Displaying items by tag: Accenture
Accenture announced the formation of Accenture Cloud First with a $3 billion investment over three years to help clients across all industries rapidly become “cloud first” businesses and accelerate their digital transformation to realize greater value at speed and scale. Karthik Narain will lead Accenture Cloud First and join the Global Management Committee, effective October 1.
Accenture is recognized as a leading partner to the world’s major cloud providers. With approximately $11 billion in cloud revenue in its fiscal year 2019, Accenture’s leadership spans from Software as a Service—delivered through the company’s Intelligent Platform Services—to its migration, infrastructure and application cloud services. More than 100,000 Accenture cloud professionals help clients shape, move, build and operate their businesses in the cloud and realize the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent and innovation benefits.
“COVID-19 has created a new inflection point that requires every company to dramatically accelerate the move to the cloud as a foundation for digital transformation to build the resilience, new experiences and products, trust, speed and structural cost reduction that the ongoing health, economic and societal crisis demands—and that a better future for all requires,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture. “Accenture Cloud First and our substantial investment demonstrate our commitment to delivering greater value to our clients when they need it most. Digital transformation requires cloud at scale, and post-COVID leadership requires that every business become a ‘cloud first’ business.”
Accenture Cloud First is a new multi-service group of 70,000 cloud professionals that brings together the full power and breadth of Accenture’s industry and technology capabilities, ecosystem partnerships, and deep commitment to learning and upskilling clients’ employees and to responsible business, with the singular focus of enabling organizations to move to the cloud with greater speed and achieve greater value for all their stakeholders at this critical time. Specifically, this new group integrates the company’s wide-ranging cloud expertise, including cloud migration, infrastructure, and application services and ecosystem partnerships; deep industry and cross-industry insights, data and Applied Intelligence capabilities; Accenture Interactive’s leading experience design skills; and insights from the company’s unmatched experience in modernizing and operating large IT estates and key business processes across finance, HR, marketing, supply chain and specific industries for leading global companies. This operational experience at scale is critical to ensuring companies realize value from their cloud and digital transformation. Edge computing, integrated with the cloud, also will be a key focus area.
Accenture Cloud First also combines world-class learning and talent development expertise; deep experience in cloud change management; and cloud-ready operating models with a commitment to responsible business by design—with security, data privacy, responsible use of artificial intelligence, sustainability and ethics and compliance built into the fundamental changes Accenture helps companies achieve.
Accenture’s $3 billion investment will be used to continue advancing—often together with its cloud and broader technology ecosystem partners—industry roadmaps, data models, and solutions; cloud AI data and AI architectures; integrated full-stack infrastructure and applications capabilities; cloud tools, assets, and automation to drive lower unit cost and innovation; and research and development in edge computing and related cloud technologies.
Karthik Narain will lead Accenture Cloud First. A technology industry veteran based in Silicon Valley, Narain most recently served as the lead for Accenture Technology in North America, helping guide Global 2000 brands in using the power of the cloud and other technologies to transform their businesses. Over his 20-year career, he has led many innovative technology programs for clients across a variety of industry sectors, including Software & Platforms, Financial Services and High Tech. Karthik also previously led Technology services for Accenture’s Communications, Media and High Tech industry segments.
“Cloud is the most disruptive and value-creating technology of our time—it is the foundation for the digital transformation that is driving profound changes in how businesses operate, compete and create value for all their stakeholders,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive, Accenture Technology. “With most businesses currently at only about 20% in the cloud, moving to 80% or more rapidly and cost effectively is a massive change that requires a bold new model. Accenture Cloud First, along with our $3 billion investment and our market-leading Software as a Service capabilities in Intelligent Platform Services, ensures that we provide our clients with value, speed and innovation in every part of their cloud journey.”
“The acceleration to new levels of digital performance by companies requires a transformation of talent across the enterprise to achieve truly new ways of competing, operating and serving customers,” said Annette Rippert, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy and Consulting. “We believe that helping our clients purposefully build the core skills they need and quickly adopt new ways of working is essential to achieve value moving to the cloud. Accenture Cloud First brings our strong capabilities in driving change and developing talent not only for our clients but also for Accenture—we are already 95% in the cloud, and in FY19, we invested $1 billion in developing our people.”
Today’s announcement comes as worldwide demand for cloud computing has skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion, up from $242.7 billion in 2019. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were a few initial hiccups but cloud ultimately delivered exactly what it was supposed to,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “It responded to increased demand and catered to customers’ preference of elastic, pay-as-you-go consumption models.”
 Gartner Press Release, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 6.3% in 2020, July 2020, https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-07-23-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-revenue-to-grow-6point3-percent-in-2020#:~:text=The%20worldwide%20public%20cloud%20services,increasing%2095.4%25%20to%20%241.2%20billion
Spain could increase its GDP by $48.5 billion, an additional 3.6 percent, by 2021, according to a report by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and Accenture Strategy called ‘Opportunity of the Digital Economy in Spain: How digitalization can speed up the Spanish economy’.
Findings of the study, which analyzed the state of digital transformation in Spain and its opportunities for improvement, was presented at the 31st Meeting of Telecommunications and Digital Economy held in the Spanish city of Santander, on September 6.
The report’s analysis was based on the results of an index measuring the digital economy opportunity (DEO) established jointly by Accenture and Oxford Economics. The methodology is based on the assessment of three main influencers under which the digital transformation process is developed: digital talent, digital technologies and digital accelerators.
Digital talent measures the degree of digitalization of work and the skills and knowledge required to carry out specific jobs; while digital technologies refers to the production assets available to tackle the digital transformation processes; and digital accelerators refers to measuring the behavior of a series of factors in the environment that contribute towards the development of the digital economy.
Analysis of the three areas places the United States and United Kingdom economies as digital leaders, whereas Spain stands below the digitalization average in relation to its European competitors. This position, however, reflects the country’s future growth and improvement potential, as well as the aspects on which greater emphasis must be placed to speed up the economy’s transformation process.
The major impact of the 2008 crisis, which had a direct effect on the three indicators analyzed in the report, is one of the many reasons that have led to the slowing down of the digitalization index of the Spanish economy, which has grown below the remaining economies analyzed during the same period. The report highlights the reasons for this delay through the three influences forming the analytical framework of the digital economy.
The scarcity of digital talent is one of the main causes of the delay in terms of digital skills, the report says. The digital transformation process requires a high density of digital talent, although the supply at present in Spain does not meet the current demand for this knowledge. The traditionally low salaries of the ITC sector, youth unemployment (leading to low penetration of millennials in the employment market) and low demographic mobility are just some of the reasons for this lack of talent.
In terms of digital technologies, the lack of digital strategy and the uncertainty with regard to the profitability of new technologies and the operational complexity of Spanish businesses are restricting digital transformation, the report says. What’s more, investment in innovation and the technology transfer capacity from research centers and universities to the market is lower than those of other European economies.
The regulatory framework and the limited access to funding are other factors that have helped in the delay of Spanish digitalization in terms of the last influence of the DEO index: digital accelerators. The study, however, includes a series of recommendations to optimize the distribution of efforts over the three areas of the digital economy in order to maximize the impact and financial return on the country’s economy.
Spain is faced with a great opportunity for the growth of its economy, which includes defining an ambitious, large-scale digital strategy, according to the report. Changes in training include the rapid growth of professional re-qualification, new work models and new talent. In terms of technological resources, the focus is placed on investment in infrastructures, the deployment of high-impact technologies such as 5G, the promoting of private R&D through public policies and the encouragement of new forms of collaboration, including startups, SMEs and major corporations such as Corporate Venturing.
Lastly, the report indicates initiatives required to face the growth opportunity of GDP, such as tax incentive policies, adaptation of regulations to decrease barriers to access technologies, an increase in data security and protection, adaptation of schools in terms of infrastructures and curriculum, and the surge of innovation centers.
Accenture and Apple have partnered to help businesses transform how their people engage with customers through innovative business solutions for iOS. The partnership will take full advantage of the iOS platform, and Accenture’s capabilities as a leader in industry and digital transformation, to help companies unlock new revenue streams, increase productivity, improved customer experience and reduce costs.
Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple will be co-located with this team. Working together, the two companies will launch a new set of tools and services that help enterprise clients transform how they engage with customers using iPhone and iPad. The experts will include visual and experience designers, programmers, data architects and scientists, and hardware and software designers.
“Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernize how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies.”
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, said, “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple. By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”
The new iOS tools and services will take full advantage of the latest Apple technologies and tap into Accenture’s digital and analytics capabilities, including new ecosystem services to help clients address the full range of iOS integration requirements to connect to back-end systems, leveraging Accenture’s systems integration expertise and the unique iOS advantages built by Apple with key partners like SAP and Cisco.
It will also include Internet-of-Things (IoT) services featuring new tools templates and predesigned code to help clients take greater advantage of the data from IoT platforms in their iOS apps, putting more power into the hands of workers.
Global management consulting and professional services company Accenture announced that it will achieve a gender-balanced workforce, with 50 percent women and 50 percent men, by 2025.
“We believe strongly that gender equality is essential for a high-performing, innovation-led organization,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Diversity makes our business stronger and more innovative and, most important, it makes the world better. With this new goal, we are sending an important message to our people and our clients that our future workforce is an equal workforce.”
Currently, Accenture has 150,000 women, nearly 40 percent of its global workforce. Over the past several years the company has set milestones on the path to gender equality. These include: setting a goal to reach 40 percent women new hires by 2017 – and achieving it a year early; promoting its largest percentage of women to the managing director level in 2016 (30 percent); and growing its percentage of women managing directors to 25 percent globally by 2020.
Accenture has taken a number of steps to attract, retain, advance and sponsor women on its path to achieving a gender balanced workforce, including sponsoring a global executive leadership program for the company’s most senior women. Since its inception six years ago, approximately 80 percent of the women in the program have been promoted or have significantly expanded their areas of responsibility.
Accenture is also delivering on a commitment to transparency. The company has set and published clear, measurable targets to grow its number of women, and has published its workforce demographics in many countries including the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Japan, India and ASEAN countries.
The company is also launching initiatives that provide women with in-demand skills. For example, the company’s Women in Technology program helps fast-track the careers of high-performing women toward the position of Technical Architect, a high-demand and short-supply role. In addition, Accenture is collaborating across business and government to further gender equality in the workplace, with commitments that include the White House Equal Pay Pledge, Paradigm for Parity, and Catalyst CEO Champions for Change.
“We embrace diversity as a source of creativity and competitive advantage,” said Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa. “As we work toward ‘50 by 2025’, globally and in the Middle East region, our goal is to create a truly human environment where people have a real sense of belonging, where they can show up every day, be who they are and be their best, both professionally and personally.”
Accenture, the global professional services company, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have formed an alliance to enable clients to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies as fundamental elements of their innovation strategies, helping to shape the future of their organizations.
Accenture Analytics, part of Accenture Digital, will apply its deep analytics expertise with DFKI’s specialized AI research capabilities to further the adoption of these new technologies in Germany and beyond.
Together, Accenture and DFKI will provide clients with direct access to innovative AI technologies, supporting them to understand the potential of applying AI for their organizations and guiding the implementation of new solutions through the adoption of best practices to unlock tangible new value and growth opportunities.
“Technology developments in this field are progressing at rapid speed, and we need to help clients continually reinvent themselves in such a fast-paced environment by applying new technology to unlock new outcomes,” said Frank Riemensperger, country managing director for Germany at Accenture.
“The volumes of unstructured data from the rise of the Internet of Things and other major technology trends offer huge new opportunities for those looking to transform their operations or even develop entirely new business models using AI-based technologies. AI empowers people to do things differently and to do different things. By combining DFKI’s expert researchers and AI practitioners with the deep insights and assets from Accenture Analytics, we can help clients achieve real benefits from imagining and then building their AI-enabled futures, today.”
“This innovation partnership with Accenture gives DFKI the opportunity to develop disruptive AI solutions for businesses as well as implement digital business models together with one of the leading management and technology consulting firms,” said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of DFKI.
“In particular, we are seeing a high degree of maturity for applications in the areas of Smart Data & Services, Deep Learning, Human-Robot-Collaboration and AI-based Retail, which we expect to result in profitable solutions for our clients in a very short timeframe.”
Through this collaboration, Accenture will get access to DFKI research results, AI tools, Living Labs and the deep expertise of DFKI’s top researchers. Simultaneously, DFKI will work closely with Accenture teams to gain new insights on real-world applications of AI within a broad range of industries, developing best practices and fostering the exchange of talent from both organizations for the overall acceleration of AI adoption for the benefit of clients.
AI is a major growth and productivity factor for the economy, and is projected to boost labor productivity by up to 40 percent through fundamentally changing how we work and reinforcing the role of people to drive growth in business. AI has the potential to more than double Germany’s annual growth rate of gross value added from 1.4 percent to 3 percent by 2035.
Across all industries, companies are working to take advantage of AI-based technologies, developing innovative business models and services, and redefining their value chains. Through this collaboration, DFKI and Accenture will help innovative companies and public institutions benefit from the current AI wave to transform into intelligent organizations.
Through an open innovation approach that is part of the Accenture Innovation Architecture, Accenture works with organizations including research companies such as DFKI to discover disruptive innovations for clients, before helping apply them to achieve real business outcomes.
Accenture, a global professional services company in the IT sector, unveiled a series of exciting new e-commerce solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. It was in the area of IoT and 'connected devices' that Accenture excelled and garnered most attention. The IT services colossus outlined its plans to implement technologies in order to create what it describes as 'frictionless transactions'.
In one demonstration, Accenture representatives displayed an application which would enable a driver to be able to fill up his car with whatever fuel the particular model required, proceed to pay for the transaction, receive a receipt and avail of some instore offers and discounts without even getting out of his vehicle. The driver wouldn't have to communicate with onsite staff in order to facilitate all these tasks – all the driver would have to do is use the mobile application, or the application designated for the vehicle dashboard.
According to Managing Director of Accenture Digital, Richard Meszaros, who also heads Accenture's commerce team, the key focus from Accenture's point of view is enabling its clients to avail of the new 'innovation architecture' the company is providing - and to create new commerce models to provide services in an autonomous fashion.
"We're really focusing on a lot of the innovations that we work on with our clients in order to create our new Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros. "I lead our commerce tower, which is focused on enabling new commerce models within the world of Internet of Things. Some of the things we're focusing on at MWC include an IoT marketplace that allows devices to make purchases for consumer services in an autonomous manner."
In addition, the Accenture executive spoke of the company's vision for blockchain technology with a particular focus on its specific use for smart solutions such as contracts and other related devices which can be connected.
"We're also focusing on blockchain technology and specifically its use for smart contracts and the ability to use that capability to be able to automate a complex transaction across a broad ecosystem of partners, and this, along with our innovation architecture, is just two examples of some of the solutions we're showcasing here at Mobile World Congress."
When asked about how he viewed the impact IoT would have on businesses and organizations that adopt it, Meszaros was emphatic that not only would the area continue to expand rapidly but that it had the unique potential to allow companies to completely transform their business and redefine structures.
"Depending on the research you see, there will be anywhere between 30-50 billion devices by the end of this decade," he said. "What I think is really exciting is that these devices are becoming smart and contextually aware – which allows our clients with Accenture's help to reinvent their entire business models.
"It enables them to be able to take advantage of the unique capabilities of these devices and all of the data that is available to really define new ways to serve their customers, create new business opportunities, and ultimately address challenges in their business today, and that's the most exciting thing for us at Accenture."
IoT is a big topic that has transfixed the industry and research indicates it's about to get a lot, lot bigger in the forthcoming years. However, as more and more businesses embrace the technology; one issue that consistently arises is that of IoT security.
Can organizations protect their data from cybersecurity attacks when adopting IoT devices? Meszaros believes security is of "paramount importance" in relation to IoT for Accenture – but said it was important to find out firstly what data is on the device and establish whether or not the device actually needs access to it.
"Security has to be paramount when you think about IoT and how these devices will interact with these new ecosystems," said Meszaros. "I think the key area to think about is what data is on the device. We have to establish whether or not that device needs access to the data or if it can it be tokenized for instance to be able to facilitate the transaction."
In an e-commerce environment, no consumer would want to put a 16 digit credit card number into a refrigerator, Meszaros explained, but the ability to use a token that represents that payment credential and that fridge could initiate that transaction by using that token. "It's a great example of how the industry can use existing capabilities to be able to facilitate these new next generation commerce experiences."
These are exciting times for Accenture which indicated clearly at MWC that it will be vying to retain its position at the forefront of IoT technologies in the forthcoming years as mass adoption of IoT and the creation of connected applications, devices and platforms continue to expand at a rapid pace.
However, for now, according to Meszaros, Accenture's vision is to help its clients take advantage of the new IoT world and allow them to innovate and transform their business by using Accenture's solutions.
"What we're about is helping our clients take advantage of this new IoT world and to innovate in that area, so that's what is so exciting about the release of Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros.
"It allows us to work with our clients from concept all the way to rapid prototyping, to scaling these solutions all the way to an enterprise launch. That's primarily what we're focused on here at Mobile World Congress: how we can help our clients transform and innovate in their business using that architecture."
Accenture have disclosed its plans to create an additional 15,000 jobs over the next three years in the US. The technology consulting and services company announced that it will increase its American workforce by 30%. In a statement issued by Accenture they outlined plans to create 15,000 ‘highly skilled new jobs’ which would subsequently increase its overall workforce in the US to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020.
Accenture further disclosed its plans to create 10 new ‘innovation hubs’ and confirmed it will invest $1.4 billion in training employees in order to have ‘leading-edge capabilities’ for doing their jobs. Accenture chief executive, Julie Sweet said the announcement represented a key moment for the company. She said: “Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation's growth and innovation agenda.”
Accenture has been a leader in the outsourcing business, and the Accenture boss says the new innovation hubs will be designed to help create the next wave of competitiveness. Sweet added: “That will involve helping companies figure out how to use new technologies in a process of “continuous innovation.” That kind of work "requires proximity to clients,” which is why Accenture is creating the regional centers.
Accenture are the latest in a series of major companies to announce investments or job creation in the United States. It is a trend that has followed the election of US president Donald Trump whose presidential campaign was centered on the theme of job creation. Trump vowed to bring back domestic manufacturing and jobs if he was elected president.
Speaking at the 2016 Telecom Review Summit, Gary Heffernan, senior managing director for Communications, Media & Technology, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America at Accenture, gave a thoughtful keynote speech about disruption within the Communications industry. He said: “There is no doubt that with the disruption and change that is going on around the industry, consumers have different and changing expectations of Communications Service Providers (CSPs).”
“I think the proliferation and explosion of devices, the explosion of consumption, and the explosion of experiences, creates a massive business upside for them, but only if they start to scale capabilities that will change their game on their customer experience,” said Mr. Heffernan.
“I believe in the need to inject new DNA – being digital capability - in CSPs’ organizations - a change that is absolutely critical as we think about the next generation of telecommunications,” Mr. Heffernan told delegates at the Summit. He added that there is “great opportunity” in what he calls “B2B 2.0”. Around the world, industries are crying out for innovation, and CSPs have the opportunity to empower enterprises with connectivity as the IoT starts becoming reality, he said.
According to Heffernan, the Communications, Media and Technology industries are providing the majority of game-changing technology and innovation. If we’re going to seize the “B2B 2.0” opportunity, he explained – whether that’s in SME’s or large corporates – we need more of the thinking that was highlighted at the Summit.
This includes collaboration with governments, creating the right investment climate, and becoming more pro-active in orchestrating the eco-system, whether that’s with start-ups or whether that’s with new innovators. These factors are “crucial” said Heffernan.
“In relation to the ongoing changes in the Communications industry, you can see that some European CSPs now believe that they’re going to be in the banking business,” Heffernan explained. “You look at companies like Orange, who have announced their intention to be a key player in mobile banking: they have already established “Orange Money” in the Middle East & Africa and now want to take what they’ve done there to other parts of the world.
“I think what’s happening with VOD and OTT is worrying for these industries, but I think CSPs need to be very thoughtful in what areas they’re going to play – and making sure they’ve got the vertical capabilities, the security capabilities, and the aggregator capabilities to be successful in whatever bets they choose.”
Discussing Dubai’s smart city transformation, Heffernan noted that there is clearly a “lot of vision” in the region – particularly with Dubai’s ability to attract talent. Right now, he said, the Communications industry needs leaders, not administrators: “Leaders that are going to have a vision and have the courage to try new things, and the courage to really transform their capabilities.” The capabilities of the last 20-30 years will “not be enough to transform any telecoms operator into a digital visionary.”
It’s absolutely crucial, Heffernan said, for CSPs to make the right investments in training and capability, and create the right environment for investment. “I truly believe that the key driver between success and failure will be talent,” said Heffernan. He also emphasized, “the ability to nurture, retain and unleash talent, even if it means challenging all the fundamental assumptions in your organization.”
Huawei launched its Cloud Open Labs in the presence of 19 leading global operators, industry organizations, and partners, including the Linux Foundation, Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), China Association of Communication Enterprises, Accenture, Red Hat, VMware, and Wind River.
As part of Huawei's commitment to openness, evolution, and innovation, the Cloud Open Labs – with interconnected facilities across four labs – aim to enable operators' business success. These centers will provide the foundation for integrating and verifying solutions which enable the All Cloud transformation.
Jim Lu, President of Global Technical Service, Huawei, said, "Digital transformation has been widely recognized in the industry as a necessity. Huawei advocates the All Cloud Strategy, aiming to build efficient networks and develop agile advantages to help operators provide their end users with a Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social (ROADS) experience. Our Cloud Open Labs will establish an industry ecosystem and support open collaboration, allowing operators, industry organizations and partners to jointly address the challenges of digital transformation. Our Cloud Open Labs will also support Huawei's All Cloud Strategy. Huawei Global Technical Service will continuously increase investment in consulting and system integration in an effort to enable operators to tap into unlimited opportunities in the trillion-dollar digital market."
Bruce Xun, Vice President of Global Technical Service, Huawei, gave a demonstration of VoLTE services via a future-oriented cloud-based network. Bruce remarked, "Operators will face numerous challenges during the transformation to the cloud, including multi-vendor integration, evolution from existing networks to target networks, and problems relating to agile operations. Our Cloud Open Labs’ function is to establish an ecosystem, conduct pre-integration and pre-verification, and serve as a joint innovation platform which will effectively enable the All Cloud Strategy."
Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation, said, "It is important to have a cross-vendor, cross solution, open platform where individual developers, vendors, and service providers can get together to test interoperability, to do proof of concepts, and to really enable this open source software to meet their customer's expectations and to meet the expectations that will really drive demand in the future of the network."
Huawei has connected its four open labs and built a unified digital operations platform to support operators' network evolution and operations transformation. These open labs include the Global Network Evolution and Experience Center (GNEEC), the NFV Open Lab, the SDN Open Lab, and the DC Open Lab. These Cloud Open Labs enable Huawei to innovate solutions jointly with operators, industry organizations, and partners, and achieve mutual certification and authorization together with partners. So far, the labs have worked with over 40 partners for solution integration and verification. They have also completed pre-verification for over 550 projects, and pursued joint innovation in conjunction with Wind River, VMware, Red Hat, and Accenture.
As competition has become fierce in this new digital world, Accenture is operating fiercely from the middle. In an interview with Active Telecoms, Gerardo Canta, Managing Director, Accenture - Leading Communications, Media and Technology
Business talked about the importance of digital economy, focusing on the telco's role and digital transformation, showing its effect on society and the consumer. The following are some of his responses.
What is the new role of the telco in this new, highly connected digital world?
With millions of companies, billions of people and ever increasing numbers of objects connected to each other every second, the growth of digital is resulting in a tremendous amount of disruption for communications service providers (CSPs).
As Accenture research confirms, competition has become fierce, especially from digital giants, as people consider turning to consumer technology companies for broadband, voice and messaging systems as alternatives to CSPs. The traditional operators' business model is under assault, with industry analyst firm Ovum predicting more than US $80 billion USD in operators' revenue is at risk just in 2015.
In this highly connected world, we believe that CSPs have a unique opportunity to transform themselves into Integrated digital service providers (IDSP), and to play a central role in the digital economy not only as enablers of core services, but also as active players in the new ecosystem.
There are several pieces of evidence to support our vision of the telco as the enabler of the digital economy. CSPs aiming at transforming themselves into IDSPs can immediately leverage existing assets: strong and trusted brands, unique location and proximity to their clients, established billing relationships, robust network infrastructures and a large quantity of customer and usage data, to mention just a few.
CSPs can also leverage their customers' proximity as a trusted provider to consumers and enterprises, a tremendous asset that can play a major role in differentiating them from competition in the new digital world. CSPs also have an opportunity to be a growth driver in the digital economy, leading the way in bringing new services to market by introducing existing customers to new propositions enabled by digital technologies.
As an example of this, in our recent study 'Everyone's a Screenager, Now What?', we found that telecom operators are already in the leading position as trusted providers among organizations that consumers would consider using for the provision of connected devices and services. This is a tremendous competitive advantage in a new digital world where players and rules have significantly changed.
What is the key to telcos thriving in a digital economy?
In order to thrive in the digital era, operators must re-imagine their core businesses and find ways to turn the disruption to their advantage. Their objective should be to become IDSPs; operators investing in their infrastructure capabilities, operations and offerings to pursue digital as a business, both internally in terms of their own infrastructures, and externally in terms of what they are able to offer their customers, be they consumers, enterprises or governments.
Becoming an IDSP will enable a CSP to provide a superior customer experience and offer a new set of customized and innovative services and solutions. As an example, CSPs could become the "digital home integrator" for the consumer market, while becoming the "M2M enabler", "smart city provider" or "IT one-stop-shop" for the enterprises and governments. By turning their attentions to the potential of digital, playing on their traditional strengths and improving them to be relevant in the digital world, a CSP could act as a sophisticated ICT aggregator, managing a complex ecosystem of partnership with the ambition to be the hub of a person or an organization's digital future.
One of the key elements of the transformation to becoming an IDSP is a state-of-the art and agile network infrastructure. The growth and demand for digital services is creating tremendous disruption for CSPs as their customers, particularly the enterprise segment, demand ever-increasing capacity, service velocity, quality and differentiation.
To address the requirements of the new digital customer in a cost-effective and efficient manner while reducing time to revenue, high-performing CSPs are moving away from reliance on purpose-built hardware for network functions. They are instead creating a new digital network of the future-underpinned by the cloud, software-defined network (SDN) tools, and network functional virtualization (NFV)-that will be a flexible business enabler, providing an opportunity for CSPs to win against the digital giants and to be a disrupter, rather than the disrupted.
Moreover, differentiating network capabilities, capacities and solutions are a means to attract premium revenue. As an example of creating this differentiation, one CSP has established an evolved multimedia broadcast multicast service (eMBMS) video network to cost-effectively deliver mobile TV from one broadcast signal to many mobile phone subscribers at once.
Are there any rules or guidelines for modern Telcos to embark a successful digital transformation?
Accenture is supporting significant numbers of clients across all industries as they embark on digital transformation initiatives. These include developing strategies to address the evolving habits, behaviors and expectations of the new digital customer, evident in both consumers and enterprises.
This wave of change is particularly visible in the communication industry. There are typically three main dimensions along which CSPs are transforming: digitalization of customer interactions, development of new digital products and services and digitalization of internal operations and processes.
Delivering a seamless customer experience by creating digital and delightful customer journeys across all channels is a critical success factor. The digital transformation should also include implementation of the necessary technology enablers, such as an accelerated adoption of multi-speed IT, and be supported by a well-articulated change management program across all the components of the organization. A key focus area is talent strategy, as people will play a central role in mastering new technologies and enabling the sophisticated business models required to succeed in the digital era.
Typically, the main challenges faced by CSPs are in the execution of digital transformation, rather than in designing it. Identifying the right operating model to govern and implement the transformation while managing the "business as usual" is the most critical and complex success factor. Several options are possible, from establishing digital transformation internal committees, to creating centralized and independent digital centers of excellence across business units, up to developing and spinning off a new digital company. Generally speaking, there is not a common answer that fits all organizations. It depends on the DNA of an organization itself, the company culture and also the partners selected for the digital transformation journey.
What, if any, fears are CIOs and CMOs facing on their journey of digital transformation?
CMOs and CIOs agree that getting marketing IT right is a crucial part of their organization's customer-focused digital transformation. But they are challenged with executing on their strategies. The Accenture study, "Cutting Across the CMO-CIO Divide", shows that many senior marketers and IT leaders have encountered problems in implementing marketing solutions or IT projects that focus on marketing effectiveness. They feel that technology in their organization is still siloed and cumbersome.
As a result, we're seeing many organizations struggling to craft cross-channel and multi-channel experiences that are relevant and delightful for their customers. In the four years of leading this research, we've never seen CMOs and CIOs as interested in working together as they are now. We believe that establishing a joint vision with a focus around service design and customer experience can help overcome current issues. Operating models should be revised to integrate customer-focused skills throughout the company, and marketing models and budgets should be aligned with the new ecosystem of marketing services.
Acting on these recommendations allows companies to achieve the ultimate goal of marketing and IT collaboration: enduring customer relevance at scale through a customer-focused digital transformation.
Do you think the rapid change of technology is good for the consumer?
There is no doubt that the technological advances being made today are going to be, and are already proving to be, good for consumers. People want services that are customized for them, available on demand and at the simple touch of a button, and the adoption of new digitally-enabled services and products will help make this a reality.
At Accenture, we believe that what we are living is not just a change in technology. Technology is the enabler, but consumers are changing expectations, habits and values. The whole economy is moving towards digital, which will benefit the whole ecosystem. Consumers are getting more tailored services, companies have tremendous opportunities to streamline their processes and boost their propositions, and governments can be in direct contact with and supportive of every single citizen.
Smart cities are one example of this change having a positive effect, but there are other disruptive innovations in the consumer realm that provide day to day benefits, such as connected health offerings (remotely being able to access medical advice, for example), and personalized content streaming services, or even connected fashion and digitally enabled clothes!
Companies and governments are keen to share the benefits of technology with people who want it as quickly as infrastructures and regulations will allow, and the speed of progress is often impacted by increased demand once consumers realize what it is possible to achieve.
Do you think the change will realistically benefit everyone in society?
Internet of things technologies such as those that enable smart cities can improve the use and experiences of physical spaces where we live and work; their potential is not only about improving the lives of individuals, but businesses, the environment, city operations and any number of other activities. For example, we are already seeing smart buildings that enable lower energy usage, and police using sensor and video analytics to help predict crowd behavior, coordinate resources and respond to incidents.
The Internet of things will have endless applications that could benefit everyone in society. For example, Accenture is part of a consortium called City Digital, which is developing and testing urban infrastructure solutions in Chicago to develop transformative improvements in cities across the world.
At the moment, we're working with them on an underground infrastructure mapping pilot, which focuses on developing a platform to enable virtual mapping and coordination to help monitor underground structures, like water pipes, gas lines, power and electrical systems, subway structures and telecommunications cabling. The goal is to overcome inefficiencies and costs created by the reliance on antiquated systems to plan and execute underground projects.
The pilot will also better coordinate underground permitting and activities, reduce redundant digging operations and accidental interruptions of service, improving the accuracy of utility information and optimizing the way this information is obtained. With services like this, every inhabitant of an area can benefit from improved utilities, enhanced security and fewer disruptions.
How does Accenture fit into this rapidly evolving landscape of digital transformation?
Accenture is a global organization of more than 358,000 people, serving clients in more than 120 countries and one of the benefits that our clients enjoy is being able to leverage our global expertise, but maintaining a local presence and strong local team is also very important to us.
We will continue to make significant investments in research and new technology with our team of digital experts. We are dedicated to enable digital transformation for businesses across industries as well as governments and to develop and nurture local talent to enable the region's best and brightest, cultivating valuable careers and contributing to their countries' agendas.