Global professional services company Accenture will acquire umlaut, an engineering consulting and services firm headquartered in Aachen, Germany for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition will scale Accenture’s deep engineering capabilities to help companies use digital technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence, and 5G to transform how they design, engineer and manufacture their products as well as embed sustainability.
The acquisition of umlaut will add more than 4,200 industry-leading engineers and consultants across 17 countries to Accenture’s Industry X services, and expand the company’s capabilities across a range of industries, including automotive, aerospace & defense, telecommunications, energy and utilities, Accenture said in a statement.
Industry X combines Accenture’s powerful data and digital capabilities with deep engineering expertise to offer clients the broadest suite of services for digitizing their engineering functions, factory floors and plant operations, improving productivity, speeding up the transformation of hardware into software-enabled products, and allowing for faster and more flexible product development.
“We predicted that digital would ultimately be applied at scale to the core of a company’s business – the design, engineering and manufacturing of their products. And, for nearly a decade Accenture has been building the unique capabilities and ecosystem partnerships to combine the power of digital with traditional engineering services,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies to transform these core operations, and umlaut’s leading and highly-specialized engineering services will enhance our ability to meet the accelerating demand and also continue innovating for our clients.”
Accenture is expanding Industry X at a time when software increasingly determines the market success of platforms, products and services across industries that require intelligence to be embedded. However, in a survey of more than 1,500 industry executives, Accenture research found that only 38 per cent of companies have deployed at least one project to digitize their engineering and manufacturing.
“Bringing world-class digital engineering and manufacturing expertise to our clients helps them rapidly scale, accelerate growth, improve productivity and safety, and embed sustainability across their operations,” said Nigel Stacey, global lead of Accenture Industry X.
“From consumers to R&D to the supply chain and factory floor, and back again, companies that use the power of data and digital to build value will become – and remain – relevant, resilient and responsible.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that most companies’ operations and supply chains are far from resilient or flexible enough to respond to crises. Digital technologies can help mitigate disruptions by, for example, enabling a fast switch to operate factories remotely or providing near real-time insights about changing market demands. In addition, companies are increasingly expected to operate more responsibly and contribute to a circular economy through the development of more sustainable products.
Umlaut’s capabilities span traditional and digital engineering services; testing and validation of smart connected products; strategy, process and organizational consulting; and hardware product development as well as software development.
“Business leaders across many industries who face the convergence of the digital and the product world are looking for a trusted partner that understands their language and can really help navigate each step of the journey to bring tangible outcomes in engineering and manufacturing,” said Marc Peter Althoff, chief technology officer, umlaut.
“We are excited to bring our unique engineering and consulting culture, deep industry know-how and subject matter expertise to Accenture Industry X and jointly create the capabilities and scale to help clients successfully transform.”
Umlaut will be next in a series of 22 acquisitions Accenture has made since 2017 to build its Industry X capabilities. More recent acquisitions include operations technology provider Electro 80 (Australia), industrial robotics and automation services provider Pollux (Brazil), operations consultancy Myrtle (US) and technology consultancy SALT Solutions (Germany).
Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.