Part IV: Professional Services Firms
This authorised reprint contains material excerpted from a recent Celent report profiling and evaluating card management and transaction processing professional services firms. The full report is 72 pages long. This report was not sponsored by Wipro in any way.
This reprint was prepared specifically for and granted to Wipro, but the analysis has not been changed from the original report. For more information about the full report, please contact Celent through our website (www.celent.com) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The demand for cards management and transaction processing (CMTP) technologies and capabilities continues to grow. Banks and other institutions looking to either establish or upgrade their CMTP capabilities are asking: What options do I have? How should I approach the challenge? Who can I turn to for help?
In 2014, Celent kicked off a research effort to understand the landscape of vendors and service providers in card management and transaction processing. The main goal of this research is to develop an overview of each vendor’s capabilities, focus areas, and market presence. We were also looking for the vendors’ perspectives on industry trends. Given the broad scope of this research, we DID NOT seek to evaluate and identify the best products and services available on the market.
We already published the first two reports in this research series:
- Card Management and Transaction Processing Technologies: A Primer, May 2014, which introduced key technologies in CMTP.
- The Market for Card Management and Transaction Processing Technologies: A Dozen Observations, October 2014, which discussed the demand drivers, trends in vendor offerings, clients’ buying decisions, and a few other topics.
We are now publishing a pack of reports focusing on vendors. This is the report on professional services firms with all the participating vendor profiles. It addresses three key research questions. The remaining reports in the series focus on vendor landscape overview and the other vendor categories.
The content in the first two sections of this report, Selecting a Professional Services Firm and Market Presence Analysis, has already appeared in the corresponding sections of the companion report, Card Management and Transaction Processing Vendors, Part I: Vendor Landscape. These sections are included here again so that this report is self-sufficient. Readers already familiar with this content from the vendor landscape report can skip it and go straight to the individual vendor profiles. Details on the research approach and overall participants are given in the Appendix
Key Research Questions
- Who are the leading professional services firms in cards?
- How should banks approach vendor selection? How do these vendors differ from each other?
- How do they position themselves in the market?
Selecting a Professional Services Firm
Professional services firms have deep domain expertise and support financial institutions by offering consulting (e.g., target operating model advice), software development and system integration, and large scale programme management services. Many also offer a variety of IT and business process outsourcing services (ITO and BPO).
No matter what type of partner is required, Celent always advises its financial institution clients to conduct a rigorous vendor selection process. Our ABCD vendor assessment framework is often seen as a great starting point and covers four dimensions: Advanced technology, Breadth of functionality, Customer base, and Depth of customer service. Other factors are often important as well, such as financial strength of the company, degree of specialisation and focus on the specific solution, and cultural fit. Of course, price is nearly always a factor in making the final decision.
Given the broad scope of this research and diversity of companies participating, the full ABCD framework here is not appropriate or feasible – it works best when assessing a fairly homogenous set of solution providers. However, there are other ways to highlight differences between various companies in a given category.
We developed a bespoke differentiation framework for professional services firms. It identifies six dimensions relevant when making a vendor decision. Each of those dimensions has different possible values. To make it easier to plot multiple companies across those dimensions with different values, we assign each value to a number from 1 to 5. These numbers are simply an index to a specific value attribute within a dimension. It is not a ranking or score; i.e., the value of 5 is not necessarily better than 1 and vice versa. Vendors are plotted against those dimensions resulting in a spider chart unique to each vendor.
We also introduce the main questions clients should be considering when going through a vendor selection process. We focus on key questions, although not all of them may be relevant in all situations. And they are certainly not exhaustive; each client’s situation is unique, and other specific factors may be most important to them.
The framework begins the vendor differentiation process by focusing on dimensions which are relevant and can be compared across multiple vendors. The detailed vendor profiles included in this report shed much more light on each company. Finally, as discussed above, some of the detailed questions relevant for vendor selection are not addressed as part of this research.
Clients looking to select a professional services firm should be considering the following top 10 questions:
1. Who are the leading professional services firms available in our geography that have the capabilities we need?
2. Does the firm specialise in providing certain types of services (e.g., consulting, systems integration, ITO, or BPO)?
3. What is the depth and breadth of the firm’s domain expertise in cards? What is the balance between the domain specialists and a “dedicated pool” of resources?
4. Does the firm have a global delivery model? What is the balance between onshore and offshore resources?
5. How much does the firm invest into training its people? Is that training available to customers if required?
6. Does the firm have partnerships with leading product firms? Which ones?
7. Can the firm make use of accelerators and ready artifacts around reference architecture, process maps, UAT scenarios, scripts, etc.?
8. What is the firm’s track record on delivery / implementation / transformation projects?
9. Can we rely on the firm to deliver leading edge innovative solutions?
10. What are the commercial terms of the proposal? Is the firm willing to take any risk to demonstrate commitment to successful delivery?
Differentiation framework and discussion
Table 1 describes the framework for differentiating professional services firms. Eight professional services firms participated in our research and are discussed here: Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, Infosys, Mphasis, TCS, and Wipro