advertisement
  • One on One
    Subscribe
     

Kennedy Corner

  • »Time To Simplify and Get Organized (Well, At Least Your Cloud Services)
    The practice of adding cloud services in silos and based on specific department needs often results in overlapping and many different contracts with the same vendors.
  • »Riding the Waves of Healthcare Risk
    The modern healthcare system is much like the ocean—stormy, choppy, and hostile at times, soothing, calm and inviting at others. For surfers, the more waves you go for, the more you will catch, and the more likely you’ll “wipe-out.”
  • »The Department of Defense Wants a New Mantra
    “Do more with less.” It’s become a tired refrain that U.S. Department of Defense leadership is all too familiar with hearing from all directions, whether it is their direct superiors, Congress, or the Executive.
  • »Things Go Wrong
    Things go wrong. Anyone who plays poker knows this. One moment you’re on the verge of a royal flush, and the next, you pull a six of diamonds, and you’re called. Things do indeed go wrong.
  • »The Next Big Thing
    Consultants are always looking for the next big thing, the innovation that will see clients storming through their gates, bypassing pesky procurement departments, and writing blank checks for the magic mousetrap that whitens and brightens and cleans windows, too.
  • »JP Morgan and The Whale: A Parable
    After a tumultuous period of banking hyper-regulation after 2008, no one would have suspected in 2012 that JP Morgan, the world’s largest bank, had ineffective controls in place that left the company flat-footed when its “rogue” trader had taken untenable, long-term positions on Credit Default Swaps.
» View all

Travel Advisory

  • »Marriott Goes Big in NYC
    Marriott International, Inc. and G Holdings opened what they’re calling an “iconic addition” to the New York skyline, a combined 378-room Courtyard hotel and 261-suite Residence Inn hotel in midtown Manhattan. The $320 million, 68-story property is the tallest single-use hotel in North America.
  • »Best Places to Stay: Travel Bounces Back
    Consultants are on the road again, at least according to the results of our annual Best Places to Stay survey.
  • »FAA: ‘Staffing Challenges’ Causing Delays
    In case you haven’t noticed, non-weather related delays at U.S. airports are on the rise. (And I know you’ve noticed that weather-related delays are definitely on the rise.)
  • »Hilton’s Building Boom
    Coming off a whirlwind 2012, Hilton Worldwide is the fastest growing global hospitality company by number of rooms.
» View all

Book It!

  • »Excerpt: Procurement as Productivity
    The following is an excerpt from the book Procurement 20/20: Supply Entrepreneurship in a Changing World by a quartet of McKinsey & Company consultants—Peter Spiller, Nicolas Reinecke, Drew Ungerman and Henrique Teixera.
  • »Review: The Risk-Driven Business Model
    Most companies focus their innovation on new products.
  • »Review: Lead Positive
    Today’s business leaders face intense pressure to deliver results in an uncertain, chaotic, and high-stress business environment.
  • »Review: Step Up
    No matter what your title or place in the organization chart, you have the potential to be a leader.
  • »The Three Rules
    Earlier this year, Deloitte Consulting’s Mumtaz Ahmed and Michael Raynor published The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think. The authors set out to answer what was, in their mind, the ultimate business question—how do some companies achieve exceptional performance over the long haul?
  • »Thinking in New Boxes
    Creativity is key if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change, according to The Boston Consulting Group’s Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny.
» View all

Security Check

CAPTCHA Image
OK
Cancel
New Image
  • Home
  • Service Line
  • Information Technology
6 1 2009
»Top 25 Consultants, 2009: Jim Bramante
Top 25 Consultants 2009
Jim BramanteJim Bramante
Managing Partner, North America
IBM Global Business Services
Excellence in Leadership


In 2007, two New York City firefighters lost their lives in a fire at the former Deutsche Bank building, which had been scheduled for demolition. Fire investigators attributed the loss of life to a lack of timely information available to responding firefighters. If the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) had a system in place for collecting and sharing data in real time, the accident could have been avoided, they concluded. With this harsh reality fresh on their minds, officials with the FDNY partnered with IBM to come up with a new Coordinated Building Inspection and Data Analysis System that will rely heavily on predictive modeling and advanced data analytics to anticipate fire exposure, analyze possible impacts and improve communication processes—such as more thorough information sharing between the FDNY and other city agencies—to help minimize risks.

The FDNY engagement, in many ways, is typical of what has become the new IBM. Over the last few years, the company has been more heavily focused on helping clients pull useful information out of mountains of existing data. In April, the firm announced the formation of a brand new practice area—Business Analytics and Optimization Services—that will employ some 4,000 consultants to help meet the increased demand for enhanced data utilization services in the marketplace.

“The new practice area really coalesces all the capabilities we have in terms of going to market and helping solve these incredibly difficult problems, and now we’re just making it friction-free in terms of how we bring our capabilities together by putting them all in a new service line,” says Jim Bramante, managing partner, North America for IBM Global Business Services. “That being said, we want to make sure we integrate our analytics approach into everything we do.” Bramante says that could be as simple as how IBM measures a specific market on a firm level to how an individual consultant understands how to drive value differently for each client.

“We’re really building on this notion of predictability... we’re moving from the ‘sense and respond’ mode, which is too slow in today’s world, to actually using data to help us predict business outcomes,” he says. “Clients have big issues they’re dealing with, and they have lots of blind spots. The trick is to harness all that data that’s available to help clients make better and more timely decisions.”

IBM, for its part, probably couldn’t have made a better and more timely decision to shift its strategy and focus. Analytics is the next logical step for a firm that has shifted from hardware to software and services more than a decade ago and now is doubling down on services, with analytics being the centerpiece. Enterprise software implementation has given way to higher margin, and often higher profile, consulting engagements that may require specialized software and services.

The result is record revenues of $104 billion for Big Blue in 2008, and Global Business Services was up 9 percent. Analytics and services are also the main forces behind IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative launched in November. And Bramante is right there leading the charge for North America. He came over to IBM with the PricewaterhouseCoopers acquisition in 2002 and originally headed the financial management services practices, then the distribution sector before taking over his current role in 2007.

“In 2007, we were coming off a pretty good year in 2006, but then we started to see some cracks in the economy, and for us it became all about our focus on our strategy,” Bramante says. “We were really focused on knowing where America was going and making sure we were providing real value to our clients in terms of their return on investment, but we were doing it in a way that was kind of a systemic change into the analytical environment. We came out of 2008 with a record year.”

And the biggest secret to the firm’s current and future success, Bramante says, is the keen focus on analytics or “The Holy Grail,” as he calls it. “If you can harness that data and use it to gain unique insight, I think that’s where the play is for a lot of clients,” he says. “If you look at our broad strategy, it’s really about developing great client relationships and driving differentiated solutions when we bring together all the capabilities of IBM.” And that means a bigger reliance on IBM’s massive research arm that will help drive the success of GBS. “One of my jobs is to make sure that we’re tapping into all that IBM has to offer in terms of our globally integrated enterprise to give clients the best value,” Bramante says.

Another key aspect of his job is to help steer Global Business Services and the consulting profession into new, and often unchartered waters, such as the work IBM is doing with the FDNY.

“To step up to these big aspirational issues we’re talking about requires a new level of consulting, a new level of talent, and a new level of analytics,” Bramante says. “I think you will see over the next several years our model evolve into something completely different than anything out there right now in consulting; we’re helping to create a consulting capability and model that will help lead the profession. That’s pretty exciting.”

What’s also exciting, Bramante says, is the recognition the Top 25 award brings to IBM, specifically GBS. “It’s certainly an honor at a personal level, but it makes me really proud of what we’ve accomplished here at IBM,” he says. “I’m proud to be a part of IBM, and proud to be part of this tremendous team we have in Global Business Services in North America.”

—Joseph Kornik

>> Full list of Top 25 Consultants 2009
»Related Articles
  • Information Technology
advertisement
  • Platinum Sponsors:

    BCG
    Deloitte

    Gold Sponsors:

    Mesirow

    Ernst & Young
    PwC

    Silver Sponsors:

    Capco
    KPMG

    Alix Partners
    ZS

    AonHewitt
  • Register

    Gold Sponsors:

    BCG
    Ernst & Young
    PwC
    Mesirow

    Silver Sponsors:

    IBM
    Mercer
    Capco
    Deloitte
  • Featured Speakers:

    Joseph Kornik

    Joseph Kornik
    Publisher and Editor-in-Chief,
    Consulting magazine

    Brian Murphy

    Brian Murphy
    Chief of Staff, Point B

    Brian Jacobsen

    Brian Jacobsen
    General Manager, Slalom Consulting

    Tom Rodenhauser

    Tom Rodenhauser
    Managing Director, Advisory Services, Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory

    Sponsor Speaker:

    Drew West

    Drew West
    Director, Product Marketing,
    Deltek

    Sponsored By:

    Deltek Logo
|
»

Searching

page loading