CEOs of Capgemini and RXP on their joining of forces

07 December 2020 3 min. read
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Slow, steady yet ambitious: weeks after Capgemini announced its move to acquire creative digital consultancy RXP, leaders at the two firms have revealed their plans to take on the Big Four in Australia & New Zealand (ANZ).

The deal is yet to be finalised, as ASX-listed RXP works through shareholder approval processes. In the mean time, Capgemini ANZ CEO Olaf Pietschner and RXP CEO Ross Fielding spoke to analytical publication Mi-3 about plans for the future of the combined entity, discussing concerns and ambitions.

The synergy is plain to see on paper. Capgemini is a French-origin global technology services firm gaining ground ground in Australia and New Zealand, while RXP is a rapidly growing local firm – from a team of six in 2010 to a team of 560. For Pietschner, who took the reins of Capgemini ANZ two years ago, the move puts Capgemini’s regional practice on the global map.

Olaf Pietschner and Ross Fielding - Capgemini and RXP

“We’re really focused on changing the scale of Capgemini in Australia and New Zealand – and this is a significant building block for us. Our ambition is to build up the presence of Capgemini in Asia Pacific and remain a key growth engine for the group, in particular in Australia. RXP enables us to use insights, design and tech to create … sustainable futures for our clients.”

RXP has notable ServiceNow and Microsoft expertise, while its customer relationship management (CRM) offering could make Capgemini among the largest Salesforce partners in ANZ. And the acquisition is not just a technology upgrade. In 2018, RXP added a new dimension to its service offerings by acquiring creative digital agency The Works – a specialist in brand, design and customer experience.

“Our logic was making sure that we didn’t just stay technologists, that we broadened ourselves – because there is plenty of money spent in business strategy, branding, branding strategy and the whole people-focused experience. And that's what we've done,” said Fielding, explaining the move to acquire The Works.

Two years later, the 2018 acquisition might just have been the X-factor that allured Capgemini. “We already have a customer experience capability, but certainly the interactions and the level of engagement that The Works has with CMOs, alongside the brand The Works has [built] will lift our game.”

Aiming high

No doubt, a versatile offering can provide a competitive edge. At the same time, Pietschner is weary of expanding too much and spreading the firm too thin. Instead, the strategy going forth is to double down on existing specialisations and unique value propositions.

According to Fielding, RXP’s “three E” approach – expression, experience, enablement – provides the customer-centric and people-first approach that was already gaining traction before this year, and has become all the more coveted during the pandemic. “There's no point in technology for technology sake. If it doesn't back up your brand and the experience you deliver, there's no point doing it.”

With this unique approach and a newly bolstered offering, Fiedling suggests the next step is to fight the Big Four for some of their expanding market share. “ The deal means we can hold our own to the point where maybe we're seen as an incumbent – and some of these others that you refer to as the ‘Big Four' become an alternative to us, and not the other way around. It sure puts us in a new space, no doubt.”

Pietschner agrees, noting that Capgemini had been “underweight” in its ANZ offering so far, although this will certainly be different following the addition of RXP. It remains to be seen whether RXP will act as an independent entity or under the Capgemini umbrella, all of which will come to light as the deal is finalised.