever since the firm was founded
back in 1939 by Stanford grads Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Taking an initial
investment of just $500, the pair got their business started by manufacturing
electronics, and the company has rarely had occasion to look back since. It wasn’t
until the 1980s, however, that the firm became synonymous with computer hardware;
it rolled out its first PC for the public in 1980, and went on to establish itself as a
leading provider of print technology over the next couple of decades.

But that wasn’t all the firm was up to the in the 1980s and 1990s. Having identified
that technology was an area that required much in the way of advice and support—
particularly as it pertained to utilizing it for business purposes—the firm segued into
the technology services arena as well.

From Carly to “Un-Carly”

The Compaq merger in 2002 is the deal that has come to represent the career of HP’s
then-CEO Carly Fiorina. As the individual responsible for it, Fiorina was the one who
paid the price for falling revenue as the personal computer and services markets
entered a slump, leading to her demise in early 2005. A high-profile, controversial
figure, Fiorina was replaced with former NCR CEO Mark Hurd, whose style is so
antithetical to his predecessor that Forbes dubbed him the “Un-Carly.” Not that that
was the last the world would hear of Fiorina—she re-emerged during the 2008 U.S.
presidential election as a key (and again high-profile) advisor to John McCain’s

On the acquisition front

In 2008, HP completed nine acquisitions, including the EDS deal, which was even
more notable for the fact that it went through at a time when global credit markets
were freezing due to widespread economic panic. Acquisitions made later in the
year included LeftHand Networks Inc., a leading provider of storage virtualization and
iSCSI storage area network solutions, and Colubris Networks Inc., a global provider of
intelligent wireless networks for enterprises and service providers.

Even as the EDS acquisition and integration was getting under way, HP was still
integrating into its suite of services the purchases made in 2007. Chief among those
in terms of business generated to date has been the acquisition of EYP Mission
Critical Services, a deal completed in November 2007. A consulting firm specializing
in strategic technology, planning, design and operations support for large-scale data
centers, the unit enables HP to better assist its customers in building new or
retrofitting existing data centers. And it’s paying off: In the six months prior to
September 2008, HP signed data center design contracts with more than 60
clients—evidence that the firm is fully leveraging the EYP purchase.

Other notable 2007 purchases, meanwhile, include Opsware, Inc, a $1.6 billion
acquisition in the data center automation field, completed in September, followed by

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the acquisition of Atos Origin’s Middle East group (AOME), an independent group of
companies headquartered in Bahrain. With more than 450 employees at the time of
the purchase, AOME is the leading SAP project implementer in the Middle East, and
boosts HP’s ability to generate SAP-related business in the region, as well as
reinforces its expertise in the public sector and oil and gas segments.

Speeding up SOA
With technology peers now clamoring to get a piece of the growing service-oriented
architecture business, HP has ramped up its own SOA capabilities. In January 2008,
the firm released a new set of SOA governance software and services to help
companies accelerate SOA adoption. The newest release of HP SOA Systinet
software delivers design and run-time governance of SOA services, as well as service
life cycle management through an enhanced integration with HP SOA Manager

The initial step of HP’s SOA strategy was the 2006 acquisition of Mercury, which
specializes in business optimization software. The $4.5 billion purchase also
included Mercury subsidiary Systinet—a firm that produces SOA governance and life
cycle management software.

Also in 2006, the firm opened three SOA competency centers (in Cupertino, Calif.,
Singapore and Bangalore) as part of a $500 million investment in its SOA service line.
HP also maintains SOA centers operating in Tokyo and Sophia Antipolis, France, and
has worked with tech partners such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP to help push
adoption of SOA solutions worldwide. Companies including Thomson Financial and
DreamWorks Animation have already signed on to use HP SOA solutions.

Partnering up and shipping out

Those tech partners—Microsoft, Oracle and SAP—are just a few examples of HP’s
friends, and partners, in high places around the world. Also high in prominence on
the firm’s roster of partners is communications firm BT, with which HP forms the BT
HP Alliance. The focus of this alliance is to transform and simplify networked IT
services for BT customers, improving overall service, flexibility and pricing. HP’s end
of the deal is considerable, as witnessed by a $660 million contract amendment,
signed in September 2008, which extends an agreement for HP to provide server and
storage capabilities for BT until 2016. According to HP, meanwhile, the BT HP
Alliance has generated more than $5.3 billion of new revenue for the two firms since
its inception in 2004.

HP Services has made a significant effort to up its outsourcing capabilities of late—

another effort that paid off in 2008. In February that year, the firm signed a $675
million contract to manage Unilever’s technology infrastructure in the Americas, Asia,
Africa, Turkey and the Middle East. That contract represents an extension of an
existing contract between the firms that will now run at least through 2015. In

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addition, the company has announced 16 new client wins or contract extensions for
EDS services since the acquisition closed in August 2008.


If you’re needed, they may find you

The hiring process at HP Services varies greatly according to a number of factors,
insiders tell us—not least of which is how badly the company needs an individual’s
particular skill set. One source in government services reports being “contacted
through an outside recruiter for placement into a contract for which HP desperately
needed people with a certain degree of security clearance quickly.” Of course, not
everyone can expect HP to come a-knockin’; those who feel that they can be of
service to the firm are invited to search the careers page on HP’s main careers site.
While there’s no separate section specifically tailored to HP Services, including
“consultant” as a keyword and limiting the job function to “services” is one way to
begin a focused search that otherwise throws up thousands of openings all over the

The number and type of interviews also seems to depend upon both the imminence
of the company’s need to fill a position, as well as the position being applied for. If
there is such a thing as a “typical” experience, however, it may look a little like this
insider’s: “The interview consisted of two parts. The first was a technical interview
with a technical specialist that asked specific questions about how to perform certain
tasks or certain IT concepts. The second was an interview with the practice manager,
and was more of a behavioral interview with questions about how certain situations
should be handled, etc.”


Big company, many facets

At HP, sources tell us “the culture varies depending on your manager.” One
experienced staffer remarks, “I’ve been shuffled around a couple times between
managers, so I’ve seen different styles.” While that comment may read as a critique
that’s limited to managerial style, it’s important to realize just how far the influence of
an individual’s manager reaches: “Their flexibility with training, taking vacation, etc.,
varies widely,” reports one source. “Some people are open to letting you do what you
want, as long as your numbers look good. Others are more controlling and think
you’re at their disposal 24/7.”

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Other respondents are considerably more forthright when it comes to voicing opinions
on the HP Services culture, with one saying that it “has evolved into one that is only
focused on financial results.” That leaves some insiders feeling that “all management
cares about is making their numbers, and they treat employees like Legos or units of
labor.” That focus means that staffers worry about being inactive. “Consultants are
measured on a weekly basis as to their core utilization,” says one source. “As long
as they are billable, they’re not in jeopardy of losing their job. If they are not billable,
they may be a target for a layoff. Even if they’ve been billable for years and suddenly
find themselves in between assignments for a month or two, they could get laid off.”

Mobile = free
Happily, not all consultants report that level of pressure, with some even praising how
the company treats them between assignments. “One nice thing with HP Services,”
says a Washington, D.C.-based source, “is that we have teleworker agreements, so
that when we’re not on a project, we can be at home or go to classes and other
training.” Much of that approach is due to the fact that the firm focuses on mobility.
“Every consultant gets a laptop and cell phone paid for,” says one respondent, “so
you’re designed to be mobile.” How mobile? “We’ll talk to our bosses over the phone
and on IM about incoming projects, and figure out what to do from there,” says an
insider—”but generally there’s no expectation that we come into work when on the

In addition to a culture where there’s “not really a face time requirement when not on
a project,” HP consultants reckon that the sweetest deal, hours-wise, is in the
government services division. “There’s somewhat of a split culture here,” says one
source. “HP does classified and unclassified government projects. With classified
projects, you can’t really take the work out of the office. So when you’re on a project
like that, there’s more work/life balance because you’re forced to leave the work at
work.” That definitely seems preferable to some of the other projects insiders tell us
about, where workload “can spike to 60 to 70 hours a week,” depending on the
number of deliverables.

Two sides of the coin

While clients may be getting harder to come by during the ongoing economic crisis,
HP Services consultants still seem pretty bullish about their firm’s prospects. “I think
HP will do pretty well in the next year or two” is a common sentiment, with the
acquisition and continued integration of EDS being cited as a largely positive indicator
of good things to come. One notable sentiment, however, is a certain amount of
concern over competing units within HP Services and EDS. According to one source,
“What I’ve noticed is that EDS charges rates that are lower than what HP charges, so
I think what HP is trying to do is use EDS’ second-tier pricing to get the jobs.” Not
that that’s a problem for HP as a company—it’s still getting the work—but it does raise
questions for HP insiders and their EDS counterparts. “I’ve been wondering if there’s

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going to be more a shift from one side to the other,” says one source. And, while a
staffer points out that “we’re not directly competing internally with EDS because it has
some different segments,” another school of thought says “there’s bound to be some
internal competition as managers try to keep their consultants billable.”

Up-skillers wanted
And what happens when they’re not billable? “There is a training reimbursement
policy” at HP, we’re told, “and HP Services really wants you to keep your skills up.”
That means “they’re really open to sending people to certification classes, things like
that.” For consultants not on engagements—and especially in a tight economy—the
advice seems to be to take as much training as possible to stay relevant and up to
date. “For a while, I was on the bench,” says one source, “so the main thing was for
me to train as much as I could while I had the free time.” But “once you’re on a
project, [training] is really up to the project manager and how pressing the client’s
needs are.”

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10260 Campus Point Drive UPPERS

San Diego, CA 92121
• On-site fitness center in some offices
Phone: (858) 826-6000
• A “guaranteed ride home” program for

San Diego, CA (HQ)
• “Most new hires leave within two years”
Offices in more than 150 cities worldwide
• Little variety outside of government work


Consulting Services
Business Modeling & Intelligence
Collaborative Decisions
Cost, Economic & Financial Analysis
Enterprise Application Services
Human Capital Management
Knowledge Management
Organizational Effectiveness
Performance Improvement
Strategic Planning

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: SAI (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: Ken Dahlberg
2009 Employees: 45,000
2008 Employees: 44,000
2009 Revenue: $10.1 billion
2008 Revenue: $8.9 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Amazing contracts”
• “Not a warship, but a thousand canoes
lashed together”
• “Highly selective—very hard to get in”
• “Cutthroat”

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Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)


Uncle Sam’s techies

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is a Fortune 500 scientific,
engineering and technology applications company that solves problems of vital
importance in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure
and health. The company’s approximately 45,000 employees serve customers in the
U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security, other U.S. government civil agencies and select commercial
markets. The firm has had a hand in some high-profile government projects over the
years, including the clean-up of Three Mile Island and the manufacture of the Hubble
Space Telescope. Around 500 U.S. federal, state and local agencies are on its client
list, and nearly half of its employees carry some level of national security clearance.
It’s no surprise, then, that government contracts have accounted for more than 90
percent of SAIC’s revenue in the last three fiscal years, including 95 percent of 2009’s
$10.1 billion total.

While services to government clients cover a broad range of technical and scientific
support, in addition to IT consulting and infrastructure solutions, SAIC’s projects for
commercial clients tend to be focused solely on IT services, such as applications and
IT infrastructure management, data lifecycle management and business
transformation services. Commercial work, which accounted for the remaining 5
percent of revenue in 2009, is conducted within the oil and gas, utilities and life
sciences sectors.

Essential components
The firm was founded in 1969 by J. Robert Beyster, a PhD physicist who came in with
just two contracts and the notion that the employees should own the company. As
staff joined up, Beyster promised to carve out stakes in the firm based on individual
contribution, though he assured them that this was not a means of getting rich quick.
At the end of the first year, he had parceled out 90 percent ownership in the

Making SAIC work was no easy task, however. With such a small operation, the
scientist-owners had to fill in as the marketing and sales teams for the very work they
were doing. Before the firm turned profitable in 1970, Beyster and some employees
had liens placed on their homes. Beyster continued to recruit committed workers
willing to take the long view, and contracts and revenue finally began to multiply. The
owners may not have gotten rich quick, but they certainly got rich: By the end of the
1970s, SAIC was a $100 million firm. Today, it’s a multibillion-dollar firm with
locations in 150 cities worldwide.

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The pickup game

SAIC has augmented its growth and success over the years through acquisitions. In
the last six fiscal years, it has purchased almost 30 companies. In one of the most
recent examples, it acquired Maryland-based SM Consulting, Inc. The deal, which
closed in May 2008, enhanced the firm’s IT consulting capabilities and added a
unique dimension with linguistics services, such as translation and intelligence
training. In April 2008, SAIC picked up Icon Systems, Inc., a provider of laser-based
systems and products.

A major past transaction that helped shape the firm was the 1994 purchase, for $4.5
million, of Network Solutions. The acquisition was extremely timely, as the company
was in charge of the registry for internet domain names. Network Solutions would go
on to raise billions in an IPO spinoff in the late 1990s, and in 1999, VeriSign forked
$21 billion for SAIC’s majority stake. Not bad for an original investment of less than
$5 million!

Through a venture capital arm founded in 2000, meanwhile, the firm also seeks
beneficial strategic collaborations, making minority investments in strategic emerging
technologies with a tangential interest to SAIC’s areas of expertise. That has led the
firm to projects such as a joint venture with engineering giant Bechtel to create a new
nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert—a project that
likely faces some considerable political opposition, not least from Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, and who seems to have succeeded in
getting much of the proposed Yucca Mountain funding trimmed from President
Obama’s first budget as of March 2009. At other times, the venture capital arm may
make outright purchases for the firm, as well, leading to companies such as Eagan
McAllister Associates and Benham becoming wholly owned subsidiaries of SAIC.
(The former is a tech, engineering, management and logistics company that mainly
serves branches of the U.S. military, while the latter is a full-service planning and
design firm that serves the federal government.)

Public, but not too public

SAIC completed its IPO in October 2006, bringing in more than $1.2 billion. The
original ideal of employee ownership was able to persist, however, with staff still
holding about 80 percent of the company. And new hires are not left out in the cold,
as they are able to take advantage of a certified employee owner program (often
appealingly abbreviated as “CEO program”). The program imparts information on the
company’s values, business goals and legacy of ownership.

Post-SAIC Beyster and post-Beyster SAIC

Beyster retired in 2004, but remains a prominent figure both in connection to SAIC
and as a business heavyweight in his own right. In 2007, he published The SAIC
Solution, a guide for entrepreneurs based on his own experiences. And in 2008, he

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was given the Horatio Alger Award, an honor established in 1947 as a means of
recognizing those who have succeeded through hard work and perseverance.
Beyster has long been a public proponent of entrepreneurship, having created the
Foundation for Enterprise Development (later renamed the Beyster Institute) in 1986.
The foundation guides governments and private organizations in the effective
development of employee-owned businesses. It also manages the Beyster Institute
for Entrepreneurial Employee Ownership, now a part of the University of California,
San Diego, Rady School of Management.

Ken Dahlberg, who had become CEO of SAIC in 2003, was named Beyster’s
successor as chairman of the board. Dahlberg’s background includes time with the
Navy and serving as executive vice president of General Dynamics and president of
Raytheon International. Other recent changes in SAIC management include
Lawrence B. Prior III, formerly president of the firm’s intelligence, security and
technology group, being made chief operating officer in October 2007, and Senior
Vice President Amy Alving’s December 2007 appointment to chief technology officer.

Valued customers
Contracts from agencies engaged in defense and intelligence contribute significantly
to SAIC’s bottom line. In October 2008, a four-year, $254 million contract with the
Defense Intelligence Agency was announced, pursuant to which SAIC will provide
linguist translation and transcription, media and document exploitation, and other
related support services. That contract followed a $39 million deal signed the same
month with Air Force Special Operations Command for the firm to provide operations
and maintenance services to Air Force bases in Nevada and New Mexico.

For larger-scale contracts of late, however, it’s hard to beat the $900 million one the
firm picked up from the U.S. Strategic Command in March 2009. The multiple-award
indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract will enable SAIC to provide technical
analysis and studies for the command. The contract is the latest addition to a 22-
year relationship between SAIC and the Strategic Command.

Civil agencies have also proven to be major SAIC clients. In September 2008, NASA
extended an existing contract with the firm, worth $212 million, for another year.
SAIC has been providing IT services to NASA under the contract since January 2004.
The IRS makes use of the firm’s IT services, as well; in October 2007, it inked a $26
million deal with the firm to support its IT infrastructure planning, and came calling
again in January 2008 for help processing data and managing IT security. Even the
Library of Congress has found use for SAIC recently, awarding the firm an $85 million
contract in January 2009 to provide it with IT services.

Encrypt or bust
The firm suffered an embarrassing and potentially damaging slip-up in July 2007
when it transmitted sensitive data over the Internet without encryption. The data

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consisted of personal information it had been charged with processing under several
health care data contracts for military service customers. The gap in security put
approximately 580,000 households at risk of having their identities and privacy
compromised. SAIC took responsibility for the lapse, and hired Kroll Inc. to assist any
possible affected individuals through an incident response call center, information
resources, and credit and identity restoration services.

Waste not, want not

SAIC has proven itself as a corporation with a conscience. It has an ongoing
relationship with the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and
Universities, having worked with HBCUs and other minority institutions for more than
a decade, contributing through scholarship and internship programs, funding
improvements to infrastructure, and facilitating the participation of HBCUs and their
students in government contracting. In September 2008, as part of an HBCU
conference in Washington, D.C., the firm provided free training in proposal
development and pricing to approximately 100 faculty members and students.

SAIC is also interested in remedying the world’s current energy and climate
difficulties. To that end, it teamed with National Geographic Magazine to sponsor a
November 2007 exhibit of the magazine’s photographs documenting rapid climate
change in the Arctic.


Keeping recruiters busy

SAIC participates in a multitude of career fairs, with recruiting teams blanketing a
broad number of campuses, including the University of California, San Diego, Virginia
Tech, the University of Maryland, Univeristy of Virginia, Georgia Tech, University of
Alabama Hunstville and University of Oklahoma, among others. Diversity recruiting
is also a strong initiative. SAIC has partnerships with the Association of Latino
Professionals in Finance & Accounting, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,
the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers and other
groups to draw from a diverse pool of candidates. For students who aren’t able to
attend a career event, the firm has made it easy to apply by uploading a resume and
profile online, then submitting an application for open positions.

The firm’s internship program, iCEP (Intern Career Experiential Program), is offered
for students who want to try their hand at IT projects alongside SAIC consultants.
Majors in engineering, computer science, finance, accounting, political science,
security and intelligence studies with a 3.0 GPA and leadership experience are invited
to apply. Paid internships are offered in offices all over the country, but primarily in
Northern Virginia and San Diego. Most internships run over the course of a summer,

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but there are a few openings during the school year. Interested parties can apply for
internships online.


According to insiders, SAIC’s culture mirrors that of its government clients, with a
conservative air and a military bent. A source explains, “This unit was largely staffed
by retired military, and if you are comfortable in that environment you’ll love working
here.” Adds another staffer, “Most employees at my office are from an academic
background, but there are some ex-military types. SAIC clearly prefers ex-military
types and is heavily influenced by the military culture.” We’re also told that heavy
travel is the norm for these consultants: “The amount of time spent at an SAIC office
is less than 1 percent a year,” an analyst claims. As far as dress code and hours, it
won’t come as a surprise that those are “set mainly by the government customer.”

Reports indicate that promotion at SAIC is “merit- and opportunity-based.” “If you
are qualified for a promotion based upon time and performance, they try to time it
with the creation of an opportunity to place you on a project that would allow for the
desired margin and rates,” states one respondent. Another explains the career
options in his Colorado office: “Opportunities for advancement are extremely limited
in the Western U.S., unless interest is working on Department of Defense contract
work. SAIC is heavily focused on DoD contracts, and to a much lesser extent, civilian
government contracts.”

A smoother commute
The firm offers a wide range of benefits for employees, including backup child care,
domestic partner benefits, employee assistance plans, as well as basic insurance and
retirement plans. In addition, tuition assistance is offered to staffers in some business
units. Recognized as one of the best workplaces for commuters by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation, SAIC
offers lots of options to lessen the burden of parking and traffic on the way to work,
such as transportation subsidies, transit shuttles and a company-sponsored
“guaranteed ride home” program are some of the things that make commuting more

Training is also plentiful at SAIC. At select locations, the firm offers on-site graduate
degree programs in business and systems engineering, and discounted tuition for
some academic institutions close to its offices. One program for ongoing training is
SAIC University, a virtual campus with tons of e-learning resources, including
technical and leadership development training.

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Working for diversity

The firm also tries to do its part on the diversity front. SAIC set up the Executive
Diversity Fellows Program, a recruitment program to help attract and retain a diverse
bunch of employees in the scientific and technical fields. The program focuses on
cultivating talent and also supports scientists and engineers in their research. The
Women’s Network, the Multicultural Network and New Voices—a network for Gen Y
employees—are a few additional support groups within the firm that support
professional growth and provide opportunities for employees to network and share

150 © 2009, Inc.

3170 Fairview Park Drive UPPERS
Falls Church, VA 22042
• “Fairly laid-back culture”
Phone: (703) 876-1000
• “Great reputation with clients as well as
other companies”
• Family-friendly
Falls Church, VA (HQ) DOWNERS
Facilities in 29 countries worldwide
• Lack of integration between acquired units
• “Poor bonuses and not enough incentives
PRACTICE AREAS to succeed”
• “Focused on Wall Street analyst views of
Credit Services • Customer Relationship
actions, instead of a long-term client view”
Management • Enterprise Solutions •
Hosting Services • Legal Solutions •
Management Consulting • Outsourcing • EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Risk Management & Claims • Security •
Go to the Careers section of the firm’s
Supply Chain Management

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CSC (NYSE)
Chairman, President & CEO: Michael W.
2008 Employees: 91,000
2007 Employees: 87,000
2008 Revenue: $17.3 billion
2007 Revenue: $14.9 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Gets the job done right the first time”

• “Old dog”
• “Everywhere”
• Still trying to find itself outside of
government consulting work”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Computer Sciences Corporation

1, 2, 3, it’s as easy as CSC
Formed in 1959, Computer Sciences Corporation is one of the granddaddies of the
IT services industry. It’s a concern that’s holding up as it ages as well, hiring more
staff and pulling in more revenue with each passing year. All told, the company
employs around 91,000 people in 80 countries around the globe, who together pulled
in some $17.3 billion in revenue in 2008. All of that was done from just three major
business lines: business solutions and services, global outsourcing services and the
North American public sector.

On the consulting front, the firm offers a full suite of services, from front-end and
management consulting to strategy and business process design, technology
services, systems integration and, of course, applications outsourcing and hosting.
Following a recent, ongoing restructuring program, CSC’s services target six industry
verticals: financial services, health care, manufacturing (including aerospace and
defense), public sector, chemical, energy and national resources, and
technology/consumer. The firm came in at No. 170 in the 2008 Fortune 500, while
it ranked third out of all technology services providers on that same list.

What can you do with $100?

CSC’s roots stretch more or less all the way back to the birth of business computing
as a concept, and thus also to the concept of IT services as an industry. At the time
of CSC’s founding in 1959, computers were tools used almost exclusively by
governments and universities—large institutions that had their own brainpower to
write the software applications that made their computers useful. Enter two young
entrepreneurs in the aerospace industry—engineer Roy Nutt and marketer Fletcher
Jones—who saw the potential for mass appeal in computing.

Scraping together $100, the pair started Computer Sciences Corporation, beginning
by writing software directly for computer manufacturers—a move that allowed for the
widening of the computer consumer market and helped to revolutionize the computer
industry. It wasn’t long before their vision began to pay off: CSC went public in 1963,
and a year later it became the first software company to be listed on a national
exchange. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Speeding toward the future

In mid-2007, with almost no fanfare at all, CSC announced a five-year restructuring
effort that set some lofty goals for the company, and fundamentally realigned its focus.
The initial plan—dubbed Project Accelerate—was comprised of five key initiatives for
growth. Those included increasing the company’s global presence, realigning its
vertical markets (see above), leveraging its capabilities in India, building on its North

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American public-sector successes and increasing its commercial outsourcing

capabilities. Of those, the latter two are arguably the most important for the firm.
CSC’s government work in the U.S. was responsible for 35 percent of the company’s
revenue in 2008, while global commercial outsourcing brought in 41 percent. In
addition, the firm moved its corporate headquarters from El Segundo, Calif., to Falls
Church, Va.—a move that made sense, given that the highest concentration of CSC
employees is in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

Part of the rationale behind Project Accelerate is to make the commercial side of the
business as successful as the federal side. CSC has a relationship with every major
U.S. government agency and regularly pulls in multiyear, renewable contracts worth
hundreds of millions—and sometimes billions—of dollars. And that’s from the U.S.
alone. While federal work is admittedly something of a closed shop due to the
stringent requirements for firms bidding on it, it nevertheless stands to reason that a
company capable of such success in a closed market has even greater potential with
the possibilities that exist elsewhere throughout the world, despite a larger pool of

New focus makes good

To strengthen the commercial side of the business, then, the company began
focusing in 2007 on midmarket outsourcing—deals valued between $50 million and
$350 million—as a means of drawing in more business and staving off challenges
from rival outsourcers like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. That new focus
was behind the firm’s decision to purchase Indian IT outsourcing concern Covansys
in April 2007 for $1.3 billion. It’s a focus that has reaped some rewards of late, as
well; examples of recent midmarket deals include a multimillion-dollar enterprise
service desk contract with Eaton Corp that has a five-year lifespan, as well as a $150
million contract with Exelon. Announced in July 2008, the Exelon deal also has a five-
year base period, and comes with three one-year options, and will see CSC provide a
range of infrastructure support services for the company. That work will be carried
out both in the U.S. and in CSC’s World Sourcing delivery centers in Malaysia and

The company further expanded its Indian footprint in January 2008, when it closed
the $365 million purchase of First Consulting Group, a move that added some 2,500
employees, around 1,200 of whom are based in the offshore hubs of India and
Vietnam. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., FCG is an IT
services firm in the health care industry, and the acquisition expands CSC’s presence
in the life sciences arena.

A-changin’ with the times

One consequence of CSC’s decision to move its headquarters to Virginia was that the
company’s top staff also found themselves having to relocate—although not all of

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them opted to make the commitment. One high-profile employee who elected not to
move East was CFO and Vice President Michael E. Keane, who stepped down in
January 2008. Following an intensive search, Keane was officially replaced in
December that year by Michael Mancuso, who had previously served as vice
president and CFO of General Dynamics.

Also in 2008, for the first time in its history, CSC started advertising. As part of a
campaign to roll out and polish its new brand (the firm now markets itself as CSC, not
Computer Sciences Corporation), the firm took out newspaper ads in several major
markets touting the values it stands for. According to the company, those values
include “global experience, industry-specific expertise, a collaborative approach and
tenacious ingenuity.”

C is for contracts …
Among the many deals the firm inked in 2008, the one that stands out above all
others is a $1.2 billion IT outsourcing agreement with Bombardier Transportation,
signed in June 2008. The contract is a seven-year extension to a $700 million deal
originally announced in 2002. Under the terms of the contract, CSC will continue to
provide infrastructure outsourcing services for Bombardier, including desktop, service
desk, network and application management services for more than 20,000 users in
33 countries. Additionally, CSC will provide service ticket tracking and reporting for
Bombardier, which will enable it to conduct end-to-end service management across
the entire IT structure.

... and completions …

In September 2008, the firm announced that it had completed the second phase of
a project to modernize the Federal Aviation Administration’s traffic flow management
system. The FAA awarded the initial $589 million contract back in 2004, and CSC
has been working on it since, completing the installation of the system. While the first
phase involved the establishment of modernized interfaces for the system, the second
phase focused on installing the hardware and software necessary to manage the
interfaces. In preparation for being rolled out across the country, the system was then
tested in an operational setting by FAA flight controllers, with the rollout occurring in
the summer of 2008. If being entrusted with the U.S.’s air traffic system doesn’t give
an idea of CSC’s capabilities, not much will.

Those capabilities received a further boost in February 2008, when the firm opened
a new technology center in Dallas. Employing 273 on-site agents when it opened, the
center has a maximum capacity of around 530, and functions as a global customer
service desk and client meeting facility. It will also serve as the firm’s hub for all of its
U.S. help desk activities.

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Computer Sciences Corporation

… but not for cycling

One thing that the firm withdrew during its restructuring was its support for the world
of cycling. Having sponsored a professional cycling team since 2001 that has
competed in major competitions the world over—including the Tour de France—CSC
elected in 2008 to discontinue its sponsorship for 2009. The reason for the
discontinuation depends on which edition of Cycling Weekly holds more weight—the
March 2008 issue that indicated the firm was cutting back on costs due to the
economy, or the January 2009 edition that suggested CSC no longer wished to be
associated with a sport with a reputation for doping and scandal. Both claims appear
equally plausible. As the former article pointed out, “Sponsorship of a sports team
does not play well if redundancies are on the cards,” but the team also weathered its
share of controversy over doping, despite having a strident anti-doping stance.

The majority of the heat erupted in 2007, when Team CSC’s manager and owner
Bjarne Riise admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs during his own
cycling career—including his 1996 Tour de France win. While that had precious little
to do with CSC directly (the firm didn’t sponsor Riise during his riding career and it
stood by him after he admitted to doping), the controversy certainly wasn’t what the
firm was looking for in return for its sponsorship deal.


A fragmented giant
CSC staffers seem to like their job, but find the setup of the company challenging at
times: “Since Computer Science Corporation is made of many smaller companies,”
says one source, “each department seems to vary from another department.” “A
company that is really a mesh of many small companies with poor support systems,”
is how another insider describes it. Case in point? An insider who “joined” CSC as
part of an acquisition: “My group was originally FCG, which was acquired by CSC last
year. We seem to be outsiders to the rest of the company still.”

Regardless of its penchant for snapping up smaller firms, CSC still does its own hiring,
at both experienced and undergraduate levels. For the latter, a source in Washington,
D.C., tells us the firm pulls from “Ivy and top public” schools. Around D.C., those
schools include Virginia, William & Mary, North Carolina and more, while the school
list varies according to the region of the office doing the recruiting. Staffers report
undergoing anywhere from between two and five rounds of interviews. One
consultant in Chicago, for example, was “recommended for hire by a current
associate.” Despite that leg up, the source underwent “two phone interviews, which
tested my estimating abilities and public speaking skills,” followed by “official
interviews with three rounds of interviewers.” The source describes the entire

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process as “challenging, but as long as I focused on what I wanted to bring to the

table and consistent achievement, it was fine.”

Not everyone can expect to get an introduction from someone inside the firm, which
means that “resumes play a key role in getting hired,” according to one contact.
Once inside the hiring process, it would appear that the firm doesn’t rely on case
interviews or tests, using instead “estimating questions like, ‘How many pairs of
rubber gloves does a hospital use?’” Interviews, meanwhile, “are conducted at the
lowest level possible to verify suitability and personality compatibility.”


Racking up hours
Despite its size and tendency to not mesh its units effectively, CSC insiders report that
the firm is “customer- and employee-focused,” and that the culture is both “open and
flat … in the sense that anyone at any level can work/communicate with anyone else
at any time.” That “any time” concept may be more necessary than it first appears,
as CSC staffers often find themselves burning the midnight oil—although that varies
on a project-by-project basis. “If not staffed on a very intensive project, the work/life
balance is very reasonable,” says one contact. However, “depending on the project
manager and the project, hours can quickly escalate to more than 60.” Many of the
extended hours on any given project seem to come from being on call, which can
disrupt weekends and vacation time, but which doesn’t necessarily go unrecognized.
“The on-call requirements are rough, but we can make up for it here and there,” says
an experienced source.

There are some efforts made to ensure that CSCers can attain a comfortable work/life
balance. Some consultants report flexible working hours, while others point out that
the firm tries to cut down travel time as much as possible. According to one staffer,
the “firm prefers virtual meetings versus travel,” while a colleague reports that “family
priorities are always put ahead of business schedules”—although it should be noted
that the source doesn’t clarify whether that was a personal outlook or a companywide
policy. Still, he does note that “my hours are flexible within reason.”

Must love travel

The major gripes about the length of the workweek seem to come from those who are
expected to travel. One respondent explains that “travel assignments do require
almost 100 percent traveling from Monday to Thursday,” although in some instances
“there are flexible boundaries that can be worked out with the client.” And even
those requesting local assignments can’t be guaranteed that they won’t spend a good
part of their week stuck behind the wheel: “Local assignments are hardly the cherry

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Computer Sciences Corporation

positions one can hope for, since 90 miles from the home site still counts as local,”
says a Chicago-based insider.

Standard package
CSC consultants seem neither overly happy nor too dissatisfied with their
compensation packages. The consensus on salaries seems to be that they’re fair and
“commensurate with experience,” while the firm would undoubtedly score higher by
providing more perks and benefits. At the moment, an “optional pension plan and
matching 401(k)” sums up the majority of the firm’s financial offerings, although
some respondents also mention that the firm “provides CSC stock in my IRA.”
Bonuses could use a shot in the arm, as well, as insiders report that the firm is
“notorious for being miserly with its bonuses.”

Beyond those few perks, we’re told that CSC offers “nothing that really stands out”
from its competitors. Insiders say that “vacation, sick leave and emergency leave are
on par with government.” Indeed, the only benefit for which the firm draws any true
plaudits is its offering of “insurance to same-sex partners, which is wonderfully
progressive for such a stodgy company.”

“Perform, up. Don’t, out.”

It seems to be a matter of fact that most training at CSC is done on the job. While the
firm’s “official launch training prepares even the most rube-like candidate for the
business world,” much of the official training is dismissed as “rehashed corporate
rubbish.” Apparently, “on-the-job training is much more effective for learning day-to-
day functions,” so prospective hires are best advised to pay attention should they land
a job at CSC, as promotions are all “performance-based.” Not only that, but they’re
“based on the amount of new business you bring in and the client base you can
maintain, so speed of advancement is directly proportional to growth rate.” For those
looking for a shortcut, a source offers a few words of wisdom, noting that while
“consultants have to put in the designated time to advance, hitching onto a rising
partner is a good way to speed up the process.”

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101 Merritt 7 UPPERS
Norwalk, CT 06851
• “A global experience in a localized way”
Phone: (203) 642-2300
• Strong training opportunities
• Ability to “work with the latest
LOCATIONS • Comfortable work/life balance

Norwalk, CT (North American HQ)

Munich (Corporate HQ) DOWNERS
Offices in over 42 countries
• “Pay is less compared to other consulting
PRACTICE AREAS • Unsatisfactory performance appraisals
and promotion policy
Application Management • IT Outsourcing •
• “Lack of interaction with peers”
SAP Consulting • Software Development •
• No bench time
Strategic IT Consulting • Systems
THE STATS North America:
Employer Type: Subsidiary of Siemens
Ticker Symbol: SI (NYSE)
Group President: Dr. Christoph Kollatz
CEO, North America: John E. Evers Jr.
2009 Employees: 41,000 (4,400 in North
2008 Employees: 43,000 (4,500 in North
Fiscal 2008 Revenue: €5.3 billion
Fiscal 2007 Revenue: €6.9 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Strong SAP consulting capabilities”

• “Product-focused “
• “International”
• “Too corporate”

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Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc.


From many, one

Formed from the merging of several existing business, IT and consulting lines within
parent company Siemens AG in January 2007, Siemens IT Solutions and Services
(SIS) is a full-service, one-stop shopping service provider in the technology field.
Encompassing an ability to provide solutions and services at every stop along the IT
chain, the firm’s core competency is in outsourcing and consulting. Around these
competencies, SIS offers two main business lines—business solutions and IT
outsourcing—with individual solutions available for every client, from the consulting
and design phase right through building, operating and maintaining the systems. In
terms of specific solutions and services, the firm’s offerings include strategic IT
consulting, systems integration, application management, SAP consulting, integrated
service desk and desktop, vertical industry solutions, and migration and server

The SIS division counts its parent firm as its biggest customer, but also operates in a
further 11 industrial fields, which range from the manufacturing sector and
telecommunications, to media and the pharmaceuticals.

Parental payoff
With 41,000 employees in 42 countries serving some 10,000 customers, SIS is a
growing global player in its field. Its largest presence is in its home markets of
Germany (where the unit does 42 percent of its business) and greater Europe (a
further 42 percent, not counting Germany), although it is also well represented in the
Americas, with 12 percent of its business coming from that region. The remaining 4
percent is split evenly between Asia and Africa. In 2008, the unit pulled in almost
$6.9 billion globally, a slight decrease from 2007’s figure. Of that $6.9 billion, some
$4.95 billion came from what the company refers to as “external revenue”—or, cliens
other than Siemens. That leaves some 28 percent of the unit’s revenue coming
directly from its parent company.

SIS’ profits also suffered in 2008, falling more than 43 percent to $185 million. But
that won’t worry its parent too much: The $4.95 billion in external revenue is a shade
under 5 percent of the record $100 billion revenue Siemens AG posted for 2008, with
a $7.6 billion profit. And, quite apart from that, the unit is of significant strategic
import to Siemens; a significant portion of the company’s revenue (well over 50
percent, according the firm) depend on software and IT services—both trends that
are increasing and are likely to continue on an upward trajectory. Having an in-house
IT solutions and services provider, especially one with a specialty in software
engineering, is of critical importance to the company as a whole.

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Pulling it all together

As mentioned above, SIS was created in January 2007, when Siemens AG grouped
its worldwide IT solutions, services and software capabilities under a single umbrella.
The forerunner to SIS was Siemens Business Services (SBS), an entity formed in
1995 to serve as an in-house provider of IT services to its parent company.

Within a year of its founding, SBS had doubled its headcount and set up shop in
North America and Europe. By 1997, with responsibility for all of Siemens’ business
engagements, the global firm employed nearly 17,000 staffers. It sailed into the new
millennium, expanding its horizons to new customers and boosting its presence
outside its home country. In 2000, the firm acquired ENTEX, a leading IT
infrastructure services provider, and hired former ENTEX head John McKenna as
CEO of the North American division.

SBS began struggling in 2005, however, posting a loss of $884 million for that year.
In an attempt to turn things around, Siemens AG started farming out some
maintenance services to partners, laid off staff and appointed Christoph Kollatz as
chairman of the unit. Still, the unit couldn’t turn it around and, with customer
requests for integrated services ringing in its ears, Siemens took positive action,
merging SBS and four more of its business divisions into a single entity: Siemens IT
Solutions and Services. The other four divisions were the business innovation center,
development innovations and projects, program and system engineering, and
Siemens Information Systems Ltd. Kollatz remained head of the new division, while
McKenna maintained his position as head of its North American operations—that is,
until 2008, when he left the firm to lead communications and data solutions provider
ConvergenceOne. In November 2008, John E. Evers Jr. was revealed as McKenna’s
successor. Having most recently served as vice president of worldwide outsourcing
sales at Hewlett-Packard, Evers should have something of an understanding of the
role he has adopted: SIS is one of the 10 largest providers of outsourcing in the world,
deriving around 60 percent of its revenue from operating IT systems for its customers.

Speeding up, slowing down

After a solid showing in 2007 on the deal-making front, it would probably be safe to
say that SIS—like many firms—had a tough 2008 when it came to announcing new
contracts. Indeed, for the first half of the year, the division saw fit to announce just
one new deal to the public: a five-year outsourcing contract with sportswear firm
NIKE. Under the terms of the contract, SIS will supply personalized infrastructure
outsourcing services for NIKE that leverage Siemens’ proprietary SieQuence®
solution, a customizable suite of services that align IT and business strategy. Among
SieQuence’s cost reduction and performance improvement initiatives is a network of
call centers around the world that assist somewhere in the region of 30 million callers
per year, in 19 different languages. Those “competence and service centers” will also
be at NIKE’s disposal in the coming years.

160 © 2009, Inc.

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Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc.

Murky dealings
Following a high-profile investigation into its business practices, parent company
Siemens AG entered into settlements with the U.S. and German governments under
which it agreed to pay around $1.6 billion in fines and disgorgements. The reason?
The firm had been accused of bribing government officials around the world to win
contracts on infrastructure projects. The U.S. government cited Siemens’
cooperation and remediation efforts in agreeing to a deal that did not include a
conviction for bribery. Through the terms of the settlement, SIS was not disqualified
from government business in Europe and retains its “responsible contractor” status
with the federal Defense Logistics Agency—so the firm can still bid on public
contracts in the U.S.

All told, the company is said to have paid in the region of $1.4 billion in bribes since
the mid-1990s, a figure that led the head of the FBI bureau in Washington to describe
the bribes as “standard operating procedures for corporate executives who viewed
bribery as a business strategy.” Needless to say, the firm has since professed deep
regret over its actions, with Siemens Chairman Gerhard Cromme commenting that the
firm “is closing a painful chapter in its history.”


No cutbacks here—yet
Although one SIS staffer offers the opinion that “the general economic outlook for the
consulting profession is questionable,” others say the firm has a “solid structure to
withstand recession.” To that end, colleagues suggest that things at SIS seem
relatively stable. “We continue to grow in a down economy and turn a profit when
competitors are losing money,” reports a principal. The final word on that? He adds,
“We’re still hiring!”

Interested candidates can search for jobs on the main Siemens careers site. Select
Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc., from the list of companies to narrow the
search, and choose from various locations, functional areas, job types and experience
levels. Register with the site to save searches, upload a resume, check on an
application status and receive job alerts. The firm notes that during fall and spring
recruiting sessions, it holds interviews at six specific schools in the U.S.: the
University of Florida, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State University
and Virginia Tech. In addition, the firm informally recruits from other schools near its

Insiders say the hiring process typically consists of two to three interviews (one of
which will likely be technical), and may include an “extensive hiring questionnaire.”
As one higher-up recalls, “I was assessed in terms of technology, talent and

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Strong and stable

While some staffers say the culture at SIS is “not defined,” leavening the firm with “no
clear identity,” others say the atmosphere is defined by positive qualities, such as
“good personal values,” “long traditions” and a “stable structure.” Some add that the
“assertive” environment is “predominantly male,” noting that there are “no women in
upper management.”

We’re told that typical assignments last anywhere from two weeks to one year.
Respondents tend to agree that workloads are “busy but usually steady,” with an
average of 40- to 60-hour weeks, and one staffer notes that “even if [the workload]
spikes, it is manageable.” That said, one consultant tells us he typically spends 55
hours at work each week, but is only allowed to register 45 of them.

Varied views
Time spent on the road ranges from none at all to five days a week. In another
manifestation of this variation in schedules, while one principal has difficulty striking
a good work/life balance due to “too much travel,” others insist that “family life and
work life both can be enjoyed without sacrificing any of the two.” Meanwhile, a
systems analyst who spends full weeks at client sites claims that balance is
sometimes just the luck of the game; although he says it’s “usually a priority of mine,”
he adds that “certain projects are more difficult and require the extra effort.”

Opinions about the firm’s training opportunities also vary widely. One longtimer says
he’s had “no real training in seven years,” but others say there is plenty of “formal,
structured” training available. A source remarks, “My manager actively supports
training efforts,” and another adds that “the facilities are provided for both official and
unofficial training.” Adding another layer to the training cake, a senior consultant
warns that “training is available but client commitments do not allow time for

Another subject that receives mixed reviews at SIS is compensation. Most

consultants suggest that salaries are about average for the industry, although some
gripe there are “no notable perks.” Perhaps those consultants aren’t aware of the
profit sharing, employee shares, 401(k) matching, deferred compensation plan and
health benefits that other respondents mention? Another perk that gets SIS
consultants going is the “various prenegotiated discount schemes with lots of

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Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Inc.

Siemens’ caring hands

SIS is generous with the community at large, via “lots of initiatives” organized by its
Caring Hands Foundation. An annual firmwide philanthropy day gives employees the
opportunity to work with charitable groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Walk for
the Cure, and employees are also encouraged to participate in other initiatives,
including “giving campaigns, blood drives, holiday food and gift collections.” Staffers
are recognized for their volunteer work through community excellence awards, which
include a cash grant donation for the nonprofit organization in which the employee is

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6607 Kaiser Drive PRACTICE AREAS

Fremont, CA 94555
Aerospace & Defense • Banking & Capital
Phone: (510) 742-3000
Markets • Communication Service Providers
Fax: (510) 742-3090
• High Tech & Discrete Manufacturing •
Insurance, Healthcare & Life Sciences •
Media & Entertainment • Resources, Energy
LOCATIONS & Utilities • Retail, Distribution & Consumer
Packaged Goods • Transportation Services
Fremont, CA (HQ)
41 offices worldwide
UPPERS Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: INFY (Nasdaq)
• Opportunity for global experiences
CEO (Infosys Technologies Ltd.):
• “As close to a meritocracy as I’ve ever
S. Gopalakrishnan
seen in a company”
CEO (Infosys Consulting Inc.): Stephen R.
• “The most friendly interview process I
have gone through”
Nonexecutive Chairman of the Board &
Chief Mentor: N.R. Narayana Murthy
DOWNERS 2009 Employees: 100,000+
2008 Employees: 91,100+
• “Competitive versus collaborative”
2008 Revenue: $4 billion (global revenue
• “We’ve developed a reputation as the
for all Infosys)
low-cost provider”
2007 Revenue: $3 billion+ (global revenue
• Conference calls at 11 p.m.
for all Infosys)

Infosys Consulting Inc.
6607 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, CA 94555

what other consultants are saying

• “Very forward thinking “

• “Doers, not strategic”
• “Very good core team; has a strong future”
• “Outsourcing-focused”

164 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Infosys Consulting Inc.


Parent and child

Created in 2004, Infosys Consulting is an offshoot of Indian tech outsourcing and
business consulting giant Infosys Technologies. Based on the premise of consistently
finding ways to increase value for its clients (rather than, say, focusing on its own
profits), IC is committed to making its clients more competitive. To do that, the firm
is prepared to leverage any and all of the contacts its parent has—even if that means
arranging outsourcing deals for clients through it. And the parent, it would seem, is
prepared to be indulgent as its offspring finds it feet: IC has yet to turn a profit since
its inception. It was, however, widely tipped to do so in 2009, although those
predictions were mostly made prior to the first major events that marked the
beginning of the economic downturn and accompanying financial crisis.

A guiding principle of IC’s strategy is to offer its consulting services on a global scale,
using a similar methodology as Infosys did when helping to pioneer the concept of
global outsourcing. If that means that consultants in India take over a project to
complete tasks while consultants in the U.S. sleep, so be it. Strategizing and
technical analysis can take place anywhere, as long as the results eventually make it
back to the client. IC’s services, meanwhile, are available across a wide range of
industries, spanning everything from aerospace to consumer packaged goods, and
focusing on two main areas: strategic and competitive analysis, and complex
operational change.

From there to here

Infosys Consulting came into being when Infosys Technologies—currently a $4 billion
a year enterprise—decided to reach beyond the realms of its successful outsourcing
concern, and offer its clients consulting services as well. The theory behind the move
seems simple enough in retrospect: If a consulting firm can conduct an operational
review that identifies a need for a client to use Infosys’ business process outsourcing
services, why couldn’t Infosys do the consulting as well? A tech services firm building
a consulting presence, after all, is considerably less labor intensive than a consulting
firm building a tech services and outsourcing capability.

It took Infosys a little over two decades to get to the point where it could branch out
into the consulting world. Begun in 1981, the firm initially offered IT services to the
domestic Indian market, but soon began scoring some lucrative international clients.
The first major client was GE, although the likes of American Express, Apple, Boeing
and J.C. Penney soon followed. That success drove Infosys beyond the $100 billion
revenue barrier in 1999—the same year the firm became the first Indian company
listed on Nasdaq. Within five years, that figure had multiplied to $1 billion, as the
bursting of the tech bubble in the early 21st century drove more and more companies
to outsourcing as a way to reduce costs.

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Infosys Consulting Inc.

As mentioned above, 2004 saw the firm branch out into consulting. To date, Infosys
has spent more than $40 million on the unit, according to an article in India’s
Business Standard in April 2008. And while the offshoot has yet to see a profit, the
parent is not overly concerned, since the organization as a whole posted an overall
profit of $1.1 billion in 2008.

If you can’t beat ‘em, hire ‘em

Infosys Consulting’s stated specialization is in “making companies more competitive,”
a mantra that definitely begins at home. To increase its own competitiveness, the firm
has developed a reputation for luring top talent from competitors. CEO Stephen Pratt,
for example, was a 20-year veteran of the consulting industry when Infosys
persuaded him to leave Deloitte—where he had served as senior partner for 12
years—to head up the nascent consulting arm.

Certainly, the ability to attract top talent depends greatly on a firm’s ability to match
what the top competitors are paying—a factor IC has taken into account. Its
compensation policy has enabled it to consistently pursue the top-10 percent of
employees from the leading consulting firms around the world. For proof of that
strategy, look no further than the company’s own website. In addition to stressing IC’s
commitment to such matters as diversity and paying top salaries, a page called “Our
Culture” gives a sampling of backgrounds of current employees at the firm. The list
of previous firms reads, well, more or less like a Vault list of top consulting firms:
Everyone from Accenture to Capgemini, IBM to McKinsey is listed. The graduate
institutions attended by that same group, meanwhile, is a similar who’s who list of top
schools—most major institutions, from Wharton and Stanford to the likes of MIT’s
Sloan School and Harvard, are represented, with even Oxford making an appearance.

A formula for success

While competitiveness is IC’s watchword for both itself and its clients, there’s
apparently a lot more to it than just hiring the best and letting them get on with it. IC’s
formula is a two-part equation. The first part involves creating “strategic
differentiation” for its clients, a process that showcases both to clients and their
potential customers exactly how they differ from the competition. The other portion
of the competitiveness equation is in figuring out how to do everything better than
those same competitors—something IC calls “operational superiority.” Add those two
halves together, the company says, and you’ve got a formula that equals increased

Speculation, no accumulation
At present, the majority of the work contracted by IC is in the U.S.—hardly surprising,
given that the firm only has one office elsewhere: London. That lack of global
presence, plus Infosys’ sizable bankroll, means that the company is regularly linked

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to potential acquisition targets. In 2007, for example, speculation was rife that the
firm would be acquiring European giant Capgemini. That, however, was short-lived:
Infosys never so much as made a bid for the company, while Capgemini went on to
acquire its own Indian outsourcing firm, Kanbay International, shortly thereafter.

IC did end up making a bid for a large consulting outfit the following year, however,
when it tendered an offer of $753 million for the U.K.’s Axon Corp., a specialist in SAP
services. The bid was initially accepted by Axon’s board in August 2008, but rival
HCL Technologies had other plans, and stepped in with a significantly higher offer.
Choosing not to become embroiled in a bidding war (probably a prescient move,
given the collapsing financial markets at the time), Infosys opted to walk away from
what would have been the largest-ever acquisition by an Indian IT services firm. In
a bizarre twist, India-based HCL wound up winning the prize for less than Infosys’ bid.
Closing the deal in November 2008, the downturn had taken a substantial toll on
Axon’s share price; the company ended up fetching just $662 million, some $90
million less than Infosys had been prepared to pay.

Regardless of the outcome of the deal, though, one thing is clear from Infosys’ bid
(not to mention the constant speculation): The firm remains focused on building out
its consulting arm, with Europe an extremely likely area for an acquisition to occur. In
February 2009, for example, reports began circulating in the media that the firm had
narrowed down a search to two potential firms. The first of these is Polish outfit BCC,
an SAP specialist with a significant footprint in Germany. The other is another SAP
specialist, CIBER Novasoft, a German unit of U.S. consultancy CIBER. Whether or
not the firm can push through a deal in the current economic climate, however, is
another matter entirely.

One to chew on
Due to the overlapping nature of its work, it can sometimes be difficult to identify
which projects linked to Infosys are likely to include IC’s capabilities, and which are
not. That situation is made more difficult by the fact that IC doesn’t publish its own
financial results, or even its own press releases. Still, the more complex the contract
announced by Infosys, the more likely it is to include input from IC’s specialists
(especially if it involves a company in the U.S.—IC’s main hub). An example of such
a contract was highlighted in November 2008, when the firm revealed details of its
project with chewing gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. to reduce its carbon footprint by
transforming its logistics operations. In a pilot program that first determined how
much carbon Wrigley’s emits in transport, IC then sought to reduce that amount
across the firm’s truck-shipping operations in Western Europe. Infosys provided both
solutions and services on the project, and will continue to monitor Wrigley’s European
distribution network across six countries in future.

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Well en”Dow”ed
Also in November 2008, Infosys Technologies was afforded a rare honor—inclusion
in a new worldwide stock index of 150 leading blue-chip companies. Known as “The
Global Dow,” the index was selected by journalists and the editor in chief at Dow
Jones, and took into consideration issues such as size, reputation and future promise,
while essentially factoring out distribution of wealth by country.

That’s not the only reason the firm has to be cheerful as it surveys the future—
analysts have widely predicted that Indian consulting firms will see benefits from the
recession. Indeed, CEO Pratt was quoted in several media outlets in November 2008
as saying, “We believe our consulting unit will take market share during the downturn
as clients demand more business value for each consulting dollar.”


“Can you think?”

Infosys recruits mainly from “all top business and technology schools in the United
States, Europe and Asia.” In the U.S., the focus is on the top-25 business schools:
Harvard, Stanford, Sloan, Berkeley, McComb and Wharton, to name a few. After an
initial contact with candidates of choice, there is a screening interview followed by “at
least one in-depth interview, finishing with a partner interview.” A respondent reports
that “the focus is on how you think and what have you done, not what you can talk

In two of the interviews, candidates face “traditional case questions,” while the third
is a “global impact case,” where “the interviewer picks a current news topic and asks
the interviewee to analyze it.” Hints a source, “Case examples are as wide and varied
as the Boy Scouts or the Katrina response, to top financial institutions and
international manufacturers.” A colleague provides an example: “The Obama
transition team is taking a pragmatic view on outsourcing and reaching out to offshore
firms, such as Infosys, for their perspective. They will utilize this information to draft
appropriate job creation, retention and outsourcing policies, and would definitely
engage us to do some of the policy research work. I’m the senior partner, here’s a
laptop. Ask me some questions and develop a three- to four-slide deck on what we
should talk about.” As to how to succeed in this intense stage, a manager expresses
that they want to see if candidates can “think on their feet, take the nebulous
[scenario] and provide structure without regard to the particular topic.” Adds one
respondent, “Having a structured approach to dealing with the case is foundational,
but we really want to get a sense of creativity and breadth of ideas our candidates

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Committed colleagues
IC staffers say it’s the co-workers who contribute to a positive culture and “collegial
environment.” “We have incredibly smart, hardworking, fun and cool people—some
of the best I’ve ever worked with,” raves a source. A colleague shares, “The talent at
this firm is incredible. Everyone is approachable and is willing to share their time and
expertise with you, no matter what level—from managing director, partner, principal
on down.”

Consultants also note that the IC culture is marked by a certain energy that comes
from being a newer firm. A staffer remarks, “The core group of colleagues who joined
from top B-schools are committed to making things work.” “Since we’re relatively
young, it’s a dynamic environment that affords people at all levels the ability to impact
the strategy and structure of the firm. There is a great sense of responsibility for the
stewardship of the firm that you cannot find at larger, older and more established
firms,” remarks a manager. Others love that Infosys offers a “flat organization with a
breadth of opportunities for new learning and development.”

Feedback on the top line

Consultants’ satisfaction with supervisors varies, though most seem to get along well
with their direct managers. “The leaders of my practice are exceptional—very bright
and dedicated. They also have a sincere interest in developing my career,” raves one
source. Another insider claims, “I personally have been fairly lucky in that I’ve gotten
to work with some of the better partners or senior managers. Though other co-
workers grumble, I have to say I’ve had mostly decent supervisors.”

And we’ve heard from some of those who are less happy with the upper ranks,
claiming that their managers have a “disturbing focus on top-line growth.” “There is
a distinct lack of focus on people development, as well as nonexistent
communication/reinforcement of vision and values by the leadership team,” moans
one staffer. Another source explains, “My supervisors are typically decent, well
meaning, intelligent, hardworking and easy-to-get-along-with folks. However, I can’t
rate them higher because they are focused on top-line growth above all else, and pay
little attention to people development or work/life balance.”

Humming away
Respondents say their average workweeks can be anywhere from 40 to 60 hours,
with a “fairly constant level of hum on workload.” “I’ll have a couple of spikes a
month, either due to projects being started, project milestone deadlines or pursuit
deadlines,” a source reports. Project duration also varies across the board: “The

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average assignment in my area is around four months, but that doesn’t give you a fair
description of what I do. I’ll have strategy/capability assessments that go for four to
10 weeks. And then I’ll have full-scale implementations that go on for eight to 12
months,” a colleague elaborates.

Late-night conference calls

Since IC’s consultants are situated all over the world, working at odd hours of the
night is sometimes the only way to connect with colleagues across time zones. With
“7 a.m. and 11 p.m. calls daily,” some sources say work/life balance is always
interrupted. “The technology side of the firm insists on having late-night calls to
accommodate our India staff. It is not uncommon to have multiple late-night calls to
go with the chronically understaffed support infrastructure,” explains a co-worker.
Another insider complains, “Everyone is expected to be available for calls with
offshore until midnight during weeknights, and often over weekends. The assumption
among the leadership team is that people will be available whenever they are needed,
without regard to the time of day, day of the week or personal situation.” “Our brand
is one of delivering at a low cost. This has naturally engendered an expectation from
our clients of obsequious service. And our work culture reflects that with nary a
regard to work/life balance,” says another frustrated staffer.

You draw the line

Others, however, insist that finding work/life balance is simply a matter of being
proactive. “It’s your responsibility to draw the line. PTO is adequate. Family matters
come first, and all partners follow that line,” says a manager. Echoes a consultant,
“Despite the cultural perception that we’re working all the time, there is an
acknowledged respect for time with family. It is very easy to make family time that is
sacrosanct and understood to be so by your co-workers.” And managers are
reportedly willing to work with requests: “If I ever need a week at home to catch up,
they are usually fairly accommodating and let me work from home that week,” a
consultant claims.

It’s in their blood

IC staffers have the attitude that “consulting and travel go together.” “I am a
consultant, therefore traveling is in my blood,” remarks a source. Spending the
weeks away from home is considered the norm—four days at the client site and three
nights at home. “In general, you are expected to be at the client site all the time.
Even when the work involved may be more analytical and does not require client
contact,” a staffer explains.

One respondent highlights the bright side of travel: “Personally, I believe co-location
vastly improves interaction, creativity and problem solving. Since much of my role
depends on being innovative and bringing out the best in my team and the client

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resources, I choose to travel.” For most however, the constant travel is wearying.
“Our travel requirements are only a little worse than other firms with which I’m
familiar. I say a little worse because we seldom push back on clients that want us on
site five days, and the assumption on the part of the leadership team is that you will
be available to travel on a Saturday or Sunday if they think you should.”

Needs improvement
Infosys’ training is “mostly unofficial,” from what we hear. One dissatisfied consultant
feels that “if you don’t actively seek coaching and feedback, and if you aren’t lucky
enough to be able to get away from your client when a formal training opportunity
comes up, you could spend years here without getting any training whatsoever.”
Another source insists that “most training is unofficial. Official training is very

Others see the situation improving. An insider mentions that training is “getting
slightly better on the business consulting side, with increased emphasis from senior
management,” and a higher-up elaborates: “This is an area that we are focusing on
and improving. When we started, we brought in many experienced resources with
little time or need for additional training. As we continue to build our firm and
establish our identity, internally developed training becomes more and more

Clear-cut career track

The promotion process at IC is described as “merit- and capability-based.” States an
analyst, “It’s partially up or out, with a well-defined set of metrics and a thorough
annual review.” And although it’s not formalized, it’s expected that consultants follow
the general timeframe. Describes an insider, “Rates of advancement vary widely. A
fast track would be two years at each level, all the way to partner—six years total from
starting as a new MBA to making partner. Much more typical would be eight to 10
years. There seems to be more tolerance for letting principals and senior principals
sit at their level for several years, than for more junior resources.” Respondents also
say there are no surprises when it comes to promotions: “There is very clear visibility
into the advancement process,” a source comments.

Some insiders attest to the fact that IC promotes a “great deal of respect for diversity.”
“My firm is colorblind,” states an insider describing minority diversity. A colleague
claims the firm is made up of “at least 75 percent minorities.” Respondents indicate
that other types of diversity are respected, too. “From the top throughout the ranks,
we have a great deal of respect for diversity and highly value tolerance,” mentions one
consultant. Another remarks, “My impression is that there are no barriers and no

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discernable prejudice. Also to its credit, IC does provide domestic partner benefits,
regardless of gender.”

That said, the male to female ratio isn’t where it should be. “The culture is not
conducive to hiring women, and the preponderance of IT projects doesn’t encourage
women MBAs to apply, either,” an analyst claims. Another staffer paints a less
favorable picture: “It’s an Indian firm run by white men with little respect for women.
There are two female partners out of 46, and eight female senior principals out of
146, most of whom are in the change management practice, which is traditionally
female.” The firm is reportedly making an effort to improve the balance, however:
“We are working to develop more women leaders and attract more female
consultants,” a manager states. Speaking to the firm’s efforts to move away from
gender gaps, one higher-up notes, “Even though women are probably
underrepresented at both senior principal and partner levels compared to other firms,
we are quite committed to doing whatever it takes to change this, even if that results
in reverse discrimination.”

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Corporate Headquarters UPPERS

Unisys Way
• “Training is excellent”
Blue Bell, PA 19424
• Opportunities to relocate internationally or
Phone: (215) 986-4011
• Flexibility in scheduling and “a fair amount
of autonomy to get [the] job done”
LOCATIONS • “The sense of belonging”

Blue Bell, PA (HQ)

240 locations throughout 208 cities in 48 DOWNERS
• “Teams can be spread over various
locations, which sometimes leads to lack
PRACTICE AREAS of communication”
• “Heavy overhead due to excessive
• Limited financial perks
• “Perception is that the infrastructure is in
Server Technology
Systems Integration

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: UIS (NYSE)
Chairman & CEO: J. Edward (Ed)
2009 Employees: 30,000
2008 Employees: 29,900
2008 Revenue: $5.23 billion
2007 Revenue: $5.65 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Big name”
• “Can’t shake the hardware connection”
• “Good for application consulting”
• “Old, irrelevant”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


Service experts
Having started life as a manufacturer of computers, Unisys’ business model has
evolved over the years to the point where its technology solutions (i.e., the stuff it
builds) now take a back seat to its service offerings. Indeed, the majority of the firm’s
revenue now comes from the four sectors that comprise its services unit: consulting
and systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure services and core maintenance
work. Together, those sectors contribute more than 85 percent of Unisys’ annual
revenue, while the technology solutions unit contributes the remainder.

All of that positions Unisys as one of the leading IT services companies in the world,
although recent years have given the firm some serious issues to worry about (see
below). And, while even the firm’s own research suggests that the perils of the
present economy will continue to impact client budgets—and therefore spending with
Unisys—there is some reason to be cheerful: The firm has a new CEO in the form of
Ed Coleman, and continues to offer services across five major industrial sectors.
Sure, one of those happens to be the particularly hard-hit world of financial services,
but the list also includes the worlds of communications, commerce, transportation
and the public sector, meaning that Unisys is at least positioned across a broad range
of industries as it prepares to wait out the downturn.

Unisys’ annus horribilis

It would be fair to say that Unisys had something of a rough year in 2008. Having
posted losses of $79.1 million in 2007 (which included $66 million in restructuring
charges), the firm’s fiscal fortunes continued to decline throughout 2008, prompting
CEO Joseph McGrath to step down in September after nine years at the firm, three at
the helm. While he was replaced the following month by corporate transformation
specialist Ed Coleman, the company’s numbers continued to decline in the difficult
economy. So poorly did Wall Street rate the company’s performance, in fact, that it
dropped Unisys from the benchmark S&P 500 index in November, following a stock
price decline in excess of 85 percent over the course of the year. (While there is every
chance that the stock price will rebound, perhaps the most ignominious part of the
whole affair is that a financial company—People’s United Financial—replaced it on
the list in the same year that most of the financial industry imploded.) The firm’s full-
year financial results did little to allay fears over its fiscal viability, however, with
declining revenue leading to a loss of $130.1 million for 2008. With results like that,
and a specialist in corporate transformation at the helm, what happened in December
2008 wouldn’t have come as a surprise to many: The firm announced a restructuring
effort, including 1,300 pending layoffs, to be completed throughout 2009.

Among the additional cost-cutting measures that Coleman deemed necessary to

reverse the firm’s fortune—the company estimates these will save some $225 million

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annually—is a plan to consolidate offices, freeze salaries and end 401(k) matching at
the company. Further plans to simplify the company’s complex business structure
have also been mooted, while speculation mounted in late 2008 that the company
would take advantage of its low share price to go private.

A rocky road
Unisys has struggled financially throughout the 2000s—unlike some of its IT
competitors, it never quite recovered from the impact of the dot-com bust. The firm
was formed in 1986 from the merger of Sperry Corporation and Burroughs
Corporation; throughout the 1950s Sperry had existed as Sperry Rand, gaining fame
for its UNIVAC computers, which it licensed to IBM. Burroughs, which got its start in
1886 as an adding machine company, also moved into the computing business in the
1950s, developing mainframes, personal computers and multiprocessors. In 1987,
the newly created Unisys began producing microcomputers and, in 1992, it was
chosen by Nasdaq executives to build the exchange’s mainframe computers.

The 1990s were good to Unisys, which has gradually shifted its focus from technology
solutions and development to IT services, consulting and outsourcing. The collapse
of the internet bubble was a serious stumbling block, however, leading to several
years of dismal earnings. After a brief surge in 2003, Unisys’ profits slumped again,
despite CEO McGrath’s assurance that he was taking steps to put the firm back on
track. By 2006, layoffs had climbed to 10 percent.

In 2008, Unisys came under fire from MMI Investments LP, a New York-based
investment company that owns just over 9 percent of the firm. MMI blasted Unisys
executives for a “seemingly continuous stream of management, operational and
financial missteps,” and insisted on adding two of its own representatives to the
Unisys board. For its part, Unisys hired Goldman Sachs to “investigate alternatives”
for improving shareholder value, a process that likely led to at least some of the cost-
cutting measures discussed above, and which almost certainly led to McGrath’s
resignation as CEO.

India rising
At the outset of 2008, Unisys reported that its offshore operations would grow to
include at least 6,000 employees by the end of the year. Over the next three years,
Unisys plans to focus its offshoring plans on India, China and Hungary;
correspondingly, in September 2008, the firm launched a plan to hire 800 new
workers at its global sourcing operations in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Kumar
Prabhas, managing director of Unisys Global Services India, explained that the larger
workforce will allow the two locations to offer higher-end services, like troubleshooting
operations systems and processing complex transactions, effectively letting the two
Indian locations graduate from basic offshoring center status. Besides increased
demand for outsourcing services from international clients, Unisys says it’s making an

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effort to drum up business with Indian companies (especially airlines, airports, banks
and logistics companies) and government agencies.

Back in the TSA fray

Government contracts have been a cornerstone of Unisys’ business since it began,
but doing business with federal agencies hasn’t always been easy. Unisys embarked
on a contractual relationship with the Transportation Security Administration in 2002;
the $1 billion deal called for Unisys to establish and maintain the TSA’s IT
infrastructure, with a bridge to extend the contract through 2008. Unisys was
charged with building a network to link airport employees to TSA security centers, but
in 2005 government auditors accused the firm of overbilling for 171,000 hours worth
of work on the project, which remained incomplete. According to the auditors, Unisys
pushed the project’s price tag to over $3 billion by recording lower-level employees as
experts and overcharging for their work. Other irregularities were found in Unisys’
timesheets and overtime records, but the firm insisted these were the result of human
error, not purposeful deception. It also disputed the notion that overbilling had
pushed the price tag up, claiming instead that the initial $1 billion ceiling on the
project had been little more than a guess in order to get the project underway. The
firm also suggested that government officials had known this all along, but had run
with the $1 billion figure, as it was felt to be acceptable to Congress.

In summer 2008, the TSA dropped Unisys from a list of approved bidders for phase
two of the project, now known as the information technology infrastructure program
(ITIP). With a new cost of $2 billion, ITIP became one of the TSA’s largest pending
contract awards. Unisys promptly filed a protest with the Government Accountability
Office, and in September 2008 the TSA reversed its decision. Unisys joined EDS,
Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, CACI International and
Computer Sciences Corporation in the final round of bidding, which was expected to
close in late 2008, although the TSA had made no announcement regarding the
outcome as of late April 2009.

Still, January 2009 was an auspicious month for the firm’s federal unit in other
regards. That month, the company was revealed as one of four chosen by the
Department of Defense to complete orders for a radio frequency identification
program. The contract has a total ceiling value of $428 million, and will see Unisys
contributing to the provision of RFID technology and services for not only the U.S.
federal government, but also NATO and selected coalition partner countries (hint: not
likely to include Iran or North Korea). It’s not the first time the firm has performed
RFID work for the DoD; the two organizations have a relationship in that field that
stretches all the way back to 1994 and the days of Operation Desert Storm.

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From the CG to the RNC

Unisys picked up a couple of contracts in August 2008. An initial $2 million deal with
the United States Coast Guard came with four one-year options, each valued at
approximately $5 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Unisys will provide IT
support services to the Coast Guard Finance Center’s core enterprise suite, a system
that’s relied upon by several Coast Guard and Homeland Security agencies. All told,
the suite is responsible for processing invoices, payments and reimbursements for
over 100,000 personnel and thousands of vendors and suppliers.

Later in the month, the Republican Party chose Unisys as the official provider of IT
management and support services for September’s Republican National Convention
in St. Paul, Minn. In addition to providing services for on-site technology, Unisys
managed and monitored convention servers housed at the firm’s data center in
Eagan, Minn. In keeping with the 2008 conventions’ environmentally friendly
initiatives, Unisys touted its data center’s sustainable design and energy-saving
programs. Energy saved? Check. Election saved? No comment.

Signs of improvement?
The firm endured a rough few months toward the end of 2008, what with switching
CEOs and announcing its cost-cutting measures. It began to get back to business as
usual in December, however, announcing a couple of contracts in quick succession—
no mean feat in a stagnating economy—as well as an award for one of its executives.
The first of the contracts was an agreement (for an undisclosed fixed price) with the
General Services Administration to provide maintenance and IT support for,
a federal website. That deal extended a contract that Unisys has held since 2003,
and provides a further base year with four subsequent extension options.

The second deal announced that month is to provide support and maintenance
services for various DoD applications at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s
Systems Management Center in Ogden, Utah. Another extension of an existing
relationship, this time dating back to 1992, the new deal again provides a one-year
base contract with four extension options.

The value of the contracts in question doesn’t appear to have been of earth-shattering
proportions, but they kept Unisys in the public eye for the right reasons, as did the
award that arrived just in time for the holiday season: On December 23, Unisys Vice
President Nick Evans was named among Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders
for 2009.

The good news for the firm continued into 2009, as well. Early in January, Unisys
announced that it had been selected to provide IT outsourcing services for the Dr.
Pepper Snapple Group for one year, continuing a relationship with the beverage firm
that dates back to 2005. Just a few days later, the company announced a significant
win for its growing Indian unit, having been selected as master systems integrator for
an infrastructure project to modernize and upgrade Delhi International Airport.

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Unisys’ role will include the design, testing and integration of various airport
information systems, including those at Delhi International’s new Terminal 3, which is
being opened to help deal with the expected doubling in air traffic in India between
2008 and 2010.


A hiring hodgepodge
The hiring process at Unisys varies widely, so it will be difficult to predict what a
candidate might encounter. Insiders report that there could be anywhere from one
interview to three, or even five rounds of interviews. A principal notes that interviews
may be with human resources (consisting of “psychological questions”), with a
resource manager (who would ask questions to establish whether “you fit with
projects available”) and/or with a prospective project manager. One recent hire
recalls, “I had several face-to-face interviews with different members of the team, and
the last interview was followed by them taking me out to lunch.” Another shares,
“When hired, I was first called by an HR resource to set up a phone interview. The
first phone interview was with a lead manager. A second interview was then set up
with a network engineer. The final interview was done in person at an office location.
Questions in the early interview focused on standard HR questions to see how
someone would respond to different situations. Later interviews were conducted
based on skill set, my resume and familiarity with the company.” Candidates may
also face a general aptitude test, a technical interview and language tests. It seems
that no matter the specifics, the procedure is typically appropriate and “very
professional”; as one consultant puts it, “The number of interviews is acceptable and


A range of reviews
Insider perceptions of the culture at Unisys range from glowing to lukewarm. A senior
systems analyst boasts that the firm’s atmosphere is “the best I have seen in the last
30 years,” and others claim it is “excellent” and marked by “high performance and
accountability.” Less enthusiastic praise for the environment comes in the form of
basic adjectives such as “open,” “direct,” “friendly” and “very nice.” “We are a
customer-centered organization focusing on how we can better help our clients,” says
one respondent, and a colleague adds that the firm is “supportive of learning and
allowing its employees to grow in their careers.” Meanwhile, a less satisfied staffer
warns that there’s a lot of bureaucracy that gets in the way, and a colleague complains

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that the firm is “clinical in assessing performance,” and is “outcome-focused rather

than being purpose-driven.”

Similarly, while some staffers believe Unysis is “well positioned” to succeed and that
“company alliances and partnerships seem to be strong,” others warn there is “a lot
of high overhead that makes us less competitive in the marketplace.” An
engagement manager says optimistically, “I think the outlook is good, as the firm’s
focus is being streamlined to center on core competencies to enhance our position in
the market.” But a recent hire advises, “I think the company needs to focus on
cutting costs and deciding what path to take in terms of products and services.”

Finding common ground

Staffers do tend to agree that Unisys helps foster balance between work and life,
especially due to the “great flexibility” afforded in schedules. “They seem to
understand that their employees also have families and personal issues and allow
time for this,” explains a systems analyst. An engagement manager reports that
Unisys “has been willing to let me split time both on site with the client and virtually
from home, helping me better support my family,” and a cohort agrees, “I have had
no issues with taking the necessary time to accomplish work-related goals, as well as
take time to enjoy life. I like the fact that my hours vary day by day and I have the
ability to work from home remotely.” “The number of hours/days allowed for vacation,
sick and off days helps with balancing work and home life,” an associate adds.

And while a few respondents complain that they are “nonstop overburdened” with
60-hour weeks, most insiders say their workweeks are typically 40 hours with a fairly
consistent workload.

A unified Unisys
Unisys consultants also tend to get along. Most agree that their colleagues are “good
people to work with” who are “friendly and helpful,” and that there is “easy access to
higher-ups.” One source remarks, “The management and HR people I’ve been in
contact with actually do appear to take action and look out for their employees.”
Another says, “My managers are very supportive of my activities and I feel as though
they have my best interest in mind, for the most part,” while a co-worker feels that his
“project manager and general manager are outstanding assets. Very responsive and
helpful.” We’re also told that staffers interact “freely with our clients’ top-level
management.” A recent hire comments, “Thus far, I have been included in all
business meetings with top client management.”

One for all

But opinions are mixed again when it comes to promotion. Some say “it is pretty
standard to get a promotion every other year for consultants” and that “consultants

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move quickly in the consultant layer,” but others say “promotions/advancement are
hard to come by.” A longtimer opines, “I don’t think consultants advance that often
unless they’re really gunning for it,” and a principal feels “it is very (too) difficult to
become a manager.”

Some note that it’s not enough just to do a good job—the firm needs to be faring well
for advancement to be in the cards. “Promotion seems to be based on business need
first, then merit. If the need doesn’t exist, then the promotion will not happen,” an
associate explains. A colleague adds that promotions “obviously depend on how well
business and the economy are doing.”

A mixed bag, travel-wise

While most respondents tell us their travel requirements are minimal, a few insist that
“travel is essential.” A California-based source explains, “A lot of the employees are
remote and work on projects all over the world. Currently, I travel about 75 percent
of the time and work from another location other than my house.” He adds, “As a
consultant for Unisys, you should expect to travel quite a bit or potentially be
relocated, depending on the project. It takes finding the right project and having an
open mind.” A handful of others attest to spending four days a week on the road.
Meanwhile, representing the majority opinion, a systems analyst with half a dozen
years on the job reports, “The only travel I’ve done for the company has either been
1) completely voluntary, or 2) to partake in my overseas relocation, which I

That said, travel is hardly the rule. A D.C.-based staffer claims that “very little travel
time is needed for my job,” and a colleague says he travels only “on occasion,”
qualifying that his time on the road adds up to “maybe five weeks per year.”

Financial frustration
There’s also a majority opinion when it comes to compensation, although in this case
the dominant view is a negative one. While a few staffers are pleased with their
salaries, most express disappointment and add that there are no perks to speak of—
though a few sources do mention profit sharing and a signing bonus.

Beyond that, the extras are “nothing outstanding,” but include health benefits like
dental and vision, tuition reimbursement, the opportunity to work from home and the
“ability to transfer between locations (national and/or international), with expenses
paid for.” Consultants based in Europe also receive a car allowance.

Plenty to learn
Some respondents say the “excellent training programs” are a welcome bonus. A
systems analyst in Australia remarks, “The best form of alternate compensation they

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provide is a great training program so employees can take training classes to keep
their skills up and get certified.” An associate agrees: “This firm provides many
opportunities to increase training and further education through after-hours
programs.” A consultant describes the various types of training, which include
hands-on, web-based, CD programs, classroom-based and more. Still, a few staffers
warn that it can be “difficult to get into instructor-led courses” and “you can’t choose
your courses freely.”

Community affairs
While Unisys doesn’t stand out for its efforts to promote diversity, we’re told it is “well
balanced” with respect to women and minorities. “I don’t see an emphasis on hiring
for the sake of diversity, but we do hire anyone who can perform the job,” explains an
associate. A co-worker agrees, stating, “I have worked with Americans, Australians,
New Zealanders, South Africans, Canadians, Scotts, Irish, Slovakians, Indians, etc. If
people can do the job, they’re hired and brought on.”

When it comes to the community at large, insiders say they simply “don’t know” what
Unisys’ contributions to charity might be. However, some say the firm is “involved in
local community projects” and typically hosts “at least one community service event
each year” for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and United Way. A
consultant also reports involvement with “blood drives and marathons, providing
packages to support our troops and food drives for the poor.”

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101 Main Street UPPER

Cambridge, MA
• Strong backing in its Altran parent
Phone: (617) 532-4700
Fax: (617) 737-9889 DOWNER
• Still somewhat under the radar
Cambridge, UK Email:
Innovation Management
Market Strategy
Safety Consulting
Technology Consulting
Transaction Consulting

Employer Type: Subsidiary of Altran
Ticker Symbol: ALT (Paris Bourse)
CEO: Brian Moon
2009 Employees: 300+
2008 Employees: 300
2008 Revenue: €1.65 billion (Altran)
2007 Revenue: €1.6 billion (Altran)

what other consultants are saying

• “Extremely intelligent”
• “Mostly European”
• “Small and specialized”
• “Underdog”

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Cambridge Consultants Ltd


But what should we call it?

Cambridge Consultants is a product and technology developer operating out of two
locations on opposite sides of the Atlantic, both in Cambridge. The answer to that
weak brainteaser, of course, is that one office is in Cambridge, Mass., and the other
Cambridge, England, making the choice of name almost a given. The firm was
founded in 1960 by Tim Eiloart, David Southward and Rodney Dale, all Cambridge
University alumni looking to bring some academic rigor to the business world. In
1971, it was picked up by the consultancy Arthur D. Little, resulting in a 30-plus-year
relationship that ended (or was significantly altered, anyway) only when Arthur D.
Little went bankrupt in 2002, and sold off certain assets and business units. The
French company Altran stepped in, acquiring the Arthur D. Little name and partially
funding Cambridge’s management in retaking ownership of their firm. As a result,
Cambridge acts as an independent entity within Altran’s network of companies.

Little brother office makes good

The Cambridge, Mass., office opened its doors in 2004, and the firm has since seen
its revenue from U.S. activities rise to 50 percent of its full annual take. As a result,
Cambridge Consultants has prioritized expansion in America, even relocating the
headquarters to the younger Cambridge in June 2007. Subsequent steps in the plan
include hiring new staff and seeking acquisitions Stateside. CEO Brian Moon has also
publicly stated that the firm intends to partner with Boston-area companies in the
creation of new startups.

Creative standouts
The firm’s services include developing products, creating and licensing intellectual
property, and advising on technology for international clients. Some of the sectors it
serves are the automotive, consumer products, health care, industrial products,
wireless communication, transport, semiconductor and defense industries.
Cambridge has a reputation for being innovative, and employs over 200 engineers
and scientists to “combine creative thinking with technical acumen.”

The firm has developed a series of processes by which it explores the possibility of
creating a breakthrough product for a client. These processes are “visioning,” a
simulation of three distinct strategic directions for the client that can be distilled into
a single, best choice; research portfolio creation, wherein consultants assemble the
various research and development projects that will best serve a client’s goals;
structured idea management, or an attempt to gain full support within an organization
for a new concept, no matter how radical; and optimized-for-innovation QFD (quality

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function deployment), an assessment of the new concept meant to determine what

must be changed or traded out before implementation.

We can rebuild it …
Cambridge’s technology consulting practice has a few success stories up its sleeve.
In a project for Bayer Healthcare, the firm was asked to correct a design flaw in the
company’s Clinitek Status point-of-care urinalysis instrument. Cambridge isolated a
mechanical problem in the instrument and developed a new design that could be
incorporated into the client’s manufacturing process without a significant increase in
lead time or cost. Following the project, the urinalysis product entered clinical trials
and later enjoyed a successful market launch.

In a project for an automotive industry supplier, the firm was charged with developing
a design process for the client’s prototype hydrogen sensor that would satisfy the
industry’s safety standards. Cambridge set about the task with an additional goal of
ensuring that the new process and supply chain would not compromise the overall
quality of the product. The ultimate outcome was a hydrogen sensor that held up
under evaluation both by safety inspectors and by customers. The firm also assisted
the client by investigating alternative markets for a family of products based on
modified versions of the technology.

In February 2009, the firm announced that it had signed a framework agreement with
the University of Oxford to tackle a significant problem from the world of science:
providing design services and industrialization advice on a project to develop the
world’s largest telescope. Known as the square kilometer array, the new telescope will
apparently be thousands of times more powerful than the leading specimens today
when it is completed—an event scheduled for 2020. Cambridge’s role is to tackle the
problem of “how to condition and process signals from the square kilometre array’s
40,000,000 receivers whilst minimizing cost and power.” Should be a cinch, right?

… we have the technology

The firm also does a fair amount of tinkering on its own, developing products and
technologies to sell or license to clients. In some cases, this tinkering leads to an idea
strong enough to launch a new venture; since its inception, the firm has spun off
more than 20 companies. Some of these organizations are now even traded on the
London Stock Exchange, such as the pair of inkjet printing innovators, Domino,
created in 1978, and Xaar, created in 1990. Cambridge is also responsible for the
existence of investment company Prelude Trust, Bluetooth technology firm CSR and
semiconductor design firm Alphamosaic. Today, Cambridge’s offshoot companies
carry almost 3,000 employees collectively—many times its own number.

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Cambridge Consultants Ltd

Back to school
Away from its everyday business, the firm helped create the Cambridge Network, an
organization with the stated purpose of uniting “like-minded people from business
and academia” to benefit the community of Cambridge, England. The group was co-
founded by Cambridge University, and draws a number of members from the school’s
faculty and administration. The group organizes classes, lectures and other events,
some of which are available to the public. Recent events include a forum on building
negotiation skills, a lecture on market and product strategy for technology companies,
and an introductory Excel class.


Polish that resume

Applying to Cambridge couldn’t really be any simpler: Go to the firm’s website, find a
suitable opening and email your resume with a cover letter. No online application
forms, no profile building or passwords to remember. Sounds easy, right? There’s
just one thing to bear in mind: The firm is looking for those with “excellent degree
qualifications” in technology-, hard science- or engineering-related fields, and is
especially keen to find problem solvers, communicators and those with a sense of
humor. Still sound easy?

While the majority of the firm’s hiring is centered on the U.K., it does provide a
separate email address for those interested in the Boston office, along with a whole
section of links on “Boston life” for those thinking of applying for a job there.

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2300 West Plano Parkway UPPER

Plano, TX 75075
• Big name in the IT field
Phone: (972) 577-0000
Toll Free: (888) 31-PEROT
Fax: (972) 340-6100 DOWNER • “Inflexible”


Plano, TX (Corporate HQ)
Offices throughout North America, Europe
and Asia Pacific

Application Services
Business Process Services
Consulting Services
Infrastructure Services

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: PER (NYSE)
President & CEO: Peter Altabef
2009 Employees: 23,000+
2008 Employees: 23,000+
2008 Revenue: $2.78 billion
2007 Revenue: $2.6 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Well respected”
• “Staid and conservative”
• “Heavily government”
• “Outdated”

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Perot Systems


King Midas of IT
He may not have won the presidency, but there’s something to be said for founding
two billion-dollar companies. Perot Systems is the second foray into the technology
world by H. Ross Perot Sr., following up on EDS, which he founded in the 1960s and
sold to General Motors in 1984. He founded Perot Systems in 1988, and though it
has not grown as large as EDS, it has been successful in its own right and has grown
quickly. The firm’s initial headcount of eight had ballooned to more than 100 by the
end of its first year in business.

Perot Systems is a global provider of IT and business solutions to the health care,
commercial and government sectors. Clients in health care, including hospitals,
physician practices, health insurance companies and medical device makers,
historically account for about half of the firm’s revenue. Government clients are also
major contributors, and the firm has a standalone division, known as Perot Systems
Government Services, which handles contracts with the Departments of Defense,
Homeland Security and Education, as well as other U.S. government agencies.

Naming navigator
Perot Sr. is today the chairman emeritus of the firm, while his son, Ross Perot Jr., is
chairman. Peter Altabef, who had practiced law before joining the firm’s business
process strategy division in 1993, has served as CEO since 2004. New appointments
have also been made recently—some to help align the company’s strategy with its
continuing plans for global expansion. In October 2008, for instance, Ferenc Szelényi
was named managing director of operations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa
region. That same month, Anurag Jain was named managing director for Asia
Pacific. Szelenyi and Jain will be responsible for promoting new business
development and market expansion in their respective regions.

Those promotions were prompted by the firm’s strong geographic expansion in recent
years. Domestically, Perot Systems began construction on a new office in Lincoln,
Neb., in October 2008. The facility, which will be completed in third quarter 2009,
will house 1,000 employees. Internationally, in 2006, data and technology delivery
centers were built in Mexico and India. The firm also maintains a strong offshore
presence in India through global delivery centers in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore
and Noida. The centers offer 24-hour support for applications and infrastructure

Under Szelenyi, the company is continuing its expansion in Europe, and in February
2009, announced an expansion of its existing facilities in the Romanian capital of
Bucharest. Having been in the country since 2005, the firm is keen to expand its

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Perot Systems

integrated delivery capabilities in the EMEA region, and sees Romania as an ideal hub
from which to achieve that goal.

Good press
Perot Systems is frequently recognized by the media as tops in the industry. In 2008,
for the third consecutive year, it made Fortune’s list of the most admired companies
in America. In 2006 and 2007, it was No. 2, though it slipped a bit in 2008 to the
No. 5 spot. Perot Systems also was recognized in 2008 by The Black Book of
Outsourcing as the No. 1 information technology outsourcing vendor. The publication
additionally gave the firm the No. 2 ranking on its list of the best-50 managed global
outsourcing vendors.

Signing on the dotted line

The firm signed a number of lucrative contracts in 2008. In September, NASA
renewed its deal for integrated infrastructure and IT support services that could be
worth up to $77 million. NASA has been a client of Perot Systems for six years
running. In July 2008, Tennessee-based insurer Windsor Health Plan, Inc., hired
Perot Systems to host its enterprise core administrative system. The firm will
implement its Xcelys 5.0 software, allowing Windsor to consolidate onto a single
platform and eliminate redundancies. And in June, another client, New West Health
Services, tapped the firm for a project that will migrate its software over to the Xcelys
5.0 technology, providing similar benefits through consolidation.

Getting in on the bailout

Responding to the challenges of a changing economy, the firm launched a new
initiative early in 2009 to assist hospitals and health care providers in finding value
from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or, more simply, the
bailout package). Under the terms of the bailout, some $180 billion was laid aside
for health care-related spending—an amount that, among other things, will allow
some 90 percent of doctors and 70 percent of hospitals to adopt certified electronic
health records, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. That represents
a huge opportunity for Perot Systems, and the firm has tailored its offerings to take
account of this, offering not only systems, but guidance for health care providers on
how to interpret and take advantage of the provisions in the bailout act.

See any companies you like?

Where organic growth leaves off, acquisitions begin. In May 2008, Perot Systems
purchased Original Solutions Limited, an IT services firm providing applications
development and management services in Ireland and the U.K. The pick-up will
enhance Perot Systems’ existing capabilities, particularly in Ireland and the rest of the

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Perot Systems

EMEA region. Then, in November 2008, it was announced that JJWild, a provider of
health care delivery systems that Perot had acquired in 2007, would take another
step toward being fully integrated into the firm by adopting its name. JJWild, with 20
years of experience providing MEDITECH products and solutions tailored for health
care functions, was a major addition to Perot Systems’ portfolio. The purchase price
in 2007 was approximately $89 million.


Opportunities for all

Perot Systems’ careers site contains hiring information for everyone from college
grads and those seeking internships to those looking to transition out of the military
and into a successful civilian career. Opportunities exist for all those groups within
both the corporate and government services divisions. As far as the firm’s job
database goes, only locations with open jobs are displayed, but applicants interested
in working in a specific location may sign up to receive alerts as positions become

To apply for spots in the corporate and government services divisions, applicants
must first create a personal profile; clicking a link to apply routes the saved resume
to the appropriate recruiter. Should the resume match and an interview be
requested, the candidate should then expect a technical skills screening, a team
interview and an interview with a hiring manager.

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Raveline Street
Employer Type: Public Company
21 DS Marg
Ticker Symbol: 532540 (Bombay Stock
Fort Mumbai, Mumbai 400 001
Exchange), TCSEQ (National Stock
Phone: +91 22 6778 9999
CEO & Managing Director: Subramanian
Fax: +91 22 6778 9000
101 Park Avenue, 26th Floor 2009 Employees: 130,000
New York, NY 10178 2008 Employees: 111,000
Phone: (212) 557-8038 2008 Revenue: $5.7 billion 2007 Revenue: $4.3 billion

Mumbai (Corporate HQ) • “Large and well established, therefore
New York, NY (North American HQ) relatively safe during rough economic
Over 155 offices in 41 countries, with 42 times”
offices in North America • Flexible schedules
• “Opportunity to work in different areas”
• “No micromanagement”
Business Intelligence & Performance
Management DOWNERS
Business Process Outsourcing • “Lack of established structure in
Consulting administrative matters”
Engineering & Industrial Services • “Evaluation process is very confusing”
Enterprise Solutions • Formal training structure is largely absent
IT Infrastructure Services
• “Disconnect between consulting
IT Services
organization and account organization”
Product Based Solutions
Small & Medium Business
what other consultants are saying

• “Premier offshore”
• “Cookie-cutter mentality”
• “On a growth path”
• “Yet to make a mark”

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Tata Consultancy Services


A new world wonder

Tata Consultancy Services is a leading provider of IT services, business solutions and
outsourcing. Through its global network delivery model, the mammoth corporation
offers its e-business, application development and maintenance, architecture and
technology consulting, engineering, security, infrastructure development and
management services to organizations in more than 53 countries worldwide.
However, the firm’s bread and butter is providing businesses with customized
software packages. Throughout its history, it has catered to finance, banking,
insurance, telecommunication, retail and many other industries. TCS is a part of the
Tata Group—one of India’s oldest and largest business conglomerates—which is
made up of 96 companies on six continents and employs over 350,000 people.

Major millennium milestones

Since its founding in 1968 as a low-cost outsourcer, TCS has become accustomed to
racking up firsts—not surprising, given that it was the first software services company
in India. Even within the last decade, the firm has continued to blaze a trail within its
chosen field. Proving that the dot-com bust wasn’t bad for everyone, in 2002, TCS
became the first software company in India to post yearly revenue in excess of $1
billion. Two years later, the software services company became the largest private-
sector IPO in the Indian market, raising nearly $1.2 billion. Most recently, in 2007,
TCS unveiled TCS China, breaking into the Chinese industry with a joint venture with
the country’s government and other partners. That, along with the $5.7 billion the
company raked in throughout fiscal 2008, should be enough to prove to anyone that
TCS isn’t merely a big deal in the consulting world—it’s a very big deal, and it’s intent
on getting even bigger. Indeed, the company’s stated aim is to break into the elite
band of global consulting firms at the intersection of business and technology.

These days, the company’s client list read like a who’s who of international business,
including the likes of Eli Lilly, Virgin Atlantic, Ferrari and Ericsson—and those are just
some of its IT solutions clients. Its full client roster includes financial institutions such
as State Bank of India and Dutch giant ABN Amro, as well as the likes of Alcoa,
Cummins and even Carnival Cruise Lines.

Global slump, IT in the dump?

Despite its resilience during the last economic downturn (y’know, the one that started
round about the turn of the millennium, even if it seems like small potatoes now),
even the Indian IT market is expected to take a significant hit this time around, as
every corner of the earth has seen some effects of the current economic slump. With
$40.4 billion in software and back-office services exports, India and its IT firms are

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likely to see a fall-off in demand from some of the very clients it established during
the previous downturn.

Wisely, TCS CEO Subramanian Ramadorai has said that predicting the future of the
industry is anyone’s guess. While not exactly comforting, Ramadorai’s statement
does at least demonstrate an awareness that difficult times don’t necessarily come
with an easy solution. That awareness clearly extends to TCS employees as well: In
December 2008, the company announced that its India-based employees would
extend their work day by half an hour, from nine hours a day to nine-and-a-half.

Indeed, the difficulties involved in making such predictions were underlined by the
National Association of Software Services and Companies (NASSCOM) in January
2009. That month, it predicted growth in the region of 16 to 17 percent for the Indian
software and services industry throughout 2009—a prediction that, believe it or not,
actually represents lower levels of growth than in recent years. Double-digit growth
in any industry in the present economy would be an astonishing achievement, so any
hand-wringing over the future of the Indian IT industry is perhaps a little misplaced.

Opportunity knocks
Regardless of what happens to the economy, TCS is likely to be protected from the
worst of its ravages; it’s insulated to some degree from the global economic climate
by its parent company, and it always seems to have plenty of cash on hand just when
it’s needed. Indeed, in October 2008, TCS leadership found a substantial reason to
be cheerful about the economic crisis: The firm announced that it had reached an
agreement with cash-strapped Citigroup to acquire all of the company’s interest in
Citigroup Global Services Limited, its India-based BPO unit for some $512 million.
Under the terms of the all-cash deal, which closed in January 2009, TCS will provide
outsourcing services to Citi and the rest of its affiliates for the next nine-and-half
years. The job is expected to net TCS some $2.5 billion in revenue, or a little under
five times the cost of acquiring the unit. At the same time, meanwhile, the unit still
has the ability to pick up extra work wherever it finds it—not a bad bit of business for

Still expanding
TCS announced a regular stream of new contracts throughout 2008, and continued
to open new facilities and training centers around the world. One area of the world
where the firm sees promise for growth is China; having first established a presence
there in 2002, TCS opened its fourth delivery center in the country in November
2008, a 300-seat facility based in Tianjin that will focus specifically on BPO
operations. That same month, the firm also opened an office in Shenzhen. For those
not up to speed on their Chinese geography, Shenzhen is in Southern China, close to
Hong Kong, and TCS’ move there is an attempt to tap into the booming market in that
part of the country.

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Tata Consultancy Services

Closer to its home base, TCS also opened a new training center in Guwahati, in the
Indian state of Assam. Located in Northeastern India, Assam is a relatively untapped
labor market for Indian consulting firms, due to a recent history of armed insurgency.
Indeed, with its investment in a 200-seat training center in Guwahati, TCS became
the first IT firm to enter the region. According to a November 2008 article in The
Financial Express, TCS’ move into the region gives it access to a “huge English-
speaking population,” which surely “presents an attractive recruitment opportunity …
because of the shortage of skilled manpower in the traditional BPO hubs” around
Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

Earlier in the year—in March—the firm opened another delivery center, this time in
Cincinnati, Ohio. At 200,000 square feet of office space, and capable of housing up
to 1,000 associates, the center became not only the largest TCS facility in North
America, but serves as the primary software development and delivery center for
North American customers.

10-year Genie in a bottle

In November 2008, TCS and Call Genie announced a 10-year contract in connection
with a “major” Southeast Asian telecommunications company, for the use of Call
Genie’s CG InteractAgent and OpenAgent Search software. Call Genie is a leading
global provider of local mobile search and advertising solutions that connect ready-
to-transact consumers directly with local merchants for local directory businesses,
directory assistance services and local media publishers. TCS will help the company
deploy and maintain a local search and advertising solution that allows its operators
to effectively search and access directory listing information for over 35 million
subscriber lines. In addition, TCS will manage the day-to-day and long-term
maintenance of the system.

The firm managed to ink several more deals in the IT sphere throughout 2008, as
well, in a variety of sizes, contract durations and geographical locations. In May, for
example, it tied up the renewal of a service agreement with Virgin Atlantic that will see
TCS manage the long-haul airline’s IT services until 2011. The deal provides an
example of a classic TCS project—one in which the firm manages its clients’ IT
infrastructure from end to end, allowing that client to get on with the business of
running its business. For Virgin Atlantic, that end-to-end service includes not only
providing a 24/7 service desk, but also being responsible for Virgin’s IT infrastructure
and application support services, as well as any necessary IT relationships with other

Taking flight
That’s not the only work the firm has done in the transportation field of late; indeed,
travelers the world over may have reason to be (slightly) more cheerful following a
solution announced jointly by TCS and aviation security experts I-SEC Technologies in

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September 2008. The solution is a suite of automatic document checking software

that simplifies the verification of travel documents required for air travel (that’s ID and
tickets for most folks). The software was developed in partnership with the Star
Alliance network of airlines—a group that includes United, US Airways, Asiana, Air
China and more. TCS was responsible for designing the overall solution and
managing it as Star Alliance rolls it out across various member airlines around the

TCS’ reputation for dealing with official papers was given a further boost in October
2008. That month, the government of India selected the firm for its Passport
Automation Project. Valued at more than 10,000 million rupees (around $202
million), the deal gives TCS end-to-end responsibility for implementing a nationwide
scheme that will allow the government to issue a new passport within three working
days. As would be expected with a nationwide project in a country of more than 1.1
billion people, the scale of the project is sizeable, to say the least. From the date of
the announcement, TCS had 19 months to roll out a pilot project, while the deadline
for countrywide rollout was set at six years, during which time the government would
be conducting a phased opening of 77 passport offices. In addition to digitizing the
passport application process, one of the primary goals of the project will be the
creation of a system that allows applications to be filed online, while every stage of the
application and issue process will eventually be trackable online.

Deals, lots of deals

In May 2008, TCS demonstrated its industry diversity, hopping effortlessly from the
transportation and hospitality sector (the Virgin deal) to the world of semiconductors,
when it sealed a five-year deal with Dutch firm NXP Semiconductors. That contract—
worth $100 million—is another example of TCS providing end-to-end IT services, a
description that in this case includes consulting, application management,
development and support services for NXP’s supply chain.

The previous month, meanwhile, the firm signed an eight-year IT applications

services contract with Scottish Water, worth an estimated £60 million. For its part,
Scottish Water expects to save a minimum of £8 million per year from operating
expenditure. Also in Europe, TCS signed a five-year global contract in September
2008 with Swedish telecommunications firm Ericsson. The project puts TCS in
charge of delivering application maintenance and development services for the
company’s internal IT operations.

Taking it to the bank

While TCS has a very successful financial solutions software arm (BaNCS), it also
conducts IT consulting work for banks and other financial services providers. A
perfect example of its expertise in that area came in June 2008, when it was
announced that the firm had signed a memorandum of understanding to create an

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IT blueprint for India’s J&K Bank. J&K is more than just an acronym, however: It
stands for Jammu and Kashmir, a state in India, meaning J&K bank is effectively a
regional bank. With TCS’ help, the bank is seeking to speed up economic
development in the region—a large part of which is likely to come down to developing
a technology framework within the state. After the firm’s visit to the region prior to
announcing the deal, TCS CEO Ramadorai issued a strong suggestion that the
understanding with the bank was just the foundation stone in a more concerted effort
to establish TCS’ presence in the region, saying that “it has been a great experience
for all of us to understand the business realities on the ground in J&K and learn about
the economic and business potential of the state. We will work with J&K Bank to put
in place a technology blueprint, which we believe can propel the economic
development in this area.”

And banking the awards

As might be expected, TCS had no shortage of admirers in 2008, and the firm took
home quite a bit of swag throughout the year. First, at Frost & Sullivan’s Best
Practices Awards in April 2008, TCS won the customer value leadership award in IT
services for the manufacturing industry. September, meanwhile, turned out to be
something of a banner month for TCS, if not the stock markets. That month, it was
given The Wall Street Journal’s Global Innovation Technology Award in the wireless
category, while also scooping one of Eli Lilly’s Global Supplier Awards. The former
prize recognized the breakthrough of TCS’ mobile-based crop-advisory service,
mKrishi, which gives rural farmers in India better access to information, and therefore
promotes increased productivity and yield potential—something that can even be
adapted for illiterate farmers to use. The Eli Lilly award, meanwhile, was of the more
common garden “information technology excellence” variety.

2009 is sure to bring TCS a whole new type of success to thirst after—from the
beginning of the Formula One racing season, TCS’ logo will be appearing on the
Ferrari F1 car as it speeds its way around racetracks the world over. The contract
with Formula One marks the first appearance of an Indian company’s logo on the
legendary Ferrari F1 vehicles, most famously driven to five of his seven world
championships by the now-retired Michael Schumacher. The deal comes as part of
a technology and marketing partnership between the two companies that stretches
back to 2005.


Don’t hold your breath

Prospective TCS applicants should be prepared to wait a while before getting news
about a job offer. Sources tell us that the firm’s hiring process is “drawn out,”

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“somewhat chaotic,” “slow” and “deliberate.” One new hire reports, “It took nine
months for me to be hired,” although that’s not to say there’s an overwhelming
number of interviews; in fact, the standard seems to be around three. “While the
number of interviews was reasonable,” notes a staffer in New York, “the time to a
decision was long.” A colleague adds that the “paperwork process is extensive.”

The interviews themselves are “very interactive” and “handled very well.” A higher-
up explains, “I have extensive experience at the director level and above, and have
interviewed hundreds of candidates. TCS’ global consulting practice was on par with
any I have seen to date.” Questions candidates encounter may be along the lines of:
“How would you react if you were supposed to stay longer at work?” and “How would
you handle a situation with a customer if you find that the delivery of the project is not
up to his/her satisfaction?”

We’re told that in the U.S., TCS focuses its hiring on “mostly experienced
professionals,” although the firm also recruits at “prestigious institutions” in both the
U.S. and India.


A melting pot
TCS is notable for its “blended” culture of staffers from East and West, with a
dominant “Indian-American mix.” We’re told that “there have been challenges”
combining these two cultures, but as one director reports, “This appears to be
headed in the right direction.” “The company places great emphasis on attempting
to bridge the communication gap across all staff levels in an effort to enable cohesive
working environments,” notes a staffer in Denver. Others say the atmosphere is
“highly collaborative,” “accommodating” and “cordial.” A higher-up boasts that TCS
is “team-oriented with respect for the individuals needs,” and insists that there is
“tremendous attention to linking skills and strengths to client needs,” as well as
“much attention to knowledge and dissemination of knowledge.”

Despite this general optimism, a few insiders express strong dissatisfaction with the
TCS environment, classifying it as “isolating,” “noncollaborative” and “hierarchical.”
But one New York-based respondent admits that while things are “very hierarchical
and regimented from an admin/HR perspective,” they are “very open and collegial in
the consulting practice.”

Room for improvement

With its multicultural base, some say “TCS is very accepting of diversity.” But while
one newbie says “inclusion and collaboration are key drivers to achieve common
goals” and insists that “TCS is an organization that uses its diversity very effectively,”

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not everyone is so convinced that diversity is a priority at the firm. A cohort in Texas
states, “I do not believe the firm is open to GLBTs. They [do] not have any published
policies for or against, it is just assumed that all persons are heterosexual.” But
maybe that’s just the Old South talking? There seems to be a similar issue in the
firm’s home country: A partner points out that cultural norms make GLBT lifestyles a
“taboo” topic at the firm’s Indian headquarters. That said, we’re told that there’s been
a “recent inclusion of health benefits for domestic partners.”

Regarding gender equality, one principal reports, “As a woman, I feel that this
organization has fared quite well, since many new hires have been women.” But a
case team leader says that, “having only worked on one project so far, there were no
women at a senior level in India. Having women in more senior levels seems to be
more prevalent in the U.S.” Meanwhile, a partner in New York indicates that “while
there are no women in executive roles, women do constitute a portion of key work

Striking a balance
Sources across all levels say work/life balance is achievable “to a large extent” at the
firm. “TCS places a priority on insuring that its associates strike a suitable balance
between the demands of consulting and the management of a sustainable personal
life,” reports a partner. Insiders say the firm is “very supportive of telecommuting and
providing flex time when needed for personal issues.” An experienced hire adds, “If
one has to work weekends at all, it is mainly due to poor coordination or planning,”
although a number of staffers do report working 20 to 30 weekends a year. A recent
hire in Texas who works a fair amount of weekends explains that “work is spread
across seven days a week, but does not usually exceed 50 hours.”

Short-term tasks
Indeed, most insiders report 45- to 55-hour workweeks, with workload spikes typically
occurring “two to three times per month.” The average assignment is anywhere from
one month to a year, but a New York-based consultant complains that they are often
“far too short,” adding that “there are few long-term strategic engagements.”
Unwilling to pass up an opportunity to air their grievances, some insiders express
frustration that the “clunky administrative systems” and “unstandardized approaches
to preparing proposals and getting project work done” can bump up work hours
unnecessarily. In addition, warns a U.S.-based engagement manager, “We are
expected to accommodate meetings during India daytime, which can extend the U.S.
workday by six-plus hours.”

Work via the web

On the flipside, notes a recent hire, “Due to the onshore/offshore nature of the firm,
it makes it very nice to work from home often and be less of a road warrior. So much

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can be accomplished by Webex, email, conference calls and the like.” A project
manager adds that “low travel requirements make work/life balance workable.”

Still, there are many TCS consultants who travel as many as four days a week. And
many of those travelers don’t seem to mind their schedule. One senior source has
“no complaints” about his itinerary, which has him head out “on Sunday evening or
Monday morning and return on Thursday.” A colleague sings a similar tune: “I travel
Monday through Friday two to three weeks out of four. I don’t personally consider this
excessive, as it was a clearly articulated job requirement.” A partner adds, “While
budget-conscious, TCS shows reasonable flexibility in its travel and accommodations

A tight budget
It seems that TCS is also budget-conscious when it comes to salaries—most insiders
seem less than thrilled about their compensation. One higher-up notes that the “base
pay is competitive,” but the “annual merit pay raises are not.” A colleague gripes, “I
am supposed to receive an annual performance bonus, but my firm doesn’t like to
pay bonuses, even when earned.” “While TCS has a bonus plan for consultants, they
go out of their way to avoid paying it ... In 2008, the average time between the end of
the salary cycle and payment of any annual bonus was over one year,” a respondent
points out.

In terms of added perks, we’re told there’s a “matching 401(k)” plan of “50 percent
up to $6,000,” with “immediate vesting,” but as one unhappy respondent puts it,
there’s “nothing else” in the way of extras. Another seconds that “there are none,”
other than “a below-average medical plan … that is changed annually to manage
costs down.” A few others mention “adequate” offices, “discounts to fitness
facilities” and “two fun-packed outings with family per year.”

Deeper pockets for philanthropy

TCS’ pockets are evidently much deeper when it comes to community involvement.
The firm “donates more than half of its profits back into making society better,” boasts
an engagement manager. In fact, its “motto is to build stronger communities through
progress and excellence in academics, science, design and technology,” explains a
colleague. While “most” of these “philanthropic efforts are focused on India,”
insiders say there’s plenty happening in the U.S., too. The firm encourages “its
associates to become involved in a myriad of community activities,” including “blood
donation, marches for fund-raising, environmental awareness programs” and “pro
bono consulting in specific situations,” such as “post-Katrina work in the New
Orleans area.”

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Client connections
There seems to be a dichotomy when it comes to client interactions, with some
staffers saying they are “given the opportunity to sit in and participate in discussions”
with clients’ top-level management, and others complaining that there is “very little
visibility into the C level of our clients.” Those sources note that “getting to CIOs can
be a challenge, and getting to business leaders can be next to impossible.” “The
opportunity here is not as great as my prior consulting employers,” remarks a senior
source. Still, a colleague states that the level of interaction “depends on the business
relationship manager for the client. Some are very proactive, and some are less
flexible in terms of giving you access.”

Mixed reviews on management

Supervisors within TCS get largely mixed reviews, as well. Some consultants offer
praise along the lines of, “I was very happy with my previous supervisor and I am
happy with my current supervisor, too,” and “I highly respect my supervisor. He is a
key reason I am with and stay with the firm.” Another source believes TCS managers
are “caring and generous individuals, while still being excellent leaders to learn from
and drive business.”

But others complain that the “weak local U.S. leadership” has “no real decision-
making power and flimsy management style,” and that “supervisors are
inexperienced and untrained.” “Below-average management is the norm at TCS,”
gripes a partner, and a cohort adds, “There is limited leadership overall. It is more of
a concern to get billable without regard for building a sustainable consulting firm.”

Tough to get training

And while one source boasts that “the informal mentoring provided by my boss has
been world class,” it appears that training, too, is hit or miss. A source says, “My
formal training has been nonexistent,” and others say that any official training tends
to come in the form of self study and webinars. A partner warns, “The learning curve
is extended because adequate mentoring and guidance are not given. There is an
expectation that you should go and learn and research on your own.” A recent hire
agrees, suggesting, “I think people need to be officially assigned a buddy that will
help with different aspects of the organization.”

A slow climb
Training or no, we’re told that “advancement seems to be slow” at TCS, and in general
the promotion process “is not well defined.” “Consultants in the U.S. do not get
promoted that often,” reports one staffer. A colleague complains that, rather than
having an up-or-out policy, the firm has a “stay put, do more, don’t get a promotion
policy.” He continues, “I was put in for a promotion by my management one-and-a-

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half years ago and HR has never responded. I have just received my second
promotion since joining the firm, and neither salary nor bonus have ever been
adjusted.” Others confirm that “there are no promotions processes formalized or
communicated within this organization,” and that “it’s very difficult to be promoted
beyond [the] position hired into.” A few staffers even suggest that “there seems to
be discrimination with promoting Americans,” and say that there’s a “focus on hiring
and promoting Indians.”

Satisfied with stability

One area that insiders generally do agree on is the firm’s business outlook, which they
say is anywhere from “good” to “excellent.” An engagement manager reports, “When
the U.S. economy started to show weakness long before the bottom fell out, the firm
was already focusing on other areas of the world to prop up revenue until the U.S.
gets back on its feet. Therefore, we are seeing stability—no growth, but no significant
downturn either.” A co-worker adds that he took a job at TCS in part because
“working for a company based in India with international contracts might be more
beneficial in terms of long-term employment, given the economy in the United
States.” It certainly helps that TCS’ parent company Tata is a household name in
India. A principal proudly comments, “Very few companies around the world could
match the prominence and global reach our firm has established, especially in our
firm’s country of origin”—a fact, a partner notes, that gives TCS the “capital strength
and long-term vision to succeed.”

The positives certainly outweigh the negatives that some staffers point out. A few feel
that the firm is “too focused on outsourcing, which has become a price-based
commodity.” “They need to bridge into higher-level consulting and make the right
investments to get there for the long term,” advises an Arizona-based consultant.

200 © 2009, Inc.



88 Kearny Street, Suite 16th Floor UPPERS

San Francisco, CA 94108
• “Support through mentoring that enables
Phone: (925) 838-8600
you to deliver the best”
Toll Free: (877) 88-KEANE
• Freedom to do your own thing
• “The firm understands that you are a
mature, experienced professional”
San Francisco, CA (Global HQ) DOWNERS
Offices in 12 countries
• “Frequent change in direction/leadership
over the past year has been extremely
• “Still working to combine two somewhat
Application Services
distinct cultures”
Business Process Outsourcing
• Women lacking in leadership positions
Infrastructure Services
Program & Performance Services

Employer Type: Private Company

Chairman & CEO: Mani Subramanian
2009 Employees: 13,000
2008 Employees: 14,000
2008 Revenue: $1 billion
2007 Revenue: $1.1 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Professional, technical”
• “On the move, very aggressive”
• “No exposure”
• “Small player needing direction”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Keane, Inc.


IT is peachy Keane
Keane is a global services firm that serves the insurance, health care,
telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, financial services and other markets, as
well as the public sector. The firm is focused on delivering operation, maintenance,
and evolution of mission-critical systems and business processes, and aims to help
clients realize the greatest value from their IT investments with a hands-on approach
it calls Keane-trinsic KnowledgeSM.

The firm merged with IT provider Caritor in 2007, a combination that moved its
headquarters from Boston to San Francisco, and bumped its profile to that of a
billion-dollar company. Today, the firm has operations in 12 countries, supporting
13,000 employees. It offers business process outsourcing, program management,
and a range of software and technology services addressing applications,
architecture, infrastructure and testing.

The family jewel

The firm was founded (above a doughnut shop, for those interested in trivia) in 1965
by John Keane, an IBM veteran. Most of its early activity was in health care
outsourcing, and it did well enough to get listed on the New York Stock Exchange in
the 1970s. In 1999, Keane stepped down as CEO, passing the title to his son Brian,
who, along with his brother John Jr., had been co-president for two years. John Sr.
remained on as chairman, but Jr. left the company shortly thereafter to pursue
interests in the wireless industry. The family business thrived though, and through
organic growth as well as acquisitions—most significantly the purchases of Fast Track
Holdings Limited, Nims Associates Inc. and Cresta Testing Inc. in 2004 and 2005—
Keane expanded its capabilities and global reach in parallel. Locations were opened
in Canada, the U.K. and India, and its service offerings broadened into software
re-engineering, application maintenance and business consulting.

Fast forward to May 2006, when Brian Keane resigned after sexual harassment
complaints were filed by two employees. The issue was settled out of court, and
former Fidelity Investments executive Kirk Arnold was named CEO, a position he held
until the Caritor merger, when Mani Subramanian took over.

Super Subramanian
Subramanian, Keane’s current CEO, founded Caritor in 1993 with the plainly
expressive name of IT Solutions. The firm’s revenue and geographic presence grew
quickly, enabling the $854 million purchase of Keane, the elder, better-known
company (which explains why the merged entity kept the Keane branding).

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Subramanian holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of

Technology, Chennai, and a postgraduate diploma in business administration from
the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Prior to the founding, he spent 22
years as a manager at Indian tech giants Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services.

Hired by Hopkins
In August 2008, the firm scored a multiyear contract with Johns Hopkins Hospital,
pursuant to which it will implement a front-end patient admission and discharge
solution, and also upgrade the hospital’s back-end billing solution. The new systems
will be linked to over 200 others within the hospital’s network, with the goals of
enhancing the collection and management of patient data, and ultimately leading to
improved quality of care, as well as easier billing and insurance processing.

Playing to strengths
Johns Hopkins isn’t the only health care client on Keane’s list. Over the years, it has
served Blue Cross Blue Shield of both New Jersey and North Carolina, home medical
products maker Invacare Corporation and Beverly Enterprises, a provider of health
care to the elderly. In May 2008, Golden Living, the owner of a network of long-term
care facilities in 22 states, tapped the firm for a five-year contract to automate its
order management system. Keane’s eCharting and ePrescribing applications, part of
its NetSolutions suite, will give Golden Living physicians instant secure access to
patient information. And in October 2007, the firm signed a deal with Los Angeles’
Century City Doctors Hospital to deploy its EZ Access Patcom Patient Management
solution, a web-based, customizable revenue management system.

SAPers and proud of it

In January 2009, the firm announced that SAP AG had certified it as a provider of
solution implementation based on the Run SAP methodology—a solution that is now
a standard part of Keane’s client offerings. In achieving certification, Keane became
one of the first SAP service partners to become certified in the Run SAP methodology,
which may very well work to the firm’s advantage (at least until competitors also
achieve certification).

Putting clients first

In March 2009, Keane announced the appointments of two executive vice presidents
to lead client management and delivery, and to align the firm’s practices and
organizational structure to more effectively address client needs. Jim Milde, who
covers the metro New York, Northeast and Midwest regions, previously held COO and
CIO seats at Random House, Pepsi Bottling, Sony Electronics and United Rentals.
Bob Gray, who covers the South, Southwest and Western regions, has a strong track

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record in the IT consulting field, having previously held leadership roles at Anderson
Consulting (now Accenture), Ernst & Young Consulting, Capgemini and BearingPoint.

Feathers in the cap

Keane is frequently honored for its practices by the media and industry groups. In
August 2008, Mediacorp Canada, Inc., a publisher of job search magazines, named
the firm one of the top-100 employers in Canada for the third consecutive year. In
July 2008, Healthcare Informatics ranked it the 28th leading health care IT vendor,
and Dataquest ranked it No. 65 among top IT companies. Also that month, on a
more intimate scale, client Whirlpool granted Keane its IT Supplier of the Year award.


Work hard for the money

Insiders report that “the freshers hiring in Keane is a benchmark in the industry,” and
apparently Keane does not make it easy. One insider out of the Chicago office says,
“I went through three rounds of phone interviews, followed by an all-day interview
with executives and peers in Chicago over a course of four months before being
offered the job at Keane.” And he doesn’t even mention the entire process! A
colleague offers more detail: “The company has a four-level recruitment program—
an aptitude test, group discussion, technical interview, followed by HR interview, with
a cutoff based on percentile score.” The aptitude test is “straightforward” and is
“usually along the lines of analytical skills.” Another insider tells us that “most of the
campus interviews are through engineering colleges and business management
colleges.” Apparently “the campus relations team has a list of schools categorized
under platinum, gold and silver, depending on the feedback of the resources
recruited from these schools and other criteria.”

People looking to make a lateral move to Keane will also have their work cut out for
them. There are “at least two levels of interviews for experienced resources,” and
candidates will have to survive a “communication skills test, technical interview round
and HR interview round” to get the green light. One consultant says he had to wait
“more than two months” for an acceptance.


Feel free
With offices spanning the globe, Keane’s culture might be hard to pin down.
Consultants out of India tell us that being a professional at Keane means having the

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“freedom to express your ideas.” A big part of the culture seems to be the availability
of management, as “managers and executives are easily accessible and
approachable.” The upper echelons are described as being “quite open to sharing
information and willing to listen to people.” Insiders also describe the firm as
“constantly changing and adapting to keep pace with the business world.” They say
Keane’s “industry vertical focus and its optimal size ensure that people are not lost in
the crowd, and at the same time there is a good degree of exposure in industry

Lost in translation
But something seems to be getting lost in translation. Some U.S.-based consultants
not entirely satisfied with company culture, particularly those in the Boston office.
This might be due to the multiple acquisitions over the last few years. One
respondent describes the company culture with words like, “change, disruption,
turnover, unstable, reactionary,” while another claims that “any culture we had has
been lost in the past two years.” Opinions about management were also not quite as
flattering. One insider feels that the “current client management structure within
Keane is not conducive to serious interactions with senior-level executives across the
organization. Most contact is within a narrow domain.” Several others ranked
interaction with managers as only average due to the fact that there is frequent
“change in managers.”

However, these feelings do not necessarily prevail nationwide. Insiders in Chicago tell
us that the culture is “fast-paced, freewheeling and entrepreneurial at its core,” as
well as “challenging—it’s designed to push an individual to grow in a supportive
environment.” A source on the West Coast notes that Keane is “informal, you can
approach anyone in the organization; entrepreneurial, you have a lot of flexibility in
decision making; and accountable, you are accountable for your deliverables.”

Here and there

The overall consensus from Keane staffers is that maintaining a work/life balance is
just one of the many things they all do well. “Keane is extremely flexible for work,
children and for professional activities,” an insider states. Although work hours can
range from 50 to 70 hours per week, “teams are staffed appropriately, distributed
decision making avoids bottlenecks and dependency,” and there is “encouragement
to groom more leaders,” which enables delegation. These factors combine to put less
pressure on individuals. “The company allows me to work flexible hours to ensure
that I give enough time to my family’s needs.”

One source qualifies, though, that with the freedom they’re afforded, workers have to
be willing to strike a compromise. “I have the flexibility to pick up my kids from
school, but I know that I will have to work after dinner to make up the lost time.” With
the ability to work from home, and with the help of “mobile devices and virtual

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meetings, I am able to find a perfect balance between work and family.” Co-workers
seem to agree: “Corporate intranet and email access helps in being connected
wherever I am, and thus helps in prioritizing time with my family.” Even when things
seem to get a big hectic, there remains some semblance of balance. “If a particular
project demands extra work after hours, this is recognized with flexibility for taking
time off at a later, mutually convenient time,” a consultant explains.

The long view

Also affecting hours is the notion that “working in the global economy means early-
morning and late-evening meetings.” And this seems to be true for Keane
consultants across the board. A source out of Jacksonville says that “you are
expected to work during weekends and nights. Some of this is due to global delivery
that blurs the boundaries of workdays and hours.” A cohort in the Middle East
agrees, noting that “working on 30 percent of weekends is primarily due to
geographical coverage and Fridays being holidays in my region.”

But what Keane consultants don’t have to worry about, which many other consultants
do, is constant travel. Respondents say that there is “no heavy traveling, thanks to
the virtual office, video conferencing, etc.,” and one source attests, “I seldom spend
a weekend away from home, and my company is very accommodating when it comes
to the travel experience of hotels and meals.”

Pay the piper

Keane seems to provide well for its hardworking consultants, offering them a few
perks here and there. For example, Keane provides three months of maternity leave
and two to three weeks of paternity leave, as well as “extensions provided on a need
basis for medical reason.” The firm also offers “reimbursement for fitness equipment
and classes,” and in Canada, a “$5,200 per year for tuition reimbursement” for
higher education. As for additional perks, one grumpy source in Boston remarks, “All
perks were removed when we were acquired by Caritor.”

Move over
Insiders agree that when starting at the bottom “most of the training is official,” but
as you gain more experience and move up the ladder ,”it is more informal and on-
the-job training.” We’re told that official training can consist of technical skills and
behavioral skills training, whereas on-the-job training will most likely involve
mentoring and insights from senior management. However, since many of the
professionals at Keane are experienced, that tends to “compensate for not engaging
in training activities.”

The process for promotion also seems a bit relaxed. Although a promotion process
does exist, again due to the staff’s senior skill level, “functional promotions are

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Keane, Inc.

minimal,” and “promotions are based on annual and project end appraisals.”
Appraisals take place “every six months”—”typical advancement for good
consultants is 15 to 18 months.” One consultant reports, “Promotion is purely based
on performance. Hence, the speed that a consultant advances depends on how good
he/she performs.” One staffer from Canada says, “It is no secret, we promote from
within first,” with another adding that “consultants advance quickly if they have the
enthusiasm to learn, take up additional responsibilities and deliver.” Something else
to be aware of is that as consultants do move up the ladder, promotions may be fewer
and farther between. “At lower levels, promotion is faster, but at higher levels,
multiple people/groups review the performance before promotion,” a respondent
notes. In addition, the company does not have an “up-or-out policy.” Instead, “the
organization is broad enough to offer lateral promotion within new disciplines.”

Come one, come all

Keane seems keen on keeping its firm diverse, although opinions do vary on this
issue. One staffer attests, “Women hold half of the key leadership positions in my
division of the company.” However, that might not be the situation across the board.
A source on the opposite end of the spectrum notes, “I believe we only have one
female in our executive management ranks,” while a Londoner says, “Women appear
to be valued and integrated well into the business. I believe there’s only one on the
leadership council; however, I’m sure that will change in time.” The firm does seem
to be making efforts to hoist women into top positions—”all new hires are required to
take a CBT course on diversity” and “women have separate forums to voice concerns
if they have any.”

Very few discrepancies in opinion exist when it comes to minority diversity. An insider
in Asia reports, “There is absolutely no discrimination with respect to minorities.”
Consultants based in North America feel that Keane is “well diversified due to a large
presence offshore,” noting that “we are an international company, and our leadership
reflects this in terms of minority representation.” That said, GLBT issues “are still very
much undiscussable in Keane,” one consultant points out.

It’s a hard-knock life

A lot of Keane’s charity work seems to be based in its India offices, with one U.S.-
based consultant claiming that there is “not a lot of charity work in the U.S. or the
U.K.” In India, however, respondents say the company “donates to Astha, a society
that works to take care of orphan children.” Another reports that “employees can
voluntarily choose to join this group and contribute. The firm does not push anyone
to contribute.” Instead, an internal group “encourages employees to spend free time
at the charitable organizations.” Keane has also been known for its charitable efforts
toward its employees; specifically one source explains that it “helped housekeeping
and security team members’ kids in their educations.”

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131 Dartmouth Street, 3rd Floor UPPERS

Boston, MA 02116
• Sustainable travel schedule
Phone: (617) 621-0200
• No face time required
Fax: (617) 621-1300
LOCATIONS • “Slow dilution of the core culture as the
founders have moved out of the company”
Boston, MA (HQ)
• “The benefits of being a small company
23 offices throughout North America,
are rapidly dwindling”
Europe and India

Business Applications • Business
Intelligence • Marketing Strategy • Media &
Analytics • Outsourcing • Strategy &
Management • Trading & Risk

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: SAPE (Nasdaq)
President & CEO: Alan Herrick
Chairman of the Board: Jeffrey M.
2009 Employees: 6,400
2008 Employees: 6,400
2008 Revenue: $662.4 million
2007 Revenue: $566 million

what other consultants are saying

• “Highly competent personnel”

• “No exposure”
• “Dot-com survivor”
• “Run-of-the-mill systems integrator trying
to branch out”

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A globe-spanning entity
Founded in 1990, Sapient is a global services firm that operates two business lines:
Sapient Interactive and Sapient Consulting. Predictably, the interactive side of the
business deals with all things, well, interactive (such as marketing, website
development, media planning and buying, and the like). The consulting side of the
business, meanwhile, advises clients on business and IT strategy, customer
relationships, supply chain, web solutions, data warehousing, marketing strategy and
much more besides. It also boasts outsourcing capabilities, having developed and
maintained outsourcing relationships with over 300 global clients since its inception.

Serving industries from the financial services sector to government, and from media
and entertainment to retail and consumer products, Sapient’s client list is as extensive
as it is impressive. While it boasts companies of the stature of Barnes and Noble,
Sony and Ferrari among its clients, the firm has specifically provided its business and
IT strategy services to the likes of energy firm AGL Resources, as well as federal
clients such as the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Justice. In addition to
its 13 U.S. offices, meanwhile, the company operates in a seven other countries
throughout Europe and Asia, with three offices in India alone.

Rolling with the punches

Back when it first got its start, Sapient’s offerings were nowhere near as elaborate as
they are now, and were confined mainly to client and server solutions. From that
base, though, the company rode the wave of 1990s tech boom, adding internet
consulting and systems development to its capabilities. Like many companies in the
tech field, however, the firm came back to earth with a bump in the aftermath of the
bubble-burst in 2001. That year, the firm cut around a third of its U.S. workforce,
while also branching out into outsourcing in India. The following years saw Sapient
slowly rebuild its operations, with a greater focus on interactive marketing and web-
based applications systems, and it has consistently increased its revenue ever since.

Taking stock
Another thing Sapient had in common with many of its peers in the early 2000s was
the emergence of a scandal related to the backdating of stock options. Evidence of
a problem first arose publicly in August 2006, when the firm announced that its
board’s audit committee—with the help of outside agencies and forensic
accountants—had launched an internal investigation into Sapient’s stock-based
compensation practices over the course of the previous decade.

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Even before the investigations had been concluded, the firm had reshuffled its
management. Out went CFO Sue Cooke and co-founder, Chairman and CEO Jerry A.
Greenberg in October 2006. Former Novell CFO Joseph S. Tibbets Jr. replaced
Cooke, while Sapient Executive Vice President Alan J. Herrick took over the CEO’s
chair. Both remain in their positions today.

The voluntary investigation only continued for one more month, with the audit
committee reporting in November 2006 that several irregularities had been found in
the pricing of stock option grants awarded between 1996 and 2001—many of which
had to do with the backdating of options. Unsurprisingly, given their recent
departures, the committee also reported that Cooke and Greenberg had participated
in issuing the options.

The affair wasn’t quite over, however, as the SEC stepped in with its own review of
Sapient’s stock option grant practices. Happily for the firm, that investigation drew to
a close in August 2008 without the SEC recommending any enforcement action to be
taken against it.

Stockholm syndrome
While many competitors were struggling in the 2008 economic downturn and looking
for ways to cut costs, Sapient was out finding new markets to tap into. The firm began
by opening a new office in Stockholm, Sweden, in March 2008—a move that
increased its footprint in Scandinavia, where the firm reports an increasing client
base. According to Sapient Europe’s managing director and vice president, Dr.
Christian Oversohl, “The Nordic region is an important market [for Sapient] because
it is home to several large multi-national companies, which are typically early adopters
and drivers of innovative IT and interactive solutions.”

In a further move to expand its European footprint, the firm acquired London-based
Derivatives Consulting Group in August 2008. While the name of that firm may cause
some bankers to shudder, having been the very financial instruments that contributed
to the economic meltdown, the group specializes in providing derivatives consulting
and outsourcing services to investment banks, hedge funds and banking clients,
rather than, say, making wildly speculative investments in derivatives markets.
Theoretically, that’s good news for Sapient, as the acquisition adds those specialties
to its roster of services. The bad news? It’s impossible to say how many of the clients
DCG brought with it will be left standing by the time the recession is over.

The buddy system

A key part of Sapient’s methodology is to partner with other organizations as it seeks
to align marketing and IT strategies for clients. Accordingly, the firm has an
agreement with the Kellogg School of Management that has led to the two authoring
studies together. Most recently, in April 2008, the firm extended its strategic
partnership with Art Technology Group, an e-commerce specialist. Having worked

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closely together on e-commerce and web marketing projects for leading brands, the
companies extended their partnership to tap global target markets. The alliance
brings together ATG’s e-commerce platform with Sapient’s experience in using it to
improve marketing, merchandising and sales for clients.

Gathering gongs
Sapient picked up a couple of awards that cemented its reputation as an employer of
choice in 2008. First, in June, it was honored as one of five consulting firms to
receive Consulting magazine’s first annual achievement award for excellence in
diversity. That was followed up in November when the company was named to The
Boston Globe’s 100 Top Place to Work list. While restricted to businesses in
Massachusetts, the award takes into account employee opinions on such matters as
company leadership, compensation, diversity, values, ethics and more. Part of the
reason the firm’s Massachusetts employees may have been so effusive with their
praise is that the company relocated its headquarters in May 2008, moving from its
ancestral home in nearby Cambridge into Boston’s chi-chi Back Bay area.


Wanted: “Why not” types

Sapient boasts a comprehensive careers section on its website that covers everything
you might want to know about working for the firm. There are case studies from Yale
and Harvard that demonstrate the firm’s corporate culture, blogs by the current
consultants and execs, and examples of the firm’s recent projects. Candidates can
conduct a quick job search by city for an open position or create a profile online,
complete with a job search agent that emails them when jobs match their skills and
background. The firm also recruits from top IT programs around the country,
including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Maryland, Boston University and

The firm describes candidates who best fit the Sapient profile as “‘why not’ people”
who know how to solve problems. “All candidates are evaluated on domain skills (can
you do your job), ability to exhibit Sapient core values (culture fit), and ability to be a
consultant (consulting skills),” explains an insider. Interviews are reportedly
straightforward and involve at least one case question. One source explains that
“domain interviews span technology, program management and business

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“Not always about work”

Sapient’s culture gets a lot of positive press from insiders. A consultant states, “We
have a very smart workforce that is highly engaging to be around. It is not always
about work all the time.” Respondents seem to feel that the firm’s “core values” have
a big impact on the culture. “Sapient prides itself on actually living its core values.
It’s the differentiator between them and the big guys.” Another staffer agrees: “It’s a
strong internal culture with specific core values that are measured and rewarded.”
Others indicate, however, that as the firm has morphed from a small startup to a
bigger player, the core values have gone by the wayside. “The company is also
growing, and it’s clear that the core values are taking a back seat. There is not much
of a difference between Sapient and the big guys anymore,” a manager claims. A
colleague remarks, “Execution of core values varies on each account. But the open
culture allows you to voice your opinion, even though probably nothing will come of

Learning and climbing the ropes

According to staffers, one of the most positive aspects of working at Sapient is the
advancement policy, which is “not up or out.” “Promotion is based entirely on merit
and hardly ever on tenure or length of service,” a consultant mentions. The firm
offers plenty of formalized training in the form of live and online courses, but sources
say it’s a work in progress. “Training is improving, but generally lags Big Five
standards,” states a manager.

Aside from standard benefits like insurance and 401(k), consultants receive a home
computer reimbursement of $500 every three years.

Sapient staffers have a typical consulting-style travel schedule, with a “3-4-5 travel
model: three nights away, four days away and the fifth day back in the home
geography.” Though it may not be ideal, most sources feel that it’s “sustainable.”
Most consultants put in about 50 to 60 hours a week, with hours peaking about one
week per month. Within those hours, the firm maintains a flexible approach to work,
which insiders say gives a sense of work/life balance. “Sapient is not a ‘show face’
culture. If you meet your commitments (defined broadly), it usually doesn’t matter
where you do that,” a consultant asserts. And while the hours generally are flexible,
there are a few complaints about “daily 7 a.m. conference calls and occasional calls
at 11 p.m.” to communicate with co-workers in India.

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“Stuck at ‘Sape’”
The firm’s leadership gets mixed reviews. One consultant admits to being down on
management: “Thought leadership is severely lacking. It’s present in some areas of
the company, such as interactive marketing or trading and risk management, but rare
to find anywhere else.” A colleague explains further, “Most of the leadership has
worked with the company for 10 or more years, so it’s very insulated at the top. Most
of them don’t read industry news, or even understand basic market news. They’re
almost stuck at ‘Sape’ because all they know is IT project management at a small
firm. Having said that, some great talent still remains, even though many are moving
on to the big guys.”

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23 CGI

1130 Sherbrooke Street West, 7th Floor PRACTICE AREAS

Montreal, Quebec H3A 2M8
Business Process Services
Managed Application Services
Phone: (514) 841-3200
Systems Integration & Consulting
Fax: (514) 841-3299
Technology Management
11325 Random Hills Road
Fairfax, VA 22033
Phone: (703) 267-8000
Fax: (703) 267-5111 • “CGI appears to have found a great niche for what it is able to provide”
• “Given the turbulent economy, CGI
remains in a purchasing posture and is
LOCATIONS looking to buy, rather than be bought out”
Montreal (Global HQ)
Fairfax, VA (US HQ)
More than 100 offices in 15 countries
• “If you work on the cash-cow projects,
career mobility is nonexistent”
THE STATS • “It takes several years before most people
Employer Type: Public Company see their first promotion”
Ticker Symbol: GIB (NYSE), GIB.A (TSX)
President & CEO: Michael E. Roach
President, US & India: Donna Morea
2009 Employees: 27,000
2008 Employees: 26,500
2008 Revenue*: $3.71 billion
2007 Revenue*: $3.63 billion

*Financials are in Canadian dollars

what other consultants are saying

• “Great, great culture”

• “Boring work”
• “Highly selective”
• “Was great when it was AMS”

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Big and well prepared

CGI is a global IT consulting firm focusing primarily on five markets: financial services,
health care and government, telecommunications and utilities, manufacturing, and
retail and distribution. Its clients include 45 of the top-50 banks in the Americas and
Europe, seven of the 10 largest global telecom carriers and major worldwide
corporations working in aerospace, metals and mining, chemicals, and oil and gas.
The firm also serves numerous retailers, government agencies and health care
organizations. It maintains more than 100 offices in 15 countries, with 27,000

The firm operates through four practice areas—business process services, managed
application services, systems integration and consulting, and technology
management—and it has amassed a portfolio of more than 100 proprietary solutions.
Its service offerings are extensive, covering a broad range of information and process
management, application development, testing, e-business, security, web hosting
and business transformation.

Growing up
CGI was founded in Quebec City in 1976 by Serge Godin. Quite young at the start
(only 26), Godin would preside over 30 years of growth, including more than 80
acquisitions. He stepped down as CEO in 2006, succeeded by Michael Roach, but
remains a significant fixture in the company through his new position as executive
chairman of the board. Godin’s achievements were recognized in November 2007
through his induction to the Canada Business Hall of Fame.

In conjunction with Roach’s appointment as CEO, the company began to put more
emphasis on strategic planning, new business development and overall expansion.
The transition came during a difficult period in which revenue was declining and
nearly 1,000 employees were laid off. However, the firm was able to bounce back
somewhat after signing lucrative long-term contracts with Universal Insurance of
North America (to manage business processes, worth $75 million over seven years)
and Cirque du Soleil (to provide IT infrastructure, worth $130 million over 10 years).

Keep signing
And business continues to roll in. In March 2009, CGI subsidiary CGI Federal
announced a $135 million, five-and-a-half-year contract to provide maintenance and
enhancement for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The firm’s role will be to update
the systems’ Medicare Advantage and Part D systems that handle data and
transaction processing shared by government agencies, plan providers, pharmacies

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and retirement plans. It’s not the first Medicare contract the firm’s won, either—in
addition to a $25 million contract to work on the Medicare appeals system awarded
in February 2009, CGI picked up a five-year deal valued at $15 million in October
2008. Working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CGI Federal will
provide maintenance and operational support for the Centers’ health plan
management system, and ultimately convert it to a new technology architecture.
Elsewhere in the health care industry, the firm signed a three-year deal with Medi-
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in September 2008 to provide business process
outsourcing services.

Calls are coming in from the financial services sector, as well. In June 2008, in deals
collectively worth $80 million, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and
BMO Financial Group each extended for seven years their contracts for use of CGI’s
Proponix global trade platform. Proponix offers data management and reconciliation
for multiple variables in global trading.

Special effects
CGI automatically sets itself apart from competitors on its technology alone, offering
more than 100 proprietary solutions and holding 25 U.S. patents. Some examples of
its breakthroughs include: Momentum® and AMS Advantage®, both enterprise
resource planning solutions designed for government agencies; CACS® Enterprise, a
collections system tailored for large organizations processing a high volume of
accounts; ACLS® Enterprise, a lending system allowing real-time processing of retail
consumer credit products; eFluidTM, a customer relationship management and
customer interaction system; Identicate®, a security application that scans for identity
theft; and Sovera® for Human Resources, Health Information Management and
Patient Financial Services, a document management application that converts paper
documents to electronic images.

Wherever it’s needed

The firm doesn’t discriminate when it comes to global delivery, allowing clients to opt
for on site, onshore, nearshore, offshore or some combination of those. To strengthen
its U.S. onshore delivery capabilities, the firm unveiled a new facility in December
2007 called the Southwest Virginia Technology Center of Excellence. Located in
Lebanon, Va., the facility was praised by Governor Tim Kaine as being “an anchor of
new economic development in the region.” The center can support 235 software
developers and will improve the cost-effectiveness of CGI’s onshore offerings. To
coincide with the opening, Donna Morea, the firm’s president of U.S. and Indian
operations, presented the college of Virginia Tech with a $100,000 check toward the
establishment of two separate scholarships for the school’s engineering and business

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Well regarded
CGI can lay claim to a number of awards and honors. In August 2008, it was named
the best fit integrator by the Center for Digital Government. The firm was cited for its
elegant designs and strong work teams in the areas of finance and administration. In
June 2008, AT&T gave it a supplier recognition award for its reliability and excellence
in service to the company and its affiliates. CGI has also appeared on multiple best-
of lists. In 2007, MediaCorp Canada ranked it among Canada’s top-100 employers
(out of 47,000 total); the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals
placed it No. 12 out of the 100 best outsourcing providers; InformationWeek listed it
as a top-100 global services company; and GovernmentVAR included it in a
breakdown of the top-100 government integrators.

The firm also makes the grade when it comes to industry certifications. CGI’s India-
based software centers operate at CMMI Level 5, the peak quality rating as
determined by the Software Engineering Institute. The firm was additionally the first
North American IT company to achieve ISO 9001 certification for its project
management framework. ISO 9001 status, as set by the International Organization
for Standardization in Switzerland, recognizes a company’s commitment to
disciplined business processes, and requires quarterly internal audits and
assessments by an external registrar twice yearly.

A very good year

It’s not only awards that the firm was celebrating at the end of 2008, however; it also
showed a strong financial performance for the year, posting a revenue increase of 5.3
percent, up to $3.71 billion (that’s Canadian coin, mind you). The value of new
contracts signed throughout the year increased by almost 30 percent, up to $4.15
billion—an increase of around $1 billion on 2007’s totals.


Three rounds and you’re out (or in)

Insiders describe their firm’s hiring process as a fairly laid-back affair. It generally
consists of a standard “three interview rounds after an initial HR screening” for
experienced hires. One source reports that his “first round was a phone interview
with HR,” while the “second round was a phone interview with a team lead.” The
third round, meanwhile, “was a face-to-face interview with project staff,” followed by
a fourth and final round with a director and VP. A cohort reports a similar experience,
adding that “the interview had no case study questions, just a lot of the typical
questions such as ‘why CGI,’ strengths/weaknesses, consulting and working with
clients, as well as other experience-related questions.”

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For college hires, meanwhile, CGI recruits “in schools near the office. Then the
recruits go to CGI for one afternoon for a series of interviews.” A recent college recruit
describes the process thusly: “I had a 30-minute phone interview, followed by a half-
day of interviews consisting of a lunch with a recent hire, Q&A with an HR rep, two
30-minute interviews, and then a wrap-up session with the same HR rep.”


Easy street
CGI insiders describe their company as a “fairly relaxed” place to work: “The culture
here at CGI is business casual with regard to office atmosphere, not exclusively the
dress,” says one source. Indeed, the relaxed concept appears to apply to everything
from flexible scheduling, when possible, to a collaborative culture. “There is an
understanding that people are expected to deliver and contribute to their projects, but
at the same time people are relaxed, friendly and helpful,” a consultant states.

The only time the firm’s employees seem to stiffen up, in fact, is when there are
clients around. Not only does dress code switch to “business/tie at the client site,”
but the culture “can be intense about meeting some client deadlines.”

“If you do not like IT consulting ...”

As the header suggests, those thinking of applying to CGI need to be aware that the
firm expects a high level of technical knowledge in all positions. Further, one insider
has the following counsel for job seekers: “Do not take a job here thinking that a
nontechnical role will be strictly business processes/operations-oriented, because it is
not.” While that may suggest something of a dependence on people with technical
rather than soft skills, sources say “most co-workers are a pleasure to be around
during work and after work hours.” It also means that the firm is “not too hierarchical,
as employees are usually respected more for functional and technical expertise than
for their title.”

That outlook is perhaps a result of the fact that some employees believe there is
“relatively low career development” at CGI. On the promotions front, insiders report
that “if they come, they seem to come around the six- or seven-year mark,” albeit
“with exceptions.” Those exceptions are perhaps why one insider describes the
promotions process as “fluid and flexible,” pointing out that “some people get
promoted from consultant to senior consultant in three years, while others can take
10 years.” In short, CGI isn’t an up-or-out kind of place. And even when the “ups”
do come around, we’re told they “do not necessarily come with raises.”

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Maybe you’ll get lucky

CGI seems to be similarly reluctant to dole out either training or mentoring to its
employees. “There is no formal mentoring program after the employees’ first few
weeks, and the training is limited, though CBT training is plentiful,” one staffer
reports. According to a consultant in New York, at least part of that comes down to
the individual managers: “Certain managers are great to work for and are great
mentors, while other managers are just there because they are old-timers within the
company but have very little leadership and decision-making skills.”

A tough balancing act

As with most consulting firms, working hours vary “depending on the project,” which
of course is another way of saying they depend on the demands of the client. “If you
end up working on a large engagement on a client site,” says one source, “there will
be virtually no work/life balance since you will be asked to work long hours.” Not only
that, but “more than likely you’ll end up losing your vacation time.”

Still, for the average CGI consultant, work/life balance is constantly in flux, with one
source perhaps summing it up best with this description: “Overall, I am able to
balance work and life. I have been able to be a volunteer coach the past few years.
Most years, I was able to make practice once a week. One year, though, when I was
on a project with a demanding client and a strict deadline, I didn’t make practice as
often as I’d have liked.”

Similarly, the need to travel “very much depends on the project that your are on,” as
well as “your experience level.” An insider points out that “for many projects that
have long-term engagement with clients, CGI has a permanent presence on site.”
That’s good news if that site happens to be near your home base, not so good if it’s
in a different state.

Keeping accounts
The firm expects its consultants to stay billable, and doesn’t seem to tolerate
slackness. “The only time I’m not billable is when I take vacation/personal time off,”
says one consultant. “CGI does not believe in having employees on the bench. If
you’re benched, you’re given two weeks to find a new assignment within CGI. If you
don’t find one, you will be let go.”

Sources tell us that the company is similarly mercenary when it comes to bonus
payments. While the general perception is that “compensation is fair and within the
market,” respondents say “CGI does not give signing bonuses,” although there are
occasional exceptions for “some new college hires.” And, apart from 401(k)
matching and a stock purchase program, CGIers don’t report much in the way of
extra benefits. “There’s supposed to be a profit-sharing program,” says one, “but
most employees have never received a penny from it.”

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On the diversity front, meanwhile, staffers don’t say much, but what they do say is
generally positive. Apparently, “CGI does as excellent job of promoting women into
leadership roles,” a fact verified by an insider who reports that “there are a large
number of women at the team lead, manager and director levels.” Not so hot,
however, is that “there aren’t many women at the VP level,” and “there are no women
on CGI’s board of directors.” As for ethnic diversity, a consultant in New York believes
that “most minorities [at CGI] are of Asian descent.”

Hoping reputation will speak for itself

CGI consultants seem to be relatively upbeat about the future of the firm, especially
in the public-sector realm. Says one respondent, “Among public-sector clients, CGI
has a decent outlook. However, due to the current financial state of the economy,
there are very few private-sector clients left on CGI’s roster.” As for broadening its
prospects, we’re told the firm relies on its brand to drive further business. “CGI does
not do extensive advertising, but rather relies on the quality of its work to win new
contracts and renew existing ones.” Let’s hope for the best!

220 © 2009, Inc.



2001 Bryan Street, Suite 3600 THE STATS

Dallas, TX 75201
Employer Type: Subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.,
Phone: (877) 664-0010
a Public Company
Ticker Symbol: HIT (NYSE)
President & CEO: Michael Travis
LOCATIONS 2009 Employees: 1,500+
2008 Employees: 2,000
Dallas, TX (Global HQ)
2008 Revenue*: $26.4 billion
Atlanta, GA
2007 Revenue*: $27.3 billion
Bethesda, MD
Boston, MA *Revenue figures refer to Hitachi Information &
Chicago, IL Telecommunications segment

Denver, CO
Houston, TX
Irvine, CA
Iselin, NJ • “High visibility to upper management”
Los Angeles, CA • “Having control over my career”
Philadelphia, PA • “The firm really cares about its employees
Portland, OR and it shows”
Redmond, WA • Extensive philanthropic activities
San Francisco, CA
24 offices in seven countries
• “Growing bureaucracy as the company
PRACTICE AREAS • Average or below-average compensation
Corporate Management and bonus
Customer & Channel • “Each one of our offices has its own
Strategic Technology unique culture and sometimes it does not
Supply Chain lend to the bigger company culture”
• Office politics and “red tape”

what other consultants are saying

• “Solid performer”
• “Not well known”
• “Currently building a footprint in the ERP
• “Hey, IBM—me too”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Hitachi Consulting


Hitachi goes into services

In November 2000, Hitachi Ltd., the Japanese technology manufacturing
conglomerate, purchased Grant Thornton’s IT consulting arm. For Hitachi, the $90
million, 450-employee unit was its first foothold in the consulting world; the Tokyo-
based company had previously focused solely on building computer equipment and
semiconductors. Grant Thornton saw the deal as a way to streamline operations and
concentrate on its core tax and accounting businesses. (These days, Grant Thornton
has re-entered the consulting game.)

Hitachi ran the new unit under its old name, Experio Solutions, and through the
leadership of former Grant Thornton Managing Partner Chuck Scoville, it quickly
became a core part of Hitachi’s North American business. Experio made rapid
acquisitions of its own, too, buying up rivals WaveBend Solutions, Tactica Technology,
Aspirity, Dove Consulting, Impact Plus and Iteration2. In 2003, Experio was renamed
Hitachi Consulting, and in 2006, Hitachi’s Japanese advisory company, EXSURGE,
took the same name. Also that year, Hitachi Consulting opened offices in the United
Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, solidifying its stature as a global IT player.

Middle market and beyond

Currently, Hitachi Consulting has 1,500 employees worldwide, with over a dozen U.S.
offices and international operations in Germany, Spain, Portugal, the U.K., India and
Japan. Its client base includes about 35 percent of the Fortune 500 and 25 percent
of the Global 100, but also serves Global 2000 corporations and the middle market.
The firm’s industry expertise includes air and defense, energy and utilities, food and
beverage, communications and content, engineering and construction, industrial
manufacturing, health care and life sciences, consumer goods and retail, high tech
and software, and financial services.

Still a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., the consulting arm operates within its parent’s
information and telecommunication systems segment. Hitachi Consulting’s four
service lines include business intelligence and performance management, corporate
management, customer and channel solutions, and supply chain solutions. Its
lengthy list of clients, past and present, includes Toyota, Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Southwest Airlines, Clear Channel Communications, Abbot Laboratories, CorVel
Corporation, Verizon Information Services and the National Association of Realtors.

Financial services debuts

Hitachi’s business expanded in March 2008, when it purchased San Francisco-based
consulting firm JMN Associates, which specialized in IT and strategy consulting for

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the financial services, insurance and real estate industries. The acquisition led to the
formation of a new financial services industry practice within Hitachi; JMN founder
and Chief Executive Jim Neckopulos became that division’s managing vice president.
Dove Consulting, an earlier Hitachi buy, also had a financial services business, which
was combined with the new practice.

Almost a year later, the firm also extended its European operations, purchasing
Edenbrook, a U.K.-based provider of IT solutions. A specialist in Oracle and Microsoft
solutions, the firm serves some big names in U.K. business, including the likes of
Virgin Media, Lloyds TSB and easyJet. As part of the takeover, David Kilpatrick,
Edenbrook’s managing director, became managing vice president of Hitachi
Consulting’s U.K. operations.

Microsoft buddy
Microsoft has given Hitachi Consulting a slew of awards over the years, and in 2008,
the firm was a finalist for Microsoft Dynamics Partner of the Year. In the past, Hitachi
has won Microsoft’s Information Worker Solutions, Messaging and Collaboration
Award, Dynamics Partner of the Year and Data Management Partner of the Year. The
firm is also part of the Microsoft Business Intelligence Partner and Office Developer
Advisory Councils.

In October 2008, Hitachi launched database optimization, a new (and patent-

pending) management solution for clients using Microsoft SQL server environments.
Drew Naukam, the vice president of Hitachi’s Microsoft alliance, said the product is
already being put to use by some of the firm’s clients, including a Fortune 50 retail
company, a major satellite provider and a global chemical manufacturer.

One to watch
The prestigious Oracle Titan Award for Edge Applications went to Hitachi Consulting
in September 2008, in recognition of the firm’s work helping companies implement
supply chain projects. This was one of just 14 awards Oracle handed out during its
annual Oracle OpenWorld conference. Hitachi received special attention for its work
for Valassis, a leading media and marketing services company. Valassis had hired
Hitachi to implement Oracle’s transportation management system in an effort to
contain transportation costs. Within five months of the system’s launch, Valassis
reported that it had attained—and exceeded—its savings goal.

CRM Magazine gave Hitachi another nod in September 2008, naming the firm “one
to watch” in its annual market awards. It was Hitachi’s debut in the rankings, and
according to the publication’s managing editor, Joshua Weinberger, “[Survey]
respondents told us they were impressed with Hitachi Consulting’s penetration into
the Fortune 100, and with its particular strength in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
implementations; with Microsoft’s ever-expanding role in CRM, that’s one reason we
made Hitachi Consulting a One to Watch for the year.”

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Top-tier movements
The firm announced a new CEO in March 2009, with existing COO Phil Parr being
promoted to the top slot vacated by Michael Travis, who left to head up Hitachi
Consulting’s parent company, Hitachi ITSG Holding Corp. New CEO Parr joined
Hitachi Consulting in 2002 as part of the firm’s acquisition of Arthur Andersen’s
business consulting practice. Prior to arriving at Hitachi, Parr spent a total of 16 years
at Andersen, beginning a 10-year stint in 1982 before serving four years as CIO of a
national food distributor, followed by a further six years at Andersen’s business
consulting practice.

Additional new executives were also brought on board in 2008. Mike Matthew, a
longtime consultant who specializes in the aerospace and defense industries, joined
Hitachi as a VP in June 2008. He’s charged with growing Hitachi’s aerospace and
defense practice, and serves as global account vice president for one of its biggest
defense clients. Based in Los Angeles, Matthew will also expand the firm’s client list
in the Pacific Southwest.

In other news from the balcony, Vice President Stephen Brant was named to
Consulting magazine’s top-25 consultants list for the fourth consecutive year in June
2008. Brant, who works with Hitachi’s products clients, follows in his firm’s footsteps:
CEO Parr is also a veteran of the top-25 list, as was outgoing leader Michael Travis

Turning out the papers

Hitachi’s IT insight is regularly issued via white papers, many of which are available
on the firm’s website. Recent reports include “Ten Pitfalls of Data Center Migrations,”
an overview of methods to improve transportation performance and cost control;
“e911: New Territory for VoIP providers,” an analysis of cutting-edge e911 services
and systems that can give VoIP service providers a competitive advantage; and
“Optimizing the Benefits of EDM and SOA by Coordinating Strategies,” a discussion
of the relationships between the strategies, components and deliverables of
enterprise data management and service-oriented architecture solutions.

Cleaning up
Parent company Hitachi Ltd. has set a lofty goal for its group businesses: reducing
carbon dioxide emissions by 100 million tons per year by 2025. This means reducing
power usage at Hitachi data centers worldwide, investing in green technology,
improving the efficiency of its offices and manufacturing plants, donating to
conservation efforts and using its R&D clout to develop better, more planet-friendly
technology and IT services.

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Hitachi Consulting


Get questioned over lunch

Insiders at Hitachi tell us that in addition to going through a resume screen and an
initial on-campus or phone interview, “each qualified candidate meets with three to
four managers/vice presidents.” One recent hire recalls, “I was hired directly out of
college and the process consisted of attending an information session on campus, a
campus interview, in-house interviews with four other employees (senior managers
and VPs) and a lunch interview.” A director describes a similar process: A “resume
screening, behavioral interviewing on campus, and then in-office interviews with three
senior managers/VPs and lunch with two consultants.” A senior consultant adds that
there may also be a “large group interview.”

Currently, Hitachi recruits at Georgia Tech, Colorado State University, University of

Washington, BYU, Rice, University of Houston and other schools near Hitachi offices,
but a principal shares that the firm is “working to expand the campus recruiting
program in 2009.”

Sample setups
Interviews cover both “case questions and behavioral questions.” Plus, a director
explains, “we often conduct a technical interview and verify an individual’s
knowledge,” and an associate mentions having had “two special aptitude tests.”
While there’s evidently “no specific library of questions” that Hitachi staff draws from,
a higher-up says it’s common for interviewers to give “sample situations to determine
if they exhibit behaviors we are looking for.” An example might be, “Tell me about a
situation where you were on a team that wasn’t functioning well.” We’re also told that
“most case questions are sanitized examples of local market projects.”


One for all and all for one

Hitachi is known among insiders for its “casual but professional,” “lighthearted” but
“high-minded,” and “easygoing” but “extremely smart” culture. There’s an emphasis
on teamwork: A principal states, “Our organization is made up of extremely talented,
intelligent, hardworking individuals that work successfully as teams both with our
clients and on internal projects.” But it’s not just teams that count—the individual is
supported as well. An associate in Tacoma adds, “For a self-starter, there are
opportunities to do any training, learn a specialty, tailor work schedules and make the
job really one that works for you and your goals.”

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In all, staffers say the firm “cares and shows individual interest in each employee.”
According to an engagement manager, “A majority of the local leaders (VPs) strive to
put people first and go out of their way to make this a great place to work.” “We work
hard but we have a lot of fun, too!” adds a senior consultant. A case team leader in
Denver comments, “In an internal employee survey taken each year, the top-ranked
asset and reason employees stay at and enjoy working for Hitachi Consulting is the
other people who work there!” Besides which, adds a director, “everyone truly loves
the work they do.”

Balance over the long term

Most insiders also insist that Hitachi is “very conscious of employee work/life
balance,” with a policy that’s “promoted from the top down.” “The firm is highly
sensitive to preventing work from interfering with home life,” remarks a director.
Another executive agrees: “The philosophy is get done what you need to get done
personally, as long as you are meeting your work requirements for either the company
or for the client.” Consultants are also able “to work from home when needed.”

That said, some warn that the “workload varies greatly from person to person and
project to project.” A case team leader explains that, “at the project level, the project
plans are built to create the largest profitability, which also means work/life balance is
not usually as balanced as corporate would like.” And a senior consultant reports that
the ability to strike a decent balance “depends greatly on your manager and your
willingness to stand up for yourself and leave at the end of the day.” A colleague
agrees: “I take it upon myself to make it work.”

Meanwhile, others remark that “balance is on a long-term basis,” meaning that

“sometimes work is heavy and life takes a back seat, and sometimes life issues are
more important and work is scaled back.” A source stresses that “when a deliverable
is due or there is pressing work to be done, they expect us to work as much as we
have to. On the other hand, they are also lenient when work is not as busy.”

A “lumpy” load
Similarly, although some say that their workload “is consistent,” others warn that “the
workload can swing dramatically over the course of a month.” “There are some
weeks where eight hours a day is enough, but other weeks when you could work 12
hours and still be behind,” remarks a consultant. An associate agrees that “the work
is lumpy,” noting, “I have worked as much as 70 hours a week and as few as 20.”
But on the whole, things tend to work out to “an average of 45 hours per week,” says
a senior consultant.

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Hitachi Consulting

A focus on local markets

Hitachi is better, we’re told, “at balancing travel requirements across all employees.”
A director reports, “They try to keep us local.” As a nontraveler, she continues, “I like
that we have been market-based and I have not had to travel, but work locally. Being
market-based also lends itself to a good culture and feeling like you are part of a
company—not just a road warrior.” A case team leader agrees that “the firm is very
focused on selling work around the local markets so that the opportunity to not travel
is available.”

Still, although many staffers say they “have not traveled for work,” those who are
assigned to a project that requires travel spend as many as three or four days a week
on the road. In fact, says a higher-up, while “some [staffers] don’t travel at all; some
travel 100 percent for particular clients.” For those living the traveling life, we’re told
that the typical schedule has consultants “depart on Monday morning and return
Thursday afternoon.”

Discounts galore
On the perk front, we’re told that “managers often give out gift cards for excellent
performance motivators throughout a project. Additionally, for those working really
hard, they will pay for me to take my significant other out to dinner on the company.”

Staffers also get “various cell phone service and hardware discounts,” “discounts on
gym memberships,” “discounts on purchases at book and appliance stores,”
“discounts on car purchases,” as well as “Hitachi electronic discounts.” There’s a
“company-paid outing each quarter” and, evidently, the “vice presidents dress up in
themed costumes for our all-firm summer meeting.” An associate notes, “We talk
about business too, but these full-day meetings are fun with challenges, competitions,
great team-building and a great sense of humor.”

Vacation time is reportedly generous as well; in addition to “three weeks of paid time
off” for all employees, a staffer reports, “we all get two weeks off at the end of the year
around Christmas and New Year’s Day. At the beginning of the year, everyone is well
rested and ready for a new year.”

Bummer bonuses
But when it comes to compensation, staffers express disappointment. Many report
that there is “no signing bonus provided,” and say they receive only “a very small
match to our 401(k).” A longtimer says there is also some profit sharing and
“sometimes a performance bonus based on company results/personal performance,”
but complains that any such extras “are minimal.” “Bonuses have not been
significant since I have been here,” she continues, and others agree that “bonuses
are not great.” Still, one associate consultant says that although her position “pays
less than comparable positions in comparable businesses, I feel that I have a better

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work/life balance, a slightly more relaxed pace and am less likely to burn out than
some of my peers at competitive companies.”

Satisfaction in sharing
Hitachi is more generous with its philanthropic efforts and “believes it is very
important to give back to the community.” “Each of the offices in our firm has a group
of consultants who find and coordinate community service events on a regular basis
for the entire office,” explains one source. Another adds, “We have many community
efforts throughout the year that range from monetary donations, to volunteering, to
pro bono consulting.” An associate enthusiastically states, “I have been extremely
pleased with company support of community involvement! I volunteer with the firm
and also outside the firm in a professional organization. Both are well encouraged,
even supported,” adding, “I can bill hours to the company against my work hours for
the week.” Specific organizations and initiatives the firm supports include Ronald
McDonald House, United Way, Toys for Tots, as well as shelters for abused women
and families and the homeless.

Tip-top training
On another positive note, a principal reports that “training is very important to the firm
and its employees.” “On-the-job training is a natural part of every engagement and
is very valuable,” says a colleague. And an associate remarks, “I have received
ample, great training from my employer.” We’re told there are lots of opportunities to
take “classes taught by internal senior employees” or “classes and certifications in
the community.”

The emphasis appears to be on training for lower-level staffers, though—one

longtimer notes that there’s “not much available as you get more advanced in the
firm.” That said, another manager reports, “We have a formal curriculum tied to a
competency model and have training tracks for each level in the company.” Plus, she
adds, “our online training program won a national award this past year as Learning
Leader of the Year from SkillSoft at the Perspectives Conference in April 2008.”

Supportive supervisors
One satisfied consultant claims, “I have learned more in the past year than I have in
all my years of employment since college,” adding, “I owe a great deal of admiration
and appreciation to my supervisor—a great teacher and leader.” Indeed, staffers say
their supervisors are “very knowledgeable and transparent,” and generally “a great
group of people.” A recent hire states, “All the management has always been
supportive, accessible and friendly.” “My managers treat me as a peer, as a
professional and as a completely able, competent, smart, educated person,” an
associate chimes in. “They are there for additional ideas (as a sounding board),
support when needed and big-picture career advice. Most of the time, for day-to-day

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work, I’m on my own. This leaves me feeling empowered and trusted, but with all the
support I would ever need one phone call away.” A colleague agrees: “My managers
truly care for their employees. They really have tried to give me as broad a variety of
work as possible and include me in meetings that others at my level in other firms
might not. They acknowledge my hard and good work and put me in ‘stretch’ roles
to challenge me.”

That source also remarks that, “unlike others at my level in many other firms, I get to
interact with top-level client management. I have been in several meetings with fifth-
line managers (VPs) at a Fortune 10 client. I have daily interaction with fourth-line
managers (executive directors) at the same client.” Others agree that they have
“great exposure to upper-level client team members” and “have every opportunity to
interact with client executives and directors.”

A strict promotion policy

When it comes to moving up the ladder, we’re told that Hitachi’s promotion policy is
“not up-or-out,” but a case team leader notes that there is a “published time-at-level
policy, as well as specific expectations for each level.” She explains, “As long as you
meet the documented expectations, then you will be promoted according to the time-
at-level chart.” An associate agrees, “The company has a very strict process when it
comes to performance review and promotion. Consultants are required to meet
certain criteria prior to advancement to the next level.”

A recent hire says he chose Hitachi over other firms because there is an “opportunity
for significant accelerated career growth compared to other career opportunities.” On
the flip side, an executive warns, “My firm’s promotion policy seems to be going
through a change. The leadership wants to slow down the rate of promotion. I
believe this is largely due to the economy.” Still, others say that, in general, “a
consultant starting from undergrad can expect to work five to six years before being
promoted to manager.” An engagement manager adds that “consultants advance
more rapidly at lower levels (consultant to senior consultant), then slower (several
years) at higher levels (manager to senior manager).”

The “nonissue” of diversity

Respondents say that fostering a diverse workforce is important to Hitachi, and one
consultant, in particular, insists that the firm “goes out of its way to give females every
opportunity.” Others say that “diversity is a nonissue,” in that the firm “hires and tries
to retain the best resources,” regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. A
manager states, “The firm promotes diversity. Period.”

In all, we’re told “there are women in all ranks throughout the firm,” although
numbers vary from office to office. A Tacoma-based source reports, “Over half of our
vice presidents are female,” but a Denver-based director observes that there are “very

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few women vice presidents” in her office. Women have the opportunity to unite in
many “informal support networks, as well as a formal group that meets regularly.”

Time to pitch in
Staffers are confident that as a “growing consulting firm,” that’s “backed by a Fortune
25 parent company,” Hitachi “will come out of the market downturn stronger than
others.” A case team leader reports, “There is a constant focus on the pipeline and
investment in employee skills, as well as a focus around a key account strategy that
allows us to build strong relationships with our clients.” An associate adds, “The
management has done a great job at giving everyone at all levels a concrete goal for
the year to get us through this downtown. There is no mystery—we all have a role
and responsibility. Everyone can roll up their sleeves and help, and knows what to do
to help.” Others agree that the firm is “committed to our long-term growth,” which is
helped along by being “loaded with highly talented people” and having a reputation
that’s “growing rapidly.” An engagement manager seems to speak for the pack when
he says, “The outlook to continue to grow both organically and through acquisition is
very positive, and while the current economic environment it difficult, we will come
out on the other side stronger and better.”

230 © 2009, Inc.

500 Frank West Burr Boulevard THE STATS
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Employer Type: Public Company
Phone: (201) 801-0233
Ticker Symbol: CTSH (Nasdaq)
Fax: (201) 801-0243
President & CEO: Francisco D’Souza
2009 Employees: 61,700
2008 Employees: 56,000
LOCATIONS 2008 Revenue: $2.8 billion
2007 Revenue: $2 billion
Teaneck, NJ (HQ)
More than 40 global delivery centers
worldwide UPPERS
• Flexible benefit plan allows staff to design
PRACTICE AREAS personal compensation plans
• “Clearly defined career path”
Advanced Solutions Delivery
• “Challenging opportunities to learn in a
Business Process Outsourcing
dynamically growing practice”
Business Consulting
• “Bright principals from good consulting
Customer Solutions Practice
backgrounds and industry experience”
Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence
Enterprise Resource Planning
Information Security & Privacy DOWNERS
IT Infrastructure Services
• “Limited brand recognition”
Portals & Content Management
• Scaling back of off-site trips; expected to
Program Management
last through 2009
Software Applications Services
• “Compensation is below average”
Supply Chain Management
• “Delayed decision making”
Testing Solutions
Usability Engineering

what other consultants are saying

• “Well managed”
• “Pushy”
• “Fast growing”
• “Outsourcer, but lacking scale”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Cognizant Technology Solutions


Application awareness
Cognizant Technology Solutions is a provider of applications management,
development, integration and re-engineering; infrastructure management; business
process outsourcing; and other related services, such as enterprise consulting,
technology architecture, program management and change management. A
member of the Fortune 1000, the New Jersey-based firm maintains offices and global
delivery centers in 32 countries, and has close to 62,000 employees worldwide.
Cognizant’s clients come from a number of industries, including banking and
financial services, consumer goods, health care, insurance, manufacturing and retail,
communications and information, and media and entertainment, among others.

Hot potato
The firm’s roots stretch back to 1994, when credit information provider Dun &
Bradstreet created an in-house IT services unit. Two years later, the unit became part
of Cognizant Corp. following a spin-off of assets at D&B. A short time after, in 1998,
Cognizant Corp. also began to split off into independent entities, and the unit became
a publicly traded division of IMS Health, a provider of health care information
solutions. IMS Health, too, only chose to hold on to Cognizant for so long, spinning
it off in its more or less present form in November 2002.

Not your parents’ outsourcing

The firm believes it offers a unique benefit to clients with its advanced on-site/offshore
outsourcing model. Offshoring, originally a means of taking care of low-impact
business processes with inexpensive talent, was essentially a low-cost augmentation
of staff. The practice has grown and developed, however, moving into systems of
greater complexity and important production-based processes. What Cognizant
offers is so far removed from the initial portrayal of outsourcing as “cheap labor,” that
the firm has been known to refer to its global delivery model as the “fourth
generation” of outsourcing. While it retains the economic advantage and “follow the
sun” capability (24/7 attention by passing work across time zones) of offshoring,
Cognizant has the additional ability to offer on-site teams with the sort of industry
experience and advanced technology expertise that wouldn’t have been found
outside of Western markets in the early days of outsourcing. This makes it possible
for projects of nearly any complexity or scale to be outsourced or completed on a
global scale.

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Friends in the industry

In another bid to meet the needs of clients, whatever their complexity and scale, the
firm partners with some of the largest software and technology organizations in the
world. It has forged strategic alliances with Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM, and
maintains technology-sharing partnerships with Adobe, HP, Sun Microsystems and
other companies whose products and services enhance its own offerings. In addition,
Cognizant pursues alliances with companies that can boost its geographic presence.
In May 2007, it entered into an agreement with Ordina, a Dutch IT services provider,
to collaborate in the Dutch and Belgian markets. Ordina primarily serves the financial
services, industrial, public and telecommunications sector, and was instrumental in
the signing of a deal with Rabobank, the Netherlands’ largest banking group.
Pursuant to a seven-year contract, the two companies will provide Rabobank with on-
site/offshore outsourced services, such as application design, development and
testing services.

A further partnership followed in March 2008, when the firm joined up with
Germany’s T-Systems—the enterprise customer division of Deutsche Telekom—to
form a global systems integration alliance. Aimed primarily at catering to European
corporations that have global delivery requirements for system integration services,
the partnership is seen by both firms as an opportunity to greatly expand their
businesses around the world. Under the terms of the deal, meanwhile T-Systems’
existing India unit—including around 1,150 staff—was transferred to Cognizant.

Showered with accolades

Cognizant is frequently recognized by the media as a leader in its field. In March
2009, for the first time, Fortune named Cognizant one of its most admired
companies, with the firm landing in third place—after IBM and Accenture—in the
infotech services category. One month earlier, Forbes named the firm No. 7 on its list
of the 25 Fastest Growing Tech Companies. It’s been fast in moving up that list, too—
in 2006, it was ranked No. 13, and in 2005, No. 21. Forbes only chooses companies
that have achieved annualized sales gains of at least 10 percent over the last five
years, and have been profitable for the last year—and while Cognizant fell one place
from the spot it occupied in 2009, it is the only company that has qualified to be on
the list every year since 2003, suggesting that it’s growth has not only been fast, but
consistent. Also that year, it was ranked the No. 19 star performer on the S&P 500,
down slightly from its No. 12 stature in 2007. And in another repeat performance,
Cognizant made the BusinessWeek 50—a ranking of top corporate performers, in
terms of sales growth and ROI—both in 2008 and 2009.

Individuals within the firm have also been singled out for honors. In October 2008,
Vice Chairman Lakshmi Narayanan was named IT Person of the Year by the Indian
magazine DataQuest. Narayanan was chosen for his sizable role in the growth of both
Cognizant and India’s IT industry. Not one to be left out, however, President and CEO
Francisco D’Souza was honored with a Distinguished Leadership award by the New

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York Hall of Science in December 2008. The award acknowledges D’Souza’s

commitment to scientific and technical training, and his contribution to the worlds of
technology, science and education.

Blue clues
When Cognizant’s professionals aren’t at work on an engagement, they stay involved
in the business by producing research papers and studies. Cognizant refers to its
white papers as blue papers, with some recent topics detailing the proper transition
to data centers, the importance of investigating the best vendors and the best means
of leveraging IT to boost ROI in retail. The firm additionally participates in
conferences, summits and other events year round. While a full list of the firm’s event
presence is available on its website, a sample of events in which it intends to play a
role in 2009 includes the Healthcare CIO summit in March, April’s Next Generation
Pharmaceutical Summit in Westlake Village, Calif., and the Oracle OpenWorld 2009
event taking place in San Francisco in October.

Empowering through education

Through the Cognizant Foundation, the firm engages in charitable work, usually
involving education and health care. In past efforts, the foundation worked with the
Indian Space Research Organization and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University to
create Edusat, a distance education program facilitated by satellites. Edustat, which
has been praised by the Indian government, is being used to boost educational
opportunities in rural areas of the country. In the U.S., Cognizant works with Junior
Achievement, a non-profit organization that pairs volunteers with students to teach
them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and financial literacy.


Learn as you earn

Boasting an “entrepreneurial environment” and stocked with “great consultants to
learn from,” it’s little wonder that Cognizant staffers seem enthused about their job
and the opportunities they have to build careers with the company. Variously
described by consultants in all geographic locations as “fair, open and collaborative,”
the company is also growing, and fast—which is great news for all concerned.
Management is “very focused on developing their consulting practice” and is “keen
on maintaining a high employee morale,” according to a recent hire in India. A
colleague in Europe, meanwhile, describes the practice there as “still shaping”—
something that gives “space/freedom for self-management and being yourself.”

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The hiring process seems to depend on a couple of factors: who’s conducting it and
where it takes place. That makes for anywhere between two and six interviews for
potential consultants, plus “at least two to three case-based interviews for lateral
recruits.” The lateral recruit thing is an especially important consideration for those
based in the U.S.: While the firm maintains a strong recruiting presence at top Indian
business schools and is beginning to recruit from European schools as well, “U.S.
hiring is restricted only to experienced hires.”


Growing pains
The fact that Cognizant seems to be going places means that there’s “a zeal to
outperform competition,” meaning that consultants “are somehow motivated to give
only our best.” Still, there are frustrations about being a growing company, too.
Several consultants point out that salaries are somewhere below market rate, while
there’s a “tendency for HR to ‘socialize’ pay across consulting, delivery, sales and
support roles.” That may be something that boils down to cultural differences,
however; one Europe-based insider tells us there’s both a “positive and negative
influence due to the cultural difference between Indian and non-Indian culture.”
Being a global company with a large footprint on the subcontinent has other
drawbacks too, notably that, outside of projects, “interaction … with other consulting
associates and partners is a challenge” due to the geographical distance involved.
The firm notes, however, that a collaborative project management and knowledge-
sharing platform is “on the way” to help consultants eliminate some of these issues.

All agree, however, on the firm’s mentoring culture, which means that the company
“is extremely friendly and helpful with new joinees.” According to a source in India,
“Most of the consulting managers are very good mentors.” Also working in
consultants’ favor is that, “due to the small team size, all team members are familiar
and associates get to work with every partner, mostly.”

Clocking in
When it comes to the question of working hours and work/life balance, Cognizant
seems to be fairly typical for a consulting firm. What’s typical? “It is a bit hectic to
manage work and life, especially given the nature of the consulting business,”
according to one source. That means it can be “difficult to plan [my] personal life”—
something that is largely “due to shortages in staff.”

Also typical for a consulting firm (and most businesses, in fact), is that not all
consultants have the same experience. For every insider who reports difficulties with
balancing the requirements of work and personal life, there is one or more who is
“able to finish all my work on time.” Not only that, but “my supervisors do not impose

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work on me. They ask me whether I have sufficient time and let me buy more time
if required.” That’s not an altogether uncommon experience, with other colleagues
noting that “I have a say on when I want to be on a project,” and “when in my base
location, the firm allows me to work from home, permitting me to look after my
personal work.”

Big is not always best

One of the biggest challenges for the work/life component would appear to be the
sheer scale of the company and the fact that project teams can involve consultants
on two or more continents at the same time. That, says one India-based consultant,
means Cognizanters “often have to connect at odd hours.” The same respondent,
however, also reports that “there is enough flexibility to maintain work/life balance.”
A colleague in Europe agrees, offering the opinion that it’s “easy to talk to [my]
principal and take off for planned and unplanned personal situations.”

The average length of a Cognizant consultant’s engagement is somewhere between

six and 12 weeks, during which time there are likely to be two or three spikes in
hours. After that, there is usually a “cooling off period between projects. When we
are not assigned to clients, we work on proposals for new prospects.” As for the
average workweek on an assignment, a source in Europe tells us that, typically, “the
first few weeks of the engagement are really, really busy. We invest huge amounts of
time and effort in the beginning of the engagement. Then, during the syndication
phase we become quite busy.” All of that, meanwhile, results in an average
workweek of somewhere between 45 and 55 hours.

Take flight(s) with Cognizant

Travel is another area where Cognizant is “on par with other consulting firms”—at
least according to one senior source based in the U.S. Insiders report a “huge
requirement for traveling throughout the year.” Indeed, some consultants attest to
being away from their home offices up to 100 percent of the time, with one Chicago-
based source reporting that “80 percent travel is expected.” That means the
company and its constituents operate a “virtual office concept,” resulting in the
advice to “ pick your office to minimize travel.” Not that travel is absolutely
mandated, we’re told—you just won’t get very far in the company without being willing
to hop on a plane and see a client. Or, as one India-based staffer puts it, “Generally,
associates are not forced [to travel] but at a certain level, it is directly linked to
promotion.” So not forced, just, uh, expected—so much so, in fact, that on longer
engagements, “the firm provides weekly fly-back options” for more senior consultants
who absolutely insist on spending time doing things like occasionally sleeping in their
own beds and seeing their families.

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Off the record

The general consensus on Cognizant’s training capabilities is summed up by one
Paris-based staffer who says, “This is an area that certainly needs some attention.”
The reason, explains a colleague in the Netherlands, is that, while there are “many
opportunities” for training, they are “not always used efficiently”—a situation that
stems from the fact that those same opportunities are mainly unofficial. What official
training there is takes the form of “a periodic bootcamp organized to hone our soft
skills.” Those, while seemingly useful, are “few and far between,” but that doesn’t
mean the company isn’t concerned with the professional development of its
consultants. “Cognizant, as such, is extremely supportive of associates taking up
external certification exams, training, etc.,” an insider explains. “I’m taking the CPIM
exam, with my company sponsoring it entirely.”

Despite calls that there “should be more official training,” the issue doesn’t seem to
affect a consultant’s chances of promotion. Apparently, the firm is a “caring
meritocracy” with “no up-or-out policy,” meaning that it has a “quite genuine
approach in terms of providing promotion.” What that boils down to, according to one
recent hire in India is that, “typically, consultants advance every two to three years.”
That advancement, says a colleague, results in a career path of “four to five years
from entry-level consultant to consulting manager.” As in any good meritocracy,
however, those time spans are approximate; we’re told that “consultants who are
talented definitely get promoted quickly and are given more responsibilities.”

Diversity issues
One area Cognizant employees highlight as having room for improvement is its ratio
of male to female staff. A number of sources cite “very few women consultants within
the team,” which seems to be a consistent sentiment across most regions. Only one
insider, however, proffered anything approaching an explanation for the
phenomenon, suggesting that “[women] can’t sustain the on-off travel mode when
they are married.” No word or suggestion on why not (or why men can), however,
although we can be fairly certain that they weren’t voicing the firm’s official opinion
on the matter.

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2828 North Haskell Avenue UPPERS

Dallas, TX 75204
• Flexible approach to work hours
Phone: (214) 841-6111
• Growth opportunities in a difficult
Fax: (214) 841-8315
economic environment

• “Corporate policy can slow down
Dallas, TX (HQ)
More than 750 global locations supporting
• Unpredictable promotion policies
client operations in 100 countries

Business Process Outsourcing
Information Technology Outsourcing
Systems & Integration

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: ACS (NYSE)
President & CEO: Lynn Blodgett
2009 Employees: 65,000
2008 Employees: 62,000+
2008 Revenue: $6.2 billion
2007 Revenue: $5.8 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Strong competitor”
• “Mainly hardware focus”
• “Appears to take good care of their
• “Outdated”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.


Widely affiliated
Affiliated Computer Services provides business process outsourcing and IT solutions
to commercial and government clients. Commercial business accounted for about
60 percent ($3.7 billion) of the firm’s revenue in 2008, and government business 40
percent ($2.5 billion). The primary commercial sectors ACS targets are health care,
travel and transportation, financial services, communications and consumer goods.
It has approximately 65,000 employees, with 45,000 working domestically and the
remainder involved in its international operations. In total, ACS’ business spans more
than 100 countries.

The firm’s BPO services include administration, finance and accounting, human
resources, payment services, sales, marketing and customer care, and supply chain
management. Its IT products and services include applications solutions, data center
management, disaster recovery, end-user computing, network management, security
services, storage solutions, technology review, assessment and planning, and
transition services for human resources.

Out of left field, or a field, anyway

ACS was founded in 1988 by Darwin Deason, currently chairman of the board. Its
humble early function was that of bank data processing, a service it now hasn’t
provided in more than a decade. Deason himself comes from humble beginnings,
having been referred to in a December 2006 Wall Street Journal article as an
“Arkansas farm boy who never went to college.” Creating a billion-dollar global
company brings agreeable changes, however. Deason hardly fits the image of an
uneducated farm boy today when sailing on the Apogee, his yacht, or when
entertaining in his Dallas penthouse, said to be equipped with three wet bars.

After going public in 1995, the firm made significant acquisitions through the rest of
the decade, picking up major BPO and IT capabilities while simultaneously
expanding its geographic reach. Annual percentage increases in revenue were in the
double digits year after year and, by 2003 ACS had achieved Fortune 500 status.

Trying to get back in the game

Perhaps disillusioned with yachts and penthouses, Deason made an attempt in early
2007, with the help of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, to buy out
ACS and return it to private status. Cerberus made an initial offer of $59.25 per
share, which, once refused, was raised to $62 a share and also refused. Then, in
June 2007, due to burgeoning problems in the credit markets, ACS made it known
that it would entertain offers from other interested bidders. After generating no

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interest, however, the firm began to reconsider selling to Cerberus. But it was too late,
as the firm’s share price on the stock exchange had fallen to nearly $50 and, in
October, Cerberus withdrew its bid.

Still a presence
Though he may never again be the owner of ACS, Deason continues to leave his mark
on the firm. According to The Wall Street Journal, the residue of Deason’s aggressive
management style can be found in “hustle cards”—printed reminders of Deason’s
business insights that are distributed to ACS employees. One example reads
(alongside a steely eyed picture of the founder): “Hard work solves (almost)

It may not be that catchy a mantra, but the notion is certainly carried out within the
firm’s culture. In an October 2007 interview with Smart Business magazine, CEO
Lynn Blodgett cited ACS’ tendency to provide “high reward for high results,”
especially evident in the compensation structure for top execs that makes
performance bonuses a major component of total pay. Blodgett hinted that the
productivity of lower-level staffers is also watched closely, remarking that no one can
“Google the day away” and still remain on the payroll.

Lofty goal
Googling the day away would have to be frowned on by a firm with the stated goal of
$10 billion in revenue by 2010. The company reported in May 2007 that its
management team had been primed, and its strategy and business model re-
engineered, to promote growth and focus on the strongest client markets, such as
government, health care, transportation and financial services. Weakened economic
conditions resulted in the firm’s 2008 revenue reaching only $6.2 billion, although
this was still an increase from 2007’s $5.8 billion figure. BPO made up 74 percent
of 2008’s new business, and IT solutions contributed 26 percent.

The linchpin of the firm’s growth plan is acquisitions, something it has shown a knack
for over the years. From its IPO in 1995 to the start of the century, ACS has acquired
approximately 50 companies. In the years following, this “go out and get it” tactic
was reined in slightly, and the firm even chose to sell off some units to reduce its
exposure in the commercial services sector—though it did continue to keep an eye
out for attractive targets. In December 2008, for example, the company acquired
Argentina-based Grupo Multivoice, a customer care services provider with annual
revenue of around $40 million. The acquisition will add to ACS’ BPO services in the
Americas and Europe, as Grupo Multivoice’s 6,000 employees offer bilingual
capabilities for English and Spanish-speaking customers. Other pickups include the
May 2008, $43.2 million acquisition of Transporation Management Systems, a
provider of GPS-based fleet management systems. That same month, the firm
bought, for $21.5 million, CompIQ Corp., which designs software for the review of

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workers’ compensations claims. In January 2008, ACS completed the $69.1 million
acquisition of Syan Holdings Limited, a U.K.-based provider of IT outsourcing

Stretching across borders

Prior to the Grupo Multivoice acquisition, ACS had around 20,000 employees outside
the U.S., adding up to nearly one-third of its total staff. In July 2008, the firm
completed construction of a 65,000-square-foot office and call center facility in
Montego Bay, Jamaica, the 400-employee capacity of which, when added to the more
than 1,300 people the company already employs in Jamaica, will easily make it one
of the largest information communications and tech services providers in the island
nation. ACS also maintains a strong presence in Asia, particularly in India, but also
through offices in China, Fiji and the Philippines, Malaysia and other countries.

Strong medicine
Through its government segment, ACS works in four broad markets: state and local
government, transportation, government health care and the federal government.
Common services in this segment include technology and business process-based
services with a focus on transaction processing, child support payment processing,
electronic toll collection, traffic violations processing, program management, fiscal
agent services and student loan processing.

The firm’s connection to government health care—especially at the state level—is

widespread. More than half of the 50 states use its pharmacy benefits management
services. In July 2008, ACS was called on to provide, for a period of five years,
electronic patient records capture for the City of New Orleans Emergency Medical
Services agency. A few months earlier, the firm entered into a five-year, $156 million
contract with the state of Tennessee to take over the daily operations and
management of the TennCare Management Information System, used for the state’s
Medicaid program. Previously, in October 2007, it was hired, to the tune of $130
million, by the state of Alaska to design, develop, implement and operate an entirely
new Medicaid management information system. That same month, ACS extended its
engagement with Colorado’s Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing for the
Child Health Plan Plus program, and entered into a new $11 million contract with the
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to provide Medicaid Drug Therapy
Management services to the state’s Medicaid program.

That’s the ticket

The transportation market also takes up a significant portion of ACS’ government
work. In September 2007, the city of Boston renewed a $19 million contract with the
firm, under which it provides full-service parking ticket collections, booting and
towing, and fleet management services. Similar parking contracts, encompassing

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both on-street and off-street services, are in effect in Cleveland, Dallas, Denver,
Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and
Washington, D.C.

ACS also undertakes work for foreign governments, most notably Austrian National
Railways and the city of Vienna, Norwegian State Railways and Berlin transport
operator BVG. The firm assisted these transportation authorities in the
implementation of “contactless” fare collection systems that offer self-service ticket
vending machines, electronically equipped fare cards and information gathering
capabilities for monitoring usage and passenger flow. The firm has also designed a
contactless ticketing system for Dubai’s public buses and waterbuses.

Massive deal
Not all the big contracts come from the government sector, though, as proven by the
September 2008 agreement with industrial supplier Ingersoll Rand to provide IT
outsourcing services. The 10-year contract is valued at a whopping $551 million and
expands upon ACS’ existing relationship with Ingersoll Rand, through which it
services the company’s data center and network requirements by integrating the
operations of the Trane global HVAC business. Ingersoll Rand acquired Trane in June

Feathers in the cap

ACS is frequently recognized by the media or industry groups for its contributions to
the BPO and IT fields. In 2008, it was named the fourth-best infrastructure provider
on the Global Services 100 list. The year prior, it had been the No. 1 best performing
managed services provider on the list. In 2008, Washington Technology magazine
awarded ACS with the top spot on its ranking of who’s who in state and local markets.
Additionally, the firm earned its share of recognition for its help in the Katrina
rebuilding/reorganizing efforts in New Orleans by carrying out the collection,
disbursement and management of child support payments following the hurricane.
In 2007, this effort was rewarded with the title of best BPO services provider by no
less than three groups, including the Outsourcing Center, Everest Group and Forbes

For the greater good

ACS’ work for the community hasn’t been limited to the Katrina aftermath. Through
its Educational Outreach program, the firm supplies three Dallas inner-city schools
with tutoring, technology assistance and scholarships. The firm has also funded the
construction of three Don’t Quit! Fitness centers for public schools in Pittsburgh,
Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, as part of an effort to improve the equipment and
resources available to those schools’ physical education programs. Other education-
based initiatives are the ACS IT Academy, where high school students can get

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practical work experience, and the World of Work program, a specially designed
curriculum meant to instill disciplined work habits in teenagers.

Outside of education and public schools, ACS encourages its employees to volunteer
at the local level, with some past beneficiaries being the Georgia Dental Initiative, a
program that provides checkups in underserved areas; the Ronald McDonald House
in Phoenix, which provides temporary housing for families of children undergoing
hospital care away from home; natural disaster relief efforts and other projects.


Atypical ACS
As might be expected of a firm with more than 65,000 employees around the world,
insiders tell us there’s no such thing as a “typical” hiring process at ACS. For
example, one source reports that “there is no requirement for a minimum number of
interviews,” and that the hiring process can often be delayed due to the fact that it is
“very complicated.” The reason, apparently, is that those in hiring positions must get
“local management approval, then senior management approval, then executive
management approval” even to advertise a position. Those applying for a position
should consult the careers link on the firm’s website. According to an insider,
“Internal candidates must be reviewed and interviewed within five days of applying,
and are notified before outside candidates are searched.”

Interested candidates can search and apply for positions on the aforementioned
website, where, in addition to streamlining searches by market title, location
(including some 35 countries) and keyword, it’s also possible to upload a resume and
structure a “concept search.” This last item involves entering a description of your
ideal position, which the site will then attempt to match with suitable vacancies.


Being there when they need you

The good news for those who don’t like to travel is that ACS doesn’t make it a
mandatory concern. Sure, there’s some, but only “when it is necessary to meet
employees and clients physically.” The needs of clients, however, are far from
consistent, which means that for some consultants, travel “is on a regular basis
according to the operation needs.”

The issue of work/life balance is something that ACS seems to take fairly seriously,
with sources telling us that the firm is “excellent” and “flexible” when it comes to
juggling the demands of their personal and working life. That flexibility can take many

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forms, ranging from the consultant who says that “sometimes I can work from home,”
to a colleague who reports “currently going through a family health crisis,” and whose
manager “has been very good about working with my modified work schedule.”

Looking to the future

ACS staffers see something of a mixed future for the firm, and it seems to depend
largely on where they’re based. One respondent sums up the firm’s general outlook,
noting that “in a slow economic time, I believe that a lot of companies choose to
outsource or use consultants to fill gaps, which makes our company very viable at this
time.” That sentiment is echoed, albeit not altogether happily, by a source in Arizona,
who complains that the “company is outsourcing everything to Malaysia and India”—
which apparently leaves “no opportunities for advancement” in Arizona.

Aside from globalization issues, however, ACS is regarded as a “great company with
a bright future.” “In general,” says one insider, ACS “is a pleasant company to work
for.” Part of the reason for that is that company leaders “are strong and willing to
share knowledge with us.” That willingness, meanwhile, comes hand in hand with
“good training programs for individual career development needs.”

Staying put
Regardless of managers’ willingness to share information and the effectiveness of
company training programs, insiders report that ACS’ “promotion policy is hit or
miss.” The reasoning behind that appears to be twofold. First, a staffer says “training
is usually the budget line that is cut first”—a situation that means “most of our
training is informal and self motivated,” and which, by definition, is hardly conducive
to climbing the ladder.

The second reason, meanwhile, is also a budgetary concern, namely that “part of the
issue for promotions is an inability to compensate appropriately when promoting
employees. That leads to a situation, insiders claim, where only “some groups
promote on a regular basis, while others choose to look outside rather than promote
[from within].”

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175 Broad Hollow Road UPPERS

Melville, NY 11747 • “Mature business model”
Phone: (631) 844-7000 • Brand recognition • The ability to “do your job without
• A reasonable workweek with steady hours
70 offices throughout North America,
Europe and Australia DOWNERS
• “Lack of promotional opportunities”
• “Office politics”
PRACTICE AREAS • Compensation is on the low end
Application Development & Integration • “The constant state of flux the company
Global Solutions Centers seems to be in with regard to the direction
Infrastructure Management they want to go”
Project Management
Quality Management
Testing & Laboratory Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Visit the career center section of Ajilon’s
website for job search and resume
THE STATS submittal links
Employer Type: Subsidiary of Adecco
President: Jeff Rupp

what other consultants are saying

• “Smaller, client-specific assignments”

• “Rigid “
• “Quality”
• “Not differentiated”

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Ajilon Consulting


Think agility
Ajilon develops customized IT solutions for a number of industries, including financial
services, health care, insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing, technology,
utilities and transportation. Clients range from the Fortune 1000 to midtier and
government organizations. The firm, a subsidiary of global staffing giant Adecco
Group, has built up its image around the ability to quickly assess a client’s needs and
execute appropriate solutions. Among its services are application development and
integration, project management, outsourcing and testing. Like its parent, Ajilon also
offers staffing services, whether for long-term contracts or temporary augmentation.

The firm was founded in 1969, and conducted its IT and staffing businesses under
the names Adia Information Technology and Comp-U-Staff, respectively, until 1996,
when Adecco singly rebranded it as Ajilon.

Off and running

The firm has gotten a boost over the last decade from aggressive acquisitions. In
2006, its Australian unit picked up AeM Group, another IT consultancy based in
Perth. And earlier that year, a $4 million transaction brought in Binome, a French
provider of data storage services. Other Ajilon acquisitions are the 2002 purchase of
MYTA, a Maryland-based competitor, and the 2000 purchase of IMI Systems, Olsten
Corp.’s IT unit.

Ajilon historically accounts for less than 10 percent of parent Adecco’s total revenue,
but nonetheless represents an important conduit for the company’s business in the
Americas. This role grew in significance in 2007, when Adecco delisted from the
New York Stock Exchange as a result of low average daily trading volume. (It
continues to trade on European exchanges.) Ajilon maintains a number of
international offices, most notably in the U.K. and Australia, but approximately half of
its locations are in the U.S. and Canada.

New blood, but the same great pedigree

Ajilon’s president, Roy Haggerty, retired in May 2007, and was succeeded by Jeff
Rupp, formerly a senior VP in the professional services division. Rupp has been with
the firm since 2000, but his background includes stints at IBM and KPMG, as well
as duty in the Marine Corps. Rupp was able to take the helm with strong tailwinds—
the firm’s reputation for quality work goes back to 1995, when it became the first IT
consulting firm in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification. Qualifying for and
maintaining that status, which signifies a company’s adherence to disciplined

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business processes, requires quarterly internal audits and biannual visits from an
external registrar.

Hand in hand
Ajilon frequently teams up with other providers in its project work. For example, the
firm is currently involved with TranTech, Inc., on a 10-year contract for the SeaPort
Enhanced program of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Scheduled to run until 2016,
the program is part of the military’s plan to reduce waste in the procurement of
services and hardware. Ajilon is also collaborating with Alcatel, Qualtech and other
organizations in efforts to modernize the military’s infrastructure through improved
quality assurance, IT support, modeling and software. Other significant past partners
include Comcast, Hewlett-Packard and Accenture.

Recent engagements, meanwhile, showcase the firm’s capabilities, even if it’s

sometimes reluctant to release details about which companies have engaged its
services. “A major insurance company based in Switzerland,” for example, hired
Ajilon to ensure that its transition to an Oracle-based data warehousing and data mart
solution goes as seamlessly as possible. Another unnamed client is a “worldwide
provider of food and nutrition services software and systems for campus-wide ID card
programs, housing management, and cashless dining.” Well that narrows it down!
For that client, Ajilon was hired to develop an automated regression testing framework
using WinRunner—work that also led to the firm being asked to develop a front-end
web application in PHP.

Women and children first

Ajilon is active in charity and community service, particularly in areas that advance
the role of women in technology or introduce disadvantaged children to the potential
of a career in technology. The firm has co-sponsored the Leadership in Technology
awards gala, an annual dinner and reception organized by the National Association
for Women in Computing, which honors the contributions of women involved in
technology through both business and academia. Ajilon also supports Washington,
D.C.-based non-profit Hoop Dreams, which promotes the academic and career
opportunities of inner-city students.


Recruiting recruiters
Given that Ajilon is, after all, “a recruiting firm,” it’s perhaps no surprise that insiders
insist it has an “extensive and complete,” “thorough and comprehensive,” and
“cautious and careful” hiring process. It generally involves three interviews, which

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Ajilon Consulting

are conducted “mostly with interview boards consisting of two or more people.” We’re
told that two interviews are likely “professional/technical,” while the other typically
focuses on soft skills. In addition, there are “various background and reference
checks,” as well as drug screenings. There may also be “online technical skill tests
for technicians.”

An insider explains, “We are ISO certified, so we have a very strong commitment to
process here. We have a thorough recruiting process where we will meet with
candidates face to face, give technical interviews as needed, go over benefits and pay
structures very thoroughly, as well as explain any other info as needed.” And a vice
president emphasizes that interviewers are “looking for energy level, work ethic and
enthusiasm, in addition to normal progression of experience and education.”

Somewhat confusingly, one staffer reports, “We hire experienced individuals and do
not recruit from schools,” while others say the firm recruits from “any and all local
schools” and “IT technical schools.” And a recent hire tells us that interested
candidates “primarily get the opportunity to apply by referral.” In any event, once a
person is hired, they’re often there to stay: One experienced hire notes that Ajilon has
the “lowest turnover of any company I’ve worked for in my career.”


A contradictory culture
Ajilon insiders find it difficult to define their firm’s culture. On the positive end, some
insist the atmosphere is “open,” “empowered,” “accountable,” “client-centric,”
“exacting but supportive” and “professional.” Others add that it’s “team-oriented,”
“collaborative,” “highly functional,” “entrepreneurial,” “engaging,” “flexible,”
“results-oriented,” “progressive” and “respectful.” A recent hire states, “Everyone is
very friendly and helpful. We are like a family at work,” while a director feels that “the
corporate culture is extremely pleasant, and very much employee-oriented.”

Another faction of the firm is less complimentary. They say the culture is “extremely
political,” “not flexible,” “paralyzed” and “full of chaos,” with “very little information
being passed on.” A longtimer comments that the “constant change and flux in the
organization has left a feeling of unease.” And some complain that Ajilon is “still
somewhat of a ‘good old boy’ company,” and the “ability to do the job is not necessary
for promotion and stability.”

The fact that Ajilon “came together through a number of acquisitions” may help
explain why opinions differ so much; a VP tells us that the culture is “not aligned”
because “they have not integrated the people, processes and systems very well.”
Still, as another senior source puts it, while there are gripes and complaints from
some, when it comes down to it, “I think most of us know that our company is pretty
good overall.”

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Paying lip service for some

Insiders are equally split regarding their ability to strike a decent work/life balance.
Some complain, “I am not even able to really take PTO,” and “I am constantly
answering my cell or email at all hours of day and night.” A higher-up moans, “My
firm has a mantra of work/life balance, but it feels more like words then actions.
When one takes vacation, you are always still on call and have to be connected or feel
that your job might be in jeopardy, especially given the economy today.”

For others, the real deal

However, others agree with a staffer who states, “I have flexibility to manage my time
as required to accommodate personal needs.” A longtimer who never works on
weekends reports, “This firm is OK with requested personal days off as needed,
vacations are approved without conflict and when serious health issues have arose,
everyone has been supportive in all ways.” A colleague adds, “When I need to attend
an appointment during the day, I am free to work from home before and after to make
the best use of time. I appreciate this accommodation on the part of my employer.”

This sort of accommodation works in favor of (most) parents, as well. While one says,
“I have a small child and am always asked to do more, produce more, etc., and we
are not given support to help with this,” another insists that “management is flexible
enough with my required work hours that it allows me to be with my family and
children for special events.” “As a working mom,” agrees another, “I am able to work
three days in the office and two days at home, for a total of about 30 hours a week.
This ability is beneficial to me and my employer. My cost as an employee is much
lower, I’m able to stay connected 24 hours a day with current technologies (just as a
full-time employee does) and still give my son the time and caring that I love giving.”

And a few say that when people do work longer hours, the “pressure is self imposed.”
For example, one manager remarks, “I am very conscientious about my job so I put
more time in than expected.” An executive notes that “after many years of trying to
find balance, I have. This happens once you learn it’s not up to the company to
provide balance—it’s up to you.” Agrees a colleague, “I make family life, exercise,
social involvement and outside interests a personal priority.”

Steady streams of work

Most employees do concur, however, that their work hours tend to hover around 50
hours a week. Many also agree with a higher-up who reports, “My workload over the
course of a month is steady and, on average, spikes once or twice per month.”
Others agree that even in crunch times, the work is still “nothing that is
unmanageable.” Explains one source, “The amount of time devoted to work in our
firm is comfortable and also independent. How much time is devoted to work is more
of an individual decision, depending on how much one loves the work and how much

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one wishes to excel in his work.” So, while a few staffers do report regular 60- to 70-
hour weeks, their experience seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Varying voyages
Travel demands also vary. Many staffers say they “only traveled for training in my first
year,” and instead stay at home base full time. But that doesn’t seem to be the case
across the board. An associate who spends three days a week on the road
comments, “Outside sales is a part of my job.” An executive agrees that travel is the
“nature of the responsibilities” of his job. And another senior source says that while
he travels one day a week now, “in 2008, I was out of town two nights almost every
week.” A director reports that travel is “very reactive” and, as a result, “there are
weeks where I am gone for several days and other weeks where I do not travel at all.”
One source with a heavy travel load feels that the firm does not “leverage
communication technology as much as they should. We could benefit from learning
best practices around better process and communication management.”

Moans about money

It’s clear that Ajilon staffers know how to sell: One respondent confidently says of the
firm, “Ajilon offers a very dynamic and comprehensive benefits plan to include
medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, 401(k), paid
holidays, vacation, education reimbursement, virtual university, comp time, STD/LTD
and other employee incentives, such as referral and sales bonuses.” Benefits aside,
we’re told that compensation is inconsistent and often disappointing. A director
reports, “Our pay scales are not synchronized with market value. There are some
roles that are tremendously overpaid, and others that are underpaid.” Meanwhile, an
account manager says that while “consultants are paid well here,” the “benefits are
not great” and the “sales people do not have the base pay they should on either

Others groan about the lack of bonuses, profit sharing and other similar benefits,
although a few mention a “401(k) match,” as well as “cell and car allowances.” A
vice president notes, “It would be nice to have more of a pension or given stocks.”

Adequate extras
That said, Ajilon is not without its perks. We’re told there are “exceptional health care
benefits,” “generous ‘off time’ pay,” pet insurance and discount programs. Some say
it’s helpful that there’s a “weekly payroll.” A director adds, “Our firm has excellent
get-togethers, which are fun, interesting and you come away from it having learned
something as well.” And colleagues in Detroit are pleased to report that some
consultants there “get to go to a Red Wings hockey game every New Year’s Eve and
a Tigers game in the summer.”

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Still, there are complaints here, too; many agree that the firm offers “absolutely
nothing out of the ordinary” in the way of perks, and an engagement manager is
disappointed that “the amount of communication we receive regarding healthy
work/life balance, stress management, etc., is unusually high for a company that
doesn’t provide any form of fitness subsidy.”

Monthly jeans days

Ajilon is quite generous when it comes to supporting the community at large. We’re
told the firm is “widely involved in various charities” and “is known for its strong
presence doing charity work”—to the extent that the firm has gotten “recognition
from international agencies like the UN for this.” Sponsored organizations include
hospital foundations, Habitat for Humanity, the Brian Smith Charity Golf Tournament,
the Boys and Girls Club, and Toys for Tots. A source in Detroit reports, “We have an
office donation day to a different charity one day each month. We wear jeans and
donate as a group.” In addition, notes a VP, “a handful of individuals are also picked
annually, on a global basis, to be recognized for their community involvement.”

Training’s a work in progress

We’re also told that Ajilon will “pay for education if it relates to the position.” But
specific company training is a mixed bag. Some insist there are “solid formal
programs delivered via the internet and standalone training facilities.” A higher-up
reports that staffers have the “opportunity to attend numerous training classes and an
excellent combination of service offerings (multiple business lines, professional
consulting, staff augmentation and direct hire).” But one consultant manager notes,
“I would like to see a more formalized training program based upon career goals and
succession planning.”

Others insist that “on-the-job and informal mentoring are the most common
methods” of training, and that the focus is on “a lot of job shadowing and reading of
documents on your own.” A few note that “training is currently limited and under
redevelopment.” Still, a source shares, “I feel like there is a great effort behind the
scenes to upgrade.”

While some race ahead, others spin their wheels

There’s no consensus on promotions, either. Some respondents feel that “the
company routinely recognizes strong performers with promotional opportunities,” and
insist there are “excellent opportunities for advancement.” A vice president claims
“advancement is open and can be rapid based on individual.” But another higher-
up complains, “Most of us in the office remain in the same position indefinitely.” A
consultant manager concurs that “there are very few promotions. I’m not sure where
or when I can advance. I’ve been doing the same job since 2001.” Another adds,
“I’ve had to raise my hand and ask for [a promotion] each time to get it, or at least let

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my manager know I’m interested. I’m a VP now and really don’t know that there is
anywhere else to go, or even if that opportunity exists.” Others say “promotional
opportunities are typically based on need,” and warn that “this is relatively stagnant
right now.”

Autonomy from above

Insiders say their supervisors provide “even-handed leadership” with an “open-door
policy.” “Our company prides itself on all employees being able to interact with each
other, no matter what the level of management,” says a director. Another respondent
states, “My manager is great. He is always available for guidance or assistance. He
is willing to listen to my ideas and suggestions, and allows me to implement many of
them.” Plus, she adds, “He gives me the autonomy to do my job.” A colleague feels
it’s a great plus that there’s generally “no one looking over my shoulder,” allowing for
“a lot of independent thinking and working,” and another remarks, “Reporting to
managers like we have makes work interesting as well as encouraging. Most of the
managers encourage healthy competition among team members to outperform each
other, as well as support us with solid technical guidance to perform better.”

Dishing on diversity
Many also agree that Ajilon is a “highly diverse company, from entry level to
management,” and say there is “no discrimination at all in here.” “Our firm hires and
promotes based on capability and value brought to the firm, irrespective of ethnicity
or race,” emphasizes a senior account manager. We’re told that the firm “offers
spousal equivalent benefits, and in no way discriminates based upon sexual
orientation.” A director adds, “Our corporate culture does not have any issues with
GLBT. External lifestyle does not even factor into how a person does their job.”

Still, one female staffer who’s been at the firm for more than a decade notes, “The
upper positions are held by men,” while “the mid- and lower positions are held by
women,” and another agrees that “we need more women,” as well as “more
diversification in management positions.” A vice president states, “I as a woman feel
I’ve had to work harder than some of the men to get the same respect or tools to do
my job.”

Able to weather the storm

In all, insiders seem cautiously confident that Ajilon’s future outlook is bright. There’s
no doubt that “looming economic conditions in the U.S. are forcing cost savings and
cutbacks,” and that “downward pressure on margins in our business will be a major
challenge.” However, a senior account manager states that “Ajilon Consulting is
strongly positioned to grow as the U.S. economy recovers, due to the expanse of our
business and contractual relationships across multiple geographies and industries.”
A colleague remarks, “Being in Detroit, we have a very tough market. However,

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recent training and changes to our sales team will put us in a very competitive
situation when the market turns upward. I think that we will have some smaller
competitors who will not be able to make it through these tough times. We’ve
positioned ourselves well to pick up the additional business.”

The firm’s got some history on its side, as well, having been in business over 35 years
and lived through previous downturns. A case team leader with more than a decade’s
experience at Ajilon remarks, “This company has always worked through thick or thin
and has survived.” It also helps, a director notes, that “clients are regarded as long-
term partners, so our efforts to service our clients is accomplished with the long-term
view. This avoids short-term, low frequency greed, since we are doing the smart
things to develop and retain a client through ethical business practices.” In all,
another source is sure that although the “national economy is not good, with our
business strategy and sound financial position, we will weather the storm and be
stronger for it.”

256 © 2009, Inc.


Six Tower Bridge THE STATS

181 Washington Street, Suite 350
Employer Type: Subsidiary of Saints
Conshohocken, PA 19428
Capital, a Private Company
Phone: (610) 234-4301
President & CEO: John Castleman
Fax: (610) 234-4302
2009 Employees: 500
2008 Employees: 500+
2008 Revenue: $76 million
LOCATIONS 2007 Revenue: $87 million

Conshohocken, PA (HQ)
Boston, MA
• “Very good at developing high-quality IT
Bridgewater, NJ
project teams”
Charlotte, NC
• Employees are given responsibility and
Chicago, IL
not micromanaged
New York, NY
• Challenging and interesting engagements
• “Collaborative atmosphere”


Application Development & Integration
• Review process ranges from none to
Application Maintenance & Support
• Little managerial contact
Application Testing Services
• “Significant management changes”
Business Intelligence
• Little to no training available
Enterprise Solutions
To search open positions and to contact the
company, go to the career link on the firm’s

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Alliance Global Services


Uniting and splitting

Alliance Global Services is a provider of software solutions to middle-market
commercial software and technology companies, with offices in the U.S. and India.
Some of the services offered by the firm include strategic IT and business intelligence
consulting, custom application development and packaged software integration, data
warehouse integration and application management outsourcing. Alliance Global
Services is one of two companies that resulted from the August 2008 split of Alliance
Consulting, the other being Alliance Life Sciences, a health care consultancy. The
split was the latest in a string of major corporate changes for Alliance Consulting,
which was founded in 1994 by Craig Spitzer and Denny Shestack. The firm, originally
focused on advising clients in the health care market, was acquired in 2002 by
Safeguard Scientifics, a holding company that invests in life sciences and technology
firms. Following the acquisition, Safeguard chose to combine Alliance Consulting
with a pair of its IT subsidiaries, keeping the original name.

In 2006, the firm’s assets would again be rearranged. Alliance Consulting sold its
operations in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Dallas to Logicalis, Inc., for $4.5 million,
using the sale to fund the purchase of Fusion Technologies, a New Jersey-based
consulting firm with a strong presence in India. The transaction, which gave the
company its current office in Hyderabad, effectively doubled its outsourcing capability
in India and introduced some important names to its client list, such as Nucor Steel,
Merrill Lynch and Dun & Bradstreet. With the leverage of its new offshore delivery
centers, the firm set about growing its business intelligence, .Net, global delivery and
open source services and solutions.

In May 2008, Safeguard sold its interest in the firm to Saints Capital, a secondary
direct investment company with a portfolio of investments initially cultivated by other
venture capital and private equity firms. Although this deal would ultimately lead to
the separation of the life sciences consulting operations from the IT consulting
operations, it did not derail or otherwise alter the firm’s activities and growth goals.
John Castleman, executive vice president of Alliance Consulting, was named
president and CEO of Alliance Global Services. The firm’s headquarters remains in
Conshohocken, Penn.

Made to order
One of AGS’ major practice areas is application development and integration. The
firm can design custom applications for pre-existing frameworks like .NET
foundations and code blocks, Spring framework and Flex framework. It has also
developed its own specific frameworks for recurring business problems, including a
workflow framework, a payment processing framework and an identity management
framework. The practice additionally produces content management systems for

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corporate websites, product websites and publishers, and offers portal solutions
spanning intranets, extranets, social networks and mash-ups.

Tested and approved

AGS has achieved a number of industry certifications, including ISO 9001:2000, SAS
70 Type II and SEI SW CMM Level 5 status. These certifications are earned following
audits of a company’s internal processes based on models determined by the ISO
(International Organization for Standardization), and annual follow-up audits are
conducted to ensure continuing compliance with the models. AGS also meets the
BS7799 standards for the security of intellectual property. Over the course of
engagements, the firm protects clients’ security with a project management tool that
acts as a central repository for all global delivery project information.

Defining moment
In May 2007, the firm was hired by a global insurance and reinsurance corporation
to guide the creation of an integrated business glossary and encyclopedia, a
reference source for hundreds of business terms providing both definitions and
possible applications of the terms. All information will be kept in a database that can
be accessed using a workspace designed by the firm. The database will link all of the
insurer’s locations worldwide, standardizing the business language used across the
organization and eliminating ambiguities and redundancies.

Off on its own

Alliance Life Sciences, now an independent entity, specializes in information
architecture and data management solutions for the sales and marketing, managed
care, and research and development divisions of midsized biotech concerns, payer
organizations, health care systems and distributors. The firm is headquartered in
Bridgewater, N.J., and has approximately 225 employees. Its president and CEO,
John Foley, had served as the executive vice president of the life sciences division
prior to the split.


The times have a-changed

Alliance used to have something of a reputation for its speedy approach to hiring, but
insiders tell us those days are long gone. Case in point: A staffer in Philadelphia
points out that “the hiring process has changed dramatically since I joined the firm
four years ago. I believe it is more structured now.” That kind of comment is hardly
surprising, given that longer-term Alliance consultants say the firm’s recruitment was

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“desperate when I was hired.” Happily, all of that has now changed, with one recent
hire—also in Philly—lauding the firm for being “excellent recruiters.”

As to what the recruitment process involves, a senior contact in New York reports that
“most hires go through four to five interviews, including HR, technical and fit to firm.”
That seems to go for both the full-time salaried positions and the hourly contract
positions the firm has to offer—although the latter may vary somewhat depending on
the client. One contract staffer tells us he “was interviewed only and directly by my


Friendly and people-focused

Alliance consultants don’t complain about being overworked or over-supervised.
Most report working somewhere between 40 and 50 hours per week, adding that they
love the “friendly people” and the “good work environment.” They also laud the
company’s culture, which “has become more focused on its critical resources:
people,” according to one staffer. That doesn’t mean that the firm micromanages,
however; another consultant speaks glowingly of the “complete confidence they place
in me as an employee.” A cohort agrees: “My manager is very hands off; if I’m
performing well for my client, I get no ‘interference’ from my management.” That, in
short, is a reflection on the fact that Alliance leaves consultants to get on with their
jobs—a fact heightened by the geographic scattering of consultants to client offices
around the company and which, unsurprisingly, meets with mixed reviews.

Opinions on the level of support offered to employees in remote locations seem to

come down to individuals’ perception of how much interaction with management is
necessary. “Communications for a remote employee are very important,” a staffer
states, “and my firm keeps me aware of all important activities and accomplishment
of the firm and my colleagues.” One of those colleagues in the New York office, who
calls the firm a “collegial and collaborative” place to work, backs that up. However,
a recent hire begs to differ, reporting “very little interaction with the employees or the
management, no growth path, no performance reviews, no defined way to get a raise
and no clear relationship between billing rate and pay.”

Time for work

Alliance consultants are positive about their work/life balance, explaining that the
company itself doesn’t pressure them to work too many hours—a reflection of the
hourly pay that many of the employees receive. One consultant says, “My client
manager is awesome and does not believe in burning out the people that work for her.
I am paid hourly and can choose to work as many or as few hours as are necessary
to get the job done.” A colleague agrees, stating, “My time is driven more by my

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Alliance Global Services

clients, not my firm,” and notes that “the firm is making efforts to provide better
work/life balance.”

The element of choice may not exist at all clients, however, with one respondent
pointing out that “as an hourly contract employee, my work/life balance depends
more on my client.” Despite that, the most negative comment any Alliance consultant
would offer on the subject of work/life balance is, “I am surviving”—hardly the most
damning piece of evidence.

The folding stuff

Staffers report little more than standard benefits packages, with 401(k) matching and
stock options at the height of the perks. Notably, the 401(k) is available for contract
employees as well, although as one staffer ruefully notes that “this year it has not
seemed like a benefit.” Since most of the firm’s consultants are experienced hires,
as opposed to undergraduate recruits, the salaries they report are commensurate with
a higher level of experience. Overall, Alliance insiders—both hourly and salaried—
appear to be satisfied with their basic compensation packages, even if they see little
in the way of downtime: “I have been close to fully billable for the past four years,”
one insider reports. A colleague, meanwhile, claims to “have been on assignment
with no breaks for almost seven years.”

As far as perks go, there doesn’t appear to be too much on offer—something that
again may be a reflection of the scattered nature of Alliance consultants. Still, there
are some extras, with one insider noting that “at quarterly meetings, a big deal is
made of recognizing employees who have performed well.” In addition, “my firm
rewards its employees well with a lavish holiday party.”

Client is king
One concept that seems to define this firm is that clients lay out the expectations for
consultants, with Alliance acting almost as a conduit for talent, rather than a more
hands-on organization. That concept can result in some lengthy assignments and
can also lead to consultants feeling more at home with their clients’ businesses than
their own. As one experienced consultant puts it, “I work for a large and diverse client,
so there is no opportunity for me to interact with its executive-level management.
However, I am regularly invited to meetings with senior management and am treated
as a trusted partner. I’m sure that there are many people with whom I work who have
no idea that I’m a consultant and not an employee.”

Arrangements on the travel front are similarly geared around the client’s needs,
meaning that there is effectively no such thing as a “typical” amount. That attitude
is perhaps best summed up by a staffer who says, “My travel requirements are
dictated by my clients.” Enough said, perhaps. The firm’s approach to diversity is
similarly simple. “I think they hire whoever they can find that can do the job the client
is looking to fill,” says one source. “That’s probably the best diversity plan—gender-

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and race-blind.” Being disbursed around the country makes Alliance consultants not
entirely aware of the diversity breakdown at the firm, but most seem confident in
offering the general opinion that “our firm is diverse and provides equal

Training? What training?

Given that Alliance tends to employ consultants who are already experienced in their
fields, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that the firm doesn’t really
“do” training. What little there is “is unofficial and must be initiated by employee,”
notes one consultant, although “there have been more formal training sessions
recently.” Still, the general perception is that if there is any training offered at all, it
comes in the form of “targeted at assignments”—but the likelihood of receiving any
is slim. The same would appear to go for further education, with one insider reporting
that “they do not pay for my MBA classes.”

262 © 2009, Inc.


Tour les Miroirs - Bat C THE STATS

18, avenue d’Alsace Employer Type: Public Company
92926 Paris La Défense 3 Cedex Chairman & CEO: Thierry Breton
France Ticker Symbol: SAX (Euronext Paris)
Phone: +33 (0)1 55 91 20 00 2009 Employees: 50,000
Fax: +33 (0)1 55 91 20 05 2008 Employees: 50,000+
2008 Revenue: €5.48 billion
5599 San Felipe, Suite 300 2007 Revenue: €5.86 billion
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 513-3000
Fax: (713) 403-7204 UPPERS • Corporate values “like conviviality,
entrepreneurship and team spirit”
• “Really good working culture and open-
LOCATIONS door policy”
Paris (Global Head Office)
Houston, TX (North American HQ)
Brussels (Corporate HQ) DOWNERS
Offices in 40 countries • “Transparency is not like it was two years
• Some new managers have changed the
PRACTICE AREAS office atmosphere
Atos Consulting
Engagement Models
Major Events North American HQ and recruiting center:
Managed Operations (866) JOIN-AOI (564-6264)
Systems Integration
Technologies & Expertise

what other consultants are saying

• “Good place”
• “Not strong in the US region”
• “Long-term projects, outsourcing”
• “Too big”

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Atos Origin, Inc.


Time and again

Atos Origin is an international IT consultancy offering end-to-end technology
solutions. The firm is based in Paris, but maintains offices in 40 countries and has
over 50,000 employees. Clients come from a number of different markets, including
financial services, manufacturing, retail, telecom and media, energy and utilities, and
the public sector, as well as the organizers of major sporting events, such as the
Olympics. Typically, more than 60 percent of the firm’s revenue base is recurring, the
result of multiyear contracts for outsourcing or application maintenance.

Atos Origin conducts business through three service lines: consulting, systems
integration and managed operations. The consulting line attempts to address the
strategy and IT needs of an organization across the board, from personnel to
processes to technology. The systems integration line works to develop and
implement new systems for a client, while also maintaining or improving on legacy
systems. Through alliances with major vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Siebel, the
firm is able to match best-of-breed technologies to each client’s needs. The managed
operations segment revolves primarily around outsourcing, offering the management
of core infrastructure like data centers, desktop support, server farms and network
communication systems. Atos Origin also provides BPO and specialist processing
services, payment and card processing services, CRM and multichannel contract

Origin’s origins
The firm has a complex history, having been assembled out of various corporations
almost the way a quilt is assembled out of squares of fabric. Before Atos and Origin
joined forces in 2000, they were themselves the result of mergers—and in some
cases, so were their predecessors. Atos was formed in 1997 when the companies
Axime (a blend of three IT firms) and Sligos united.

Atos Origin hasn’t let that merging tradition die; it acquired the U.K. and Netherlands
offices of KPMG Consulting in August 2002, and then shelled out €1.28 billion in
January 2004 to purchase SchlumbergerSema, a move that doubled its staff.

We’ll do the acquiring, thanks

Though Atos Origin doesn’t mind acquiring and divesting certain assets, it hasn’t
shown much interest in the idea of being bought out. After selling its Bahrain-based
Middle East division to local management in February 2006 and making a similar deal
that same month to sell Nolan, Norton & Co.—its strategy consulting division—to its
management, the firm was quickly surrounded by rumors that it would be acquired

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Atos Origin, Inc.

outright. The media identified equity firm Blackstone Group as the likely buyer, but
after denials by both firms, speculation died out. A poor financial showing for the
whole of 2006 fueled merger rumors yet again in March 2007, with the possible
suitors this time being U.K. private equity firm Permira and hedge fund Centaurus
Capital. Atos Origin admitted then that there had been “expressions of interest” from
third parties, but no concrete offers. Finally, in May 2007, it put an end to the talk,
releasing a statement that any discussions with interested buyers had been

Into high gear

Lackluster performance in 2006 pushed the firm toward more aggressive tactics. In
February 2007, it announced the “303” plan, a three-year course of accelerated
organic growth, improved efficiency and a more global outlook on business. An
executive committee was formed and tasked with achieving these goals through
better execution of operations, service lines and functions. In addition, new
managers were appointed to select European offices and over struggling group sales
and finance divisions. The offshoring business will receive particular attention, as the
firm intends to bring in 8,000 employees for the offshore/nearshore divisions by the
end of 2009.

Home team support

Atos Origin tends to do very well in its home country, serving some of the largest
organizations in France, both public and private. In October 2008, it signed a three-
year contract with Polyrey, a maker of decorative laminate surfaces, pursuant to
which the firm will handle all operations of Polyrey’s SAP system. At the start of the
project, the client’s data was immediately transferred to Atos Origin data centers,
which began implementing new architecture to reduce operating costs. Also in
October, the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry selected the firm, in
partnership with CRM expert Selligent, to redesign its customer relationship system,
implement new technology, train users and provide ongoing maintenance.

Previous assignments with French public works departments include a contract with
the national power utility Electricité de France, which called on the firm to design its
monitoring and diagnosis assistance system for the country’s nuclear power plants,
and a contract with the national water utility, Lyonnaise des Eaux, for the upgrade of
an automated outbound call system.

Popular abroad, too

In keeping with its plan to grow and keep a global outlook, the firm also takes on
major engagements outside of France. In October 2008, Atos Origin was tapped by
the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a worldwide body for professional
accountants, to manage its IT infrastructure. The five-year project will involve ACCA’s

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Atos Origin, Inc.

network of 80 offices and centers, supporting 122,000 members and 325,000

students. Also in October (quite the busy month!), Atos Origin entered into a contract
with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the outsourcing of its
workplace services, including telecommunications, asset management software and
printing. The €45 million deal, which will cover 3,700 work stations, is set to span
four years, with an option of a three-year extension.

Stateside, sometimes
The firm is not a major player in the U.S., although it does maintain an office in
Houston and a small client base. However, it is gearing up for a possible boost to
North American business by seeking alliances with domestic vendors. In February
2008, the firm announced a partnership with the San Francisco corporation Ad
Infuse, a provider of mobile advertising solutions, that will allow Atos Origin to pair its
consulting and IT capabilities with Ad Infuse’s adInMotion platform. One month prior,
the firm forged a partnership with Axway, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company offering
business-to-business solutions and information management. Together, the
companies will offer a system for managing business document exchanges.

Going for IT gold

Since 2004, Atos Origin has managed to carve out a niche as the go-to IT provider of
the Olympic Games, primarily handling the transmission of competition results
worldwide and IT security. After the firm’s major events division completed a
successful engagement at the Athens Games, it followed up with contracts for the
Torino Games in 2006 and the Beijing Games in 2008. What’s more, Atos Origin has
already been selected for Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.

As they say in sports, practice pays off. The same is true of Atos Origin’s role in the
Games. In Beijing, the firm was able to process over 80 percent more data for media
and news agencies than it had in Athens. It also added eight sports to the
commentator information system, which allows broadcasters to access detailed, real-
time information. The major events division also frequently handles projects for other
worldwide sporting events—albeit with a lower profile—such as the Asian Games, the
Commonwealth Games, the World Cup and the All Africa Games.

Un coup d’Etat
In a surprise move, November 2008 saw the firm announce a new leader in an
episode that amounted—fittingly for a French company—to nothing less than a coup
d’Etat. In came former French Finance Minister Thierry Breton as chairman and
CEO, and out went Philippe Germond. The appointment represents Breton’s first
foray back into the corporate world since his two-year tenure as France’s minister of
economy and finance ended in 2007. Prior to that, he had served as CEO of both the
Thomson Group and France Telecom.

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Atos Origin, Inc.

In addition to putting someone with Breton’s contacts and experience at the helm, the
appointment is aimed at speeding up the firm’s transformation plans. Those were
discussed in detail when the firm released its 2008 year-end financial results, and are
based mostly around something the firm calls the TOP Program. An acronym for total
operational performance, the TOP program has four main objectives: better
leveraging of the firm’s global concept; closing the gap between itself and competitors
using industry benchmarks; developing better efficiency through lean management
processes; and implementing sustainability initiatives.

The year-end financial results, meanwhile, made for decent reading for Atos
investors, showing a net income of €23 million—half what it took in for 2007. While
the firm’s year-on-year revenue also declined when all business units were taken into
account, the company went to some lengths to publish results that reflected the
divestment of its Italy and AEMS Exchange units in 2007. When considered side by
side, the results from operations without considering those units actually showed a
5.6 percent increase from 2007 to 2008. Still, the firm predicted a slight dip in
revenue for fiscal 2009—no doubt a reflection of the twin pressures of restructuring
and the downturn in the economy.


No surprises here
Hiring at Atos Origin is a fairly standardized affair, which the firm’s website lays out in
some detail. First up is the application process, which for experienced hires is
conducted mainly through the careers section of the site. All applications will then
be prescreened, with the firm offering the handy hint that it looks at more than just
experience and credentials; also under review are “what makes you tick, your
aspirations and ambitions.” Those successfully screened will be invited to interview
with the firm, with the number of interviews—and the need for any assessments—
varying depending the position in question.

Prospective graduate hires are invited to search the firm’s country-specific sites for
news of openings or upcoming events, while all interested parties also have the option
of submitting an “open application” for the company’s consideration. While this can
pay off—especially if the firm doesn’t have a suitable role advertised—Atos strongly
recommends applying to advertised posts as the best way to get its attention.

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6363 South Fiddler’s Green Circle UPPER

Suite 1400
• Tuition assistance for further education
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: (303) 220-0100
Fax: (303) 220-7100 DOWNER • Not much camaraderie between different
groups internally
Greenwood Village, CO (Global HQ) EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
92 offices in 18 countries throughout North
America, Asia, Australia and Europe

Application Development & Management
Enterprise Integration
ERP/Package Solutions
Government Solutions
IT Outsourcing
Security Solutions
Service-Oriented Architecture

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CBR (NYSE)
President & CEO: Mac J. Slingerlend
2009 Employees: 8,500
2008 Employees: 8,000
2008 Revenue: $1.19 billion
2007 Revenue: $1.08 billion

what other consultants are saying

• “Well respected”
• “Competitive, hungry”
• “Great expertise; great team player”
• “Mainly a resource supplier”

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


Pure as the driven snow

When any firm styles itself a “pure play,” you automatically know two things about it:
first, that it’s publicly traded, and second, that it has one core competency that,
ideally, it does very well. In Colorado-based CIBER’s case, both of those things are
true—it’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and excels internationally at system
integration consulting, which it supports with outsourcing capabilities, not to mention
92 offices around the world. All of that has led to the firm working with some of the
biggest names in the fields of communications, finance, health care, higher
education, manufacturing, service/retail and technology, while it also has deep
expertise in government projects at the state and federal level.

CIBER boasts a client retention rate in the 90 percent range—a fact that seems all
the more impressive when the list carries the likes of AT&T, American Express, Alcoa,
Boeing, McDonald’s, the World Bank, and every branch of the U.S. armed forces. For
all of those organizations, CIBER’s role is effectively the same: It designs, builds,
integrates and supports applications that are critical to the business of each.

Putting the IT in Detroit

CIBER owes its origins to the federally ordered breakup of IBM in the 1970s—a ruling
that forced Big Blue to divide its hardware, software and consulting divisions into
separate businesses, effectively paving the way for a more level playing field for
competitors. Bobby Stevenson, a local database programmer in Detroit, spotted an
opportunity to serve the information system servicing needs of the local auto industry,
and struck out on his own, determined at the same time to create a company that
treated employees better than his previous firm did.

Accordingly, in 1974, Consultants in Business Engineering Research (CIBER) was

born, servicing companies of the stature of Ford and General Motors from the get go.
With a base like that, success followed fairly quickly, and the company went public in
1994. Since then, the firm hasn’t really stopped growing; it experienced a remarkable
run of revenue growth every quarter from its IPO until fall 2008. That run that even
continued through the dot-com bust and following recession, and only came to an
end when third-quarter earnings for 2008 came in some $20 million short of the
previous quarter—evidence, perhaps, that serves more as an indictment of the
severity of the problems in the broader economy than any loss of CIBER’s competitive

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Fractions of the whole

Business at CIBER appears to involve completing a succession of small contracts
across a wide array of industries. While the firm broke the $1 billion revenue barrier
for the first time in fiscal 2007, the following year proved that no contract is too small
for the company to consider. Indeed, one of the bigger deals the firm announced in
September 2008 was a $19 million contract to provide SAP support for the
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The only new job in 2008 with a higher contract
value than the turnpike deal was announced in March 2008—the first year option of
a potential four-and-a-half-year, $25 million contract with the Air Force Office of
Scientific Research. The job is a partnership affair, too: CIBER is working with
Anadarko Industries, a Native American, tribal-owned firm, to provide business
support services for the AFOSR.

Such contracts may not set too many pulses racing among those accustomed to the
world of nine- and 10-figure engagements, but CIBER operates very profitably in the
space where larger rivals may not deign to tread. And that strategy is paying off, too;
in September 2008, Brown-Wilson Group’s The Black Book of Outsourcing ranked
CIBER No. 1 and No. 6 in the world, respectively, for midtier and Tier 1 infrastructure
outsourcing. And, while the firm expressed a degree of disappointment over its year-
end 2008 results—revenue came in at a lower-than-anticipated $1.19 billion, with net
income staying flat at approximately $30 million—it would (shockingly) appear that
the economy was the biggest culprit. “The continuing decay in global economic
conditions contributed to a couple of client bankruptcies, one to liquidation, and
curtailments at others,” reads a company statement, while the firm also pointed to
currency fluctuations as a reason that it failed to meet its targets.

One positive note for the firm coming out of 2008 was that it had managed to pay
down around $40 million in debt over the year—a process it intends to continue
throughout 2009. To that end, in February 2009, CIBER launched a $25 million
share offering to generate fresh capital that would be used to pay some of its debts.
While recognizing that the current economic climate perhaps isn’t ideal for launching
any kind of share issue, the firm insisted that the move was “the least difficult” of two
options it faced for repaying part of a revolving credit facility due in late 2009. What
the more difficult option was, however, the firm failed to clarify.

Education specialists
The firm has built something of a reputation over the years in the field of education,
all the way from kindergarten through college. That’s not to say that CIBER
employees are finding second careers moonlighting in classrooms around the country
(although some are: see below). The firm just happens to specialize in the sort of
services and solutions that the education community tends to find useful. One such
example is the recent work the firm did with the University of Wisconsin to develop a
best-of-breed approach to enterprise resource planning that has since given the UW
System exactly the data it required to move forward.

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition

In January 2008, meanwhile, the company was selected for a two-year, $5.4 million
project to oversee the implementation of a new ERP system in the Lee County School
District in Florida—work that will replace a legacy computer system that is 30 years
old. CIBER’s role is to provide program and project management, training, technical
consulting and quality assurance.

In addition to overhauling systems for providers of education, the company isn’t afraid
to step into the classroom to dole out a little education of its own. In July 2008, the
firm announced that its federal government solutions division would be partnering
with Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute Partner Network to
provide training services. Under the terms of the partnership, qualified CIBER
employees will teach a three-day course entitled “Introduction to CMMI,” while the
company will also gain support of its training capabilities.

Picking up partners
Like many of its peers, CIBER is fond of partnership arrangements—and not just with
Carnegie Mellon. The Partners page on the firm’s website boasts more than 30
alliances, including the likes of Adobe, Cisco, EMC, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. In
March 2008, the firm strengthened its ties with another of the names on the list—
Lawson Software. While CIBER already offered customer support for Lawson’s
strategic implementation and technology solutions, the two expanded into a new field
with Lawson adding CIBER’s managed services to its “total care” offering.

Evidence of another far-reaching relationship—albeit of a different kind—was offered

in February 2008, when the firm unveiled the latest development in its 20-year
association with the Centers for Disease Control. That month, CIBER revealed that it
had designed, built and implemented a solution for the CDC to be able to alert public
health officials and departments of disease outbreaks, bioterrorism events and other
issues concerning public health. Nothing says “responsibility” quite like being given
the keys to the early-warning system for an entire nation’s health.

Indian expansion
In September 2008, CIBER signed a letter of intent to acquire Indian outsourcer
Iteamic, a 200-employee shop that specializes in application development of offshore
companies. The deal, which closed in January 2009, was carried out despite a
difficult economic climate, and fleshes out CIBER’s Indian operations considerably—
a longtime goal of the firm. Prior to the deal, CIBER had three locations in India, in
Bangalore, Chennai and Koramangala.

In late January 2009, meanwhile, the firm announced an expansion closer to home,
snapping up Canon Technology Solutions for an undisclosed fee. A subsidiary of
Canon U.S.A., the unit is a direct consulting concern, and will be added to CIBER’s
IT outsourcing unit.

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A learning experience
Those interested in finding a position with CIBER would be best served by checking
out the hiring section on the firm’s website. There, the company provides a full range
of information on its background, culture, benefits and other information relevant to
job seekers.

A striking feature of CIBER’s overall compensation package is how much emphasis it

places on learning. The firm offers not only tuition reimbursement for employees, but
its very own corporate university dedicated to improving employee knowledge and
skills. In addition, CIBER offers college assistance for the children of eligible

The company stresses diversity not only along lines of gender, race and sexual
orientation, but also between people with different values and interests. Indeed,
company literature claims that “our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”

Positions within the U.S., Canada and India can all be searched via the firm’s main
jobs portal (, which allows applicant to create a profile, save and
track searches, and create advanced search options. Applications, of course, can
also be submitted directly through the site.

272 © 2009, Inc.


1007 Slater Road, Suite 400 THE STATS

Durham, NC 27703
Employer Type: Private Company
Phone: (800) 652-4274
CEO: Tom Finegan
Fax: (919) 484-4450
2008 Employees: 300
2007 Employees: 300

Durham, NC (HQ)
• Entrepreneurial, small-firm feel
Atlanta, GA • Boston, MA • Chicago, IL •
• Committed to employee growth and
Dallas, TX • Detroit, MI • New York, NY •
Philadelphia, PA • San Diego, CA • Calgary
• Frankfurt
PRACTICE AREAS • If a niche firm isn’t your thing …
• You can bet on heavy travel
Consumer Products Solutions
Human Capital Management EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
New Product Development & Innovation
Operational Excellence
Supply Chain Management
Trade Promotion Optimization
Life Sciences Solutions
Clinical Development
Commercial Compliance
Human Capital Management
Operational Excellence
Quality Systems
Regulatory Planning & Remediation

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Clarkston Consulting


Drawing out the SAP

Clarkston Consulting is an IT consultancy serving the consumer products and life
sciences markets. Besides its headquarters in Durham, N.C., the firm has offices in
eight large U.S. cities, Calgary, Canada, and Frankfurt, Germany. It was founded in
1991 as Clarkston-Potomac by Tom Finegan, Neil Nelson, Ronald Gridley and James
Stefan, all former Andersen consultants who saw an opportunity to create one of the
first American companies to offer SAP implementation. The founders quickly carved
a niche for the firm as an affordable alternative to the Big Six, and targeted primarily
midmarket clients with services like sales force automation, electronic solutions,
process management and strategic planning.

New priorities
Clarkston didn’t fare well when the tech bubble popped in 1999, and was forced to
lay off a fifth of its staff in 2000. In February that year, however, private equity firm
Navis Partners helped right the firm’s course with a $15 million investment. Following
the close call, Clarkston rearranged its business plan, narrowing its target clients to
those in the life sciences, manufacturing and high-tech markets. As time went on,
this focus narrowed even further, leading to the firm’s present target markets of life
sciences and consumer products. Reflecting this niche approach, Clarkston has
never pursued aggressive expansion, instead applying energy to the careful
cultivation of its client base. The results have borne this decision out: Clarkston’s
seven-year average client satisfaction rate is 96 percent (as measured by annual
surveys conducted by The Conference Board).

Flour power
Some of the firm’s biggest consumer products clients are Bose, Coca-Cola, Nokia,
FujiFilm, Unilever, BumbleBee, Johnson & Johnson and ConAgra Foods. Services to
such clients range from demand planning and new product development to human
capital management, operational solutions and supply-chain management. In an
engagement with Gold Medal, for example, Clarkston was charged with improving
demand forecasting, while allowing the company to continue providing top-notch
service for retail customers. After optimizing Gold Medal’s supply chain practices, the
firm chose to integrate a sales scanning application known as SMARTselling with the
client’s enterprise resource planning system. This application tracked sales,
promotional activity, seasonality, sales trends and other market-specific information
until it was able to determine the best order strategy on a per-customer, per SKU
basis, and report that information to the ERP system. As a result, Gold Medal was
able to predict demand more accurately, while allowing retail personnel to
concentrate on customer service rather than sales data.

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Clarkston Consulting

In November 2008, meanwhile, the firm announced that it had partnered with
FoodLogiQ, a leading provider of food safety software, to deliver an integrated
traceability and food safety system—something that would operate “from field to
can.” The system is a response to some of the outbreaks of dangerous health
hazards in the food supply (think tainted spinach, E.coli, listeria and the like), each
of which has not only proved harmful to consumers but has done significant damage
to the reputation of the companies involved. What the Clarkston/FoodLogiQ
partnership aims to deliver, then, is a fully integrated system that makes it easy for the
food industry to track products “from farm to fork.” Among the clients working with
the companies is Seneca Foods, the largest producer of shelf-stable (read: canned)
fruits and vegetables in North America.

Prescribing success
On the other side, the firm’s life sciences practice works with pharmaceutical
companies, diagnostics manufacturers, biotech companies and other makers of
health care products. Major clients include Amgen, Bayer, Britol-Meyers Squibb,
GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Wyeth, the recipients of services including clinical
development, compliance, regulatory planning and operations management. In a
project for Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the firm was asked to help transition the
company from an R&D specialist into full commercial viability. Clarkston established
a program management office to organize and run the interdependent project
components and resource demands of the client. This integration of essential
functions allowed Alexion to quickly and cost-effectively bring its first products to

Getting the word out

The firm participates in thought leadership in the industry through research studies,
white papers and its Viewpoints and Insights publications—collections of case
studies, strategies and trend-tracking pieces that it posts on its website. Some recent
topics include a breakdown of the useful of metrics and key performance indicators,
a look at the necessity of accurate product labeling and a piece on the best means of
sustaining customer loyalty. Clarkston also dispatches its consultants as guest
speakers for seminars and conferences around the country. In February 2008,
associate partner Guy Mills visited Clark Atlanta University to give a presentation,
titled “Current Issues in Supply Chain Strategy and Design.”

Judging by the positive recognition the firm garners from industry groups and the
media, its efforts must be paying off. In September 2008, the Triangle Business
Journal of North Carolina named Clarkston one of the 45 best places to work, based
on employee surveys. That same publication recognized the firm as one of the
fastest-growing private companies in the Research Triangle at its Fast 50 Awards
ceremony in December 2007. And in March 2008, Consumer Goods Technology
magazine ranked the firm No. 1 in customer experience for the third consecutive

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Clarkston Consulting

year. Clarkston was cited in the magazine for its extensive knowledge of consumer
products and best practices.

Further proof of the firm’s success arrived in January 2009, when Clarkston received
a satisfaction rating of 99 percent from its clients, along with a 76 percent “strong
satisfaction” rating. The ratings are a result of the firm engaging an outside research
firm to conduct an objective, unbiased survey on its behalf—a process it began in

Morale makers
Similar to its commitment to clients, the firm makes efforts to keep employee relations
healthy and strong. It distributes an annual Triple-A (Ask, Act and Adopt) Employee
Satisfaction Survey, which employees can take anonymously online. Clarkston also
claims to offer ample training, ranging from external classes, self-study, e-learning
and lunch ‘n learns, to formal and on-the-job training, Clarkston University and new-
hire orientation—in addition to tuition reimbursement. Between 80 and 120 hours
per year are available to employees for use on purely self-developmental pursuits.


Click on Clarkston
Clarkston’s careers site allows candidates to browse a list of current vacancies across
three divisions: consulting, Clarkston Canada and operations. Should any of the
resultant opportunities fit the candidate’s profile, the application process involves
completing an online application form. The firm’s website also includes profiles of
selected Clarkston employees—although given that it’s a corporate site, each of these
is overwhelmingly positive, and thus perhaps of limited value in assessing the
company’s overall treatment of its staff.

276 © 2009, Inc.


800 Delaware Avenue UPPER

Buffalo, NY 14209
• “We have a workout room in the office”
Phone: (716) 882-8000
Fax: (716) 887-7464 DOWNER
• High turnover rate
29 offices worldwide

Healthcare Solutions
IT Solutions
IT Staffing

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: CTGX (Nasdaq)
Chairman, President & CEO: James R.
2008 Employees: 3,100
2007 Employees: 3,400
2008 Revenue: $353.2 million
2007 Revenue: $325.3 million

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition


Spanning several acronyms

CTG was founded in 1966 by Randy Marks and G. David Baer, both formerly of IBM.
Originally calling their company MBI (short for Marks-Baer Inc., but also creating a
tidy reflection of the things they’d learned at IBM), the mix of technical consulting and
software services offered by the two founders proved immediately successful. By
1969, when the firm went public as Computer Task Group, Inc., it was already one of
the top-70 U.S. software companies. Today, known primarily as CTG, the company
maintains 29 offices, with 25 in North America and four in Europe. Its services
include IT staffing, software development and integration, and IT consulting tailored
to a variety of industries, with a focus on health care.

Getting IT done
CTG’s staffing services encompass recruitment, retention and talent management.
Clients include large organizations with significant, ongoing IT requirements, and also
smaller businesses that have only supplemental or periodic IT staffing needs. In
either case, the firm’s professionals usually work on site with the client’s in-house
staff. CTG’s technical solutions include assessments of a client’s IT needs, delivery
and implementation of existing packaged software, and, when needed, the design,
construction, testing and integration of all new systems. Over the last two years, CTG
has invested in developing innovative solutions, primarily targeted to the health care
provider and payer markets. Additionally, the firm offers application management
outsourcing, wherein clients can outsource the management of some or all
applications, freeing up time and resources for their own internal or external projects,
or to implement new applications. Outsourced applications can include help desks,
transitional outsourcing for applications being phased out and other maintenance or
enhancement-based solutions.

Staying focused
CTG upholds strict standards in its business through the Innovations in Quality (IQ)
Total Quality Management Program. The IQ program, which is ISO 9001:2000-
certified by the International Organization for Standardization, maps out the firm’s
project management, recruiting, production support and user consulting
methodologies. Moreover, CTG’s software development processes have been granted
CMMI Level 3 status, and its financial services have reached CMMI Level 5 status (the
highest possible) with the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
This commitment to excellence culminated in June 2007, with the company being
ranked by Business 2.0 magazine as No. 69 out the 100 fastest growing U.S.
technology companies (culled from over 2,000 candidates). The publication also
recognized CTG as the No. 11 fastest growing business services company. In another

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media nod, in September 2008, CTG was ranked eighth-largest on Modern

Healthcare’s annual list of the Top 20 Healthcare Management Consulting Firms.
These honors were the cherry on top of a strongly profitable year for the firm, with 2008
net income increasing 96 percent from the year prior, and 9 percent revenue growth.

Forever entwined?
It’s only fitting that CTG, having sprung forth from two IBM employees and even
having once shared the same three initials as IBM, would count Big Blue as its largest
customer. Work for IBM consistently accounts for more than 30 percent of total
annual revenue, and has done so every year since 2005. In addition, a notable
portion of the firm’s incoming hires hail from IBM. In a press release accompanying
CTG’s 2008 financial results, it confirmed that “a significant customer” had informed
it in October 2008 of “a reduction in its need for approximately 250 existing CTG staff
with an approximately $21 million effect on annualized revenue.” Further, that same
customer—which remained nameless—reduced its need for CTGers by a further 175
staff by December. That meant CTG took a hit totaling some 425 billable staff, and
an annualized impact of some $36 million. The identity of the customer might not be
as much of a secret as CTG would like it to be, however; the $36 million represents
a shade over 10 percent of CTG’s revenue, and according to the firm’s annual report
filed with the SEC, it only has one customer that contributes over 10 percent of
revenue: none other than IBM.

All of that, not to mention the ravages of the economy, led CTG to make some gloomy
predictions for 2009. Basing its numbers on a projected three quarters of continued
recession, followed by the seeds of a recovery in the fourth quarter, the firm projected
a decrease in revenue of around 16 percent for the year.

Healthy future?
It wasn’t all depressing talk from the firm, however; it did see a potential bright spot
in the Obama administration’s provision for health care IT expenditure in the bumper
stimulus package passed early in 2009. According to CEO James Boldt, CTG’s risk
analysis solutions and electronic medical records (EMR) applications set the firm up
for a crack at benefiting from stimulus spending. Boldt’s rationale is perhaps best
explained in his own words: “The U.S. federal stimulus package includes $19 billion
in federal funding for health care IT over the next few years with the major focus of
this investment being directed toward President Obama’s initiative to implement
EMRs to lower costs and improve patient care. CTG already has significant EMR
experience in addition to work supporting the formation and development of Regional
Healthcare Information Organizations (RHIOs), which are essential to implementing
communitywide EMRs. Healthcare currently contributes 26 percent to CTG’s
revenue, and we believe that this national EMR initiative will provide additional power
over several years to expand our healthcare focus and grow CTG’s business,
profitability and value.”

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Experience is everything
CTG’s website is the best way to apply for a job with the firm. The first step is to add
your resume to the online database by creating a profile. Applicants can also search
the jobs page of the site for open positions all over the world, which are grouped
according to country.

When applying for a job with CTG, candidates will generally go through two interviews.
A new hire explains that the first interview is “with a recruiter in order to examine the
candidate’s fitness to company culture,” while the second is with a “career developer
who will make a more professional assessment.” Depending on the office you
interview for, the process will vary. One consultant says there are “usually about three
interviews,” while others say there might be a “phone interview” as well as a “face-
to-face interview.” Others report that there are no case questions, but that
interviewers lean more toward life experience questions, such as, “Give us an
example of the most challenging time you’ve had.”


“Mixed bag”
CTG consultants describe their firm as a “mixed bag.” Some sources cite positive
work/life balance and helpful management as the best things about the firm. “I really
enjoy my supervisors. We get along great and have open communication,” reports
one insider. Colleagues are also pleased with management’s communication to staff.
“CTG has this monthly book that comes out once a month called Telebit. It talks
about progress within the company. I think it keeps everyone of different branches
of CTG informed.”

On the other side, a consultant expresses the downside of this type of contract work:
“The staff in general is helpful, but the management is constantly changing and you
never know who you should call, and the people that you think will assist you end up
leaving. Turnover is huge.” Despite these complaints, the source does add that “it’s
a pretty good experience if you want to get in the door.”

Respondents also say that training at CTG is minimal and “mostly unofficial.” “I was
only trained on the software that was being used,” says a staffer. Benefits are pretty
standard, but a nice perk for some is an occasional free lunch. “The site manager
buys us lunch from time to time, and it isn’t like, ‘Here is some food, now you have
to stay late’-type of deal either,” a source points out.

280 © 2009, Inc.


Surrey Research Park THE STATS

Employer Type: Wholly Owned Subsidiary
Surrey GU2 7YP
of BAE Systems
United Kingdom
Ticker Symbol: BA.L (LSE)
Phone: +44 (0)1483 816 000
Managing Director: Martin Sutherland
Fax: +44 (0)1483 816 144
2008 Employees: 1,388
2007 Employees: 1,333
2008 Revenue: £203.2 million
LOCATIONS 2007 Revenue: £156.1 million

Guildford, Surrey (HQ)

Arlington, VA UPPER
Columbia, MD
• Meritocratic culture
London (2 offices) DOWNER
• Detica has restructured its financial
PRACTICE AREAS services business due to recent economic
Business & Technology Consulting
Business Consulting
Delivery Management EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Electronic Solutions
System Integration
System Support
Technical Consulting

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The more you know

Detica is a business and technology consulting firm specializing in intelligence and
security. It collects and exploits information that can be used to identify and counter
imminent or growing threats, whether to the well-being of the public, the security of
the state or the daily operation of an enterprise. Those same data-gathering
capabilities can also be repurposed for use with other information-intensive problems,
including regulatory compliance and customer management. Detica generated 61
percent of its 2007/2008 revenue from government clients, and the remainder from
commercial clients in the financial services, telecommunications, and media and
technology markets. Its practice areas include business consulting, delivery
management, systems integration and support, electronic solutions and technical

The firm was founded in 1971 as Smith Associates, a research services provider that
engaged primarily in data analysis for the U.K. defense sector. Through the 1980s,
the firm began to diversify into the public sector, first in the U.K. and later
internationally. In the 1990s, the firm engineered a business shift away from research
toward IT consulting, with an initial focus on customer relationship management, and
rebranded as Detica in 2001. In the wake of 9/11, as security became a key issue
for public- and private-sector organisations, growth continued and, in 2002, the firm
was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

A new master
In September 2008, Detica was acquired by U.K.-based BAE Systems, a provider of
advanced aerospace and defense systems. The transaction was valued at £538
million, and resulted in Detica becoming a standalone business unit within BAE.
Detica will build on its expertise in intelligence, security and resilience to lead and
support the development of a new global security business.

Strong showing
Fiscal year 2007/2008 was very kind to Detica. Revenue rose 30 percent to £203.2
million, following up on 54 percent growth year over year in 2006/2007, when
revenue hit £156.1 million. Government-derived revenue rose 43 percent in
2007/2008, and commercial services rose 15.5 percent. Revenue from the firm’s
U.S. business was markedly up in 2008, as well, growing to £29.8 million from a mere
£6 million the year prior. Historically, consulting and advisory services to both
government and commercial clients make up the majority of Detica’s revenue, with
additional earnings coming from products developed for the national security market,
system integration projects and post-implementation support.

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Growth, American style

The jump in revenue from Stateside business was the result of calculated moves by
the firm in recent years. Detica already had some limited activities in the U.S.
government sector, but in March 2007, it acquired Washington-based consultancy
DFI International, a bridge to the market that came ready made with connections to
the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Department of
Defense, as well as several intelligence agencies. The new operations were branded
DeticaDFI, and several months later, in September, the firm scored a contract to
provide advanced analytics services to an unnamed government agency engaged in
counterterrorism. It will boost the client’s existing analytics services to allow quicker
response time and more effective intelligence gathering. That same month, the
DeticaDFI division joined an 11-member team led by Scitor Corp. to service the U.S.
Department of Defense.

Friends on the inside

The decision to acquire DFI was fostered by General John A. Gordon, the head of the
firm’s U.S. national security business, a retired Air Force general and a former
homeland security advisor to the Bush administration. Gordon subsequently was
named a nonexecutive director of the firm, becoming only the latest board member
carrying high-level government experience. Others include Alan Wade, who served
as director of communications and chief information officer of the CIA, and Franklin
Miller, who was a senior director for defense policy and arms control on the National
Security Council, as well as a special assistant to President George W. Bush.

U.K. a-OK
The buildup in activities in the U.S. has not caused a drop-off in work for Detica’s
home government. In September 2008, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs,
something of a British analogue to the IRS, purchased an enterprise-wide license for
Detica NetReveal, the firm’s counter-fraud and intelligence product. Before that, in
April 2008, the firm won two contracts with the Ministry of Defense to provide
program management and enterprise architecture design for the Ministry’s
cryptosecurity division. And in March of that year, the Metropolitan Police Service
tapped Detica for a five-year engagement involving the technical support of mobile
data terminals, operational PDAs and associated infrastructure.

The firm can also claim some significant private-sector clients, among them Reuters,
Vodafone, Virgin Media, BT and a number of top financial institutions. In June 2008,
it announced a deal with O2 (UK) Ltd., a subsidiary of giant mobile telecom company
Telefonica, for the use of the firm’s content security solution. The processing solution,
which allows internet content to be channeled securely into homes and businesses
without the need for specialized hardware or software, will be utilized by the client for
its U.K. broadband service.

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The proper tools

Detica NetReveal®, which was also selected for licensing by a global insurance
company in 2008, is one of the firm’s most popular products. The proprietary fraud-
detection technology identifies fraudulent activity within linked systems, rather than
seeking it out in single transactions, which makes for more efficient discovery of large-
scale fraud, organized across multiple identities within a single network. Detica
released a new version of NetReveal in March 2008, with extra features designed for
use by retail banks in preventing credit abuse and other scams. The firm offers
additional internet security solutions through its StreamShield products, a range of
content security solutions. BT recently used Detica’s StreamShield solutions to
implement a security system that could find and block professional spammers and
“botnet” virus-infected customers on its broadband network.

Show your work

Detica frequently produces studies and white papers that showcase its insight into
security and information management. In July 2008, following up on a keynote
presentation by then CEO Tom Black at the Homeland and Border Security
Conference in London, the firm released a white paper titled, “The Information
Revolution and its Impact on Homeland Security.” The paper discusses the
unimaginably enormous volumes of data being transmitted each day around the
world. Though impressive in sheer size, this information flow also creates new
vulnerabilities, whether through the abuse and exploitation of that information or
attacks upon its transmission. Detica believes catching up to and neutralizing the
opportunities for crime will require “radical and ongoing innovation.”

Searching for vacancies
The careers section of Detica’s website features a section with videos of current
employees at all levels throughout the firm who—surprise!—extol the benefits of the
company. Popping up with quotes like, “Working for Detica is about working with
some of the best in your industry,” there’s understandably little in the way of a
downside presented, but these chosen individuals nevertheless make an interesting
introduction into the personality types and skills the firm values.
Being based in the U.K., most of the firm’s college hiring information is aimed at U.K.
students and graduates (it mentions needing a strong set of “A-levels” and a
“minimum 2:1 in a numerate discipline” as academic qualifications, for example),
but don’t let that put you off if you’re applying internationally. A 2:1 equates to an
American GPA in the range of 3.4 to 3.6, so if you fall into that category, it’s worth
checking out the company’s site for vacancies.
For both graduates and experienced hires looking to apply for positions in the U.S.,
candidates are redirected to the BAE Systems job portal. Entering “Detica” as a

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keyword and selecting the United States in the country search will bring up any and
all vacancies that may exist.

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One Shell
John Square
Hancock Center THE STATS
701 North
875 Poydras Street, Avenue
Michigan Suite 4500 Employer Type: Public
No. of attorneys: 242 Company
New Orleans,
Suite 3000 LA 70139-4596 Ticker Symbol: 10
DTPI (Nasdaq)
No. of offices:
Phone: (504)
Chicago, 581-3234
IL 60611 Chairman: Mel E. Bergstein
Summer associate offers (2007): 14 out
Phone: (312) 255-5000 President
of 20 & CEO: Adam J. Gutstein
Fax: (312) 255-6000 2009 Employees: 600 Committee: M.
Chairman of Executive 2008Ann
LOCATIONS Huckstep 518
2008 Revenue:
Managing $182Charles
Partner: million P. Adams Jr.
New Orleans, LA (HQ) 2007 Revenue:
LOCATIONS Hiring Partner: $169 million
Johnny Domiano
Baton Rouge, LA • Birmingham, AL •
Houston, TX
Chicago, • Jackson, MS • Memphis, TN
• Mobile, AL
Hartford, CT • Nashville, TN • UPPERS
New York, NY Row, TN • Washington, DC •• “Collaborative
Free parkingspirit and entrepreneurial
Washington, DC attitude”
• The firm’s Mardi Gras stands
London •• Excellent health benefits
MAJOR DEPARTMENTS & PRACTICES Tickets to sporting events
Mumbai •• “Transparent management”
Free firmwide lunch on Fridays
Agricultural Chemicals • Antitrust & Unfair • “Focus on merit and performance”
Competition • Appellate Advocacy •
Arbitration &AREAS
Alternative Dispute Resolution EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
• Banking & Finance •• Casualty
Management DOWNERS
Kristen Koppel
& Coverage • Class Action
Customer Value Management & Complex
• Data •Legal
“Often get stuck in the same projects and
Recruiting Manager
Litigation • Commercial Dispute Resolution
Strategy • Enterprise Resource Planning • type of work based on previous
Phone: (504) 585-0462
Commercial Restructuring &
Sourcing Advisory • Growth Bankruptcy • experience”
Fax: (504) 566-0210
Construction & Real Estate • Education
Strategies • Information & Analytics • IT & •E-mail:
of brand name”
Public Entity • Energy
Cost Management • IT•Governance
Entertainment • & • “Still in startup mode compared to mature
Marketing Strategy • Multichannel Tort •
Media • Environmental & Toxic companies like McKinsey, BCG and Bain”
ERISA & Employee
Integration Benefits
• Operations • Forestry• •
Improvement BASE SALARY culture
• The up-or-out (2008)can be frustrating
Governmental Relations
Private Equity • Risk Management • Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, MS; Memphis,
Strategic Enterprise Architecture • Supply TN; New Orleans, LA —1st year: $93,000
Chain Management • Technology Strategy EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Summer associate: $1,350–$1,400/week
& Transformation
Mobile, AL—1st year: $88,000
Summer associate: $1,100/week
Nashville, TN—1st year: $105,000
THE BUZZ Summer associate: $1,600/week
what other consultants are saying

• “Sharp, New Orleans firm”
• “They come and solely
they through
go, inconsistent”
• “Great PMO skills”
• “Suffering stock price”

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Inside the Diamond

Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc., is divided into six industry
practices, each focusing on specific client needs. The financial services group offers
compliance and Basel II services, payments strategy and new payments business
models, health savings accounts and banking convergence. The insurance group
works on customer experience strategy and value improvement, operations and
technology performance management, enterprise mobilization and execution,
product and service agility, and retirement strategies.

For the health care group, the focus is often on customer linkages, operations and
technology integration, pharmaco-vigiliance and operational effectiveness. The
public-sector group, Diamond’s smallest, provides customer relationship
management, e-government services, independent verification and validation, and
municipal broadband strategy. In the telecommunications group, the focus is on
marketing and operational analytics, new product development and launch support,
mobile virtual network operator-enabler (MVNO/E) strategy and mobile data strategy.

The enterprise group, which includes consumer packaged goods, retail and
distribution, travel and entertainment, manufacturing and logistics, offers information
management and analytics, effective trade promotion management, pricing and
promotion, ERP business transformation and supply chain transformation.

Horizontal services—offered across industry lines—are grouped broadly across four

disciplines: business design and performance improvement, information advantage,
customer impact and execution. Specific services include business and technology
alignment, IT assessment and strategy, information and data analytics, postmerger
integration, strategic enterprise architecture, technology operations management and
strategic sourcing program management.

Fresh focus
Chicago-based Diamond—initially known as Diamond Technology Partners—was
founded in 1994 by Mel Bergstein. After three years, the firm went public; in 2000,
it merged with Cluster Consulting, a European management consultancy, the new
entity was dubbed DiamondCluster International. Unfortunately, the merger
coincided with the dot-com boom going bust, and the nascent DiamondCluster was
forced to make a series of layoffs and divestitures. By 2006, the firm had sold off
most of its operations in Europe, South America and the Middle East, so the slightly
less-international DiamondCluster renamed itself again, becoming Diamond
Management & Technology Consultants, Inc. (Diamond currently has two overseas
offices, one in London and one in Mumbai. The firm says that these days it’s content
to focus its international business on India and the U.K.)

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Today, Diamond’s global headcount stands just north of 600, with approximately 500
consultants on staff. Its headquarters remains in Chicago, with additional U.S. offices
in New York, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Conn. Chief Executive Adam Gutstein
has been at the helm since the 2006 reorganization that prompted founder Mel
Bergstein to step down. Bergstein is still involved with the firm, however, serving as
its chairman.

Two years in one

According to CEO Gutstein, Diamond experienced “a year of two parts” in 2008. The
first half of the fiscal year saw revenue growth in line with expectations, but the global
economic downturn sent earnings down in the second half of the year. Still, Diamond
managed to finish 2008 with net revenue of $182.3 million, up 8 percent from 2007,
thanks to quick budget cutting and a hiring slowdown. As some of America’s biggest
banks and insurance companies stumbled, it was no surprise that Diamond’s
financial services and insurance sectors lost business in 2008. Its enterprise
practice, however, saw a 47 percent jump from 2007, and health care was up 18

Despite the slowdown, the financial services practice still accounted for 30 percent of
Diamond’s 2008 revenue, followed by insurance with 23 percent. Health care came
in third with 21 percent, then the enterprise practice with 17 percent.
Telecommunications and the public-sector practices brought up the rear, contributing
6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Shining bright
In 2008, Diamond picked up several workplace awards: Crain’s Chicago Business
ranked the firm No. 4 in its annual “Best Places to Work” report, and the firm was
named one of the National Association for Business Resources’ Best and Brightest
companies. Diamond was also honored by its hometown’s annual Workforce Chicago
award, which recognizes local companies that go above and beyond in employee
training and development.

Three-part plan
Expect to see three major initiatives unfolding at Diamond in 2009, as the firm adjusts
to the turbulent world economy. According to CEO Gutstein, execution services
offerings will expand, and the ratio of partners to staff will increase. Diamond also
plans to broaden its data analytics capabilities, honing in on clients’ IT strategy and
architecture to discover potential efficiencies and improve financial performance.
Finally, Gutstein has pledged to continue building Diamond’s operations in India and
the U.K. as part of a plan to diversify revenue streams. This also includes an effort
to drum up more business in the enterprise, public-sector and health care industries,
now that the financial services sector is in a downswing.

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In January 2009, the firm unveiled another way it is hoping to ensure its competitive
edge during the downturn: cash incentives for employees, rather than restricted stock
units. According to one of the firm’s financial releases, “The company believes a
cash-based approach [to compensation] will provide more predictable and
competitive performance incentives for its employees.” That, says the firm, should
go a long way toward ensuring not only its own success, but also shareholder value.

Idea exchange
Two in-house initiatives raise Diamond’s research profile. Senior executives from
Fortune 1000 companies meet several times a year at members-only
DiamondExchange events, where they discuss cutting-edge trends and attend
presentations by industry, academic and IT bigwigs. The Diamond Fellows program
functions as the firm’s brain trust, inviting technology and business experts to
conduct research projects, advise the firm and make presentations to the
DiamondExchange. Among the current crop of fellows are Microsoft researcher
Gordon Bell, Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow, Dan
Bricklin, co-creator of VisiCalc (that would be the world’s first electronic spreadsheet)
and Duke professor Dan Ariely, author of the business best-seller Predictably
Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions.

In fiscal year 2008, Diamond published a total of 21 white papers, plus its first
Diamond Digital IQ study, which surveyed C-level executives on technology,
management and strategy perspectives. In 2009, the firm’s research agenda will
have a dual focus: exploring ways in which companies can use IT to achieve
economic, operational and strategic goals, and studying the “information
advantage”—that is, ways in which industries use information and analytics to
increase competitiveness.

Learning from failure

Current Diamond Fellow Chairman and former Partner Chunka Mui co-wrote one of
the biggest books of the 1990s: Unleashing the Killer App, with e-commerce guru
Larry Downes. In September 2008, Mui and co-author Paul Carroll, a former Wall
Street Journal reporter, turned to a topic more suited for the current economic
climate. Their book, Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most
Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years, examines hundreds of disastrous
business decisions, from Kodak’s big miss on digital photography to the ill-fated
Sears-Dean Witter merger.

Communication is clear
Ed Brady, Diamond’s chief people officer, shed some light on the firm’s staffing
practices in a September 2008 conversation with the Chicago Tribune. According to
Brady, all new hires go through the same three-week orientation program. After that,

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60 percent of Diamond consultants wind up based outside Chicago headquarters.

“We are a virtual firm,” Brady told the paper. “We just ask that people live near a
major airport.” The majority of Diamond consultants work at client sites Mondays
through Thursdays, then work from home on Fridays.

To keep the far-flung staff unified, CEO Gutstein sends regular firmwide emails and
requests ideas and suggestions on his blog. Diamond also gathers its global
consulting team in Chicago three times a year for face-to-face conversations, and
annual surveys are used to collect workers’ feedback. According to Brady, Diamond
employees—all of whom own stock in the company—are able to collaborate, no
matter where they are, because “we operate in a very transparent fashion.”


A tough task
Insiders at Diamond say prospective hires can typically expect to go through a “very
tough” hiring process. Campus hire will participate in “two rounds of interviews”—
an initial screen (which will likely take place over the phone or on campus) and then
“a set of interviews in the office.” Experienced hires will go through a third round,
generally an “all-day session with a few consultants.” The process will almost
certainly include “case-based and behavioral” interviews. In all, a recent hire reports,
“Diamond looks for candidates who are comfortable presenting and defending their
ideas in front of peers and leaders.”

A glimpse of the real world

Case-based interviews typically “use real-world examples”—that is, “problems that
our clients have faced in the past or are currently facing.” One partner reveals a
sample case: “One example asks candidates to discuss how to communicate
business value for a particular business transformation program.” A colleague adds
that “one question could be the review of a three- to four-page case study delivered
the day before interviews that is followed by a question on the day of the interview
like, ‘How would you solve X issue,’ where the candidate has one hour to create a
three- to four-page presentation based on the question.” Another staffer explains,
“Case studies based on real client encounters are provided (e.g., organizational
structure, technology problems, operational notes, etc). During the interview, you are
asked to analyze the situation and provide one or more solutions based on the
problems the interviewer presents. You are also asked to present other artifacts (e.g.,
a letter to senior management explaining your stance), share organizational
observations (e.g., political messes), etc.”

The firm recruits from “most major MBA programs,” on campuses such as Chicago-
Booth, Kellogg, CMU Tepper, MIT Sloan and Michigan. For those wishing to get a leg

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up, MBA summer internships are available, and offer “very good exposure and a
great learning experience, with senior associate-level responsibilities.” Internships
also provide “many entertainment and networking events.”


A personal touch
Insiders insist that Diamond stands out for its “collaborative,” “friendly,”
“encouraging” and “entrepreneurial” culture, with consultants who are
“hardworking” but also “fun people to work with.” An associate in Chicago states,
“We bring together a blend of passionate and smart individuals who really enjoy their
work. I can honestly call many of my colleagues my friends, which was a rarity at a
past consulting firm.” A colleague agrees: “People are genuinely friendly and willing
to help each other out. There is a strong entrepreneurial feel and a limited sense of
hierarchy, promoting a meritocracy.” And a longtimer adds that “Diamond is a
respectful, intellectual and friendly company where different perspectives come
together with a bit of a healthy crash to solve hard problems.” A senior associate
appreciates that Diamond is a “flexible firm that is willing to listen to employees and
do what is in everyone’s best interest,” and a recent hire says he chose Diamond
because he “wanted to work for an organization where I could learn and grow, while
at the same time not feel like I was a tiny cog in a huge machine. Diamond has a
personal and niche touch, which I did not see at other firms.”

It’s that personal touch, apparently used with clients as well, that seems to be giving
insiders a good feeling about the firm’s future prospects, despite the gloomy
economy. A staffer remarks, “When the economy is in a recession and our clients are
forced to cut resources, usually consultants are first. What I have seen so far is that
other companies are first. Diamond is being held back to support the tough projects
and environment.” A partner agrees that the firm’s “focus on long-term clients and
great relationships” has put it in a strong position. “When companies cut, they cut
firms where they don’t have strong relationships first, which puts us in a strong
position. We have a very strong practice area in business improvement, which is
getting a lot of attention in these economic times.”

Working smart
While staffers tend to agree that “Diamond requires long hours and travel,” they also
note that “there is great respect for family time and a culture of support and caring,”
which goes a long way toward fostering a healthy work/life balance. “Project teams
are very understanding with personal schedules,” insists a partner. One recent hire
claims the firm emphasizes the philosophy of “working hard, but more importantly, of
working smart and maintaining a work/life balance.” “As long as you plan ahead for

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your travel schedule, it is easy to maintain a good work life balance,” a senior staffer
qualifies. We’re told that the higher up you are, the easier things get; a principal
notes, “I’m able to balance my work life because of my level. I have more ability to
flex my schedule based on my tenure,” and a partner concurs, stating, “I am able to
modify my schedule around my family’s events (i.e., children’s school events, etc.).”

Not everyone is quite so comfortable. An experienced insider remarks, “Balance is

difficult to achieve. My experience is that the scope of projects sold does not lend
itself to true work/life balance.” Another simply states, “I work a lot.” Still, while
another consultant agrees that “work/life balance is difficult at any firm, and Diamond
is no exception,” he also adds that “the difference for me is that I really love what I
do, which makes it easier to put that extra effort in to get the job done 100 percent.”

Pajama Fridays
It also helps that Diamond is in many ways a virtual firm. This is particularly “helpful
for those who are not able to relocate.” As one recent hire describes, “I have chosen
to live away from our Chicago office to be closer to my family and friends.” However,
whereas Diamond previously had a “live anywhere in the U.S. policy,” the firm
informs us that it has recently altered that plan. Now, entry-level hires are expected
to live either in Chicago or New York for at least their first year on the job. Other new
consultants must live in the Eastern, Central or Mountain time zones.

But wherever a consultant may live, there’s no question that “travel is the nature of
the job”—although we’re told that lengthy trips are few and far between.
“Expectations are set for a four-day-per-week travel [schedule],” and then
“consultants work remotely on Fridays from home.” Plus, adds an experienced
staffer, Diamond makes an effort to “staff [you] in a region near your hometown.”

All told, most sources say that they work “approximately 50 to 60 hours per week.”
“We work 10 to 12 hour days during the week but get weekends off,” a principal
explains. Workload spikes occur “typically one to two times per month,” with an
average project assignment of three to four months, though “some longer-term
engagements run over six months.”

Downtime is for training

Diamond consultants don’t count on much time on the bench, though—which is
certainly a boon with the current state of the economy. “I’m never unstaffed,” says a
Boston-based consultant. But when they do find themselves with free time, many
insiders fill that with training. “I usually get five days of training over the course of a
year,” says one longtimer, and another says he generally has “three days of official
training, all of which is developed and led by internal resources.” An associate
expounds, “There are regularly scheduled training sessions ranging from one-hour
conference calls on a technology topic to four-hour classes on business issues and
weeklong sessions for a competency/profile.”

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While several respondents feel that “Diamond could improve formal training
processes and make more training mandatory,” by and large we’re told that the
“official training is very well thought out and executed.” And in addition to formal
training periods, an associate notes, “I have plenty of unofficial training,” adding that
he finds this “to be much more valuable than formalized training.”

A first-name basis
Indeed, opportunities for mentoring and informal training must be readily available
since “everyone is accessible” at Diamond, and the “people are generally very
competent and friendly.” In fact, staffers say the firm is so meritocratic that
“executives don’t get the corner offices. Those are reserved for teams of
consultants.” Plus, an associate adds, “even in my first year at Diamond I was
interacting with, and at some points having to present to, C-level executives. That
shows a tremendous amount of trust in our junior staff.” A cohort proudly reports that
“our clients really value the work that we do. My client knows my first name.”

Moving on up
And it’s probably a good idea to make connections, since “Diamond is typically an
up-or-out organization,” though we’re told there are “some exceptions for operations
staff and special conditions.” Colleagues agree that the firm’s up-or-out policy “has
gotten much stricter in recent review cycles.” One senior source warns, “Consultants
used to advance quickly. It has become a lot harder to advance in the past two years
to improve quality across levels,” but another adds that there is “some time available
pre-promotion to address any issues preventing promotion.” In all, respondents
explain that the “path to partner from the most junior level is approximately 10 or 11
years,” with advancement at “a major level every two to three years.”

Competitive compensation
From the bottom to the top, insiders are generally pleased with their compensation
package. On top of a reasonably high base salary, there are bonuses, profit sharing
via 401(k) and an employee stock purchase program. The health insurance plan is
stellar, “with no co-pay and no monthly out-of-pocket premium” for medical, dental
and vision. Praises a principal, “Benefits are superior. Period.” An engagement
manager adds that “full tuition reimbursement is available for sponsored MBA
[students],” and a recent hire mentions that “Diamond is generous with its expense
policy, which is rather nice when you travel a lot.” And for time spent at a desk, raves
one senior associate, the firm’s “offices are in the hottest addresses around the
world,” such as the John Hancock Tower overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago and
in Times Square in New York. The “four weeks of vacation” is nothing to sneeze at,

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Giving back
Diamond is also generous when it comes to giving back to the community. The firm
“provides matches for donations and gives all employees a day off each year to
volunteer.” There are also “many company-sponsored events throughout the year to
get involved in the community,” including “clothes and gift collections during the
holidays.” Supported charities include Chicago Cares and Habitat for Humanity, as
well as the Hustle up the Hancock event for cancer.

An open community
Insiders say diversity at Diamond is a work in progress. The firm makes an effort to
foster “diversity in recruiting,” but still, an engagement manager notes, “less than a
quarter of the firm is female.” A partner adds, “The firm struggles to maintain women
in senior roles, but we are committed to making whatever changes are necessary to
help women succeed.”

The firm is also committed to its GLBT staffers, with “active GLBT support groups.”
One GLBT associate explains, “Diamond has a GLBT community focused on
recruiting and informal mentoring. I felt comfortable enough to discuss with the
community my own concerns about coming out at Diamond, and was welcomed with
honest and candid advice from associates all the way to principals in the firm.
Everyone seemed focused on making things positive and open.”

294 © 2009, Inc.


One Thornall Street, Suite 630
Shell Square THE STATS
701 NJ 08837
Poydras Street, Suite 4500
Employer Type: Subsidiary
No. of attorneys: 242 of Fujitsu
New (732) 549-4100
Orleans, LA 70139-4596
No. a Public
of offices: 10Company
Fax: (732)
Phone: 632-1826
(504) 581-3234
Ticker Symbol:
Summer 6702.T
associate (Tokyo
offers Stock
(2007): 14 out
of 20
Interim President
Chairman & CEO:
of Executive Tetsuo Urano
Committee: M.
Huckstep 160,000
2008 Employees:
Managing Partner:175,000
Charles P. Adams Jr.
Edison, NJ (HQ)
New Orleans, LA (HQ)
2008 Revenue*:
Hiring $53.3 billion
Partner: Johnny Domiano
35 offices
Baton in the
Rouge, LAUS and Canada,AL
• Birmingham, 4•
2007 Revenue: $43.2 billion
delivery centers
Houston, in India,MS
TX • Jackson, 1 in• Costa RicaTN
• Mobile, AL • Nashville, TN • NOTABLE
figures refer to Fujitsu Ltd.
Nashville/Music Row, TN • Washington, DC
PRACTICE AREAS • Free parking
The firm’s Mardi Gras stands
Application Service Offerings
MAJOR DEPARTMENTS • Tickets to sporting events
Application Management & PRACTICES • Backed by a large, multinational company
• Free firmwide lunch on Fridays
Business & Technology
Agricultural Chemicals Architecture
• Antitrust & Unfair
Business Process Management
Competition • Appellate Advocacy •
Change Management
Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
• Asbestos Management
• Banking & Finance • Casualty • “The management is only concerned with
Kristen Koppel
Packaged Application
& Coverage • Class Action & Complex the numbers”
Legal Recruiting Manager
Quality Assurance
Litigation • CommercialTesting
Dispute Resolution
Phone: (504) 585-0462
Software as a Service
• Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy •
Fax: (504) 566-0210
ConstructionEnvironment Services
& Real Estate • Education &
North America:
Business Process Outsourcing
Public Entity • Energy • Entertainment &
New Center Services
• Environmental & Toxic Tort •
Hosting & Security Services• Forestry •
ERISA & Employee Benefits BASE SALARY (2008)
Staff Supplementation
Governmental Relations Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, MS; Memphis,
Training TN; New Orleans, LA —1st year: $93,000
Summer associate: $1,350–$1,400/week
Mobile, AL—1st year: $88,000
Summer associate: $1,100/week
Nashville, TN—1st year: $105,000
THE BUZZ Summer associate: $1,600/week
what other consultants are saying

• “On the ball”

“Strong New Orleans firm”
• “Disorganized”
“Recognized solely through
• “Good technical skills”
• “Nonfactor in the US”

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Fujitsu’s business out West

Fujitsu Consulting is the North American IT consulting unit of the global technology
group Fujitsu Limited. Although Fujitsu Limited could be considered part of the
venerable old guard of IT services—its origins date back to 1935 when it was spun
off from Fuji Electric Company as a seller of telecommunications equipment—Fujitsu
Consulting in its present form is far younger, having been created by the 1997 union
of DMR Consulting, a Canadian consultancy, and Trecom Business Systems, an
American IT services firm. The resulting entity, which kept the name DMR
Consulting, was a division of Amdahl Corporation, a provider of information solutions.
Fujitsu Limited acquired Amdahl in 1997, subsequently turning it into Fujitsu IT
Holdings and its DMR Consulting division into Fujitsu Consulting.

The firm was given strong support from its parent, which funded acquisitions and
expansion onshore and built delivery services centers offshore in India and Costa
Rica. Fujitsu Consulting’s services include application management, business
process management and outsourcing, change management, training, staff
supplementation and quality assurance, among others. Clients come from the
financial services, health care and life sciences, manufacturing, and
telecommunications markets, as well as the government and the public sector.

As of March 2009, the consulting unit is officially part of a consolidated North

American division within Fujitsu. Known as Fujitsu America, the division packages
Fujitsu Consulting’s application services together with the system platforms of Fujitsu
Computer Systems and Fujitsu Transaction Solutions’ specialization in retailing
solutions. The result? No change to what Fujitsu Consulting does, per se, but the
new alignment does present a single corporate entity for clients to deal with for all
their IT needs.

Stand and deliver

The firm is taking advantage of the economies of scale found in offshoring through its
delivery centers in India. It maintains facilities in Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and
Noida, which offer application services such as development, integration and
management. Fujitsu Consulting intends to double its employee headcount in the
country by 2009 to meet demand. The firm additionally has a 400-person call center
in San Jose, Costa Rica, which provides technical support for multiple markets in
North America and overseas.

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It’s who you know

Fujitsu Group has been focused on building its presence in North America for the
past several years, and has announced a 2010 revenue goal of $10 billion. To
instantly boost its capabilities, the firm partnered in 2006 with Deloitte Consulting LLP
to offer compliance, controls automation and controls monitoring service. Fujitsu
shows a penchant for working well with others, which can be seen in the alliances it
has formed with technology vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, Cisco and Oracle.
Strategic advantages are also sought on a less conspicuous level, such as a
partnership with Canadian firm HMS Software. The agreement with HMS makes the
firm’s Macroscope business/IT value alignment methodology available to Fujitsu’s

The firm will also at times make acquisitions that enhance its capabilities or add to its
geographic sprawl. In February 2008, it completed a transaction that achieved both
of these goals, picking up Intélec Géomatique, a provider of IT, telecommunications
and geomatics solutions and consulting services. Intélec Géomatique has offices in
Quebec City and Montreal, and serves clients in Canada and 20 other countries.

Emergency contract
Fujitsu Consulting announced in March 2008 that it was chosen by the government
of Malaysia for a joint project to develop the country’s 911 emergency call system.
The firm will work alongside Mutiara Technology Resources and Telekom Malaysia in
a $60 million deal that will result in an integrated call center with 235 dispatch sites.
The sites will be capable of responding to issues of civil security and public safety,
including police, fire, ambulance and civil defense matters. As part of the
engagement, over 4,000 call dispatchers and managers will be trained. Fujitsu
Consulting’s role will primarily be project management and system and technology

Making the grade

The firm has proved to be a favorite solutions provider with some of its clients and
partners. In March 2008, Informatica honored it with the 2007 Regional Solution
Partner of the Year Award for North America, an award primarily given based on the
ability to generate software license revenue. Fujitsu Consulting was chosen from a
group of more than 150 of Informatica’s regional solution partners. Then, in June
2008, Microsoft announced that the firm was a joint finalist, along with Novantis, for
Microsoft Partner of the Year in information worker solutions. The two were under
consideration because of their recent work on an SAP document archiving solution
project for a large Canadian utilities company. Ultimately, however, the firms were
beaten out in the category by South Korea’s Goodsen Technology.

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An ally of education
The firm and its corporate parent support a number of educational scholarship
programs and environmental outreaches, as well as specific local community service.
Volunteerism is encouraged among all employees, even in cases that require
temporary leaves of absence. One long-running initiative created by Fujitsu Limited
is JAIMS (the Japan-America Institute of Management Science) a nonprofit
postgraduate institution, open since 1972, offering education and training in global
management and intercultural communication. Enrollment often leads to internships
with countries in the Asia Pacific region. The group also sponsors a program that
teaches the handicapped how to use computers and the internet. And in a uniquely
interactive conservation effort, Fujitsu Consulting has launched an online game,
called Rhythm Forest, which simulates reforestation activities. The results of each
session are converted into actual seedling contributions to an international
environmental program.


Shameless plugs
There’s a full section on the company’s careers site devoted to explaining all the
aspects of life at Fujitsu. The section is quick to rattle off some of the firm’s most
notable perks, such as the ability to work for a “geographically diverse Fortune 1000
client base” and enjoying “a gateway to high profile, cutting-edge projects in the IT
industry.” A selection of feel-good quotes from current consultants touting qualities
such as an “impressive in-house training program” also appear, in an attempt to woo
would-be Fujitsuans to the company.

The site also allows interested parties to browse a list of current openings with the
firm, all of which can be applied to directly through the site. For those who don’t
immediately find the perfect opportunity (and who don’t check back on a regular
basis), the firm has a feature that allows applicants to provide a general profile that it
will match against new vacancies as they pop up. Any that match will generate a
notification email to the candidate.

Those accepted into the firm, meanwhile, are likely to spend a fair amount of time
with Fujitsu NetCampus, the firm’s proprietary online training tool. Featuring both
hard- and soft-skill training, the feature is apparently available on a 24/7 basis,
meaning keen employees can brush up on their skills and qualifications, should they
ever happen to spend a waking hour away from work.

298 © 2009, Inc.


One ShellSector
701 301,
Poydras UttarSuite
Street, Pradesh
Employer Type: Public
No. of attorneys: 242 Company
New Orleans, LA 70139-4596
No. Symbol: 10
of offices: HCLTECH (NSE), 532281
+91 120
Phone: (504) 253 5071
(BSE) associate offers (2007): 14 out
Fax: +91 120 253 0591
of 20 Shiv Nadar
CEO: Vineet
Chairman of Nayar
Executive Committee: M.
330 Potrero Avenue
Huckstep 52,957
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
2008 Employees:
Managing Partner:47,Charles
954 P. Adams Jr.
New Orleans,
Phone: LA (HQ)
(408) 733-0480
2008 Revenue:
Hiring Partner: $2 billionDomiano
Fax: Rouge, LA • Birmingham, AL •
2007 Revenue: $1.39 billion
Houston, TX • Jackson, MS • Memphis, TN
• Mobile, AL • Nashville, TN • NOTABLE PERKS
Nashville/Music Row, TN • Washington, DC UPPER
• Free parking
• Strong leadership,
The firm’s focused
Mardi Gras on employee
Noida (Global HQ)
MAJOR DEPARTMENTS & PRACTICES • development and morale
Tickets to sporting events
Sunnyvale, CA (US HQ)
• Free firmwide lunch on Fridays
Agricultural Chemicals
Maidenhead, Berkshire• Antitrust
Offices in 20 •countries
Appellate Advocacy • DOWNER
Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
• Tunnel vision when it comes to BPO
• Asbestos • Banking & Finance • Casualty
PRACTICE Kristen Koppel
& Coverage AREAS
• Class Action & Complex
Legal Recruiting Manager
Litigation •Process Outsourcing
Commercial Dispute Resolution EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Phone: (504) 585-0462
Custom Applications
• Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy •
Fax: (504) 566-0210
Construction&&R&D Real Services
Estate • Education &
Public Entity • Energy •Services
Application Entertainment &
New MediaTransformation
• Environmental Services
& Toxic Tort •
ERISA & Employee Benefits • Services
Infrastructure Management Forestry • BASE SALARY (2008)
Governmental Relations Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, MS; Memphis,
TN; New Orleans, LA —1st year: $93,000
Summer associate: $1,350–$1,400/week
Mobile, AL—1st year: $88,000
Summer associate: $1,100/week
Nashville, TN—1st year: $105,000
THE BUZZ Summer associate: $1,600/week
what other consultants are saying

• “Quality”
“Strong New Orleans firm”
• “Disorganized
“Recognizedcorporate culture”
solely through
• “Strong offshore”
• “Low-cost projects, mostly application
maintenance focus”

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It all adds up to success

One of India’s Big Five IT service companies, HCL Technologies is both a success
story in its own right and part of a much larger success story that dates back to a
calculator distribution startup in the 1970s. A provider of services including software-
led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering and R&D services,
and BPO, HCL Technologies has a global presence and a client list to match. The $2
billion in revenue it generated through its offshore business model in 2008
represented a substantial share of parent company HCL Enterprise’s $4.9 billion for
the year.

HCL Technologies’ largest market remains in the U.S., and seems set to do so in spite
of recent economic concerns. Indeed, in September 2008, the company announced
plans to add a new U.S. delivery center in Wake County, N.C., by the end of the year.
A $3.2 million investment, the new facility will take HCL’s U.S. employee base well
above the 3,000 mark (out of a total of more than 50,000 worldwide), and increase
the firm’s home-market proximity to many of its clients. The new facility comes on
top of existing strategic locations in Sunnyvale, Calif., Downers Grove, Ill., and
Florham Park, N.J.

From calculators to consulting

The first part of the firm’s moniker is an acronym of the name it was founded under
in 1976: Hindustan Computers Limited. Viewed by many as a classic Indian startup,
HCL was founded by six engineers with an entrepreneurial spirit. Led by Shiv
Nadar—who remains chairman and chief strategy officer of HCL Technologies
today—the group pooled some Rs 1.83 lakhs in savings to set up a calculator
distribution company, getting into the domestic manufacturing business just as the
government was tightening restrictions on imports.

The next decade saw the firm become the top IT concern in India, a situation aided
by those government restrictions keeping the likes of Apple and IBM out. Indeed,
HCL produced India’s first domestic microcomputer in 1978, the same year that
Apple’s first personal computer hit shelves in the U.S. The import restrictions worked
in the company’s favor in other ways, too; it gave the firm a level of expertise in R&D
that ensured a steady flow of income throughout the 1980s. The clients for that first
foray into outsourced tech services? Hewlett-Packard, which contracted HCL to
develop a multiprocessor, as well as the likes of Nokia and Ericsson, which tapped
the firm to distribute their cell phones and switches in India.

Not content merely to become an ever-bigger fish in a small pond (and possibly
spurred on by relaxation of import restrictions in the 1990s), in 1997 Nadar decided
to spin off the R&D division as a software services company and keep the hardware

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part of the business domestic. The move created HCL Technologies through a public
offering in 1999. Today, HCL Technologies focuses on international operations in
software and services, while HCL Infosystems still sells hardware domestically.
Having already handed over leadership of HCL Infosystems to co-founder Ajai
Chowdhry at the time of the spin-off, in October 2007, Nadar handed over his own
leadership of HCL Technologies to Vineet Nayar, who had served as president of the
firm since 2005. Nadar retained his position as chairman and chief strategy officer.

Another drop in the ocean

How did a small startup expand to such huge proportions? According to the
founders, it took a lot of vision and a “blue ocean strategy” (a term coined by two
INSEAD professors in the title of their 2005 best seller), creating uncontested market
space. As the application outsourcing business became more competitive, Nayar
decided the firm should go after only supersized deals in the international market
involving multiservice components—both application and infrastructure. It’s this
strategy that helped this once under-the-radar Indian firm jump onto the global

The strategy has involved a number of significant acquisitions over the years that have
allowed the firm both to consolidate its existing specialties and develop new ones. In
2004, for example, HCL took over Shipara Technologies, an engineering and
aerospace tech firm. That deal—and the move into aerospace—is still paying
dividends; in 2008 alone, the firm cemented strategic partnerships with both EADS
and Circor Aerospace. In 2005, meanwhile, it purchased AnswerCall Direct Contact,
an Irish call center company, to establish a BPO operation in Ireland—one of 19
countries in which HCL Technologies maintains a presence.

Banking on the future of BPO

The firm has continued to make acquisitions over the years, and announced no fewer
than four in 2008. First up was the $40 million acquisition of Capital Stream, Inc., a
U.S.-based provider of lending automation services in the financial services sector.
That deal was followed by the firm’s purchase of U.K.-based Liberata Financial
Services—a BPO services provider—in July.

While 2008 may not have been the ideal time to get into the financial sector (with the
U.K. sector being particularly embattled, worsening even as the Liberata deal was
going through), some analysts and industry insiders predict that the economic
meltdown witnessed primarily in the latter half of the year may lead to more
outsourcing by firms in the sector. That eventuality would make both the Capital
Stream and Liberata acquisitions seem prescient indeed.

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Another day, another acquisition

Whether or not the acquisitions in the first half of 2008 were intended to take
advantage of the woes in the financial sector (or if they were merely ill-timed) remains
to be seen, but one definite point is that the company made no further acquisitions
in that sector in the latter half of the year. That’s not to say that HCL went silent on
the acquisition front, however: In August, it agreed a fee of $20.8 million for Control
Point Solutions, a provider of voice, data and wireless telecommunications expense
management services with four delivery centers throughout the U.S.

Undoubtedly the biggest deal of 2008, however, was reserved for the end of it, and
represents another step forward in HCL’s “blue ocean” approach. In November, the
firm announced a $662 million deal to bring British consulting firm Axon into the fold.
Seemingly a perfect target for troubled times, Axon is a specialist in sectors noted for
their defensiveness, such as utilities. Previously underspecialized in such areas (tech
and aerospace by their nature being anything but defensive sectors), the acquisition
increases Axon’s range of offerings, and thus the range of multiservice contracts it
can bid on in the future. According to CEO Nayar, meanwhile, there was at least one
more reason the deal was good for HCL—the economic downturn had significantly
reduced Axon’s price on the market.

The customer is always … second

An employee attrition crisis in 2005 forced HCL leadership to rethink its approach to its
HR strategy, and the company came up with an initiative that, while unusual, seems to
have paid off. Known as Employee First, Customer Second, the plan initially infuriated
some of the firm’s understandably sensitive clients, and led to several of them looking
elsewhere for a service provider. True to the motto, however, HCL’s leadership didn’t
flinch and remained focused on their biggest asset—their employees. Within two years
of Employee First being implemented, most of the clients the firm had lost were back,
and attrition was down. As part of the program, HCL offers employees a fixed
compensation structure, and also sets up quality standards in support services like HR
and administration. The firm’s 360 reviews are another unique feature, where
employees rate their superiors and the results are published online for everyone to read,
though respondents are kept completely confidential.

Employee First continues to pay off for HCL, both in terms of attrition and its global
reputation. In April 2009, the firm earned the No. 1 spot on Hewitt Associates’ sixth
annual best employers in India ranking. The ranking comes in recognition of the firm’s
positive culture and long-term approach, especially amidst challenging economic
conditions. And Workforce Magazine recognized the firm’s somewhat unique take on
management philosophy with an Optimas Award for Innovation in October 2008.

The company picked up a few more plaudits through 2008 as well, including
appearances in the 2008 Global Services 100 and BusinessWeek’s 2008 InfoTech
100 list. Additionally, some of HCL’s clients have been attracting attention for their IT

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innovation: the Computerworld Honors Program 2008 recognized both Merck &
Company and Teradyne Inc. as laureates for their IT innovation, while Teradyne was
also recognized as a finalist in the manufacturing category. Another client—Standard
Parking Corporation—was named a winner of Oracle’s Empower the Green Enterprise
award. Not bad going for customers that come second.

... but they get looked after, too

Acknowledging the difficulties of the global economic crisis (and more than a little
worried about the potential effect on the outsourcing industry), HCL decided that a
degree of flexibility over billing was one way it could retain customers through the
downturn. Accordingly, in the latter half of 2008, the firm began offering its services
on a revenue share- or outcome-based model to a pilot group of four clients. According
to the firm, that resulted in cumulative cost savings of $580 million—enough to
convince it to offer similar deals to other clients experiencing significant cost pressures.

In November 2008, in the midst of the economic crisis, the firm assembled its fourth
annual “customer meet.” Dubbed Unstructure 2008, the event pulled together
around 500 of the top business minds in the world to discuss the challenges of
engaging in successful, sustainable, environmentally conscious business practices,
even in a stuttering economy. Given the subject matter, which is part of an ongoing
“go green” initiative at the firm, it may come as little surprise that the keynote address
was given by former Vice President, environmental campaigner and Nobel Laureate Al


Email all the way

The careers section of HCL’s website is the best place to start for anyone seeking a
position with the firm. While the “current openings” section of the site allows users to
view open positions in two categories—technical and operations—those seeking
positions within the U.S. might be better served by selecting the “Apply Online” tab.
That redirects them to an external site with a quick search feature not available on the
main careers page, as well as a link that displays all HCL America openings. It also has
options for users to register their details, create a profile and upload a resume.

For those choosing to stick with the “current openings” method of searching, each
posting instructs anyone wishing to apply to simply email a resume to the firm, with the
relevant position or skill included in the subject line—even for U.S.-based positions.
Uploading a resume in the “Apply Online” section is also an option, but when selecting
the “all HCL America openings” tab, applicants are instructed to mail a resume, along
with a copy of the ad for the position to which they are applying.

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Altenkesseler Strasse 17 UPPER

66115 Saarbrücken
• Creative, entrepreneurial environment
Phone: +49 (0)681 210 0
Fax: +49 (0)681 210 1000 DOWNER • Consultants work almost entirely at the
client site
Offices in more than 20 countries
Business Process Consulting
IT Consulting
Management Consulting
SAP Consulting
SAP Managed Services

Employer Type: Public Company
Ticker Symbol: TecDAX (Frankfurt Stock
CEO & President: Peter Gérard
2009 Employees: 2,757
2008 Employees: 3,065
2008 Revenue: €399.1 million
2007 Revenue: €393.5 million

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IDS Scheer


Scheer ability
IDS Scheer is a global consultancy specializing in business process management.
Based in Germany, the firm serves over 7,000 customers in more than 70 countries,
including small and medium businesses as well as Global 1000 corporations. Its
proprietary ARIS platform, which can be integrated into the products of major vendors
such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, serves as the backbone of its BPM services. The
ARIS architecture is a comprehensive framework for BPM, addressing issues of
strategy, design, implementation and control. ARIS also plays a major role in the
firm’s broader consulting-based offering, ARIS Value Engineering, targeted at clients
in the consumer packaged goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, papers, metals, retail
and textile industries. Among the services offered are enterprise resource planning,
supply chain management, hosting and customer relationship management.

Back to the start

IDS Scheer was founded in 1984 by professor Dr. August Wilhelm Scheer, today the
chief technology advisor and chairman of the supervisory board. In its earliest days,
the organization was highly academic, staffed by Dr. Scheer’s university colleagues
and concentrated on the intersection of theory and practice in business analysis. Far
more than theory and practice seemed to be circulating in the firm’s original name,
IDS Prof. Scheer Gesellschaft für integrierte Datenverarbeitungssysteme mbH.
Fortunately, most of the name was later lopped off, leaving only IDS, an acronym for
Integrated Data-processing Systems, and the name of the good doctor.

After debuting on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 1999, the company expanded
through Europe and then into other continents. Significant growth has occurred in
the last decade, organically and through mergers and acquisitions. The firm opened
new offices in Australia in 2007 and Croatia in 2006, and created a subsidiary in
China in 2004. Early in 2008, meanwhile, the firm responded to growing demand for
its business process management services in Europe by establishing subsidiaries in
Spain and Italy. While the company had previously operated in both countries
through partnership arrangements, its reputation as a software and product service
adviser in each market contributed to a decision to go it alone, leading to the opening
of offices in Madrid and Rome.

Attention to ARIS
IDS has recently declared its intent to make ARIS products an even bigger part of its
business, with the hope that they will eventually account for 40 percent of its total
sales and double its overall sales by 2010. To stay aligned with this strategy, the firm
has been quick to make necessary shifts in management. Thomas Volk, formerly of

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IDS Scheer

HP and Sybase, was named CEO and president in September 2006. However, in
September 2008, Volk left the firm for undisclosed reasons, and was replaced by
Peter Gérard. Gérard has been tasked with returning the company to double-digit
profitability. And coinciding with the rise of the Americas as a growth target, IDS
Scheer Americas saw the promotions of Charles Doucot to senior VP of the region’s
product business and Lutz Lambrecht to senior VP of the region’s consulting

Friends in profitable places

The firm has managed to build relationships with many of the world’s largest software
corporations. Its 20-year partnership with SAP AG, in particular, has been
enormously beneficial. The firm was named the SAP channel partner of the year in
2007 and, in May 2008, was honored with an SAP Pinnacle Award for customer
satisfaction in the category of global ecosystem. Shortly before then, in March 2008,
the firm announced that its product agreement with SAP had been expanded to
include enterprise modeling applications.

IDS also enjoys partnerships with Microsoft and Oracle. Microsoft selected the ARIS
platform for integration into its BizTalk business process management software in
2007, while Oracle began including ARIS components in its business process
analysis suite in 2006.

Government work
IDS’ capabilities are also valued outside of the commercial sector. The U.S. military
called on the firm for help in creating an enterprise architecture that would unite the
medical systems among its branches, thereby integrating the complex health care
services it provides across multiple departments and locations. The military expects
the new system to have far fewer redundancies, which will cut costs and allow for
better patient care. In addition, the Dutch Ministry of Defense chose the ARIS
platform for use in its system architecture.

Smart moves
True to its founding, the firm has ensured that its academic spirit persists. In 2007,
it created the IDS Scheer Innovation and Education Network, a knowledge-sharing
partnership with universities worldwide that circulates thought leadership, promotes
innovation and supports educational initiatives aimed at BPM. The firm also has its
own publication, Scheer Magazine, in both German and English versions, offering
insight into the state of BPM practices. The magazine, boasting an audience in the
tens of thousands, features commentary from company experts as well as interviews
with major industry figures. IDS also produces, in tandem with IT market analyst
PAC, an annual business process report based on surveys of 130 companies that
utilize BPM.

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High-profile prof.
Dr. Scheer is one of the bright stars of German technology. He became president of
the BITKOM, the German Association for Information Technology,
Telecommunications and New Media, in June 2007. Although only a nationwide
organization, over 1,000 German companies are BITKOM members. Scheer has also
been awarded the Philip Morris Research Prize, an honor given to the most
outstanding German scientist each year, for his work on the ARIS technology, and
Ernst & Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year in the information technology
category in 2003.


It’s a breeze, says IDS

The best way to find an opening at IDS Scheer is on its careers website, which allows
users to search for positions by keyword, location and category. To apply for a
position, job seekers must first create a profile, which can be saved and reused for
any subsequent applications. This process includes uploading a resume and
answering a list of job-related questions—a process that the firm estimates should
take no longer than five to 10 minutes.

307 © 2009, Inc.


IBS Headquarters THE STATS

2625 Butterfield Road Employer Type: Private Company
Oak Brook, IL 60523 Chairman & CEO: Dan Williams
Phone: (630) 571-9100
Fax: (630) 571-9110 UPPER
• Making some waves in its niche focus
Oak Brook, IL (HQ)
Atlanta, GA DOWNER
Chicago, IL • Still not getting the brand recognition
Cincinnati, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Livonia, MI
Milwaukee, WI
Richmond, Surrey, UK

Network Security
Network Strategies
IT Strategic Planning
Application Replatforming
Business Process Applications
Internet Business Solutions
SharePoint Portals
Strategic Staffing

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Interactive Business Systems, Inc.


From door-to-door to shore-to-shore

Styling itself as a “veteran-owned business,” Interactive Business Systems (IBS—
although don’t search for it on Google that way!) has been around since IT consultant
Dan Williams began selling IT services door to door in 1981. The location for his first
treks was around Oak Brook, Ill., which remains the firm’s home address to this day,
although it has since expanded to a further eight U.S. locations, in addition to an
office in the U.K. and two development centers in India.

The company’s corporate slogan—”Innovative solutions, solid business results”—

sums up IBS’ raison d’être, if not its exact methodologies. In a nutshell, the firm helps
clients align IT solutions with their business strategy to help them gain value. To that
end, the firm offers four main business lines: infrastructure (IT, as opposed to plain
old business infrastructure), IT strategic planning, strategic staffing and solutions.
The last of these is the category that contains the bulk of IBS’ offerings and core
competencies. These include internet business solutions, such as expertise in .NET
and Java/J2EE, application replatforming (taking critical existing applications and
putting them on updated computing platforms), applications for automating various
business processes, and SharePoint Portals, which equip clients with a customized
portal for collaborative working and sharing of applications and information.

An insurance policy for success

One of IBS’ primary sectors is the insurance industry, which the firm honed in on in
the late 1990s and the early years of the new millennium as a reasonably stable way
of replacing business lost during the tech crash. Since then, it has advised some
sizeable players in the insurance game, including the likes of Hastings Mutual
Insurance Company, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Cincinnati Equitable
Insurance Co.

The company also prospers in the realm of health care, where it works with hospitals,
medical facilities and health care companies to boost their preparedness for potential
crises. That approach includes everything that falls under the umbrella of disaster
recovery and business continuity services pertaining to IT—a category that includes
development, maintenance and support of applications, along with network and
infrastructure services and interim CIO services.

Blending it up
In addition to all of that, IBS has a Microsoft Gold Certified Solutions Group based in
Livonia, Mich., which provides solutions development services for clients. Abroad,
meanwhile, the firm’s development centers in India allow it to offer a mix of both off-

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Interactive Business Systems, Inc.

and onshore solutions, which it refers to as a “blended shore engagement model.”

That approach sees the firm provide a local IBS specialist—or team of specialists—
in offshoring, who oversees all aspects of workflow and communication with the
offshore team to ensure that everything is coordinated as the client wants it. That
team then acts as the liaison between client and offshore center, ensuring that details
such as language, time zone and culture don’t get in the way of improving business


Get in touch
The careers section of IBS’ website is short and to the point. In just three paragraphs,
it lays out the case for joining the firm, and what consultants can expect to find if they
work there. While it may be a little short on features like a job search function or
lengthy descriptions of the firm’s culture, the site does provide some of the core
values IBS is seeking in its consultants: “professionalism, talent, dedication and
skills.” Anyone who can make a case that they have all of those should contact the
office of their choice from the “contact us” page—where the relevant phone numbers
and email contact details can be found.

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250 Brook Drive PRACTICE AREAS

Green Park
Reading, RG2 6UA
United Kingdom
Application Management • Business
Phone: +44 (0)207 637 9111
Process Outsourcing • Infrastructure
Fax: +44 (0)207 468 7006
Management • Managed Testing
Services & Solutions
10375 Richmond Avenue, Suite 1000
Business Intelligence • Enterprise
Houston, TX 77042
Architecture Solutions • Enterprise Content
Phone: (713) 954-7000
Management • Enterprise Resource
Fax: (713) 785-0880
Planning • Intelligent Transport Systems •
Manufacturing Systems • Microsoft •
Oracle • Payments • Remote Infrastructure
LOCATIONS Management • SAP • Security • Service
Oriented Architecture • Smart Metering
Reading, UK (HQ)
Houston, TX (US HQ)
Offices in 36 countries UPPER
• Has built up a formidable reputation in the
THE STATS tech industry

Employer Type: Public Company

Ticker Symbol: LOG (Euronext, LSE) DOWNER
CEO: Andy Green
• Euro-centric
2008 Employees: 39,937
2007 Employees: 38,740
2008 Revenue: £3.58 billion EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
2007 Revenue: £3.07 billion Email:

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Making sense of IT
Logica is a U.K.-based provider of business consulting, systems integration, and IT
and business process outsourcing solutions. The firm has operations in 36 countries
in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. It serves a
number of industries, including automotive, space and defense, energy and utilities,
financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, telecom and media, transport,
and the public sector. Logica can claim some impressive milestones from its work; it
was responsible for the descent and landing software used by the space programs of
every country in Europe so far, and its solutions have been implemented in one-third
of the world’s satellites. And the trivia geeks out there will be interested to know that
the firm’s financial systems are used in the transfer of sums every day that equal the
annual GDP of the U.S.

Logica, in its present state, is the result of the 2002 merger of telecom specialist CMG,
founded in 1964, and IT firm Logica, founded in 1969. Both companies were
publicly traded, and both had a solid history and global scope. Initially, the combined
entity was known as LogicaCMG, although the name was shortened to Logica in
February 2008 in an effort to unify the firm’s identity under a single brand. During its
time as LogicaCMG, the firm made a pair of significant acquisitions, picking up
French IT services provider Unilog in January 2006, and Swedish IT consultancy
WM-Data in August 2006. The additions made it the seventh-largest IT services
company in Europe in terms of revenue.

Major shakeup
Around the time the firm dropped CMG from its name, some of its office nameplates
changed as well. In September 2007, CEO Martin Read stepped down after 14 years,
retiring largely because of shareholder dissatisfaction over a revenue drop of almost
10 percent, despite the company’s aggressive expansion in 2006. In further 2007
ripples, Chairman Cor Stutterheim and board member George Loudon also chose to

The abrupt changes resulted in something of an interregnum at the firm, with Chief
Operating Officer Jim McKenna filling in at the helm until Andy Green from BT Global
Services was brought in, officially becoming CEO in January 2008. At the end of that
month, McKenna himself announced that he would leave Logica the following
September. The firm seemed to be suddenly on shaky legs, and speculation about
possible takeovers began stirring among analysts. Green dismissed those, telling
Reuters in October 2007, “I wouldn’t have joined if it was to sell the company.”

Green hasn’t wasted too much time in bringing his own people in to fill empty
positions. First in was new CIO Laurent Allard, who arrived in October 2008 fresh

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from the same role at AXA Technology Services. Future hires, meanwhile, should be
smoothed out by new HR Director Stephen Kelly, whose appointment was unveiled in
November 2008. He joined the firm, having previously served as the head of BBC
People, the HR wing of the U.K. national broadcaster.

The changes pile up

The last couple of years have been transformative for Logica, to say the least. In
February 2007, it sold its telecom products business to an investment consortium led
by Atlantic Bridge Ventures for £265 million. Although Logica has a powerful legacy
in the industry—it invented SMS text messaging—it determined that the business was
not ideally aligned with that of the consulting and IT segments. Of course, it couldn’t
have helped that telecom revenue was down for the year. Logica went on to divest
other noncore operations in 2007, including a printing facility in Portugal, an
automotive staffing business in Detroit, a small IT services business in Austria and the
former WM-data operation in Germany.

Investment in India
In September 2008, the firm opened a new delivery center in Chennai, India, its
second in the country. The facility, meant for general delivery of offshore and
nearshore services, boasts 120,000 square feet and capacity for 1,500 employees.
The firm’s existing Bangalore facility, which also got a boost in September 2008 with
a new mobility solutions center, houses another 3,000 employees. Logica has
additionally announced that £8 million has been earmarked for deeper investment in
the country, to grow its capabilities and increase headcount to 8,000 by the end of

Aiming for the stars

In 2008, the firm put a great deal of effort into vying for chunk of the €2.1 billion
contract for the development of the European Space Agency’s Galileo program, a
satellite navigation system. The Galileo system will act as an alternative and
complement to the U.S.’s well-known GPS system. In September 2008, Logica
discovered that it had made it onto the shortlist—along with France’s Thales Alenia
Space—for the system support component of the contract. The firm has so far been
the largest independent supplier to the program, having worked on more than €70
million worth of contracts during the validation phase. If ultimately chosen for the
system support project, it will assist in the procurement, deployment, testing and
operation of Galileo.

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But still keeping traffic flowing

In a project of a more terrestrial variety, in 2008, Logica helped the Swedish Road
Administration implement a system to improve traffic data exchange between Sweden
and neighboring countries. The firm created a solution based on its DATEX
technology, a language-independent format that could organize and deliver
information quickly. DATEX is approved by the European Commission and already
has been adopted by nine countries. By integrating it with their system, SRA gained
access to a network of real-time traffic information, and was better able to offer
navigation and planning services to drivers.

Getting the word out

Having been in the tech game for 40 years, Logica often has a thing or two to say
about the industry. It publishes research papers and studies, and offers a magazine
called Vision, through which it keeps clients updated both on business trends and the
direction of the company. In July 2008, Logica released a white paper on the
challenges of complying with the new standards of the low-carbon economy. It
incorporated the results of a firm-sponsored study of the attitudes held by European
nations toward environmental regulation. The study found that, while the degree of
acceptance varies greatly from country to country, most are willing to meet the
standards, and noncompliance is often the result of poor measurement capability,
rather than apathy or dissent.


Leave the screening to them

For those seeking to apply for a position at Logica, the process is a fairly simple one:
The firm accepts resumes via the “apply online” tab in the careers section of its
website. And the best part? Applicants don’t even need to have a specific position
in mind—the firm accepts resumes at any time, and includes a number of screening
questions to help filter them for the appropriate positions. (These questions include
serious concerns such as whether or not a candidate is willing to relocate to another
part of the globe, so treat them carefully.)

For those who prefer their job hunt to be a little more structured, the firm also
maintains a list of open positions around the world. Applicants interested in working
within the U.S. should be aware that the only way to view a list of these positions is
to choose the “quick link country search” option on the “current jobs” page. For
those interested in graduate careers, meanwhile, the information contained on the
firm’s site mostly pertains to U.K. students—the main hub of the firm’s graduate
recruiting activities.

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Bahadurpally Village, THE STATS

Qutubullapur Mandal, RR District - 500 855
Employer Type: Public Company
Phone: + 91 40 3063 3535
Ticker Symbol: SAY (NYSE), 500376
Fax: + 91 40 2309 7515
8500 Leesburg Pike, Suite 201 CEO: C P Gurnani
Vienna, VA 22182 2008 Employees: 41,600+
Phone: (703) 734-2100 2007 Employees: 53,000
Fax: (703) 734-2110 2008 Revenue: $2.1 billion 2007 Revenue: $1.4 billion

Hyderabad (Global HQ) • Still has a global brand, despite it all
Vienna, VA (US HQ)
Offices in 66 countries worldwide
• Ramalinga Raju … need we say more?
Application Services • Business
Intelligence & Performance Management •
Business Process Outsourcing • Business
Value Enhancement • Consulting &
Enterprise Solutions • Infrastructure
Management Services • Integrated
Engineering Solutions • Manufacturing
Executing Systems & Logistics Inventory •
Management Systems • Oracle Solutions •
Product & Application Testing • Product
Lifecycle Management • SAP Solutions •
Six Sigma Consulting • Supplier
Relationship Management • Supply Chain

what other consultants are saying

• "Well-focused"
• "Imploding"
• "Typical Indian firm"
• "Large firm, cranking out people"

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
Mahindra Satyam

The bigger they come …
Satyam Computer Services—rebranded as Mahindra Satyam following a sale to Tech
Mahindra in April 2009—is a global IT consulting and services provider serving more
than 650 clients in 66 countries, including more than a third of the Fortune 500. The
firm is one of India’s largest software exporters, and though the firm was founded
there and maintains its headquarters there, 96 percent of annual revenue comes
from outside the country. Satyam targets clients in 19 industries, offering services in
business strategy, technology planning and implementation, outsourcing, testing and
supply chain management, among other areas.

Since January 2009, however, there is very little—including the information above—
that can be said about Satyam's business that is not prefaced by the phrases "prior
to the scandal" or "since the scandal"—the "scandal" being the resignation of founder
and Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju as he confessed to falsely inflating the firm's profits
by more than $1 billion. It is a scandal that has rocked the entire world of Indian IT
services and outsourcing, decimated the value of Satyam's stock price and forced the
sale of what remained of the firm to the highest bidder.

In April 2009, that bidder was revealed to be Tech Mahindra, an Indian IT services
and telecoms solutions specialist. While the two firms began negotiations late in the
month, the deal had a long way to go before being formalized; not only did the two
firms have a host of issues to work out, but any deal had to gain approval from India's
Company Law Board, while Tech Mahindra also indicated it would be seeking
approval from U.S. and European regulators, given how much business Satyam does
in those regions. Still, Tech Mahindra appeared relatively confident, issuing a press
release stating that, under its plans, "Satyam will continue to operate as a stand-alone
unit and its leadership will continue to drive operations"—something that at least
ensures the Satyam brand will live on, albeit preceded by Mahindra's in its new
corporate identity.

Eaten by the tiger

To hear B. Ramalinga Raju tell it, the seeds of Satyam's downfall were sown years
ago, when he chose to try to cover up a small accounting discrepancy, rather than
risk hurting his reputation by making it public. That one decision, according to Raju's
letter of resignation, snowballed into a pattern of deception, with each quarterly report
at the firm covering for the last, until Raju had got into a situation that nothing could
get him out of.

Well, almost nothing; in December 2008, he made one final attempt to cover the $1
billion discrepancy on the firm's books by arranging to sell two of his other
companies, Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra (go on, read Maytas backwards), to
Satyam for $1.6 billion. The idea, it would appear, was to transfer the companies to

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Mahindra Satyam

Satyam's ownership but find a way to defray the payments—thus plugging the asset
hole on Satyam's balance sheets. Just one problem: Satyam's investors (who weren't
privy to the duplicitous intent of it) didn't like the deal, and began questioning the
nature of it, leading to the resignation of several directors. Within days, the already-
troubled company was rocked by a further bout of bad news. Citing accusations of
bribery and bad business practices, the World Bank confirmed that it had banned
Satyam from competing to win any projects with it for a period of eight years.

In light of the pressure and scrutiny being directed at his firm, it was surely only a
matter of time before questions over Raju's actions hardened into official investigations
and criminal charges. Sparing prosecutors the burden, he came forward in January
2009 and admitted his deception—an act that led to his being arrested, along with his
brother, former Satyam CEO Rama Raju. In his letter describing the fraud, B.
Ramalinga Raju commented that trying to keep up with the snowballing fraud had
been "like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten."

The ramifications
In the aftermath of the scandal, the number of options open to Satyam as a business
seemed fairly narrow—go out of business, or arrange a sale. The firm—with a new
government-appointed board—has been exploring the latter option, and is expected
to tie up a sale of a majority interest in the firm before the end of the first half of 2009.
Of equal, if not greater, concern has been keeping the firm's existing clients from
deserting to competitors. As of March 2009, a handful—including the likes of the UN
and State Farm Insurance—had canceled contracts with the company, but the mass-
scale exodus that many had feared had not materialized. That means, ostensibly,
that the firm can still boast of serving a roster of Fortune 500 companies that includes
the likes of GE, GM, Nissan and Citigroup.

Bad accountants, great consultants?

While pre-public scandal Satyam may have been built on an unsteady foundation,
there was clearly enough technical expertise within the firm to have pulled in some big-
name clients over the years. That's an opinion backed up by industry-wide recognition
of some of Satyam's business practices—recognition that came in the form of awards.
In July 2008, for example, its business process outsourcing arm, Satyam BPO, was
given two Six Sigma IQ Excellence Awards, one for Best Defect Elimination in Service
& Transaction and one for Best Design for Six Sigma. The Six Sigma Awards are
decided by a board of officials from corporations that practice Six Sigma protocol,
including GE, UBS, Owens Corning and Sony. , Satyam BPO was named No. 2 leading
BPO vendor in the world by Brown-Wilson Group’s Black Book of Outsourcing. It was
additionally ranked fourth on the knowledge process outsourcing vendors list. That
same month, SAP AG honored the firm with the SAP Pinnacle Award in the Ecosystem
Expansion Category. The Pinnacle Awards are meant to highlight SAP partners with
exceptional records of customer service and innovation.

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Mahindra Satyam

A history of organic growth, now stunted

Unlike many of its competitors, Satyam's history isn't littered with a string of
acquisitions, meaning that whatever legitimate growth the company had was primarily
organic. Throughout 2008, however, the firm had been concentrating on bulking up
its offerings through acquisitions, and completed an uncharacteristically high number
of them that year. In April 2008, it acquired Caterpillar Inc.’s market research and
customer analytics operations, a complement to its offerings in general business
consulting. That same month, it also bought S&V Management Consultants for $35.5
million, enhancing its capabilities in supply chain strategy. And in January 2008, it
acquired Bridge Strategy Group for $35 million, giving a boost to its strategy
consulting and business transformation services. These three M&A deals in a few
months’ time equaled the number made by Satyam over the previous three years.

Hiring freeze
In March 2009, Satyam filed a report with the Securities Exchange Board of India
(SEBI) that included information on its immediate hiring plans. While Indian IT in
general has slowed its hiring because of the global recession, most companies have
restricted only the numbers of experienced hires they're bringing on board. Satyam,
however, revealed that its perilous situation meant that it had been forced to renege
even on offer letters sent out to graduates in the summer of 2008—which means that
in 2009, the firm will have fewer employees than it did in 2008, and with no intention
of increasing its headcount any time soon.


Don't call us …
Hopeful hires may struggle a little to find a spot at Satyam—and not just because of
the company's recent travails; the firm doesn't include a database of specific job
openings on its site, meaning that it's impossible to tell if and when the firm is actually
hiring. What it does have, however, is a small section titled "Hot Jobs," which contains
some general information about open job categories. Even then, accounting and
engineering positions are mixed in with the smattering of available consulting
opportunities, so anyone interested in applying to the firm will need to work hard just
to root out the appropriate opportunity.

Along with a CV and cover letter, applicants are asked to submit their contact
information and a "convenient time to call." Should an applicant be of sufficient
interest to the firm, Satyam's "recruitment professionals will get in touch."

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MindTree House #3 THE STATS

42, Block A, 27th Cross Employer Type: Public Company
Banashankari 2nd Stage Ticker Symbol: MINT (Bombay Stock
Bangalore 560 070 Exchange)
India Chairman & Managing Director: Ashok
Phone: +91 80 6706 1000 Soota
Fax: +91 80 2671 4000 2009 Employees: 7,750
2008 Employees: 5,826
15 Independence Boulevard
2009 Revenue: $269.1 million
Suite 410
2008 Revenue: $191.1 million
Warren, NJ 07059
Phone: (908) 604-8080
Fax: (908) 604-7887 UPPERS
• “Transparent communication and a sense
of belonging-ness”
LOCATIONS • Commitment to working mothers
• “Very employee-friendly and socially
Bangalore (HQ)
Warren, NJ (US HQ)
19 offices and development centers spread
across 10 countries DOWNERS
• Infrastructure issues
PRACTICE AREAS • Salary is less competitive
• Less known outside of India
Application Maintenance Services •
Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing
• Enterprise Applications Services • IBM EMPLOYMENT CONTACT
Technologies (Mainframe and System i) •
Infrastructure Management & Technical
Support • Internet & Emerging
Technologies • Microsoft Technologies •
SAP/ERP • Testing

what other consultants are saying

• “Creative, expanding”
• “No name recognition”

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Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
MindTree Ltd.


Sprout spurt
MindTree is an IT and R&D services firm based in India. Its IT services, including
application development, infrastructure management, product development and
testing, target the banking and financial services, insurance, manufacturing, retail,
and travel and transportation markets. The firm is the result of an unlikely
collaboration between 10 industry professionals coming from three different
companies: Cambridge Technology Partners, Lucent and Wipro. One of the original
10, Ashok Soota, was vice chairman and president of Wipro at the time of MindTree’s
founding in 1999. Soota currently stands as MindTree’s chairman and managing

Befitting its dendrology-inspired company name and the abstract tree graphics on its
website, in less than 10 years of operation, MindTree has shown marked growth. It
reached the $100 million mark in annual revenue in 2006, the fastest of any Indian
IT company. It is also the youngest company ever to achieve certification for CMMI
and P-CMM, both stringent models for internal processes determined by the
International Organization for Standardization. MindTree has also managed to form
alliances with some of the biggest software vendors in the world, giving the firm and
its clients access to the best and latest technology. Among its alliance partners are
HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft.

Unified front
With compliance to best practices standards a given, and with the power of the
industry’s most successful software vendors behind it, the firm defines the quality of
its work by a “customer-backward” view—that is, only the client can determine
whether a project has delivered value, in the form of time or money spent,
performance, service or some other factor. MindTree, therefore, will go to great
lengths to understand and satisfy a client’s needs.

The firm has also cultivated a distinct business culture, based around balance, which
it calls OneShoreTM. The idea behind OneShore is that global development and
delivery can give equal weight to quality, cost savings and localization. Each project
is tackled by a team of software engineers and business consultants that will work
together through every stage, rather than relying on separate, poorly communicating
camps of front-end and back-end specialists. The firm notes that it has a balanced
portfolio of on-site and offshore project work.

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MindTree Ltd.

Getting the show on the road

In a recent engagement with Volvo, the manufacturer wanted a modern, integrated
dealer management system that would allow its branches, scattered across 18
countries, to connect and meet the demands of the market. MindTree deployed
experts to multiple locations to ensure that it could bridge the idiosyncrasies of
branches utilizing different languages, currencies and sales models. It was able to
design and implement a new system that consolidated the entire network of dealers
into a single automated information management system. Volvo was satisfied with the
results, having subsequently achieved an improved service index, better dealer
profitability and higher stock returns.

Metaphorical thinking
MindTree clearly isn’t one to stop at a tree logo and few references to “branching out.”
One of its co-founders, Subroto Bagchi, now holds the position of “gardener,” and is
listed in the management ranks above the CEO and second only to Ashok Soota.
Bagchi’s duties entail meeting with 100 of the upper-level executives throughout the
organization, counseling them on both personal and professional issues, and
reinforcing their ability to propel MindTree to the billion-dollar mark. Both literally and
figuratively, Bagchi tends to the roots of the company, overseeing the development
and “blooming” of new leadership talent at the firm. He also acts, to some degree,
as the face of the firm, appearing frequently at conferences at home and
internationally, giving talks at universities and publishing thought leadership in
magazines and newspapers. For a taste of the kind of thinking Bagchi promotes, try
this quote attributed to him in a December 2008 profile in India’s Business Standard:
“Self awareness leads to mental capacity enhancement. It sharpens the emotional
quotient, or EQ, that most managers with high IQ (intelligence quotient) may lack.”
Roughly translated: Don’t just think, feel—not a message you’ll hear too often from a
member of the spreadsheet analysis brigade.

In addition to his work at the company, Bagchi has authored two books—The High
Performance Entrepreneur, released in 2006, and Go Kiss the World, released in 2008.

The first of these offers “golden rules for success in today’s world” for
businesspeople—from knowing when they are ready for success to how to conduct
an IPO. Bagchi’s most recent book, however, is subtitled “Life Lessons for the Young
Professional.” Drawing on lessons from his own life, he attempts to provide guidance
in general principles not on business, but on the basic art of living and choosing what
to value. Again, not exactly your typical management consultant!

Ornaments for the tree

MindTree has pulled in a number of awards over the years for the quality of its work.
In early 2009, it swept up the Recruitment and Staffing Best in Class (RASBIC) Award
by topping five of the seven categories, including the RASBIC Industry Leader of the

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MindTree Ltd.

Year Award. In September 2008, SAP India announced that MindTree would be
given an ACE Award for Customer Service in the midsized enterprises category. The
award singles out organizations that have shown excellence in the implementation of
SAP technology. Also in September, IDG India’s CIO magazine named the firm a
winner of the CIO 100 Award for achievement in the IT industry. And in April 2008,
MindTree was shortlisted for the IBM Impact Business Partner Solution Award. The
honor, given annually, recognizes IBM business partners who have applied the
company’s software in innovative ways. That same year, MindTree won the Most
Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) Asia award.


Jump through hoops

“High achievement-oriented and caring” are two main attributes that characterize
working at MindTree, insiders tell us. These values are also “the guiding principles
for every MindTree mind,” starting from the recruitment process.

Although the interview process may vary based on experience, staffers agree that it’s
generally “very stringent.” To get a job with MindTree, candidates with less than two
years’ experience have to take an online test prior to interviewing. Those with more
than two years experience start the hiring process with a direct interview, but the
“number of interviews differs with the fluctuating number of requirements given by
the operation and delivery teams.” One insider says the interview process may
consist of a technical screening followed by a technical interview, then a second
interview, a final interview and, lastly, an offer. In addition, potential candidates will
undergo a “very strict background verification process.” According to one source,
MindTree looks for candidates “from any social background, as long as they fulfill the
necessary requirement needs and come with the necessary credentials.” We’re told
that recruits are accepted from “top engineering colleges and B-schools in India,” or
from “all the grade-A colleges affiliated with reputed universities.”


Classy values
MindTree’s culture is based on its value system: CLASS, or caring, learning,
achieving, sharing and social responsibility. The system is so ingrained that, as one
insider puts it, “everything we are, everything we do and everything we believe in
revolves around our CLASS values and the distinct culture that we have built.” There
is “a sense of a family in the organization,” and a feeling that “top management cares
for the employees in each and every aspect.”

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Interaction with top management and supervisors is a critical component of this

family-oriented culture. One respondent declares that leadership at MindTree is
“amazing and visionary, adding that his boss only asks that employees “put in our
best.” A colleague mentions that “people get communication on progress/views from
the managing director directly.”

Who’s complaining?
Insiders feel that the work demands placed upon them are not unreasonable. They
seem to be very satisfied with their hourly requirements and cite “minimal” travel.
They also claim that having very little weekend work (often just one weekend per
month) is the key to maintaining work/life balance. In addition, the “organization
encourages flexible work hours … Delivery teams have the possibility of working from
home as required.” Supporting working parents also comes into play here; the firm
boasts a “babysitting facility, which [gives mothers] the option of sitting in the same
room and working.” One female consultant attests, “As a working/feeding mother, I
am very much able to balance work and life. MindTree has supported me at every
step of my personal as well corporate life.”

And while we’re on the subject of gender, consultants tell us that MindTree’s policies
are very “woman-friendly.” In fact, says a source, women “are empowered to raise
the alarm” at the slightest sign of discrimination. “Internal women’s empowerment
groups” are also available to help educate female employees. Female consultants are
given a 90-day maternity leave and fathers are allotted five days of paternity leave.
The same is awarded to adoptive parents.

Work your way up

Rounding out the positive workspace MindTree has built for its staffers are “lots of
options to choose from to work toward our training needs.” Consultants say there are
also yearly work appraisals and “an excellent performer can get promoted even within
six months.” These promotions are “purely based on performance and the ability of
an individual to take on extra responsibility.”

Tree of charity
MindTree lends a hand when it comes to the community at large. The firm is involved
with the Spastics Society of Karnataka, a nongovernment organization dedicated to
the welfare of people with neuromuscular and developmental disabilities, and it also
holds “frequent blood donation camps.” “We have weekend visits to those societies
and we invite them for all of the special events at MindTree,” a source explains.
Charitable work is also maintained through the MindTree Foundation, which “donates
liberally in times of trouble.” For example, donations were made after Hurricane
Katrina and after the floods in Bihar, India.

323 © 2009, Inc.


123 Buckingham Palace Road THE STATS

London, SW1W 9SR Employer Type: Private Company
United Kingdom CEO: Alan Middleton
Phone: +44 (0)20 7730 9000 2009 Employees: 2,700
Fax: +44 (0)20 7333 5050 2008 Employees: 2,800
2008 Revenue: £384.4 million
4601 North Fairfax Drive 2007 Revenue: £364 million
Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (571) 227-9000 UPPERS
Fax: (571) 227-9001 • “PA is a meritocracy” • Employee ownership structure creates a
“we’re all in this together” camaraderie

London (Corporate HQ) DOWNERS
Arlington, VA (North American HQ) • “The population is mainly white, middle-
Operating in over 35 countries across aged and male”
Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia • “There is a split between the ‘old school’
and Oceania and the younger breed of consultants”


Business Operations • Decision Sciences •
IT & Systems Integration • Market Analytics
• Organizational Change • Program &
Project Management • Sourcing • Strategy
& Marketing • Technology Innovation •
Zanzibar Managed Service

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
PA Consulting Group


Capital ideas
Based in London and fully owned by its employees, PA Consulting Group serves both
public- and private-sector clients in over 35 countries throughout Europe, North
America, Latin America and Asia. A former giant in the industry, the now midsized
group has enjoyed several years of recent success, and counts some of the world’s
largest companies among its clients. Though it works with clients across all sectors,
PA specializes in the energy, manufacturing, health care, financial services and
telecommunications industries. It has also had a lot of recent success in the venture
capital world—so much so, in fact, that it spun off its venture capital arm as a
separate entity in June 2008.

Ups, downs and in-betweens

In 1943, three men—Ernest E. Butten, Tom H. Kirkham and David Seymore—sought
to take advantage of the U.K.’s need for weapons production during World War II.
Thus began Personnel Administration, with a mission to teach factories how to boost
productivity and efficiency. The firm’s first assignment was to train women to
assemble the tail gun section of a bomber, thereby leaving the men free for the
battlefield. As those same men re-entered the workforce after the war ended, the
founders signed up dozens of them as consultants, increasing PA’s workforce to 84
consultants by 1950, and starting an expansion program throughout Europe.

Over the next 20 years, PA became the largest management consultancy in the world,
and continued growing until competitors on the scale of McKinsey and BCG began
encroaching on its territory in the late 1960s and 1970s. Nonetheless, the firm
managed to remain profitable until the recession in the late 1980s took its toll, leaving
it almost bankrupt by 1992.

That same year, PA hired current Executive Chairman Jon Moynihan, and tasked him
with the turnaround—something he appeared to have achieved in just three years, as
the firm went on to post record profits in 1995. In the following years, PA sought to
expand into new markets: In 1999, it established a presence in the U.S., entering the
playing field a bit too late to take full advantage of the technology boom. But the firm’s
timing turned out to be advantageous; it didn’t suffer the same fate as a lot of its
consulting competitors who sank after their tech clients vanished during the dot-com

Profits, not growth

PA has enjoyed a consistent streak of success since 2004, which it attributes to a
focus on profitability over growth. That focus has seen the firm take some unusual

325 © 2009, Inc.

Vault Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms, 2010 Edition
PA Consulting Group

actions (some would say prescient, given the current economic turmoil) in recent
years. Those actions include the October 2007 closure of its Australian offices in
Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra—a complete withdrawal from the country after 40
years operating there. The decision followed a strategic review of all PA’s Asia Pacific
operations, which determined that clients there could be served from other locations
in the region.

The firm’s decision to focus on profits over growth doesn’t mean that it’s given up on
expansion altogether—rather, the firm just takes more care about choosing
opportunities that are in line with its goals. One such example was the 2007 opening
of a new technology development center in Bangalore, PA’s second location in
India—a growing market where the firm clearly feels it can increase its profitability
over the coming years.

PA’s expansion plans also appear to include the virtual realm: In 2007, PA became
the first major management consultancy to establish a presence in Second Life, the
online virtual community. The company maintains an “office” in the Second Life
realm, which serves largely as a recruitment tool, allowing potential candidates to
explore the company while retaining the option of remaining anonymous should they
so desire.

A capital venture
Over the years, PA hasn’t been afraid to put its money where its mouth is, as far as
putting strategy into action goes. The firm’s venture arm was demerged in June 2008
into a separate business called Ipex Capital, but not before racking up some big hits
for the firm. In 1999, for example, PA founded UbiNetics, a company that would go
on to become a world leader in 3G and measurement products. Between May and
June 2005, the firm sold both halves of UbiNetics’ business—test and measurement,
and volume product technology—to separate buyers for a total of over $132 million.
An even faster turnaround, meanwhile, was made on a company known as Meridica.
Founded in May 2001 to develop drug delivery devices and products for the
pharmaceutical industry, Meridica was sold to Pfizer just three-and-a-half years later
for $125 million.

The ventures unit didn’t only develop businesses from scratch, however, having
consistently made strategic acquisitions along the way. The latest of those came in
January 2008, when vehicle tracking and in-car telematics specialists Auto-txt limited
were brought into the fold. The last deal the unit conducted prior to the spin-off, it’s
not likely to be the last time the two firms work together. They will continue to
collaborate on existing ventures in the Ipex portfolio, and will even look at new
opportunities together, according to the company.

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Get the goods

Another of PA’s ventures is ProcServe, an e-procurement business launched in 2006.
Focusing on facilitating trade between buyers and suppliers, the ProcServe managed
service builds on the firm’s experience as the supplier of Zanzibar—an electronic
marketplace—which was launched in February 2006 and acts as a procurement
service for the U.K. public sector. It was designed to give public-sector buying
organizations access to the best pricing and suppliers, allowing them to make better
buying decisions. The service grants public-sector groups easy access to
collaborative contracts that offer competitive pricing arrangements. Zanzibar was
contracted by the U.K.’s HM Treasury department, and has since been adopted by a
number of public-sector agencies in the country.

Among the more newsworthy achievements on the ProcServe side of the business of
late were two announcements made in the space of