Wipro + Appirio: Building a Bigger, Better Brand

November 1, 2016 Latané Conant

Since news of our acquisition broke, people keep asking me about our brand and how it will be affected. Are we getting a new logo? Will we become “Wippirio”? Well the answer to both of those questions is “no.” A big part of the acquisition strategy is for Appirio to retain its brand. So other than to us geeks in marketing, why does it matter? It’s just a logo on a business card, right? Au contraire mon frère!

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It matters a lot.

In addition to our legendary Dreamforce parties and amazing culture, Appirio has always been a beacon for cloud, challenging the status quo — and in more recent years — helping companies optimize their customer and worker experiences and transform across the virtuous cycle. Our brand helps us stand out as a partner who can help companies compete in the experience-driven era, by providing 4 key things:

  1. Solution orientation and focus. Customers know what Appirio (the brand) stands for; it’s about looking at experiences from both a customer and worker perspective. It’s the leadership to bridge the back office and front office. It’s action orientation to mobilize cross-functional teams with the common goal of creating the virtuous cycle.
  2. One hand to shake for digital/agency like capabilities, strategic consulting, and systems integration. Appirio was born a systems integrator, then quickly realized strategy was critical to any implementation. We’ve more recently added design capabilities as well — all of which is delivered as one project team to customers. Wipro’s capabilities across these 3 areas — particularly design — adds an incredible influx of talent to our team.
  3. Cloud is — and always will be — a huge part of our brand. Because we were born in the cloud, run our business 100 percent in the cloud, and constantly vet cloud providers to partner with, industry-leading companies look to us to identify gaps and help provide leadership on their go-forward cloud architecture.
  4. Speed and predictability. Our methodology (The Appirio Way), coupled with a proprietary delivery platform (cloud enablement suite), strikes the right balance between driving real results in weeks, and delivering on our promises to customers. With over 10 years of experience and thousands of successful projects under our belt, our brand is one people can trust.

So what does Appirio, a Wipro company look like? How does the brand promise change? Our customers will continue to get the white-glove treatment they have come to expect, but we now represent global scale, a deep understanding of legacy systems and complexity, and have more capabilities through an increase in intellectual property and through platforms like HOLMES. There’s only so much a boutique firm can bring to customers, regardless of the level of innovation or delivery track record; with Wipro, we move from the #1 boutique partner to the #1 partner for complete digital transformation.

How will this affect our partners?

Appirio was incubated in the Salesforce offices, and our go-to-market revolves around key cloud partnerships. We stand for agility, field relationships, innovation, and trust. Our partners put themselves and their brands on the line every day in the field. When they work with Appirio, they know we will send knowledgeable people to their customers, partner on the right strategies, respond to their needs in hyper-speed, and go in early to co-innovate. It’s no accident that we had Aneel Bhusri and Marc Benioff quoted in our press release. We’re proud to be an early learning partner for Workday, and one of the few services partners to launch a Lightning Bolt Solution for Community Cloud. I’m thrilled to learn that Wipro has a solutions team that will bolster our ability to respond and innovate in the field with our partners.

What about our people and our brand promise?

Chris Barbin called out careers and culture as big drivers of this acquisition. Since the news broke, I’ve been asked by several analysts, partners, and friends: “How do 2 cultures that are so different come together?” Well, let me start by saying that our cultures are not that different at all; it all comes down to values. At Appirio, we look for 3 things in our job candidates: trust, grey matter, and professionalism. That sounds a lot like the Spirit of Wipro.

So how does our brand come into play when it comes to careers? To explain that, I’d like to draw on my own story. Early in my career, I had a job in corporate strategy. (It sounds fancy, but it was so boring; I could get my work done in 2 hours and was miserable.) One thing I can say about building a career at Appirio is that it’s never boring — there is always a new challenge, new idea, or new partnership that requires passion and energy. Who would have thought that someone with no marketing background or schooling would lead marketing at Appirio? No one, not even me! But that’s what Appirio stands for. If you have the energy, passion, and willingness to try new things, the possibilities are endless.

We’re here for the long-haul

Lastly (and probably most importantly), our customers and partners choose to work with Appirio because of our people and our culture — and that’s not going away. I recently wrote an email to my team talking about being true to ourselves because our true self is our best self. At Appirio, regardless of ethnicity, gender, background, or beliefs… you can be you. You can have a life, spend time with your family, and have fun. (You don’t even have to hide the fun, it’s actually encouraged!) You can work from a coffee shop, your in-laws’ basement (done that!), or on a park bench, as long as you’re getting it done and driving results. So to the talented folks from Wipro who will be joining our team: We’re so excited to have you joining us. I encourage you to dive right in… the water’s fine!

There has been a lot of consolidation going on in this space in recent years, and although Appirio was once considered the “last man standing,” we’re now standing taller and stronger.  We are still us — just enhanced — with a broader range of technologies, intellectual properties, capabilities, vertical expertise, and the ability to work outside of our key cloud platforms. We’re also thrilled to start working with Wipro’s loyal customer base, and excited to start helping them leverage our decade of experience moving enterprises to the cloud.

So while Wippirio may be an appropriate brand name for a new dance or diet drink, we’re sticking with Appirio — and everything that stands for.

(Oh, and if you’re worried about our great parties going away, don’t be. Look out Dreamforce 2017!)

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