Market trends in R&D outsourcing
ALTEN’s market includes all consulting services, technical assistance, fixed-price projects and outsourced platforms in the field of Engineering and Technology Consulting and Information Systems and Technological Networks.
Consultancy firm Pierre Audoin Conseil (Pac) expects the market accessible to ALTEN in France to grow as shown below:
|(in € millions)
|Aerospace and Defence
|Telecoms and Multimedia
|Energy and Life Sciences
|Total Technology Consulting (scope: ALTEN core business)
The ETC sector, particularly in France, has undergone a major transformation over the last 10 years. The way consultancy and engineering companies work with their clients has developed towards ever greater commitment and more responsibility, up to
and including a sharing of risks. This last approach is restricted to the big engineering firms, which act as industrial partners to large corporates.
The leading ETC companies are becoming technology partners, helping to improve the efficiency of R&D operations and identify potential productivity gains. The requirements to break into this market are demanding and pose an entry barrier for many companies:
- the ability to deliver research workpackages, which requires tools, processes and project management skills as well as cutting-edge technological expertise;
- quality and process (cmmi) certifications;
- a presence at all first-tier suppliers in the sector (equipment and systems suppliers) to streamline the industrial cycle;
- a presence in all scopes and all countries where the industrial client is active in R&D;
- positioning across the whole of each business segment, from system specifications to design, testing and going into production;
- ability to make authoritative recommendations on technological choices and innovation.
Expectations of outsourcing are high. ETC companies must be able to reproduce the client’s engineering environment. This requires healthy financials and an ability to invest in full-scale infrastructure (premises, equipment, software, etc.) where the projects are going to be run. It is also essential to have a strong technical Division to propose the right technological choices during tenders, to steer projects, to manage knowledge effectively and to extract productivity gains for both the client and ALTEN.
This development has been accompanied by a streamlining of supplier listings that gives listed companies greater market share and better long-term visibility. All ALTEN’s listings were reaffirmed in 2012 (including as an EADS a-supplier of engineering services for a four-year term) and it won new listings with high-potential industrial companies (e.g. Huawei – the telecoms equipment supplier).