Cap Gemini (CG) purchased the consulting unit of Ernst & Young (E&Y) in May 2000 to complete geographical presence (CG was mainly European and E&Y was well located in the American market). The resulting firm, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGE&Y), was heavily based on knowledge to run the business as well as to complete the integration process successfully. The knowledge management (KM) model and experiences each firm followed prior to the purchase were substantially different in terms of organizational structure, technological platforms, and contribution mechanisms. However, these differences seemed to complement each other. Nevertheless, putting together the two knowledge management initiatives was not an easy task. Deciding the knowledge management approach that CGE&Y should follow was both a necessity and a challenge.
1. a)What would you say is the value proposition for the combined CGE&Y entity? b) What role does Knowledge Management (KM) play in achieving this value?
2. What problems do you anticipate in the implementation of the Knowledge Management strategy given the different cultures in the two companies?
3. a) What key “success factors” can you identify in the Ernst & Young Knowledge Management strategy? b) How would you “export” them to Cap Gemini?
4. Would you advise Alberto Almansa to renew the Center for Business Knowledge (CBK) agreement or not and why?