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Big consultancies snapping up channel talent

EY and Accenture have each dipped into the mergers and acquisitions space to add more services and technical capabilities to their offerings

The big consultancy firms are continuing to pick up channel operations to bolster their ability to cover key technologies and services.

EY has made a move to acquire ServiceNow specialist Whyaye as part of broader plans to double the size of its consulting business in the next four years. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Newcastle-based Whyaye has been around since 2019. It has 100 staff who provide consulting services around the ServiceNow platform.

The plan is to run the firm under the brand EY Whyaye, with its CEO Maureen Robson-Norman joining Ernst & Young LLP as a partner.

“Our UK consulting teams achieved record levels of growth last year and we have maintained the momentum into this financial year. We are seeing strong levels of client demand for technology consulting and are making significant investments to expand and strengthen the skills and capabilities we can offer clients as they transform and future-proof their organisations,” said Benoit Laclau, EY managing partner for consulting, UK & Ireland.

“The acquisition of Whyaye is an important addition to EY Consulting in the UK as we look to grow our market capabilities around the ServiceNow platform,” he added.

In response, Robson-Norman, CEO of Whyaye, said the firm viewed the acquisition as a positive development: “ServiceNow is an incredibly powerful platform which can help bring significant efficiencies to a business when used to its full potential. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with EY teams to accelerate our growth and work with clients on their transformation journeys.” 

The consolidation move also got the thumbs up from Jordi Ferrer, vice-president and general manager UK&I at ServiceNow, who viewed the tie-up as a sign that EY was continuing to expand in its consulting services capacity.

“The addition of Whyaye will enable the EY and ServiceNow strategic collaboration to expand further, helping more companies be more agile and productive in an era of rapid change,” he said.

The EY move comes just a few days after Accenture picked up MSP Objectivity, a cloud platform specialist, to bolster its technical engineering skills.

The Coventry-based firm has expertise across platform development, application modernisation and cloud that will bolster Accenture’s technical expertise and back its cloud-first strategy. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With a strong digital core powered by cloud, organisations can continuously adapt to industry dynamics, using platforms to reimagine value chains and embrace new business models,” said Karthik Narain, global lead for Accenture Cloud First. “Objectivity’s strong engineering culture and delivery experience will help our clients pivot and launch new products quickly and efficiently.”

In response, Rob Helle, founder of Objectivity, said the firm had built up a strong reputation over the past three decades and had achieved a fair amount prior to the acquisition.

“Our values-driven culture allowed us to successfully become an international, virtual organisation, where clients and employees have been continuously growing together. Joining the Accenture team will enable us to achieve more because we will be stronger together with Accenture,” he said.

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