US IT services company CSC has been quiet in the UK, but with a new team in place, partnerships set up and technology acquisitions completed, it is targeting growth in the private sector.
CSC generated global revenues worth about $12bn in 2013, split almost equally between the public and private sectors.
Unfortunately for the company, however, it is probably best known in the UK for a failed IT project.
CSC wrote off the entire $1.5bn it had invested in the troubled National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which was dismantled at the end of 2011. Its contract to provide electronic patient records systems was troubled by a series of missed milestones.
Despite this, healthcare is one of CSC's strongest businesses in the UK. For example, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust recently replaced its patient administration system (PAS) with a CSC Lorenzo PAS.
In the private sector, recent customers include defence industry manufacturer Selex ES, which has moved SAP to the cloud with CSC; Specsavers, which has moved applications to the CSC cloud; and Autoglass, where CSC centralised delivery in the UK and reduced the number of systems the company used.
The man charged with leading the UK for CSC is former Cognizant UK head Sanjiv Gossain. He admitted the firm has been quiet: “We have been keeping our heads down and getting the job done.”
CSC has about 6,500 of its 80,000 staff based in the UK.
While the company’s customer portfolio is evenly split between the public and private sectors, Gossain said it is the private sector where he predicts growth.
Further, the company recognises one of its best assets is its long relationship with corporate customers, he said. To this end, CSC offers him a different challenge to his previous role.
At Cognizant, which has most of its staff in India, it was about winning new business and getting the company's name on corporate IT buyer lists. However, CSC is an old-timer with relationships with the world’s biggest businesses already in place.
Working with existing customers
To expand the business, CSC wants to do more with existing customers and has been building the capabilities needed to do this through partnerships and acquisitions.
“We are so integrated with our partners that they almost become part of CSC,” said Gossain.
An example of this partnering strategy is CSC’s work with Indian IT services firm HCL Technologies, which has included winning business in the application-modernisation and cloud-migration segments of the application-outsourcing sector.
The companies are opening delivery centres, initially in Bangalore and Chennai, that will support the migration of business applications to the cloud. The partnership is building vertical-market expertise, beginning with the finance sector with a banking centre of excellence.
CSC has also made recent acquisitions to add to its services portfolio. These include ServiceMesh, which has technology for moving applications to the cloud; Infochimps, which provides big data software; and software-testing firm Applabs.
Rebuilding confidence vital to growth
The company has a clear plan and, according to experts, it needs to rebuild confidence with CIOs.
Outsourcing consultant Jean-Louis Bravard said CSC has a lot to do and must rebuild after the damage caused by the NHS project.
Bravard said CSC tried to bring its US model to Europe but was not successful. However, he does believe CSC could do well in cloud computing, with industrial cloud services that large businesses would be happy to use.
“A few years ago CSC were ahead in cloud computing and actually had services they could deliver, while other companies were just talking about it and drawing diagrams for customers.”