Accenture and Microsoft (and Avanade) launch new business group

The Accenture Microsoft Business Group — sounds like one powerful combination.

The new group takes advantage of a longstanding strategic alliance between the two technology giants (and their joint venture, Avanade). The aim is to expand combined service capabilities, global scale and joint solution development to help clients overcome digital disruption and lead transformation in their industries.

Majority owned by Accenture, Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation

Clients around the globe use Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade to help them come up with new strategies and industry solutions to drive innovation and growth in the digital era. As we discovered for ourselves:

A story of digital transformation: Accenture assists Carlsberg in cloud transition

‘That calls for a Carlsberg’. In 2011, the Danish brewer underwent a brand, or at least slogan, transformation. Now, it’s undergoing a company-wide digital transformation. Read here

“Our digital program is all about giving customers and consumers an even greater experience when they engage with Carlsberg and with our beers. We worked closely with Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade to transition our business-critical IT infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure public cloud,” said Mark Dajani, CIO and SVP of Global Business Services at Carlsberg Group. “The transition covered more than 150 terabytes of data on 600 servers and 200 applications, serving more than 10,000 employees in our Western European region. Moving to the cloud has given us more visibility into our IT operations and enabled us to accelerate innovation with artificial intelligence, DevOps and analytics.”

The group’s formation ‘represents the largest partner investment in harnessing the enterprise-wide potential of Microsoft technology to date,’ according to the announcement.

Building on the success of Avanade, the group will bring together more than 45,000 dedicated professionals — the largest group of Microsoft solution experts in the world. With new joint products and services built on the Microsoft cloud, clients will be able to engage customers in new ways, empower employees, reimagine operations and invent new products and services.

“The Accenture Microsoft Business Group is a major step forward in our decades-long relationship with Microsoft. It brings Accenture’s broad industry experience and transformation skills together with Microsoft’s powerful digital technologies and Avanade’s specialisation in the Microsoft ecosystem,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and chairman of the Avanade board. “The demand for digital transformation, powered by the cloud, has never been greater. We are bringing the leading capabilities of our companies together to meet this demand and deliver innovation to our clients.”

Follow the leader(s): the Accenture Microsoft Business Group will be led by Emma McGuigan, senior managing director at Accenture. She has been with the company for more than 20 years in various technology leadership roles. Adam Warby will continue to serve as the CEO of Avanade.

Thrive in the era of digital disruption

As digital disruption and innovation often occurs within industries, the group will co-invest in functional and industry solutions based on Microsoft technologies, with a mission to provide clients with the most comprehensive set of services focused on user experience, analytics and AI, cloud, security, IoT and other critical areas.

According to the announcement: ‘To help organisations across all industries, the new group will emphasise helping clients migrate to Microsoft Azure and effectively harness the power of data and artificial intelligence, optimise Microsoft business processes with Microsoft Dynamics 365, and foster modern work and collaboration with Microsoft 365.’

Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft said: “Every company is becoming a digital company. Building on our successful partnership with Accenture and Avanade, we will help customers fuel innovation at scale and lead their industries into the future. This is core to our mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.”

“The new business group brings together the leading technology innovation and industry experience from our companies to help clients transform their businesses and become intelligent enterprises,” said Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive, Accenture Technology Services.

Together, Accenture and Avanade have delivered more than 35,000 Microsoft projects for more than 4,000 clients around the world, helping companies such as Carlsberg — as mentioned above — and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) advance their digital transformation agendas.

“CMHC embarked on our technology and business transformation to enable our employees to better assist Canadians in meeting their housing needs,” said Paul Mason, chief information officer at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “Our close partnership with Accenture and Avanade has allowed us to introduce a range of Microsoft solutions that are helping us to transform the customer and employee experience, create exciting new housing solutions, and support continuous innovation throughout our business. Thinking digital has been an important focus of our work in recent years, and technological advancement is a vital component of our company’s strategy going forward.”

Overcoming the challenge of disruption: The CTO’s responsibility?

Responding to the challenge posed by disruption is a problem that every industry is facing. And in more cases than not, it is the CTO’s responsibility – according to Dan Telling from MyBench. Read here

Information Age analysis

The power of three.

The combination of Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade will certainly form a powerful group that will help organisations thrive in the era of digital disruption. There is no doubt about it.

Individually the organisation’s have helped countless businesses in different industries innovate and respond to changing consumer demands, while fighting off challengers.

Microsoft and Accenture have a longstanding partnership, culminating in their hugely successful joint venture, Avanade (also part of the group). They are already very familiar with each other, and have partnered on countless projects: Looking at the Carlsberg use case, Accenture helped migrate the Danish brewery onto Microsoft’s Azure.

The foundations of their relationship are already so well established, and their experience and technology solutions so extensive, that the formation of this group will certainly empower enterprises — regardless of industry — to thrive in the era of digital disruption.

Accenture and Avanade have been named Microsoft Alliance Partner of the Year 14 times, and Accenture was recently ranked number one by industry analyst firm HFS Research in their Top 10 for Microsoft AI Services 2019 report

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...