The unlikely marriage between IT hardware suppliers and IT service providers was probably hard to fathom a few years ago. But today it is common practice.
We all know about the take-over of EDS by HP and Dell's acquisition of Perot Systems is also well documented. There is an argument that these companies are turning outsourcing into a commodity.
But the rabbit in the European IT services hat could be the Xerox and ACL tie up. ACL does not have a large footprint in Europe, but Xerox does.
The interesting thing for me is that Xerox has a large footprint in the SME market as well as the corporate sector.
Xerox wants to be a giant of document and business process outsourcing. It plans to grow its sales by leveraging its brand and customer base to boost ACS's business in Europe, Asia and South America.
A contact in the outsourcing sector I met up with last week thinks it has the right brand to do this in Europe. It also has a good opportunity in the SME market which is hard to serve for the traditionally corporate focussed suppliers. Mind you Dell/Perot would say the same thing.