The creation of Accenture from the foundations of Andersen
Consulting following the arbitrators report (see TEC's "Implications
and Attitudes As the Andersen's Split under the ICC Ruling: Consulting
To Go for a Name Change" ) may not have been a market tsunami in terms
of the name, but the progress the company has made toward meeting the
market's needs and trends - and communicating its new branding - has distinguished
it as an organization that shows it can deliver, even impressively for
name change alone was a worldwide undertaking involving the hunt for something
that would cross the boundaries of all cultures, borders and language
groups without meeting the tart problems others now face. For example,
Logico.com means "dirty old man" in Chinese, something I am sure
the original founders of the company did not intend. Corporate mottos
can also can get into some trouble, for example, again in Chinese, "Come
alive from the Pepsi generation" means Pepsi "brings your ancestors
back from the grave", while Perdue's motto "It takes a tough man
to make a tender chicken," translates in Spanish to "It takes a hard man
to make a chicken aroused."
must have taken some hard thinking to achieve Accenture's new motto -
"Now it gets interesting" - something which hopefully does not have any
odd connotations in the 65 or so languages Accenture needs to cover. Given
Accenture's record in verbal research, one would be pretty sure that they
have navigated this course to an optimal solution.
method to select the name was no easy matter, and perhaps it is worth
repeating from an earlier TEC
article. Because of a past desire to change names, a master list of
some 5000 names had already been drawn up. The rest was an ambitious and
coordinated effort to trim the list using internal legal resources and
25 external law firms around the world, employing language specialists
to check for offensive meanings in 50 countries and 65 languages, and
checking across seven or eight different classes of trade. The effort
also generated around 3,000 trademark reports. Additionally, they did
'blind testing' of thirty of the names with a number of clients and potential
clients, and Accenture was the highest rated out of those. The result
of all this narrowed the list down to 50. More trademark checks shortened
it down to 10, and then finally a subcommittee reduced it to 4. "Accenture"
was picked the winner on the announcement day, October 26. It was quite
an effort and accomplishment in 80 days for the organization.
name Accenture, created by Kim Petersen, a senior manager in Oslo, Norway,
was meant to inspire a sense of 'adventure' and an accent on the 'future'.
This seems to have been the course Andersen (at the time) was heading.
A quick view of Accenture's website at www.accenture.com shows the change
from the rather dull or tired four tiered platform of Technology, Change
Management, Strategy and Process of a year ago to a new set of services
under the two banners of Business Consulting and Technology Business Solutions:
it spells out the new world of Accenture.
with EDS and other competitors, Accenture is looking at providing more
packaged and business system solutions - enabled in large part by a measure
of established internal knowledge management systems, intellectual property,
and new out-of-the box technologies. Its technology partners are acting
as an enablement in this regard, with the likes of tools and platforms
such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Siebel (NASDAQ:SEBL),
Blue Martini (NASDAQ: BLUE), and (dare we think) SAP
(NYSE: SAP). Such business consulting service lines as "Business Launch
Centres", "Strategy & Business Architecture" or "Solutions Engineering
Service Line" give a real feel for this new perception of business systems
engineering, where businesses, like naval warships, are designed from
the ground up for one or more targeted missions. Today, it is the tandem
of business concepts embodied and empowered by technology that drives
the corporations of tomorrow - and the careers of Accenture's 70,000 personnel.
its focus is on driving forward as a "network of businesses" rather than
a "one company" face with a single framework, raises the old concept of
a collective of independent partners - a time honored tradition that has
worked for accounting firms and cooperatives alike (take a look for Mondragon
in a past TEC article). The concept, expressly given in Accenture's new
brochure, extends to creating new companies - if that is what it takes
to serve its clients. Two examples of this new direction occurred last
year with the creation of Avanade, a company focused on delivering
Microsoft platform solutions, and Accenture Technology Ventures,
directed at delivering investment instruments for budding companies. A
third component in this mix is establishing operational companies for
the benefit of one or more specific clients. In the words of Joe Forehand,
CEO of Accenture, " we are helping our clients create innovative solutions
for the future"
Accenture ploughs into the future with its new business in hand, the company
will continue to change and extend to new business lines and directions.
Its focus will remain in business related technology consulting, and will
be a force to reckon with. It's flexible approach is preparing it for
the twenty-first century where fluid and adaptable business models are
likely to be the norm, not the exception.
systems approach to engineering complete businesses is becoming an accepted
and real process, largely because technology as a business enabler is
generally a well-defined architectural structure, a structure in which
the pieces are increasingly becoming integrated (hence EAI). Businesses
are becoming - and will increasingly be - more reliant on technology enablers.
Accenture's business approach is in keeping with this trend. User's should
consider partners that have the capabilities of delivering business systems
rather than business piecemeal solutions.
organizations will hang together through their internal technological
capabilities (such as knowledge and workflow nets) and virtual business
connection webs in their industry supply chain. This contrasts with traditional
more centralized hierarchical management and workflow controls and external
processes incorporating relationships to suppliers, buyers and consumers.
users may find this business model works for them, and an architectural
design for a web of interrelated businesses may be something to contemplate
as your businesses develop around technology enablers. This of course
is not true for all industries - there's still plenty of room for the
you intend to deal internationally - remember the lessons of Logico.com,
Pepsi and Perdue!