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The growth of a global powerhouse

The growth of a global powerhouse

According to Bob Pryor, CEO of NTT DATA Services, his company is moving forward with immense potential after recent acquisitions.

When Bob Pryor considers the immense potential of NTT DATA Services, the company he took over as CEO in July, he looks at the recent acquisition of Dell Services as a key example of the talent, offerings, and capabilities at its disposal.

Prior to becoming CEO, Pryor was charged with overseeing the integration process of the acquisition, which involved 40-plus countries, a thousand digital apps, 1,600 data circuits, and nine major data centers around the world. Yet he believes that what has emerged is a company with the ability not only to compete in its marketspace but also be at the very forefront of a rapidly evolving the IT industry.

“When I joined, John McCain was CEO at the time,” Pryor recalls. “I worked as an advisor for a couple of months, helping on the transaction and later becoming Chief Integration Officer. I think that the team, the culture, the values, the way we engage with our clients, our partners, and each other puts us in a class all by itself.”

NTT DATA Corporation, the parent company of NTT DATA Services, is a global business and IT services provider, which began life as the IT services arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, or NTT. Today it is the largest IT services company in Japan as well as a Top 10 services provider globally.

A publicly traded company, which is 54% owned by NTT, NTT DATA boasted global revenue of $19 billion in FY2017. NTT DATA Services, the largest division of NTT DATA Corporation, is headquartered in North America and is a key element in the company’s plan to generate more than half of its revenue outside of Japan.

NTT DATA has made many strategic acquisitions in the last five years. Yet Pryor believes the acquisition of Dell Services, which closed in November 2016, could help push NTT DATA into the top five of global services providers.

“We have brought on a lot of companies, but the Dell Services acquisition was an incredibly intricate carve-out and we only had 22 months to do it. It’s one of the largest and most complex M&A transactions that’s been done in our industry. I’m incredibly proud of that and want to build on it.”

A company with global scale

Pryor describes his personal vision of NTT DATA Services as a sizable player with enough scale to deliver system integration services for any company in the world, yet one that is still small enough to be intimate with its clients and understand their requirements amid the ongoing move from historic legacy environments to the cloud and digital applications.

“We are developing some tremendous capabilities and offerings in the digital world and a lot of them are predicated on how you help clients move from an on-premise world to a cloud or subscription model. Helping clients imagine and realize the business value of those transitions is the world we live in as consultants and system integrators, and then managing those environments is the world we live in as operators.”

Having now completed what he describes as the first two phases of the integration process—integration and stabilization—Pryor believes that the company is now ready to proceed to the third: growth. “In the next few years I see us growing at or above market, and if we’re growing in this industry, we’re basically growing at a competitor’s expense. I love to see the wins and successes we’re having against some of the world’s best, many of which are pretty entrenched in the clients that we want to grow with.”

Rather than trying to be all things to all people, NTT DATA Services focuses on offering services to four major industry groups: banking, financial services and insurance is one, healthcare and life sciences is another, as well as the manufacturing/commercial and the public sector. In this aspect as well, the Dell Services acquisition was incredibly opportune.

“The acquisition—among other things—gave us one of the largest, if not the largest, healthcare and life sciences groups in the US and North America. Our view, first and foremost— and we’ve had this for a long time—is that as a services company we are committed to serving our clients and the industries they represent.”

A culture to lead

Pryor insists that the company culture at NTT— from its Japanese-influenced approach to planning to the way the corporation enjoys an advantageous ecosystem consisting of fellow NTT Group members, key long-term allies, and more recent partnerships—is also crucial to this performance.

The company includes such players as Dimension Data, Everis, NTT Communications, and NTT Security, while NTT DATA has had longstanding strategic alliances with the likes of SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IPsoft, UiPath, and Cisco.

More recently, NTT DATA Services has forged partnerships with newer players in the industry, such as Pivotal, a software and services company that rewires legacy apps into cloud-native apps, and IPsoft, which NTT Communications has worked closely with over the past year in activities such as automating call centers or claims processing for insurance companies.

“I’ve worked for many companies headquartered in different countries, and the Japanese heritage is the most unique and one of the only ones that doesn’t pit everyone against each other in a zero-sum game, especially in terms of profit and loss. Their patience and willingness to invest is incredibly critical to who we are culturally, how we innovate for our clients, and how we work together in a very respectful way.”

Pryor points to a current project that NTT DATA Services is working on side by side with NTT Communications, Dell Technologies, and Dimension Data to design a proof of concept for a smart-city model for Las Vegas, taking into account crowd safety, logistics, transportation, traffic optimization, and emergency service capabilities.

Pryor views it as an example of the immense opportunities that lie ahead for NTT DATA Services to drive similarly innovative projects.

“I love the company we’re a part of. Many of us have worked together for two or three decades. Many of us started our careers together. But when I look at the culture, the values— what comes to mind is teamwork, a client-first approach, and foresight. Foresight means, how do we create new insights for clients? How do we bring innovative capabilities to them?

“All things being equal, clients want to work with people they respect, trust, admire, and feel they can partner with. I think we’re that company. At NTT DATA, we focus 100% on our clients’ businesses and the outcomes they are trying to achieve. We value being both respected by and relevant to them. It’s one thing to be liked, it’s another to truly have an impact on our clients’ successes.”