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Client story

Thanks to servitization, Sercel transforms and extends its service offer

Client: Sercel
Region: France
Industry: Manufacturing

In partnership with Capgemini, Sercel identifies a portfolio of new services that differentiates the equipment manufacturer from its competitors and brings more value to its customers

Client challenge: Due to a volatile and highly competitive international subsurface imaging market, Sercel wanted to evolve in order to be more competitive and position itself as an expert business partner.

Solution: Sercel has worked with Capgemini to reposition itself in the market and offer a complete range of services with high added value for its customers and their clients.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of equipment used by companies to record the acoustic signature of the subsoil on land and at sea, structures such as bridges, buildings, and railway tracks, or of underwater vehicles for defense purposes, Sercel has experienced typical industry peaks and troughs for over 60 years. The oil and gas market in particular is subject to great volatility depending on the evolution of supply and demand. When new competitors focused on selling “low cost” equipment at the expense of performance, Sercel knew it had to adapt to these new industry trends and expand its product offering to include additional services.

By working with Capgemini to explore the potential of predictive maintenance, Sercel identified the opportunity to further adapt to a changing industry and develop new business models around connected services. Rather than simply offering more innovative and frugal products, the company wanted to design a new business model in which Sercel would establish itself as a more comprehensive and value-adding business partner. This meant moving beyond functioning as an equipment provider and leveraging the connectivity of its equipment, data, and software to deliver solutions and services.

Based on this initial vision, Sercel agreed to extend its partnership with Capgemini to develop a new selection of offerings that Sercel could bring to the market.

“We chose Capgemini because we needed a methodological contribution to market an offer that is both understandable and desirable for our clients.”

Bruno Bleinès
Innovation Manager, Sercel

Sercel goes beyond the sale of equipment with servitization*

Sercel’s strategy revolves around three key areas: differentiation through product innovation, diversification into new markets, and servitization. The collaboration with Capgemini focused on this last pillar in particular.

Through servitization, Sercel intended to reposition its ecosystem, differentiate itself from its competitors, and increase the value it could offer to its customers and to principals upstream of the value chain. By drawing on Capgemini expertise, Sercel was able to identify new services and construct a comprehensive value-based offer that combined products, services, and solutions rather than relying exclusively on the sale of equipment.

Capgemini Invent’s involvement helped to further clarify the way forward. It began with a series of interviews that identified opportunities for Sercel to deliver more value to its customers and what it meant to be successful in those areas. Meanwhile, the Capgemini Engineering team supplemented this approach with a reflection on the technical aspects to be developed, both in terms of the data platform’s architecture and all the means of communication necessary. In addition, this took into account the operational constraints of Sercel’s customers.

Based on this analysis, the joint project team then developed a portfolio outlining how the company could better support its clients and how to implement these proposals. Sercel and Capgemini finally defined a set of new offers as well as identified functionalities whose value would have to be tested with customers before undergoing further development.

This goes beyond the mere sale of measuring equipment and guarantees that Sercel clients can benefit from more operational efficiency on a daily basis, ensuring continuous success. In addition, the project team developed a business case to assure Sercel of its servitization strategy’s viability.

“Going from product to service is a cultural transformation before being a technical or commercial transformation, and this is favored by switching the customer relationship from transactional to relationship based.”

Nicolas Albert
Director Intelligent Industry, Co-Lead of Connected World Offer in France, Capgemini Invent

Bringing a vision to market

Once the outline and the roadmap were established and approved, Sercel began to develop these offers and put in place the operating model and internal transformation program necessary to deploy them. Relying on its industry know-how and the expertise related to its markets, Sercel can now combine its products with expertise and full support to offer competitive alternatives to “low cost” equipment.

Through these services, Sercel’s customers will get more out of the company’s expertise in operational excellence, cost-effective equipment, data quality and integrity, and continuous technology improvement. On-site experts will deliver further value during the start-up phase of missions. In addition, Sercel will provide continuous monitoring of equipment performance to enable accurate day-to-day process management. The company plans to deploy its experts to advise customers on the optimization of their maintenance activity and mitigation strategies to avoid any loss of production. Finally, Sercel will help customers who buy its equipment to improve the quality of data they produce.

“The customer proximity inherent to these services increases our opportunities to capture value.”

Daniel Boucard
CTO, Sercel

So, any organization that works with Sercel not only gets the tools it needs to acquire massive amounts of data but can also access the expertise needed to ensure its success. Working together with Capgemini, Sercel will soon bring these services to market.

*Servitization is a service-based business approach. It allows a company to move from being a simple supplier of products to operating as a supplier of integrated solutions. Servitization is made possible by Capgemini’s unique approach to digital business transformation.