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Sopra Steria Next: Building tomorrow’s companies, today
A consultancy that specializes in digital transformation, Sopra Steria Next is a key player in that ecosystem, and has over 230 top-level public and private sector clients and €4.7 billion in turnover.
“We have come to the end of a cycle,” announced Sopra Steria Next executive director Jean Claude Lamoureux during his most recent annual address as he introduced a manifesto entitled, “A company is no longer only what it produces, but what it promises.” His words came as no real surprise. After all, the world has changed radically in the past couple of years, with the pandemic accelerating a number of transformations that were already underway in both public and private-sector institutions.
“In the modern world, we are confronted with several simultaneous transformations: environmental, digital, skills, workplace, societal and sovereign, and they are all connected,” continued Lamoureux, who heads a firm which specializes in digital transformation, ensuring public- and private-sector clients stay ahead of the curve as regards the IT revolution. Sopra Steria Next is, he added “a respectful, agile and curious company, which takes pride in its ability to build long-term relationships based on trust with all the stakeholders in the ecosystem, be they clients, staff or suppliers, thanks to our strong moral compass.”
Global standing, regional footprint
In the ultra-competitive digital-transformation corner of the consulting sector, the thing that sets Sopra Steria Next apart from the crowd is its substantial team of 3,400 digital-transformation consultants, 1,900 of whom are based in France, aided and abetted by 45,000 other staff in 25 countries that handle everything from systems integration and cybersecurity to business processes and infrastructure management advice. Why choose between quality and quantity when you can have both?
In France, the company has offices in Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nantes and Niort, in addition to several in the capital. More than just a numbers game, each of Sopra Steria Next’s regional offices has a specific sector-focus. The Lyon branch, for example, specializes in banking, transport and energy, servicing clients including Airbus, SNCF, EDF and Credit Agricole.
Launched in 2019, Sopra Steria’s Next offshoot has exercised its staff on numerous questions pertinent to the role of a consultancy seeking to become a leading name in transformation consulting, including on the nature of the services it ought to provide and its responsibilities vis-à-vis staff clients, external partners and society as a whole.
Malika Kaoua, the company’s head of brand and customer experience, sums up the firm's approach thusly: “Companies know that they have to supply more and more services to be in a position to attract and retain clients. To do so, they are turning to digital services and often need to bring in outside assistance to successfully implement this strategy. These are what we call promise-centric businesses,” observed Kaoua in a book entitled Les dessous des marques [Behind the Brand] published in 2021.
Innovation not an end in itself
To give companies the answers they crave about digital transformation, Sopra Steria Next has come up with an interesting value proposition based on six core elements: ensuring the fundamentals of a company are promise-centric; building a brand based on superior client-experience; developing the agility of the board and ensuring staff adopt a client-service culture, detatching operational performance from financial performance; leveraging data as a disruptive force; providing security intelligence as a service.
In 2021, the firm expanded its range of services to include strategic design, via a team piloted by Olivier Lacour, formerly of Canal + and Cisco, that takes a holistic approach based on the specific experience of each client, partner or colleague.
Armed with a comprehensive vision of tomorrow’s business world, Sopra Steria Next is betting big on innovation, but not just innovation for innovation’s sake, rather as a tool to be harnessed for complex use-cases which is why, beyond its mission and recommendations, Sopra Steria Next has the flexibility to be able to work alongside clients and other members of its ecosystem (think tanks, academics etc.) to explore in detail the subjects that will be of critical importance in the economy of the future.
To achieve this, the firm carries out ground-breaking work with the above stakeholders that aims to identify the most likely future trends, and in doing so test and enrich the fundamentals of tomorrow’s companies, christened “promise-centric”: ones which are defined more by their commitments than their products.
Integrated digital experience center
Whether managerial, technical or corporate, the topics that make up the strategic agenda of companies and public institutions must be continually assessed and updated given the pace of change in the market, and indeed in society at large.
To keep up with newer, digital-native companies which are lighter on their feet, perform well in times of transition and can adapt quickly to changing business models, Sopra Steria Next helps traditional businesses implement innovative modes of operating, such as automated processes using AI and outsourcing - and their widespread deployment - leaving talent free to focus on core, high-added-value activities.
To help companies speed up their digital transformation, Sopra Steria Next has created a digital experience center, whose mission is to find new sources of value using the best new technology paired with tried-and-tested methods.
Forward thinking and diverse, the 200-strong team offers a holistic vision of the digital realm and valuable insights on the most effective methods of transformation that can be applied to a range of sectors. The areas of intervention of the digital experience center lie at the crossroads of the corporate and IT worlds, providing the technology and expertise needed to reinvent economic and organizational models.
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