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Genpact Acquires TandemSeven, Adding Human-Centered Design IP & Consulting to Digital Transformation Capabilities

Genpact announced another acquisition today, that of TandemSeven, a design thinking (DT)-led CX /UX innovation consultancy based in Boston, with offices also in New York and Chicago. This is Genpact’s fourth acquisition in the U.S. this year; all four clearly supporting the company's drive to radically evolve its portfolio from traditional BPS to a coherent set of offerings designed to help enterprises in their operational digital transformation. What distinguishes TandemSeven from other recent acquisitions is that the primary capability it brings in is not software nor domain-specific BPS, but consulting & methodology.

Quick Overview of TandemSeven

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at TandemSeven, then how its capabilities will align with Genpact’s ‘Lean Digital’ positioning:

  • Size: the firm has 65 associates, located between Boston and New York
  • Client base: large U.S. enterprises, with many engagements in BFS sectors, particularly capital markets. Client references include LeggMason, Risk Management Solutions (RMS), APAX Partners. It has also worked in B2C sectors such as utilities, air travel, automotive
  • The work: TandemSeven’s focus areas cover B2E and B2B as well as B2C process areas, with quite a lot of its engagements having looked at support functions. For example, for Legg Mason, TandemSeven designed a new global Intranet for its employees; and in an engagement with an investment banking firm, the focus was on the reimagination of the UX of staff in the middle office supporting the traders in the front office. This aligns with Genpact’s focus on transforming enterprises’ middle and back office activities
  • The IP: TandemSeven’s consultants are supported by a platform for standardizing human-centered design. TandemSeven’s ‘UX360’ platform is a key differentiator for the company relative to other design agencies which formalizes the collection of research with customer journey mapping & modeling, and integrates these with task modeling and alignment with developers in an agile environment. It consists of a set of tools for persona modeling, customer journey mapping and task modeling with a research repository for KM which creates a System of Record for each project as well as providing linkages with agile development platforms.

Genpact’s ‘Lean Digital’ framework combines the operations view of Lean processing, DT, and digital tools to fundamentally re-architect business processes. TandemSeven provides a key building block here by enhancing Genpact’s consulting capabilities and frameworks in human-centered design, an essential element in digitalizing processes across the organization.   

TandemSeven Becomes Part of and Enhances Genpact’s Digital Solutions Unit

Genpact’s Board is fully aware that TandemSeven will be culturally different from Genpact’s BPS core operations and is accordingly adopting a careful approach to its integration. The firm’s head of consulting and head of sales will report to the head of Genpact’s Digital Solutions practice, who is also based on the U.S. East Coast; the practice will also act as a kind of family group for TandemSeven within Genpact’s larger Digital Unit, which has1k people).

Integration plans:

  • In the first instance, TandemSeven’s UX360 tool will be leveraged by ~80 Genpact DT workshop facilitators. It will provide a very strong framework and mechanism for incorporating human-centered design into the interfaces associated with redesign of industry-specific and back-office processes
  • Secondly, some TandemSeven staff will act as coaches to Genpact employees, and help create protocols for DT sessions. Genpact has been providing extensive employee training on DT for over two years; TandemSeven, and UX360, will help sharpen up the methodology
  • Thirdly, some TandemSeven staff will become involved, within multi-functional groups, in Genpact sales pursuits. As with any consultancy acquisition, a key success factor will be in the extent to which the acquirer leverages the new capabilities across its broader portfolio and client base.

First stage of a Buy and Build strategy

Rather than following with similar, possibly smaller, acquisitions in other target geographies, Genpact’s intention is to transplant a few resources from TandemSeven into the U.K and Australia and then hire locally to build local regional units.

Genpact Building Digital Hubs in Boston, NY

TandemSeven’s model to date has been to work primarily on client sites; it does not bring in a studio environment for Genpact to leverage. However, Genpact will complement this on-site capability by creating UX studios in Boston, where it has inherited space from the Rage acquisition, and also NY, where it will redesign some existing office space. And of course, OnSource is also based near Boston.

In term of cross-fertilization with West Coast capabilities, there is also some interaction with the  ‘Innovation by Design’ software engineering capabilities based in Genpact’s Palo Alto Lean Digital innovation center.

TandemSeven Strategically Important in Incorporating Human-Centered Design in Genpact Digital

This is a strategic acquisition for Genpact in its journey to evolve from traditional BPS, where it has been an eminent pureplay, to become a wider digital operations transformation partner for organizations. The TandemSeven acquisition complements Genpact’s existing DT and operations transformation capability by providing a distinctive methodology and nicely visual tool for applying human-centered design in support of digitalized middle and back-office functional areas.

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