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Accenture Acquires Two Firms for Big Data, Customer Experience Push

Accenture’s Narendra-Mulani
Narendra Mulani
Laura Gurski

Accenture has announced two new consulting firm acquisitions – one to boost its big data and search analytics capabilities, and another to help client organizations grow by improving the customer experience.

Side note: Rumors are also swirling that one of Accenture's recent investments, WorkMarket, has acquired rival OnForce.

In terms of confirmed deals, Accenture has acquired Search Technologies, a Herndon, Virginia-based technology services firm that specializes in design, implementation and management of big data and search analytics. Accenture said it plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning to help clients generate new and more precise insights.

“With the addition of Search Technologies’ capabilities, we are in an even stronger position to help organizations take advantage of their data, regardless of format, to generate more precise and actionable insights,” Narendra Mulani, chief analytics officer of Accenture Analytics, said in a statement. “By better understanding the context and sentiment behind transactions, organizations can deliver better customer experiences and business outcomes.”

Accenture also acquired London-based Brand Learning, a marketing and sales capability consultancy with the goal of helping organizations drive growth by enhancing their marketing, sales, HR and leadership capabilities.

“More than 90 percent of CMOs say marketing will undergo fundamental change in the next five years, driven by analytics, digital and mobile technologies,” Laura Gurski, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Customer & Channels practice for consumer goods and services, retail, travel, life sciences, automotive and industrial industries, said in a statement. “With increasing digital innovation and personalized customer engagement, the marketing and sales functions are now seen as the key driver of top-line growth.

Accenture did not disclose financial details for either acquisition, which were both announced earlier this month.

About Search Technologies

With the Search Technologies acquisition, some 200 big data engineers and search experts will join the Accenture Analytics team. The expanded capabilities will help clients power machine learning and unlock new intelligence from unstructured data, Accenture said.

Search Technologies joins the existing community of data scientists and engineers within Accenture Analytics, focusing on developing and industrializing solutions that make unstructured content – from social media to video to voice and audio – searchable for data discovery, analytics and large-scale reporting.

Search Technologies’ proprietary Content Processing Framework and collection of API-level data connectors – which enable access to unstructured enterprise data across disparate and legacy systems – will be integrated into the Accenture Insights Platform (AIP).

Kamran Khan, president and CEO of Search Technologies, will lead a new Content Analytics team within Accenture Analytics.

Search Technologies has multiple locations across the United States, Costa Rica, Europe and the Philippines.

About Brand Learning

Headquartered in London with regional offices in New York and Singapore, Brand Learning employs approximately 120 people globally. The company says it has helped more than 160 clients in over 60 countries across a broad range of industries with their customer strategies and vision, new operating models, process development, content, cultural change and learning programs.

According to Accenture, the acquisition strengthens its ability to drive end-to-end marketing and sales transformation for clients by creating a "seamless service spanning marketing and sales strategy, organizational design and industry-specific consulting." The Brand Learning team will be combined with Accenture’s Customer and Channels management consulting and industry experts.

Brand Learning has served organizations across consumer goods, retail, life sciences, automotive, resources and financial services industries.

Accenture and many other global systems integrators have been buying up IT consulting firms focused on big data and specific SaaS-oriented apps like Google Apps, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, ServiceNow and WorkDay.