New Accenture-Microsoft group to sharpen industry focus

Accenture-Microsoft business group will deliver industry-specific offerings and consulting services to enterprises that lean towards Microsoft technologies

A new business group formed by Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade will enable the trio to deliver industry-specific offerings and consulting services to enterprises that rely on Microsoft’s technologies in core aspects of their business.

Speaking exclusively to Computer Weekly on his recent trip to Singapore, Avanade CEO Adam Warby said the Accenture Microsoft Business Group, formed earlier this year, will see Accenture take a leadership role through industry leads that will develop sectorial offerings that Accenture and Avanade can pitch to enterprises.

Warby said these could be SAP applications running on the Azure cloud service, but customised for sectors such as retail, financial services and manufacturing through new investments.

The new business group will also enable Accenture to offer more consulting services to support enterprises that need advice in developing high-level IT architectures and roadmaps, while Avanade will continue to implement IT projects arising from those plans.

Avanade will also provide consulting services for clients not covered by Accenture, Warby said, adding: “We don’t worry too much about overlaps as long as we’re transparent and clear about things.

“This is about creating incremental growth and not about replacing something we’re doing today. Avanade continues to grow in the double digits, and we want to add growth on top of that,” he added.

That includes taking on more manpower to support enterprises in their move to the cloud, whether it is in consulting, architecture skills or software delivery, particularly business applications in the Microsoft Dynamics portfolio.

But in an increasingly multi-cloud world, enterprises are using cloud infrastructure and applications not only from Microsoft, but others as well. Warby said although Avanade works with enterprises that lean towards Microsoft technologies, it remains agnostic when dishing out advice to clients.

“It’s an $85bn market opportunity for Accenture and Avanade,” he said. “We’re at less than $3bn this year, so there’s a lot of market share potential there for us.”

That includes opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem comprising other technology suppliers and partners, as well as the work involved in integrating Microsoft technologies with those of other firms, including Microsoft’s rivals.

“We have to be practical about it – if you have to integrate with someone else’s cloud, then that’s what you do,” Warby said.

Cloud adoption picking up in Asia

Although cloud adoption in the Asia-Pacific region has typically lagged behind the US and Europe, Warby said that has started to change in recent years.

Adoption of cloud is picking up at a tremendous pace, whether it’s in Australia, Japan or across the Asia region,” said Warby. “This puts Microsoft in a good position, because it’s not going to be all public cloud – it’s the hybrid model which has been Microsoft’s message since the beginning.”

The next wave of cloud adoption, Warby said, will see more enterprises moving traditional enterprise applications such as SAP to the cloud, “not just for efficiency, but also to get data into the cloud to do different things with it”.

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