GFT expands digital transformation services to North America

After successfully expanding into Latin American markets, the German IT services and software engineering company will target the U.S. and Canada; other IT channel news.

GFT, an IT services and software engineering firm based in Stuttgart, Germany, has set its sights on the North American market, where it anticipates exponential growth for its digital transformation services.

The company tapped Marco Santos, GFT's president for the U.S. and Latin America, to lead the North American expansion. He directed an earlier growth campaign in Brazil and other Latin American countries. When he joined GFT in 2011, the company's Brazilian operation was an 80-employee endeavor. As of March 31, 2021, GFT employed 2,483 people in the Americas region, which GFT said represents 38% year-over-year growth.

GFT now looks for a similar growth trajectory in the U.S. and Canada. The company currently employs 300 people in offices in New York, the company's regional headquarters, as well as in Boston, Toronto and Quebec City. Santos said the company's group executive board tasked him to "create a new exponential journey" in North America.

Santos acknowledged his current remit is no simple objective. "I am not naïve -- the U.S. market is the prime league, the most competitive market in the world in terms of IT," he said.

The company's competitive differentiators include agility and scale, Santos said. GFT follows an agile development approach, versus a waterfall methodology, to provide digital transformation services. The company creates a minimum viable product for customers and iterates on top of it. In one example, GFT built a digital rights management platform for One Creation, a technology startup based in New York, using the MVP method and the AWS technology stack.

In addition, the company can draw upon nearshore resources to supplement the local personnel assigned to projects.

GFT, for example, has dedicated more than 400 nearshore engineers, located in Brazil, Costa Rica and other countries, as resources available for North American projects, Santos said. GFT will increase engineering resources and plans to launch nearshore operations in Mexico.

Santos also pointed to GFT's focus in the financial services sector, where the company offers services to retail banking, capital markets and asset management customers, as a differentiator. Open banking has emerged as a key initiative for GFT, he said. Open banking lets third parties develop financial offerings that use APIs to access, with permission, consumers' banking data. GFT helped design the open banking system in Brazil, working with the Brazilian Federation of Banks. The company has also launched a SaaS offering, GFT Open Banking as a Service.

The President Joe Biden administration aims to accelerate open banking in the U.S., Santos said. A White House executive order issued in July encouraged "the portability of consumer financial transaction data so consumers can more easily switch financial institutions and use new, innovative financial products."

GFT, meanwhile, can also wield its relationships with cloud platform vendors as it pursues cloud and digital transformation services projects in North America. GFT has partnerships with AWS, Google and Microsoft, Santos said. The company also plans to boost its relationship with Salesforce in the North American market. Santos cited Salesforce as a major partner for GFT in Latin America.

GFT will also expand its ServiceNow relationship, which Santos said is not as developed as its partnership with Salesforce.

M&A updates

  • Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory acquired Applied Engineering Solution's industrial cybersecurity unit, aeCyberSolutions. The acquired business focuses on industrial control systems and operational technology security. Applied Engineering Solution's other operations, including its engineering business unit, were not part of the transaction. The deal marks Deloitte's latest IT security deal, underscoring the importance of cybersecurity consulting and managed security services in 2021.
  • Accenture continued its M&A strategy, purchasing Lexta, a consulting firm based in Berlin. Accenture also acquired Blue Horseshoe, a supply chain management and strategy consulting firm based in Carmel, Ind. The latter acquisition is yet to close.
  • Pixel Health, a healthcare technology services provider based in Holyoke, Mass., acquired Partner Consulting, a telecommunications consulting firm based in Middlefield, Conn. Partner Consulting, which has customers that include healthcare systems, focuses on areas such as unified communications, mobility and contact centers.
  • Peak Technologies, an outsourced IT and hardware provider of barcoding and data collection offerings based in Columbia, Md., acquired DBK Concepts. The acquired company, which is based in Miami, offers automatic identification and data capture software and repair services.

Other news

  • Accenture designed and developed a computer-aided dispatch system for the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). The FireCAD system replaces the 45-year-old Starfire system. To create the new system, Accenture said it led an interactive design process and workshops with FDNY dispatchers and subject-matter experts. The company also provided systems integration and project management.
  • Canadian e-commerce firm Neon Corp. tapped Aptum, a multi-cloud MSP based in Toronto, to transition its IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure. Aptum provided its Azure Design & Build, Azure Managed Services and Aptum Managed Web Application Firewall offerings.
  • Alkymi, a data workflow automation company based in New York, partnered with GCS Group, InfoGrate and Zen & Art to co-develop offerings for industry segments within the financial services, real estate and insurance verticals.
  • Nozomi Networks, an operational technology and IoT security company based in San Francisco, launched its managed security software provider Elite Program. Partners participating in the program include Accenture, FireEye Mandiant, Moro Hub and Telefónica.
  • Megaport, a network-as-a-service provider based in Brisbane, Australia, unveiled a partner program for data center operators, MSPs, VARs, systems integrators and agents. The Megaport PartnerVantage program includes a partner relationship management platform through which partners can manage customer engagement. Other features include sales support with assigned partner account managers, on-demand training modules and partner marketing support.

Executive appointments

  • Justin Endres joined backup and recovery vendor HYCU as senior vice president of global sales. He was previously chief revenue officer at ActivTrak. Endres plans to build out the company's channel and partner community around MSPs and management security services providers in the third quarter, according to a company spokesperson.
  • Hyland, a content services provider based in Cleveland, appointed Bob Dunn as vice president of global partner programs. Dunn was previously Hyland's vice president, international.
  • Upstack, a web platform that sells cloud services through sales agents, hired Nicholas Caruso as head of global channels and alliances. Caruso joined Upstack from Zayo Group, where he was head of global channels and partnerships.
  • Mitsumi Distribution named Mathew Thomas as president. Thomas, who joins the IT distributor from Hewlett Packard Middle East, will be responsible for managing partnerships and overseeing operations across the Middle East and Africa.

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