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Cognizant Acquires to Scale Up & Specialize Salesforce Services


We recently talked to Cognizant about two planned Salesforce-related acquisitions: Code Zero and EI Technologies, which the company announced in Q1 2020.

Cognizant Strengthens Specialized Billing Capabilities with Code Zero

Code Zero is a U.S. Salesforce CPQ and billing specialist with experience in providing services to manufacturing firms expanding their business from selling products to commercializing subscriptions. It has developed several accelerators in the form of SAP and Oracle Ebusiness Suite connectors. Code Zero brings in an estimated 60 personnel, most of whom are based in one of two primary locations: Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC.

For Cognizant, Code Zero expands capabilities it acquired in 2018 with ATG, a larger CPQ and billing specialist. Created in 2000, ATG initially serviced the communication service provider industry, providing complex services involving integration with multiple applications. In 2010, ATG expanded its target sectors to the manufacturing and high-tech sectors, helping clients transition to subscription-based and recurring revenues. ATG had developed connectors with ERP applications, a recent addition being a Netsuite integration tool for high-tech clients. The company also offers services around migrating data to CPQ and billing and post-implementation managed services such as application enhancements, training, and new Salesforce feature adoption.

The addition of Code Zero brings to ATG a complementary geographical presence with offices in Kansas City and Saint-Louis, MI, St. Louis and Missoula, MT, and Cincinnati, OH. NelsonHall estimates the combined headcount at around 375.

Looking ahead, ATG wants to deploy at Code Zero its methodology and dashboard for monitoring the health of engagements with clients, and also align with its project discipline. ATG is Cognizant’s CPQ and billing CoE, and Cognizant intends to leverage ATG to expand its capabilities organically in India and also in Barcelona, Spain.

With EI Tech, Cognizant Increases its Salesforce European Onshore Presence by 50%

Cognizant also announced earlier this year its intended acquisition of the domestic operations of French Salesforce service vendor EI Technologies. Where Code Zero has brought in specialized skills, EI Technologies will very significantly strengthen the European Salesforce services presence of Cognizant, particularly in France. NelsonHall estimates the pending acquisition will increase Cognizant’s onshore Salesforce services presence by over 50%, adding around 350 personnel based across France’s three largest cities: Paris, Lyon, and Marseille.

EI Technologies has capabilities in Sales, Services, and Community Clouds, taking an agile and iterative approach to projects. Its client base is primarily drawn from the manufacturing/CPG, retail, and insurance sectors. The company has developed several IPs, including accelerators for deploying Sales and Community Clouds, and templates for the insurance and retail industries. Cognizant highlights also the AppExchange understanding that EI Technologies has developed, navigating across Salesforce’s ISV partners and selecting the right solutions for clients.

EI Technologies has two other assets:

Cognizant Continues to Acquire With Lev

Cognizant continues to acquire Salesforce capabilities, announcing last month its acquisition of Lev, an Indianapolis-headquartered firm that brings in specializations in Marketing Cloud. Lev is a significant firm with 200 employees.

In total, Cognizant has acquired ~650 Salesforce services employees, showing confidence in the resiliency of the Salesforce ecosystem, despite the pending global economic recession.

NelsonHall is seeing, as one of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a short-term delay in Salesforce projects. Nevertheless, Salesforce is at the center of digital retail and marketing programs and our global survey of over 1,000 organizations indicates that in the mid-term these will be less impacted than other types of program; and the pandemic is clearly accelerating the move to cloud. Cognizant’s strategic rationale for scaling up and specializing its Salesforce expertise remains valid.

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