Smart move: PAC buys Berlecon

Today Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC, @pac_consultants) bought Berlin-based analyst and consulting firm Berlecon Research (@nicoledufft). It’s a excellent choice for PAC, and a very natural partner for Berlecon because of the two well-established firms’ long period of cooperation and their similar continental cultures and the consulting-heavy business model which is essential to success in the German market.

Berlecon has long been a strong M&A target, something we which noted long ago; In 2005 I commented that both PAC and Berlecon would fit together nicely if Ovum wanted to expand. Despite the premature death in 2006 of the firm’s talented founder, Thorsten Wichmann, the firm has held on to a data-heavy approach (reflecting its distinct reliance on economic analysis).

Indeed, at times the firm is quite belligerent against its competitors’ data quality: I translated one of these broadsides, and it gives a good flavour of the firm’s pride. This evidence-based approach has allowed it to build strong relationships with public sector clients, especially regulators and those concerned with open source solutions. Its partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute gives it a capacity to evaluate emergent technology that’s rather different from larger analysts firms focussed on already-mature solutions.

Read further analysis on this acquisition on AnalystEquity.com.

(Updated 1315 GMT: PAC press release below)

PRESS RELEASE

PAC hits the ground running in 2011 with the acquisition of Berlecon & new senior level recruitments
Pierre Audoin Consultant (PAC) is rapidly adapting to the ever-changing needs of its clients by expanding its senior team internationally as well as through an acquisition in the key German market.
February, 1st, 2011 - In order to meet the requirements of a rapidly evolving market and the fast changing client expectations, the only European-based Information Technology consultancy services company Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) has ramped up its international presence across various geographies.
PAC has acquired an IT research company and also added four senior persons to its team in the last four weeks. These new positions have been created in the four key markets of PAC: France, United Kingdom, United States and Germany.

These moves are in line with the vision statement of PAC: “The technology dynamics involve a rapid, profound and irreversible evolution of the Information Technology industry towards the world of services. This widespread trend is pushing all the actors to rethink their business model and to revolutionize their client relationship.”

The acquisition and the new appointments have also strengthened PAC’s positioning as an analyst & consultancy firm proposing personalized services, with one of the strongest expertise in the ICT ecosystem across the globe.

PAC acquisition: adding capacity and competences

Through its German subsidiary, PAC has acquired Berlin-based analyst and consulting firm Berlecon Research. Having worked closely together since 2009, analysts and consultants from both organizations have now joined forces to deliver market analyses and consulting projects, in addition to studies commissioned by public authorities. PAC will thus continue to extend its leading position in the German-speaking market and expand its software and IT services expertise in the fields of communication, collaboration, and mobility.

Headed by former Managing Director Nicole Dufft, Berlecon Research will operate as a PAC business unit based in Berlin. Nicole Dufft will report to Frédéric Munch, Managing Director of PAC Germany.

“With this acquisition, PAC has strengthened its presence in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, thus gaining a leading edge over competitors in the analyst and consulting market – the majority of which are Anglo-Saxon” says Frederic Munch.

The deal will not only reinforce PAC’s position in the DACH region, but also strengthen its competence in communication, collaboration and mobility at a multinational level.

Senior level recruitments strengthen dynamic research sectors

In order to further enhance expertise in dynamic market segments like Outsourcing & BPO, Software and IT Services, Offshore, Finance, etc. PAC has proactively added several high-profile industry specialist to its worldwide analyst base.

One of the four new senior level analysts at PAC is Dr. Katharina Grimme, who joins the Germananalyst team as Director Outsourcing & BPO Markets. Prior to PAC, Katharina was Research Director at NelsonHall, responsible for analysis and strategic consulting on German and continental European BPO markets, as well as developing and leading NelsonHall’s global F&A Outsourcing research. Prior to that, she had led the German operations of Ovum, advising vendors on business strategies, technology developments and market trends.

The second high-level appointment is Philip Carnelley who joins PAC in UK as a Research Director, software and application services markets. Philip joins PAC from TechMarketView, and previously worked as an industry analyst at Gartner Group and Ovum, researching the software development, business applications, database, and business intelligence markets.

Also new on board is Scott Tiazkun, joining the PAC US team. The former Forrester Research and IDC analyst brings with him a very rich and diversified industry experience of over 15 years focusing on the enterprise application market and key vertical industries, such as financial services and healthcare.

Another high-level appointment is of Franck Nassah, who was earlier consulting manager for IDC France. With his wide industry knowledge covering software and services, in particular IT outsourcing, engineering outsourcing, global sourcing, embedded systems and SI business models, he will be located at PAC in France.

Through its recognized capacity PAC proposes, quantitative and qualitative analyses as well as operational and strategic consulting to help ITC players in optimizing their growth policies.This is perfectly aligned to the mission statement of PAC, which states that “From strategy to execution, PAC brings focused and objective responses to the challenges of growth of the ITC players”.

“We want to become the partner of reference for the actors of the ICT industry worldwide. PAC’s growth is also in response to the growing needs of the clients in the sphere of strategic consulting, analysis and information. With the reinforcement through acquisitions and expansion of its teams, PAC aims to better serve them. PAC stays loyal to its reputation and proximity to clients will remain one of our strongest points”, says Eric Isabey, CEO of PAC Group.

About Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC): Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) is a global market research and strategic consulting firm for the Software and IT Services Industry (SITSI). PAC helps IT vendors, CIOs, consultancies and investment firms by delivering analysis and advice to address a range of the growth, technology, financial and operational issues.

Our 35 years heritage in Europe – combined with our US presence and worldwide resources – forms the foundation of our ability to deliver in depth knowledge of local IT markets, anywhere. We employ structured methodologies – undertaking thousands of annual face-to-face interviews on both the buy and sell side of the market, as well as a bottom-up, top-down approach – to leverage our research effectively.

PAC publishes a wide range of off-the-shell and customized market reports – including our best-selling SITSI program – in addition to our suite of strategic consulting and market planning services. With 16 offices across all continents, we deliver the insight that can make a difference to your business.

For more information, please visit our website at www.pac-online.com

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