Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Sep 09

UK Attracting Record Levels of US Companies, Investment

By | Managed Services News

Why are U.S. companies being attracted to the U.K. in record numbers?

More U.K. companies have been bought by foreign corporations in the last eight months of 2021. This is more than in the previous five years altogether.

U.S. companies especially are making record levels of investment in the U.K. as they look to consolidate the market following the pandemic.

Some examples of U.S. firms buying U.K. tech companies includes NortonLifeLock’s acquisition of Avast to create a cybersecurity empire. Notably there is NVIDIA’s acquisition of Cambridge, U.K.-based ARM to create a U.S. monopoly in microprocessors. Snap acquired WaveOptics, a U.K.-based maker of optical systems for augmented-reality headsets. Additionally, Visa bought U.K. payments start-up Currencycloud to facilitate cross boarder payments.

Maintaining Post-IPO Momentum

Drake Star Partners' Eric Ward

Drake Star Partners’ Eric Ward

Eric Ward is partner at global tech investment bank Drake Star Partners. He believes US tech firms often look to the UK to maintain strong growth post-IPO.

“In H1 2021, there were 250 IPOs priced in the US, a 190%+ increase from the year before. A large share of these are from tech companies such as Square Space, Darktrace, Sprinklr and Coinbase. This followed notable IPOs in 2020 including Airbnb, Snowflake and DoorDash,” he said.

“These companies generally need to maintain strong growth momentum post IPO. As such, they “are increasingly looking at M&A to do so by rapidly building out their international footprint.”

Elsewhere, North American private equity firms raised capital of $459 billion in H1 2021 – the highest level since the financial crisis. The industry now has close to $1 trillion in dry powder for acquisitions.

This could lead to record levels of investment. “That increase in capital is putting enormous pressure on PE firms to invest internationally,” says Ward. “Particularly to build their portfolio companies from U.S. leaders to global leaders.”

The U.K. is still seen as a natural port of entry to expand their business internationally. This is down to the favourable labor markets the U.K. offers and lack of local language barriers.

“Many U.S. funds have set the U.K. as their European or international base,” says Ward. “This gives a significant local market advantage to the U.K.”

Integration Risks

However, there are always integration risks when combining businesses. This is particularly true for first-time buyers who don’t have the experience, internal infrastructure or expertise to properly manage this.

“Our experience shows that the key integration challenge is more often around getting the cultural fit right,” says Ward. He also says there are challenges aligning management incentives properly; tied to the set business objectives post acquisition.

Boomi's Mike Kiersey

Boomi’s Mike Kiersey

Elsewhere, success will hinge on the ability to harmonise data quickly and efficiently between organisations. That’s according to Mike Kiersey, CTO of data integration vendor Boomi. He says ensuring data accessibility and proper governance is at the heart of any M&A success.

Kiersey says business integration “must be swift and broken down into manageable pieces”. This includes seamless application and data integration for all services.

“For a merger to be truly effective, both sides must be able to access raw data from a single platform,” he says. From there “the company may determine which innovation strategy to pursue for customers, partners, and employees moving ahead.”

However Ward adds “with great confidence” that the U.K. will continue to remain one of the most attractive M&A market for U.S. companies. “For the foreseeable future and certainly for the rest of the year.”

 

Sep 09

HP Wolf Security: Employees Pushing Back Against Efforts to Improve Security

By | Managed Services News

IT teams believe the increase in home workers has created a ‘ticking time bomb’ for a corporate network breach.

Employees are making it difficult for IT teams to improve security, leaving organizations vulnerable to breaches, according to a new HP Wolf Security report.

The new HP Wolf Security report combines data from two surveys. A global YouGov online survey polled 8,443 office workers who shifted to work from home (WFH) during the pandemic. In addition, Toluna surveyed 1,100 IT decision makers globally.

The findings show IT teams have been forced into compromising security for business continuity at a time of rising threats. Making matters worse, their attempts to increase or update security measures for remote workers have often been rejected. This is especially true for the future workforce of 18-24-year-olds. These digital natives feel increasingly frustrated with security getting in the way of deadlines, leading many to circumvent controls.

Cisco's Joanna Burkey

Cisco’s Joanna Burkey

Joanna Burkey is HP‘s CISO.

“For me, the common theme is that cybersecurity needs to be something that everyone can buy into,” she said. “Cybersecurity teams need to keep the business safe, but users also need to play their part. It’s like physical safety. If you have a staircase in the office, then you need to install a banister and perhaps have it carpeted instead of tiled so people don’t slip and fall. But at the same time, you’re also trusting that people don’t dash down the stairs three at a time and injure themselves. Cybersecurity teams can provide those guardrails, but they still need people to tread carefully. As we navigate this new era of hybrid working, I’m thinking more about how I can ensure everyone is collectively working together to keep the enterprise safe from harm.”

Key Findings

Key findings of the HP Wolf Security report include:

  • Seventy-six percent of IT teams admit security took a backseat to business continuity during the pandemic. In addition, 91% felt pressure to compromise security for business continuity.
  • Almost half of younger office workers viewed security tools as a hindrance. That lead to nearly a third trying to bypass corporate security policies to get their work done.
  • Forty-eight percent of office workers agreed seemingly essential security measures result in a lot of wasted time. This rises to 64% among those ages 18-24.
  • Over half of those 18–24 were more worried about meeting deadlines than exposing their organization to a data breach. Thirty-nine percent were unsure what their security policies say, or are unaware if their company even has them. That’s suggests a growing level of apathy among younger workers.
  • As a result, 83% of IT teams believe the increase in home workers has created a “ticking time bomb” for a corporate network breach.

Listening and Understanding

Organizations need to create open lines of communication with end users to listen and understand how security impacts their workflows and productivity, Burkey said.

“Secondly, partner with all areas of the business to embed security into the organization’s DNA and create a more collaborative security culture,” she said. “Finally, seek out new levels of endpoint protection that offer advanced remote management while being as unobtrusive as possible to avoid end users trying to circumvent it.”

Many security teams have made efforts to curb user behavior to keep data safe, Burkey said. Those include updating security policies to account for the rise in working from home, and restricting access to websites and applications. However, these controls often create friction for users, who resent the controls and push back on IT. That leaves security teams feeling dejected and rejected.

“It’s vital that any tension is addressed as otherwise it’s another chink in the armor, making you more vulnerable to attack,” she said. “Security leaders play a key role in addressing tensions and making security something everyone can buy into, not just something they are told to do. This involves opening up lines of communications with end users to help inform policy decisions. Adjustments such as providing the rationale behind a security decision or seeking user input before deploying new policies can change hearts and minds. By building collaborative security partnerships across the workforce, cybersecurity will start to become a cultural cornerstone.”

Enacting Better WFH Security

Gurucul's Saryu Nayyar

Gurucul’s Saryu Nayyar

Saryu Nayyar is CEO of global cybersecurity company Gurucul.

“Eighteen months into the WFH era of the COVID-19 pandemic, many IT shops still don’t have a good handle on how to enact cybersecurity outside of the office,” she said. “As a result, remote workers are actively bypassing standard security restrictions in an attempt to do their jobs, and in the process opening up security holes for exploit.”

Corporate security professionals need a better understanding of how remote workers are doing their jobs, Nayyar said. Therefore, they can work collaboratively in designing cybersecurity systems that meet those needs.

“Monitoring activities in WFH environments and assessing the risk of specific activities should be a cornerstone of that effort,” she said.

Sep 09

MSPs Guide to Cloud App Security & Ransomware Prevention

By | Managed Services News

As MSPs’ clients adopt cloud-based enterprise applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Box™, and Dropbox™, security vigilance is more important than ever. While these applications are delivered in a safe manner, MSPs share the responsibility to secure the content that passes through them.

This guide discusses technologies and considerations when evaluating a cloud app security solution as well as tips on how to mitigate modern ransomware attacks.

Brought to you by: 

Trend Micro

Sep 09

Cloud M&A Ramps Up This Week, Led by Accenture, DigitalOcean

By | Managed Services News

Find out which companies they’re buying, and why.

Cloud M&A kicked up a notch this week, led by Accenture and DigitalOcean.

First, Paris-based Accenture is continuing its acquisitions spree with the intent to purchase Benext. Founded in 2014 and based in France, Benext acts as an independent product consulting company. It specializes in product management, agile coaching, cloud-based development and data science.

Accenture is not sharing financial details around its cloud M&A because the companies it’s buying are privately held. But Accenture did say Benext, if the deal goes through, would bring 160 professionals to its Octo Technology division and expand its Accenture Cloud First capabilities.

Accenture Cloud First's Karthik Narain

Cloud First’s Karthik Narain

Karthik Narain is global lead at Accenture Cloud First. “With many clients ramping up their multicloud environments, the need for new agile operating models and a seamless user experience … has never been greater,” he said. “Acquiring Benext would be a valuable addition to help more clients truly operate in the cloud and become digital enterprises. For clients, this ultimately equates to reaching a tipping point of change and pivoting the entirety of their business toward new opportunities.”

Accenture's Olivier Girard

Accenture’s Olivier Girard

Olivier Girard is market unit lead for Accenture France & Benelux. He said that pairing Benext with Accenture “would bring more specialized skills to fulfill the growing demand for effective product management and agile methods.”

An Alliance of Expertise

David Robert, founder and president of Benext, made a similar observation.

Benext's David Robert

Benext’s David Robert

“We are excited about this opportunity based on our history and [it] would accelerate our strategy,” he said. “The combination of our two organizations’ expertise allied with our deep product management expertise would enable us to take the services offered to our clients to a whole new level. Together, we can help clients reimagine their products, re-engineer their product life cycles and optimize their customers’ experiences.”

Accenture has to consult with “relevant work councils” and adhere to customary closing conditions before it can wrap up this round of cloud M&A.

Speaking of, though, the global consultancy now officially owns Wabion. That’s the Google Cloud services boutique it said in July it would buy. Wabion, founded in 2004, focuses on Europe. It maintains headquarters in Esslingen, Germany and Olten, Switzerland. It runs other offices in Munich, Cologne and Lausanne. Wabion delivers consulting and implementation services for Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace. It also offers integration, development, licensing and training. This plethora of capabilities will augment Accenture’s own competencies and footprint. Wabion has earned premier status with Google Cloud.

Next Up, DigitalOcean

Meanwhile, DigitalOcean — the fast-moving company gaining market share against the Big 3 — yesterday snapped up Nimbella. DigitalOcean focuses on cloud computing for developers. Nimbella delivers a serverless platform. As such, DigitalOcean will expand into the “function-as-a-service” (FaaS) sector.

Apologies for yet another acronym. FaaS is defined by IBM as “a type of cloud-computing service that allows you to execute code in response to events without the complex infrastructure typically associated with building and launching microservices applications.”

DigitalOcean says adding FaaS will give its developers access to a range of capabilities, including IaaS and PaaS. DigitalOcean targets developers in small and medium businesses. But those experts often face challenges when adopting serverless computing. Nimbella was built to overcome those obstacles, the company says, partly because it builds on open-source Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk.

Yancey Spruill is CEO of DigitalOcean.“Serverless computing is the next evolution of cloud that further removes the need for developers to manage complex infrastructure,” he said. “We are excited to have Nimbella join DigitalOcean to address specific needs often requested by our customers and fill a gap in the current serverless offerings in the market. People want to access the benefits of serverless capabilities without a significant learning curve. And they want functionality and pricing that is easy to understand and predictable.”

A Tremendous Opportunity

Anshu Agarwal, CEO of Nimbella, agreed.

“Our mission has been clear since the beginning — to build a serverless platform that unlocks the power and capabilities of the cloud for developers of all skill sets,” he said. “This in turn allows new applications and APIs to be created faster, more securely and more economically. Joining DigitalOcean provides us a tremendous…

Sep 09

Channel Alliances: 5 Keys to Finding the Right Fit & Avoiding Conflict

By | Managed Services News

Focus on what sets you apart, your tech agnosticism and established relationships.

Claro Enterprise Solutions' Ariel Cruz

Ariel Cruz

Channel partners navigating the complex landscape of master agents and technology providers face a dizzying array of options and dilemmas regarding developing channel alliances. Working with multiple players runs companies the risk of getting spread out too thinly, while too much focus can result in missed opportunities.

A strategic approach to channel alliances requires defining target markets, aligning capabilities and then cultivating relationships with the right teams and individuals within each relationship. When working with technology partners that have direct sales organizations in addition to channel programs, avoiding conflict is another priority.

Outlined below are five ways you as a channel partner can design an effective go-to-market strategy.

Align with Technology Expertise

Assess master agent areas of specialization and how those areas align with your own areas of expertise. Some agents, for example, may focus on networking solutions; others on back-office process automation or internet of things (IoT) solutions. Identify which agents have the resources you need to enhance your core capabilities or fill critical gaps. By being selective, you can focus your relationship-building resources on the master agents that can help you the most. The objective should be to cover all the necessary bases, but without overextending yourself or duplicating effort.

Align with Industry Expertise

Conduct a similar assessment at an industry level to identify master agents that focus on specific sectors that are either in your current wheelhouse, or that you’ve targeted for growth. As basic technology functionality becomes increasingly commoditized, this step is increasingly essential. In today’s environment, to deliver value to your customers (as well as boost your profit margin), you must to come to the table with solutions to business problems, rather than simply bits and bytes.

Connect the Dots

Once you’ve evaluated master agent capabilities and areas of industry focus, and aligned them with your own capabilities, you can identify specific strategic opportunities to pursue. For example, let’s say you have a base of small and midsized retail customers. By leveraging relationships with master agents specializing in flexible and secure network connectivity, you can provide those customers with cost-effective secure internet solutions to support online transactions and pop-up locations. For customers in the transportation sector, master agents specializing in IoT fleet management solutions can deliver a strategic edge.

At this point, you can begin to focus on strengthening relationships within your ecosystem; specifically, with the teams and individuals within your master agent partners. This process can then extend to include relevant technology partners.

Avoid Conflict

While developing direct relationships with technology partners is essential to deepen strategic expertise and expand your portfolio of offerings, it’s imperative to understand and manage the potential for conflict. In many cases, technology providers that work with channel partners also have direct sales teams, creating the possibility of turf battles or competition.

To avoid these situations, the first step is to evaluate the direct sales team’s target markets. If they’re focused on global Fortune 500 accounts, and you’re pursuing SMBs, you’re good. But the lines are rarely drawn that distinctly, and typically some overlap will exist. In those instances, you need to consider the technology partner’s sales management processes. Specifically, are CRMs structured to tag channel partner clients and prospects and block cold calls from direct sales? If and when the system fails and a conflict does arise, are clear-cut rules in place to fairly assign the lead owner?

That said, you can piggyback on and benefit from a technology partner’s marketing programs, even when they are primarily focused on direct sales. By generating overall awareness and interest, such initiatives create a rising tide that lifts all boats, and expands the pool of potential buyers.

Highlight Your Value Proposition

While conflict between channel partners and direct sales teams can be managed and mitigated, some level of competition is inherent. As a channel partner, you should therefore focus on what sets you apart, and why a customer should want to buy from you rather than directly from a provider. One differentiator is your technology agnosticism and, relatedly, the broader selection of tools and options at your disposal. For smaller customers who may struggle to get the attention of large tech companies, you can also highlight your established relationships with those companies and ability to navigate internal bureaucracies.

 

Ariel Cruz is vice president of channels at Claro Enterprise Solutions, which provides partners access to emerging digital technologies as well as proven capabilities in traditional products and solutions. It is part of América Móvil, an international provider of integrated telecommunications services, and was known as Telmex USA until it rebranded as Claro in 2018. You may follow Ariel on LinkedIn or @USClaro on Twitter.

Sep 09

MSPs Guide to Cloud App Security & Ransomware Prevention

By | Managed Services News

As MSPs’ clients adopt cloud-based enterprise applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Box™, and Dropbox™, security vigilance is more important than ever. While these applications are delivered in a safe manner, MSPs share the responsibility to secure the content that passes through them.

This guide discusses technologies and considerations when evaluating a cloud app security solution as well as tips on how to mitigate modern ransomware attacks.

Brought to you by: 

Trend Micro

Sep 09

Cloud M&A Ramps Up This Week, Led by Accenture, DigitalOcean

By | Managed Services News

Find out which companies they’re buying, and why.

Cloud M&A kicked up a notch this week, led by Accenture and DigitalOcean.

First, Paris-based Accenture is continuing its acquisitions spree with the intent to purchase Benext. Founded in 2014 and based in France, Benext acts as an independent product consulting company. It specializes in product management, agile coaching, cloud-based development and data science.

Accenture is not sharing financial details around its cloud M&A because the companies it’s buying are privately held. But Accenture did say Benext, if the deal goes through, would bring 160 professionals to its Octo Technology division and expand its Accenture Cloud First capabilities.

Accenture Cloud First's Karthik Narain

Cloud First’s Karthik Narain

Karthik Narain is global lead at Accenture Cloud First. “With many clients ramping up their multicloud environments, the need for new agile operating models and a seamless user experience … has never been greater,” he said. “Acquiring Benext would be a valuable addition to help more clients truly operate in the cloud and become digital enterprises. For clients, this ultimately equates to reaching a tipping point of change and pivoting the entirety of their business toward new opportunities.”

Accenture's Olivier Girard

Accenture’s Olivier Girard

Olivier Girard is market unit lead for Accenture France & Benelux. He said that pairing Benext with Accenture “would bring more specialized skills to fulfill the growing demand for effective product management and agile methods.”

An Alliance of Expertise

David Robert, founder and president of Benext, made a similar observation.

Benext's David Robert

Benext’s David Robert

“We are excited about this opportunity based on our history and [it] would accelerate our strategy,” he said. “The combination of our two organizations’ expertise allied with our deep product management expertise would enable us to take the services offered to our clients to a whole new level. Together, we can help clients reimagine their products, re-engineer their product life cycles and optimize their customers’ experiences.”

Accenture has to consult with “relevant work councils” and adhere to customary closing conditions before it can wrap up this round of cloud M&A.

Speaking of, though, the global consultancy now officially owns Wabion. That’s the Google Cloud services boutique it said in July it would buy. Wabion, founded in 2004, focuses on Europe. It maintains headquarters in Esslingen, Germany and Olten, Switzerland. It runs other offices in Munich, Cologne and Lausanne. Wabion delivers consulting and implementation services for Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace. It also offers integration, development, licensing and training. This plethora of capabilities will augment Accenture’s own competencies and footprint. Wabion has earned premier status with Google Cloud.

Next Up, DigitalOcean

Meanwhile, DigitalOcean — the fast-moving company gaining market share against the Big 3 — yesterday snapped up Nimbella. DigitalOcean focuses on cloud computing for developers. Nimbella delivers a serverless platform. As such, DigitalOcean will expand into the “function-as-a-service” (FaaS) sector.

Apologies for yet another acronym. FaaS is defined by IBM as “a type of cloud-computing service that allows you to execute code in response to events without the complex infrastructure typically associated with building and launching microservices applications.”

DigitalOcean says adding FaaS will give its developers access to a range of capabilities, including IaaS and PaaS. DigitalOcean targets developers in small and medium businesses. But those experts often face challenges when adopting serverless computing. Nimbella was built to overcome those obstacles, the company says, partly because it builds on open-source Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk.

Yancey Spruill is CEO of DigitalOcean.“Serverless computing is the next evolution of cloud that further removes the need for developers to manage complex infrastructure,” he said. “We are excited to have Nimbella join DigitalOcean to address specific needs often requested by our customers and fill a gap in the current serverless offerings in the market. People want to access the benefits of serverless capabilities without a significant learning curve. And they want functionality and pricing that is easy to understand and predictable.”

A Tremendous Opportunity

Anshu Agarwal, CEO of Nimbella, agreed.

“Our mission has been clear since the beginning — to build a serverless platform that unlocks the power and capabilities of the cloud for developers of all skill sets,” he said. “This in turn allows new applications and APIs to be created faster, more securely and more economically. Joining DigitalOcean provides us a tremendous…

Sep 09

Channel Alliances: 5 Keys to Finding the Right Fit & Avoiding Conflict

By | Managed Services News

Focus on what sets you apart, your tech agnosticism and established relationships.

Claro Enterprise Solutions' Ariel Cruz

Ariel Cruz

Channel partners navigating the complex landscape of master agents and technology providers face a dizzying array of options and dilemmas regarding developing channel alliances. Working with multiple players runs companies the risk of getting spread out too thinly, while too much focus can result in missed opportunities.

A strategic approach to channel alliances requires defining target markets, aligning capabilities and then cultivating relationships with the right teams and individuals within each relationship. When working with technology partners that have direct sales organizations in addition to channel programs, avoiding conflict is another priority.

Outlined below are five ways you as a channel partner can design an effective go-to-market strategy.

Align with Technology Expertise

Assess master agent areas of specialization and how those areas align with your own areas of expertise. Some agents, for example, may focus on networking solutions; others on back-office process automation or internet of things (IoT) solutions. Identify which agents have the resources you need to enhance your core capabilities or fill critical gaps. By being selective, you can focus your relationship-building resources on the master agents that can help you the most. The objective should be to cover all the necessary bases, but without overextending yourself or duplicating effort.

Align with Industry Expertise

Conduct a similar assessment at an industry level to identify master agents that focus on specific sectors that are either in your current wheelhouse, or that you’ve targeted for growth. As basic technology functionality becomes increasingly commoditized, this step is increasingly essential. In today’s environment, to deliver value to your customers (as well as boost your profit margin), you must to come to the table with solutions to business problems, rather than simply bits and bytes.

Connect the Dots

Once you’ve evaluated master agent capabilities and areas of industry focus, and aligned them with your own capabilities, you can identify specific strategic opportunities to pursue. For example, let’s say you have a base of small and midsized retail customers. By leveraging relationships with master agents specializing in flexible and secure network connectivity, you can provide those customers with cost-effective secure internet solutions to support online transactions and pop-up locations. For customers in the transportation sector, master agents specializing in IoT fleet management solutions can deliver a strategic edge.

At this point, you can begin to focus on strengthening relationships within your ecosystem; specifically, with the teams and individuals within your master agent partners. This process can then extend to include relevant technology partners.

Avoid Conflict

While developing direct relationships with technology partners is essential to deepen strategic expertise and expand your portfolio of offerings, it’s imperative to understand and manage the potential for conflict. In many cases, technology providers that work with channel partners also have direct sales teams, creating the possibility of turf battles or competition.

To avoid these situations, the first step is to evaluate the direct sales team’s target markets. If they’re focused on global Fortune 500 accounts, and you’re pursuing SMBs, you’re good. But the lines are rarely drawn that distinctly, and typically some overlap will exist. In those instances, you need to consider the technology partner’s sales management processes. Specifically, are CRMs structured to tag channel partner clients and prospects and block cold calls from direct sales? If and when the system fails and a conflict does arise, are clear-cut rules in place to fairly assign the lead owner?

That said, you can piggyback on and benefit from a technology partner’s marketing programs, even when they are primarily focused on direct sales. By generating overall awareness and interest, such initiatives create a rising tide that lifts all boats, and expands the pool of potential buyers.

Highlight Your Value Proposition

While conflict between channel partners and direct sales teams can be managed and mitigated, some level of competition is inherent. As a channel partner, you should therefore focus on what sets you apart, and why a customer should want to buy from you rather than directly from a provider. One differentiator is your technology agnosticism and, relatedly, the broader selection of tools and options at your disposal. For smaller customers who may struggle to get the attention of large tech companies, you can also highlight your established relationships with those companies and ability to navigate internal bureaucracies.

 

Ariel Cruz is vice president of channels at Claro Enterprise Solutions, which provides partners access to emerging digital technologies as well as proven capabilities in traditional products and solutions. It is part of América Móvil, an international provider of integrated telecommunications services, and was known as Telmex USA until it rebranded as Claro in 2018. You may follow Ariel on LinkedIn or @USClaro on Twitter.

Sep 09

MSPs Guide to Cloud App Security & Ransomware Prevention

By | Managed Services News

As MSPs’ clients adopt cloud-based enterprise applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Box™, and Dropbox™, security vigilance is more important than ever. While these applications are delivered in a safe manner, MSPs share the responsibility to secure the content that passes through them.

This guide discusses technologies and considerations when evaluating a cloud app security solution as well as tips on how to mitigate modern ransomware attacks.

Brought to you by: 

Trend Micro

Sep 09

Cloud M&A Ramps Up This Week, Led by Accenture, DigitalOcean

By | Managed Services News

Find out which companies they’re buying, and why.

Cloud M&A kicked up a notch this week, led by Accenture and DigitalOcean.

First, Paris-based Accenture is continuing its acquisitions spree with the intent to purchase Benext. Founded in 2014 and based in France, Benext acts as an independent product consulting company. It specializes in product management, agile coaching, cloud-based development and data science.

Accenture is not sharing financial details around its cloud M&A because the companies it’s buying are privately held. But Accenture did say Benext, if the deal goes through, would bring 160 professionals to its Octo Technology division and expand its Accenture Cloud First capabilities.

Accenture Cloud First's Karthik Narain

Cloud First’s Karthik Narain

Karthik Narain is global lead at Accenture Cloud First. “With many clients ramping up their multicloud environments, the need for new agile operating models and a seamless user experience … has never been greater,” he said. “Acquiring Benext would be a valuable addition to help more clients truly operate in the cloud and become digital enterprises. For clients, this ultimately equates to reaching a tipping point of change and pivoting the entirety of their business toward new opportunities.”

Accenture's Olivier Girard

Accenture’s Olivier Girard

Olivier Girard is market unit lead for Accenture France & Benelux. He said that pairing Benext with Accenture “would bring more specialized skills to fulfill the growing demand for effective product management and agile methods.”

An Alliance of Expertise

David Robert, founder and president of Benext, made a similar observation.

Benext's David Robert

Benext’s David Robert

“We are excited about this opportunity based on our history and [it] would accelerate our strategy,” he said. “The combination of our two organizations’ expertise allied with our deep product management expertise would enable us to take the services offered to our clients to a whole new level. Together, we can help clients reimagine their products, re-engineer their product life cycles and optimize their customers’ experiences.”

Accenture has to consult with “relevant work councils” and adhere to customary closing conditions before it can wrap up this round of cloud M&A.

Speaking of, though, the global consultancy now officially owns Wabion. That’s the Google Cloud services boutique it said in July it would buy. Wabion, founded in 2004, focuses on Europe. It maintains headquarters in Esslingen, Germany and Olten, Switzerland. It runs other offices in Munich, Cologne and Lausanne. Wabion delivers consulting and implementation services for Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace. It also offers integration, development, licensing and training. This plethora of capabilities will augment Accenture’s own competencies and footprint. Wabion has earned premier status with Google Cloud.

Next Up, DigitalOcean

Meanwhile, DigitalOcean — the fast-moving company gaining market share against the Big 3 — yesterday snapped up Nimbella. DigitalOcean focuses on cloud computing for developers. Nimbella delivers a serverless platform. As such, DigitalOcean will expand into the “function-as-a-service” (FaaS) sector.

Apologies for yet another acronym. FaaS is defined by IBM as “a type of cloud-computing service that allows you to execute code in response to events without the complex infrastructure typically associated with building and launching microservices applications.”

DigitalOcean says adding FaaS will give its developers access to a range of capabilities, including IaaS and PaaS. DigitalOcean targets developers in small and medium businesses. But those experts often face challenges when adopting serverless computing. Nimbella was built to overcome those obstacles, the company says, partly because it builds on open-source Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk.

Yancey Spruill is CEO of DigitalOcean.“Serverless computing is the next evolution of cloud that further removes the need for developers to manage complex infrastructure,” he said. “We are excited to have Nimbella join DigitalOcean to address specific needs often requested by our customers and fill a gap in the current serverless offerings in the market. People want to access the benefits of serverless capabilities without a significant learning curve. And they want functionality and pricing that is easy to understand and predictable.”

A Tremendous Opportunity

Anshu Agarwal, CEO of Nimbella, agreed.

“Our mission has been clear since the beginning — to build a serverless platform that unlocks the power and capabilities of the cloud for developers of all skill sets,” he said. “This in turn allows new applications and APIs to be created faster, more securely and more economically. Joining DigitalOcean provides us a tremendous…

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