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Big Consultancies on a Know-how Shopping Spree

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: December 12 2013

These days, with waning demand for generalist management consulting, some larger global consultancies have been scrambling to acquire more specialist know-how in terms of industry, business process outsourcing (BPO), regional reach, etc. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are seen as a growth engine. Most recently, Accenture announced the acquisition of the industrial/embedded software development and services operations of a Hungarian software development and engineering services firm evopro group.
 
Accenture expects the deal, whose terms were not disclosed, will help its clients in their industrial software development efforts, and will also strengthen its own mobile software development abilities. Founded in 2001, evopro operates in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Turkey, and has over 1,000 employees.
 
At around the same time, Wipro announced the acquisition of Opus CMC, a provider of services for analyzing and managing mortgage-related risk. The $75 million deal is expected to close in calendar Q1 2014. Opus CMC has nearly 500 employees (including over 300 loan underwriters), and has a client base that includes some of the top global banks, mortgage conduits, mortgage investors, and independent mortgage originators. The company's services cover both residential and commercial mortgage products, and both individual loans and securitized mortgage pools.
 
Wipro expects the deal to help it expand in the high-end mortgage BPO segment and complement its existing mortgage solutions business, which has been IT-focused thus far. This acquisition, lo and behold, comes at the heels of Accenture recently buying a majority stake in Vivere Brasil, a Brazilian mortgage-processing software and services firm. Terms of the deal were again undisclosed. Vivere is being integrated with Accenture Credit Services’ mortgage consulting/outsourcing unit. The purchase came two months after Accenture bought loan origination/electronic document software firm Mortgage Cadence.
 
Moreover, in mid 2013, Accenture acquired e-commerce/online ad consulting firm Acquity Group for $316 million in cash. Much like Accenture's earlier purchases of Fjord and avVenta, the deal is about increasing Accenture's exposure to a burgeoning digital marketing services space, and offering more comprehensive solutions to chief marketing officers (CMOs) and advertising agencies. Accenture was attracted by Acquity’s expertise in popular platforms such as Adobe Marketing Cloud and SAP hybris. Other recent Accenture acquisitions were Procurian Inc. for procurement/spend management BPO, and PCO Innovation and PRION Group for product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting.
 
In related news, Hitachi Solutions recently acquired Canadian consulting company Ideaca. Founded in 2000, Ideaca has locations in Toronto, Kitchener, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver and delivers solutions to more than 350 clients. The company delivers a portfolio of management consulting and implementation and support services including enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), portals and collaboration, cloud computing, custom development and integration, customer relationship management (CRMBig Consultancies on a Know-How Shopping Spree), application infrastructure, and mobility across a broad range of industries.
 
Both companies are major Microsoft Dynamics consulting partners. Canada is a key geography for Hitachi because of the country’s strong business outlook and talented and well-educated workforce. In April 2013, Hitachi Solutions opened a Canadian subsidiary to be more responsive to existing Canadian clients and to enhance its ability to win new business in Canada. With this acquisition, Ideaca will become part of Hitachi Solutions Canada, Ltd. and will be operating under the Business Solutions Group. Given Microsoft’s incentives for partners that have strong global and industry capabilities, its intra-partner ecosystem consolidation is likely to continue.
 
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