Skills shortage: IT services vendors compete for U.K. SAP services market share

As SAP pursues a growth strategy through existing and new accounts, the U.K. market is seeing a rising demand for SAP services. Identifying major opportunities in this space, which is further fuelled by the lack of related IT skills, leading IT services players are ramping up their SAP capabilities.


According to a report from Pierre Audoin Consultants , a European market research and consulting firm for the software and IT services industry, the three leading players in the SAP services market, by far, are IBM , Accenture , and SAP itself with a combined market share of approximately 25 percent. However, it was Axon and TCS that demonstrated most growth (double-digits)—significantly higher than that of their larger competitors.
Recognising the growth opportunities, other players want part of the action. For instance, EDS is expanding its global SAP application-based consulting practice with the aim to enhance its existing capabilities and bring end-to-end SAP consulting and systems integration to the market by Q1 2008.
Adding to the market dynamics, Indian players also are pushing hard for sales in this area, perceiving the SAP skills shortage as an opportunity to grow their U.K. business. TCS and Wipro are the leading Indian SAP global services partners, although at present Wipro has very little presence in the U.K. SAP services space. While Infosys has a relatively young SAP services practice, the vendor possesses a strong consulting arm that its Indian peers lack.
Recruitment firms also are benefiting from the skills shortage in the U.K., facing increased demand for SAP contract staff. For instance, Spring and Elan Computing were both in the top 20 ranking for leading SAP services providers.
Areas of anticipated growth in the market include upgrades—e.g. to SAP ERP 6.0, NetWeaver, and business intelligence.

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