IDC has analyzed the largest European solution services players on their opportunity alignment and ability to gain share in the Western European SCM, CRM, and overall business solution services market in a series of three studies. The studies present IDC's 2004 Leadership Grids for each of the three segments, as well as 2003 market shares. In order to position the vendors on the IDC Leadership Grid, IDC has estimated each vendor's opportunity alignment and ability to gain share. The studies discuss each vendor's position, with strengths and weaknesses according to IDC's criteria.
To separate leaders from followers, IDC has assessed many criteria, including completeness of solution services offerings, completeness of total services offerings, market momentum, brand, and geographical spread. In order to assess a company's ability to gain share, IDC also has paid special attention to management focus, innovation, and pursuit capabilities. The top 20 solution service providers represent around 60% of the total solution services market in Western Europe and consist of a mixture of large multinational firms and more local or regional firms with a strong domestic customer base. This shows that there is not one set recipe for success in the solution services market.
IBM Global Services is the European solution services leader, closely followed by Accenture and with Capgemini in third place. "All vendors need to innovate and develop solutions that cover the specific needs of the particular market segments that they target. However, more is required to win large, multinational deals. IDC strongly recommends that vendors also invest in real thought leadership, and pursuit capabilities also require special attention. Good, aggressive sales people and a company's ability to come up with creative offerings cannot be underestimated. A vendor that takes initiatives in offering realistic risk/reward sharing has an advantage, financing options may make a difference, and bringing in the right partner for specific deliverables may also give a vendor the edge," said Erik Bruin, research manager, European Services. Marianne Kolding, research director, European Services, added: "Solution services are increasingly delivered in larger outsourcing engagements, and vendors need access to this delivery model as a consequence. Last, but not least, vendors should not stick their heads in the sand when it comes to addressing the offshore issue. This last factor is not a passing fad but a structural change that must be dealt with in order to be successful in the future."