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Summary

Joining advisory business SoftServe's analyst event in New York City, one message stood out above all others – innovation backed by some 25 years of software engineering capability is at its core. Innovation is not just for SoftServe clients; however, the business has carefully engineered its own organization and approach to talent to better serve its markets. With revenue growth accelerating, SoftServe is positioning itself as a serious technology partner for organizations on their digital transformation journeys.

Real innovation is delivered by engineering and organization

Innovation as a term is so overused it deserves some sort of prize; however, that does not mean there is no value in it. Even a fleeting knowledge of the ongoing and continuously emerging disruption within just about every market suggests that innovation, forged by new technologies or novel applications of existing capabilities, is at its heart. SoftServe's technology services span technology practices across a range of familiar topics, such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital platforms. The vendor views the vast array of technologies through a cycle of "impact enablement," "speed and scale," and "cost (maintenance)" – essentially the life of a technology from research, through early applications, to mass adoption. SoftServe's early investment in impact enablement, backed by 450 advanced technologists, is helping to evolve emergent technologies such as extended and mixed reality from being just an interesting possibility to an innovation-fueling capability. SoftServe's CTO, Alex Chubay, discussed many examples, and positioned demos that showcased, for example, a representation of a person's heart combining augmented reality, haptics, and biometric sensors (see further information at https://www.softserveinc.com/en-us/resources/demo/touch-my-heart). Innovation at SoftServe is backed by 25 years of software engineering experience, matched to a rigorous approach to curating the technology that powers it – from early lifecycle to useful enterprise tool.

SoftServe is innovating with its own organization

Curating technology through its lifecycle is an important principle of SoftServe's business – the delivery organization that advises, scopes, and engineers technology solutions for its clients is another. SoftServe president, Harry Propper, discussed the structure of SoftServe's client success organization – essentially a model that integrates leadership, product team, account management, and sales that can be scaled out across vertical and geographic markets. These teams are supported by internal functions that define frameworks, competencies, and lessons learned to enforce consistency of delivery. Ongoing investment in SoftServe University and a talent model that genuinely incorporates innovation focus through formal evaluation round out the approach to talent. SoftServe backs both technology and delivery with a broad network of partners, including big names such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM, through technologies such as Cloudera and Tractica for big data, and MuleSoft for integration.

Accelerating growth as SoftServe expands

The combination of technology-fueled innovation and SoftServe's approach to talent and client delivery is generating results. CEO, Chris Baker, highlighted performance data underscoring this view with year-on-year revenue growth accelerating, 2018 revenue in excess of $250m, and new logo growth at 48% in 2017/18. The organization is around 7,000 strong, with plans to increase that by over 25% in 2019. SoftServe also takes considerable pride in its net promoter score, which at 70 looks more like a favored consumer technology vendor than a software engineering and service delivery organization. Baker set out SoftServe's ambition to "…build the best front-end work with our clients." Considering the combination of the firm's approaches to technology, innovation, talent, and delivery, it is an ambition it is clearly investing in to achieve.

Appendix

Author

Tom M. Pringle, Head of Technology Research, Ovum

tom.pringle@ovum.com

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