The Exchange

Strength in Numbers


Propelled by the demands of nonstop technology breakthroughs, Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC) is building strategic global alliance partnerships with other leading technology firms to help its clients transform their businesses. CSC Global Alliances Vice President Bob McCormick talks about how the company is collaborating with industry heavyweights like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), Hitachi Data Systems and SAP (NYSE: SAP) to help businesses see around corners that they didn’t know were there.

Alliances and partnerships in the business solutions space are being seen more often than ever. What’s driving this development and the need for an ecosystem?
Bob McCormick: For CSC, two things top our list of reasons: One, we want to extend our reach and offerings in the marketplace. Two, our customers are demanding transformational change in their own environment, and in the ways that they work with companies like CSC.

The shifts in new technology have placed increased pressure on our clients, and have added a greater sense of urgency to partner, because nobody can do it alone. So they need partnerships that matter. That’s why we have evolved into a services integrator, while staying true to our DNA of being technology-independent and vendor-agnostic.

Our clients look to us to help them build a technology roadmap. For instance, if they are working with five of our partners, CSC brings them all together to work as one. This is extremely valuable for the client and an important differentiator for CSC.

CSC's Bob McCormick on the age of technology partnerships

In order to grow beyond relationships into true alliances, how have you transformed CSC?
We started by identifying eight transformational business segments we wanted to focus on. These included emerging fields like digital insurance, digital health and digital banking.

Then we looked at the more than 300 companies we regularly work with to define which ones were most critical to our clients and to our own business. The process involved mapping each one against our offerings, our intellectual property and our lines of business. We also defined a common set of rules of engagement that cover all aspects of each relationship, including mutual investments, joint strategy, with a collaborative go-to-market plan targeting key growth objectives.

We identified 13 critical partnerships, and then sat down with those companies to identify more opportunities for each other. By focusing on these alliances, we were able to make them truly global, with solutions that we identified as being fundamental in all industries. Those discussions were eye-opening, to say the least. They led us to change the way that CSC is organized.

How did you restructure your organization?
We’ve taken our partner facing strategy group, where we had a hierarchical organization of 50 people, and integrated it into our 13 essential alliances, getting them closer to the clients. Within each alliance team, we have a single leader who is responsible for overseeing the cadence, governance and performance of the relationship across all of CSC.

How do the strategic alliances work at CSC? Aren’t some of your partners also competitors?
Yes, at different times or from different organizations within our alliances, you may find a group that is actually our competitor. One example would be IBM (NYSE: IBM), where we have an amazing alliance, yet from a global business services standpoint, it is also a competitor. But you will also find that we use its technology platforms, hardware and software in many offerings in market today.

To get this partnership started, we arranged an offsite meeting among the CEOs and key line-of-business executives from both companies, where we engaged in an in-depth strategic partnership discussion.

There was a process and a degree of sensitivity involved. We asked IBM: “Where are the gaps in our strategies? Where can we complement one another? And where do we have overlaps, so we leave them off the table?” That became a best practice, and we used that same methodology across our other strategic alliances as a way forward.

Another example of collaborating with our sometime rivals is HCL Technology, whom we compete with in the infrastructure space. But together we’ve built a joint banking venture, with a center in India, devoted to modernizing apps for the cloud.

“The shifts in new technology have placed increased pressure on our clients, and have added a greater sense of urgency to partner, because nobody can do it alone. So they need partnerships that matter.”

Can you talk about how the alliances drive new business?
One notable success in this regard is the CSC Agility Platform™. It’s our cloud orchestration platform. We took it into the lab with AT&T (NYSE: T) and created an API to AT&T NetBond™ that led us to co-develop a client solution that is unrivaled in the marketplace. This was a great collaboration from day one. We worked together at the R&D stage, then combined our unique capabilities to create a seamless offering in the market that nobody else has. We took that integrated product to market together, and our first client win was a large financial institution.

Can you give an example of how the alliance partner strategy helps clients adapt to, and stay ahead of, emerging technological changes?
BAE Systems comes to mind. It’s a very large global defense, aerospace and security company, and it’s undergoing its own transformation. We were renegotiating a large outsourcing contract with them. During that process, they learned about our partner ecosystem, and immediately saw the potential capabilities and efficiencies presented by those alliances.

The discussions with BAE about our alliances led to significant new business and positive results for clients. But more than that, it led us to add BAE as a partner. It was so impressed with our partnering structure that it is bringing us into its own partner ecosystem to sell some of BAE’s cyber-security licenses.

That kind of success is only possible if you can deliver a seamless experience to your clients, especially with multiple alliances brought to bear on their solution, that drives immediate business value. If you can actually help them see around the corners, they are going to want to do more with you.

Selected Quotes - CSC Alliance Partners

“AT&T and CSC are helping global businesses shape a new path to innovation and move more quickly with high-performance, competitively priced and highly secure network services. Our solutions combine CSC’s cloud services, specialized consulting capabilities and applications expertise with highly secure network and cloud integration services from AT&T. The goal is to give global businesses a new path to innovation and the ability to move quickly and confidently with an AT&T CSC strategy that ensures they are part of the team” - Steve Caniano, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, AT&T

• Read more about the CSC and AT&T alliance.

“The CSC and IBM alliance links two global information technology and services leaders in cooperative development, training and go-to-market programs. We have aligned business objectives and bring clients incredible depth and breadth of enterprise digital transformation experience. Drawing on IBM’s leadership in cloud and cognitive computing and CSC’s deep technology and industry expertise, together we help our clients address critical and complex challenges, and drive business transformation to achieve tangible, measurable results.” - Buell Duncan, Vice President, Portfolio Marketing, IBM

• Read more about the CSC and IBM alliance.

“Enterprise customers have differentiated requirements when migrating into and operating workloads in the cloud. They rely on CSC services built on the underlying AWS infrastructure and services, including AWS Database Migration Service, AWS Direct Connect, and AWS Import/Export Snowball, to help them both embrace the journey to the cloud and provide managed services. By leveraging the strength of our alliance, we power our customers’ objectives: to bring greater agility and flexibility to drive their digital transformation, thus empowering enterprise customers to manage their businesses more efficiently, securely and on a global scale.” - Chris Niederman, General Manager of Worldwide Strategic Alliances at Amazon Web Services, Inc.

• Read more about the CSC and AWS alliance.