Microsoft, Capgemini bolster alliance

Microsoft and services company Capgemini have bolstered their seven-year alliance with a US$50 (AU$68.2) million investment designed to sell more software and services to customers in several industries, the companies announced.

The money is being used to create product and services bundles based on Microsoft's Windows Server System products, the .Net platform and Capgemini's services. The bundles, some of which are already available, are aimed at organizations in health care, energy, chemicals, utilities, automotive, manufacturing, retail and the public sector, Microsoft and Capgemini said.

Specific bundles include offerings to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, as well as revenue cycle management, ERP (enterprise resource planning) migrations, enterprise portals, sales force mobility and service parts management, the companies said.

"The way consulting used to be sold is, clients would hire us to solve every business problem in a custom way. They don't want to do that anymore. Clients want consultants to know a proven way to solve their problems ahead of time," said Deanne Handron, senior vice president and global alliance leader at Capgemini.

"By teaming with Microsoft to use software that solves those problems, we can invest to solve the problem ahead of time and go sell it over and over and over to the clients," Handron said.

Part of the investment is also being used to train Capgemini architects, developers and consultants worldwide on new Microsoft products as well as on joint marketing, Microsoft and Capgemini said.

Capgemini is a global services powerhouse with US$7.1 billion (AU$9.7) in revenue last year. The company has more than 4,000 people trained on Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft works with many systems integrators to compete with IBM, which has its own global services organization. Capgemini is one of its biggest partners and the relationship around vertically focused bundles is unprecedented, said Simon Witts, corporate vice president of the Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft.

"We have had a few examples in the past around our industry solutions maps where we have done some joint solutions, but not to this extent," Witts said.

However, the relationship with Capgemini is not exclusive.

"There are a lot of corners to the market and we try and pick where there is true capability. I think gone are the days when any system integrator could sound good on all technologies, on all corners of the market or on all corners of the globe," Witts said.

The partnership between Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, and Paris-based Capgemini has generated more than US$2 (AU$2.7) billion in sales of Microsoft-based products and services since its formation in 1997, according to Microsoft and Capgemini.

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