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Global Activities of NTT Group

everis and the Next Generation of Digital

Marc Alba
Steering Committee Member, Chief Innovation Officer,
Head of everis NextGen,
everis, an NTT DATA company

Abstract

The firm everis joined the NTT DATA family in January 2014 to achieve together a dream: become the global number one. Innovation and entrepreneurship have always been a must for us at everis, which has grown organically from 5 employees back in 1996 to more than 16,000 across 13 countries and 4 continents. In May 2014, we launched a strategy to lead the next wave of digital revolution beyond SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) technologies and leverage the new CRAVIB (crowdsourcing, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things, and blockchain) exponential technologies. Today, in the year of our 20th anniversary, we want to share the first outcomes of this strategy and its huge potential to contribute to NTT DATA and NTT’s global leadership.

Keywords: innovation, entrepreneurship, disruption

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1. everis: attitude makes the real difference

In October 1996 in Spain, a group of entrepreneurs you could count on the fingers of one hand left their managerial positions at a leading consulting company to create a new concept of consulting. The idea was simple to explain, yet complex to implement: build from scratch a unique company model designed to attract and retain the best talent, while fostering good people and collective values. Our talent management model, the main asset of everis, is taught as a case study in leading business schools, as it excels in smartly feeding both the brain (skills and professional growth) and the heart (attitudes and values) of our employees. The result is summarized in our claim: attitude makes the difference.

From our early days in Spain, we have grown organically, in double digits, to become a highly reputed multinational group of 16,000+ professionals in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)*1, Latin America*2, and the US. From our original focus on information technology (IT) services, we have moved to cover the full range of consulting, integration, and operation services, from strategic consulting to managed services. From a pure services company, we have transformed our portfolio to provide our customers with services as well as products (e.g., in health, aerospace & defense, big data, or cloud) [1]. However, for us, achieving all of that was still not enough; we humbly thought we had just begun our journey and the best was yet to come.

This led us to join the NTT DATA family in 2014, seeking to become part of a group that would, on one hand, preserve and leverage our unique company model and, on the other hand, complement us with global and world class assets in order to achieve our goal and dream: become the global number one in consulting and professional services. Today, we can proudly say we made the right decision by joining the NTT DATA family and the NTT Group.

*1 Belgium, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and UK
*2 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru

2. Innovation and entrepreneurship as a way of life

Since the original innovation to create our unique company model, innovation and entrepreneurship have been our best qualities to achieve double-digit growth and a strong market reputation. During the last 20 years, we have been constantly reinventing our company to preserve the original entrepreneurial mindset and transform everis into an innovation and entrepreneurship platform. This platform relies on seven main foundations that foster throughout the entire company what we like to call innopreneurship, that is, the symbiosis between innovation and entrepreneurship (Fig. 1):

(1) SuSI (Supported Smart Innovation) is our corporate unit that manages the company-wide innovation funnel, focusing on product & service innovation and leveraging instruments such as consortia and research and development (R&D) funds.

(2) everis Initiatives is our corporate venturing division aimed at developing and launching new businesses. It selects fast growth domains and creates new companies to lead them by building world class capabilities and assets.

(3) i-deals is a firm of the everis Group. It is a pioneering technology broker that valorizes novel technologies of the global R&D ecosystem and promotes their commercialization in our customers. Technologies range from ICT (information and communication technology) to biotech, clean tech, or new materials.

(4) FITalent is our corporate venture fund that invests in technology-based firms whose main assets are people and talent. Its portfolio and scope range from IT to manufacturing, energy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and digital business.

(5) everis Technology and Advanced Solutions is our new unit that is unifying and strengthening our integrated digital offering through the development of services and assets in our so-called key lines (at the moment, Digital, Big Data, Internet of Things, and Cloud).

(6) The everis Foundation is our non-profit entity supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and the entire talent ecosystem to bring back to society what it has given us.

(7) everis Corporate University is our corporate training and education unit. Among other functions, it provides our employees with innovation and entrepreneurship courses to nurture the innopreneurship culture and skills.


Fig. 1. everis Innopreneurship (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) Platform.

All in all, the objectives of these seven instruments are twofold: on one hand, to preserve an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset as two core ingredients of our corporate DNA and a way of life for our entire talent base across divisions, offices, and continents, and on the other hand, to constantly renew our customers’ value proposition and corporate assets.

3. The next frontier: from everis NextGen to the NTT DATA Disruption Hub

In 2014, while our competitors were focusing their efforts and investments in building digital offerings and assets around SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) technologies, we decided at everis to opt for a different strategy: complement our innopreneurship platform with the creation of a new strategic unit that reports to our chief executive officer and is focused on the next generation of digital. Established in May 2014, this new unit called NextGen (for next generation) was created to pave the way for our leadership in the new crowdsourcing, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things, and blockchain (CRAVIB) exponential technologies, the next generation of digital.

After two years of intense activity in stealth mode, this early mover strategy is proving to be a smart step. NextGen provides us today with world class assets, teams, connections, and client references in the new domains that are beginning to change the world and our customers: artificial intelligence, robotics, crowdsourcing, virtual reality, and ambient intelligence. If we move smartly and quickly, this will provide us with the opportunity to lead globally the next generation of the digital revolution.

NextGen relies on four main pillars (Fig. 2):

(1) A business disruption acceleration program to streamline the process of transforming unconventional ideas into killer products/business models, both for us and our customers. All the disruptive assets of NextGen have been developed through this acceleration program, and it is now helping our customers to reinvent their own businesses.

(2) A growing portfolio of disruptive assets in each of the exponential technologies we are addressing. All these assets are co-created and tested in real world environments with our customers, moving us beyond R&D to last-mile radical innovation. NextGen assets need to fulfill three conditions: (a) be one-of-a-kind (i.e., surpass all our competitors); (b) be scalable (i.e., leverage the power of digital to really make us “go” digital and leverage the scalability of digital platforms); and (c) apply open innovation strategy (i.e., switch from building products from scratch to enabling co-creation platforms). As an example of such assets, the first one we launched, everis NEXT (www.everisnext.com), has become the largest online repository of innovation ecosystems on the Internet. Leveraging startup science, data science, and crowdsourcing, we have created a technology that automatically gathers the knowledge of startups (more than 1.6 million at the moment), leading venture capitalists, and GAFAA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba), in order to help large companies reinvent their businesses and launch new and innovative ventures. We currently have more than 500 C-level and senior executives of Global Fortune 2000 companies operating through the everis NEXT platform [2].

(3) A series of small but world class teams of subject-matter experts (disruption units) in each exponential technology. We call them Hack Teams, and their role is to master the generation of business value in each disruptive technology.

(4) A disruption toolkit as a combination of all the methodologies and tools to manage and deliver business disruption and radical innovation.


Fig. 2. NextGen by everis.

In April 2016, a new corporate initiative called ICC (Innovation Coordination Council)*3 was launched at NTT DATA to foster innovation (especially open and radical innovation) and connect the main existing initiatives that are currently promoting innovation at NTT DATA*4. Under the umbrella of the ICC, everis NextGen is evolving to become the corporate Disruption Hub of NTT DATA. In addition to extending the four pillars mentioned above throughout the NTT DATA Group, we are now launching new group-wide verticals to address sectorial disruption (e.g., NextGen Banking, the first vertical we are working on for our banking customers).

*3 The ICC is chaired by Tsuyoshi Kitani, Director and Executive Vice President of NTT DATA.
*4 TIG, Open Innovation, Silicon Valley Office, Global Business, and NextGen

4. Expectations of the NTT Group

At everis as a whole and at NextGen/NTT DATA Disruption Hub in particular, we have three major expectations regarding the NTT Group:

(1) Provide us with access to the broad and rich R&D portfolio of the NTT Group. Our approach in NextGen, fully based on open innovation, would help to connect the NTT R&D assets to the needs of our customers and industries, while in turn improving the ROI (return on investment) of our R&D investments at NTT.

(2) Leading the next generation of digital goes beyond the scope of everis and NTT DATA and implies synergies between all NTT Group companies. A joint plan for collaboration in innovation and CRAVIB exponential technologies across all Group companies would strongly boost our global positioning in the next generation of digital.

(3) NTT global accounts are our most strategic customers. They should become the focal point of our value proposition in the next generation of digital.

Fulfilled altogether, these expectations would contribute to positioning the NTT Group as a global leader in business disruption and the next generation of digital and also to achieving more quickly and effectively NTT DATA’s global leadership. Let’s change the world and make it better together!

References

[1] everis,
http://www.everis.com/global/en-US/home/Paginas/home.aspx
[2] everis NEXT,
http://www.everisnext.com
Marc Alba
Steering Committee Member, Chief Innovation Officer, Head of everis NextGen, everis.
Marc Alba is a leading expert in disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, exponential technologies, digital transformation, regional development, and socioeconomic transformation. Throughout the past 20 years, he has served in diverse positions (researcher, entrepreneur, chief innovation officer, transformation director, founder of non-profit movements, and advisor of a large and varied set of both private and public organizations) that in combination provide him with a holistic perspective of the key socioeconomic challenges that businesses and societies are facing worldwide. He has carried out his activities in multiple sectors, including automotive, telecom, industry, banking, insurance, government, energy, and non-government/non-profit organizations.
Marc is the (co-)author of 5 books and has written more than 100 publications and articles. His latest books are i-Leaders (Innovation Leaders): From the Business of Innovation to the Innovation of Business and The Key to Spain’s Transformation: Civil Society Takes the Floor. He is also the co-founder of the civil society initiatives TransformaEspaña and TransformaTalento (TransformTalent), and the originator of the innovation management methodology COTIM (Cash-Oriented Total Innovation Management).
Currently, Marc works as a Managing Partner of the everis Group. He sits on the company’s Steering Committee as the Chief Innovation Officer. He is the founder and head of everis NextGen and the NTT DATA Disruption Hub. He is also a Fellow of the everis Foundation and President of the TransformaEspaña Association. He is actively involved in various boards and think tanks related to innovation, entrepreneurship, regional development, and education.
He was born in Africa (Kinshasa, Congo). His collaborators define him as a citizen of the world, humanist, and work lover. He is 43 years old, married, and the father of four-year-old triplets, Maria, Miguel, and Marc.

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