NCS and Samsung SDS. Both have long aspired to be regional players, but have never made it. Can they?
Establishing a global services company is very difficult. It seems that establishing a regional one is equally difficult. There is a very long list of IT services companies from the Asia Pacific region that have identified themselves as the one to be a real regional player. I am loathe to consider that any of the Indian firms can be considered true regional players. Whilst they have revenue outside India that is dominant, it is not consistent across Asia Pacific, penetration in North Asia in particular is weak. The only exception is Fujitsu (that still has a lot to do to be truly regional) no-one else is close. The non Asia Pacific exception is of course, Dimension Data which was based in South Africa, and recently acquired by NTT.
NCS, the IT services subsidiary of SingTel, and Samsung SDS, the IT services subsidiary have long aspired to be regional players. Both have failed miserably. NCS has failed to capitalize on SingTel investments. In Australia for example the relationship between NCS and Optus is limited to put it politely.
Samsung SDS dominates the Korean market. For many years Samsung SDS executives have been talking about how it would dominate outside of Korea as it does in Korea. It has just not happened. After many years, it is still only achieving small areas of success, often following specific Samsung SDS construction and engineering work, or other Korean “friendly” investment particularly in manufacturing and infrastructure. Recent changes to Samsung with a new more western orientated CEO, revitalized branding and a sense of inevitability that they have to change provide some hope that they will in fact change and emerge as a regional success story.
Bith firms have a unique opportunity to be the regional mobility and manufacturing/infrastructure sector IT services provider of choice. It is our view that neither firm has many chances left to get it right.