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NTT DATA to Acquire Apisero to Double its Salesforce Practice


We recently talked to NTT DATA about its pending acquisition of Apisero, announced last month.

NTT DATA has been through significant changes recently with its merger with NTT Ltd. NTT Ltd. grouped a wide range of network and connectivity services, hardware and related services, data center hosting, IT infrastructure services, and resales. The resulting NTT DATA is now a giant with revenues of ¥3.5tn (~$26.2bn) and 180k personnel, larger than Fujitsu’s Services unit. NTT DATA has largely unified its brands over the years while maintaining the NTT DATA Services brand for its North American operations.

The company continues its M&A activity, with Apisero bringing scale in digital and cloud. Apisero is a MuleSoft and Salesforce consulting partner headquartered in Chandler, AZ, with additional offices in Vancouver, Strathfield, Barcelona, Dubai, and India. The company services U.S. mid-sized firms and has approximately 2,000 specialists, including around 1,500 MuleSoft practitioners and around 500 Salesforce consultants. Apisero has an India-centric delivery model, with 90% of its employees based in India (in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Guwahati, or Chennai). NTT DATA highlights that Apisero is enjoying very strong growth (NelsonHall estimates around 30% topline growth), outgrowing even Salesforce, which continues to benefit from robust market demand. In its latest quarter, Salesforce reached the same revenues as SAP.

Apisero is a strategic acquisition for NTT DATA as it will almost double its size in the key Salesforce service market. We estimate that the combined Apisero NTT DATA will have around 5,000 Salesforce practitioners (including MuleSoft) globally: Apisero will definitively place NTT DATA among Salesforce’s largest partners.

Apisero will also significantly strengthen NTT DATA’s capabilities in MuleSoft’s API-based integration niche. Salesforce has positioned MuleSoft as the glue for integrating its Cloud products, especially around Customer 360, aggregating customer data from Salesforce and external applications. And, of course, MuleSoft continues to expand outside the Salesforce ecosystem. While Apisero will bring mostly professional services to NTT DATA, it also has several MuleSoft-certified connectors for ISVs, whether significant SAP Hybris and Splunk or niche, Redox (EHR) and Metrc (marijuana industry).

A Game-Changer for NTT DATA in North America and India

More broadly, Apisero will be a game changer for NTT DATA in North America. It will quadruple its headcount in North America/India to around 2,700 and rebalance NTT DATA’s delivery network to India, primarily around MuleSoft.

Finally, Apisero will bring to NTT DATA North America around 500 Salesforce consultants, primarily around Sales Cloud. Even though Sales Cloud is one of the more mature Salesforce products, it has continued to enjoy 15-20% organic growth. Its potential remains important, including in the SME sector.

A Recruitment Engine

NTT DATA’s short-term priority is to let Apisero continue with its high growth and disseminate Apisero’s best practices across the group. In one example, Apisero will bring in an automated and structured recruitment and upskilling engine primarily in India, which will help NTT DATA to scale up faster.

NTT DATA shows the offshoring potential for MuleSoft’s technical activities; the company is looking to expand from the U.S. and sell MuleSoft offshore services to its client base globally.

Meanwhile, NTT DATA continues to be busy with its existing Salesforce capabilities. It recently benefited from integrating NTT Ltd.’s operations, which brought a Salesforce service business in South Africa through the legacy Dimension Data.

NTT DATA will now need to digest its recent acquisitions: expect to see a pause in M&A activity while it focuses on sharing best practices, offerings, and its delivery organization across the Salesforce practice in its various geographies.

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