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Syntel launches 'Syntel Digital One' to focus on SMAC

Thursday, 24 April 2014 - 7:55am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Expected to help company wins more deals by offering cross-industry emerging technologies to clients

Nasdaq-listed software services firm, Syntel has launched a new cross-industry service line called Syntel Digital One. The new entity will consolidate Syntel's existing digital enterprise services, including enterprise mobility, cloud computing, big data analytics, social media and Internet of Things, enabling the company's clients to transform into future-ready digital enterprises.

As per Syntel's management, all its top 30 clients today use social, mobility, analytics, cloud, big data (SMAC) in some form or another, but there was a need for a single platform delivering these multiple solutions. Thus, Syntel devised this new service line, for which it will be setting aside a sizeable investment in employees as well as plugging gaps in its offering by tying up with new partners or going in for an acquisition, especially in the cloud, mobile transactions, social media, and analytics and third-party intellectual property products space. Besides new partners, Syntel's existing partners include the likes of Jasper and Pega, Cisco and Microsoft.

Speaking to dna about how this offering will help Syntel differentiate from its other top IT peers, all of whom are now upping their investment on digital technology, Prashant Ranade, executive vice chairman, Syntel said, "Clients are confronted with a sea change of technology and their ability to look at not just individual technology, but combine all these technologies to have a common offering is important. For a company like us, then, it is not just a question of how one displays these ever-evolving technologies, but how one can enable clients to do things cheaper, faster, smarter, and that's what this offering is all about."

He continued, "Besides, we believe our industry is fragmented, and so even though all players have similar offerings, it is our flexibility, innovation, and our focus on these technologies to find a solutions that is relevant to clients in improving time to market while reducing cost and increase revenue is what will differentiate us from our peers."

Nitin Rakesh, new president and CEO, Syntel, believes there is huge scope for these technologies going forward, and the new service line is the right way to capture it.

"Disruptive technologies are now coming into businesses that are 100 years old, and our ability to offer digital technology along with traditional offerings in this unique manner will differentiate us from our peers,' he said.

Syntel's peers, like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra are all actively focused on SMAC.

While Cognizant acquired a new video solutions company, Itaas on Tuesday, TCS said that SMAC will be a $3-5 million opportunity in the next three years, and Infosys has set aside $500 million towards developing SMAC. Wipro is also actively focused on automation and the Internet of Things, while HCLT is actively seeing digital technologies driving its major deal wins.

For Syntel, focus area for these new technologies would be its key markets of North America and Europe, and from India, which is more of a delivery market with 80% of the company's headcount. Ranade says Syntel will only go after specific deals in areas like cards and payments, insurance, and retail.

Syntel which last week reported a first quarter net profit of 25% at $58.1 million, and a 16% rise in revenues year-on-year to $219.5 million, is also looking at geographical expansion in its key growth markets. According to Rakesh, "We are looking at opening new delivery centres in North America or Eastern Europe or North Eastern Canada – depending on client demand and capability need."

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