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IBM/PwC Consulting: What the analysts are saying

The proposed $3.5bn (£2.2bn) acquisition of PwC Consulting by IBM promises to result in IBM developing a strong strategic consulting business to complement its strengths within the Global Services division. But existing PwC Consulting clients need to take particular note of how PwC's relationships with IBM rivals develop.

Forrester Research
PwC Consulting has strategic partnerships that do not fit in with IBM's strategy, such as its relationships with EDS, BEA and HP. IBM would hope users eventually switch to IBM systems. PwC clients using non-IBM technology or services face the prospect of putting a contract to tender mid-way through a development.

Gartner
Clients should not expect many delivery changes before the deal closes, but they should discuss contracts and service levels where PwC Consulting is paired with IBM's closest competitors such as EDS or Hewlett-Packard. PwC Consulting has many alliances, and the deal could strain some of them.

Meta Group
Existing clients of IBM BIS and/or PwC Consulting should keep a sharp eye on their consultants to see how the politics of the merger evolve. Project delivery should be monitored carefully, because executive attention will, by necessity, focus on the details of integrating the acquisition.

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