Indian software company Cognizant has acquired UK-based consultancy PIPC, a specialist in program management.

Cognizant said that PIPC offered a wide range of program management services, tools, including the PMO (Project Management Office) core competency and its PhD (Project Health Diagnostic) tool. The company said that PIPC will complement Cognizant's existing project management capabilities and help provide integrated services across consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"At a time when cyclical and secular pressures are driving clients to seek new performance thresholds, effective program management is essential to ensure measurable business outcomes. PIPC's strategic program management offerings will strengthen our ability to manage increasingly complex global projects while expanding our geographic footprint, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and the UK," said Francisco D'Souza, president and CEO for Cognizant.

According to IDC's Mette Ahorlu consulting director for IDC's European Software and Services Group, PIPC is a very good fit with Cognizant. "Its focus not only on consulting as well as its capabilities in IT implementation work is likely to make integration with Cognizant that is already consulting oriented. We have often seen IT companies finding it difficult to integrate acquired management consultants, but in this case we believe it can work out to be a strength that Cognizant may see synergies early in the integration process," she said.

Antony Miller, foudner of analyst TechMarketView was less convinced. "This is not a no-brainer! The Indian players desperately need to boost their consulting propositions if they are ever to truly match the scale of Accenture and IBM, whom they hold as the benchmarks to beat," he said.

"This is all about the Indians moving from the machine room to the board room. But I remain to be convinced that acquisitions are the right way to go about it."

For Indian outsourcers to beat the usual suspects in consulting they need to "change the rules of the game, as they have done for traditional IT services. A ‘me too but cheaper’ proposition just won’t wash."