DXC announced a new collaboration with longstanding partner Microsoft to build a suite of services to help enterprise clients transform workplace experiences. The partnership, lauded by DXC as a gamechanger, will see the launch of the “new DXC” MyWorkStyle, a suite of services that will empower employees and enable them to work anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
The partnership, an interesting collaboration in its own right, cements DXC's commitment to its Modern Workplace Services line, DXC had reviewed as a possible divestiture over the last year, ending a period of uncertainty over the future of one of DXC's largest business lines. The firms also brought in Ex-Accenture industry veteran Michael McDaniel to head up the show.
DXC has a strong track record in the space, boasting one of the largest workplace services arms in the market. The firm manages close to 10 million physical and virtual devices for more than 1000 clients across the globe. Which - according to DXC - is double the amount handled by its closest competitor. First on the hit list to see the solution rolled out is DXC itself, a time-honoured tradition for a firm that's always keen to deploy the latest services and solutions internally. Crucially, the firm's scale, complexity, and ongoing integration of large acquisitions will be a valuable testing ground for the new suite of services. Least of all as a route to developing vital intelligence for how post-COVID workspaces are evolving.
To this end, the launch of the “new DXC” MyWorkStyle hits the market at a crucial time, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still felt across the globe and a new-normal far from any real definition. Enterprises now face the significant challenge of rethinking their operations in the long-term - a process demanding far more investment and thought than the immediate solutions we saw at the start of the pandemic. And as enterprises shift from keeping the lights on in uncertain circumstances to a full redesign of their future workplace, IT services giants such as DXC will be in high demand.
On the face of it, the “new DXC” MyWorkStyle aims to solve many of the most immediate structural challenges. Integrated virtual collaboration tools are vital now, and will undoubtedly increase in importance as we settle into a hybrid workplace. The platform also offers managers and leaders data insights that aim to safeguard the mental and physical wellbeing of employees - an area of increasing importance before the global pandemic, but more so now given challenges returning back to physical environments, and managing wellbeing at scale across decentralised operations. And beneath this a foundation of proactive IT support capabilities that solve challenges before a worker realises, that failover to in-person support unconstrained by legacy ITSM processes when necessary.
Retaining its global workplace services business is a shrewd move. Even before the pandemic, enterprises were shifting the focus in the space away from cost-savings towards boosting productivity. Now, with the unique challenges of the pandemic and local restrictions, digital workplace solutions are finally becoming a major C-Suite talking point.
However, the road won't be smooth. Workplace is one of the most competitive areas on the market, and Michael McDaniel and the rest of the DXC team will have to work hard to reassure the market that their commitment is unwavering. They will also need to set a clear stake in the ground for how they view the future of work - especially as enterprises look for guidance as they emerge from the pandemic. Bringing in an industry heavyweight to guide the business is an important step, and so is partnering with one of the best known and most trusted brands on the market.
There are also structural market challenges that will put more pressure on providers looking to boost revenues in the space. The first is the availability of capital. While some industries will emerge from the crisis with a healthier balance sheet than before, many won't. The hardest-hit - retail, hospitality, and travel to name a few - face an uncertain financial future. Many are working on conserving cash as they wait out the pandemic - which could present an opportunity to DXC if it can bring attractive cost-savings to the market, or even commercial structures that enable the firm to prop up the most damaged, but most likely to rebound companies, effectively betting on their services helping ailing companies reverse their fortunes, and when doing so, pay-back the balance for services rendered.
Some of the worst-hit industries, and a greater portion of those that have simply had a bad year but with a more certain outlook, are shifting focus away from survival, and towards re-platforming their business to become more competitive once markets return to a semblance of normality. Again, DXC could find opportunity here in helping clients use the respite from abnormal market conditions to redesign workplaces to fuel productivity, boost agility, and cut down waste.
Even the firms who have seen revenues spiral because of the pandemic are looking to redesign workplaces. In some instances, it's to ensure they implement modern services that naturally attracts and retains highly prized talent. In others, because they recognise the waves of change in their industry and want to get ahead of them. In any case, enterprises that have benefited from the new and evolving demands are unlikely to willingly cede market share to competitors - many will be looking for partners that can help them consolidate and capitalise on their position.
DXC is well-positioned to pivot its new capabilities to all of these new buckets of work - with the right talent, approach, and vision to drive it forward, taking its workplace business off the market may have been CEO Mike Salvino's shrewdest bet.