Leading Market Research Firm Identifies Accenture as Worldwide Systems Integration Leader

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2006 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is the new worldwide leader in Systems Integration (SI) Services, according to an IDC report released this month.*

IDC cited this competitive shift as significant because IBM Global Services had held the top spot since the IT research and advisory firm first began tracking the market in the late 1990s. Accenture’s rise to the number one position in worldwide SI was due, said IDC, to customers’ increased investments in SOA, infrastructure improvements and application services. The report was based on SI Services Revenue for 2005.

“Fueled by strong customer demand particularly in the Americas and EMEA, Accenture achieved 8 percent growth, well above the market,” IDC reported. “Deep client relationships, a robust ecosystem of partners, and strong brand recognition have contributed to its success.”

Accenture’s extensive investment in SOA services also put it in position to take full advantage in the future of a rebounding SI market and customers’ increased demand for these services, according to the report. The company announced in July 2006 that it would invest $450 million over the next three years in SOA, including a new Technology Lab for SOA Innovation aimed at helping clients gain an advantage in reaping the benefits of this technology shift.

In addition, Accenture said its focus on innovation, specialization, and industrialization has also spurred growth. In the area of innovation, for example, the company cited its investment in solutions and asset development in conjunction with its high-performance industry programs.

As an example of industrialization, Accenture pointed to its Global Delivery Network (GDN). The GDN focuses on delivering solutions that are highly automated, high quality, and cost competitive, allowing clients to propel businesses in all industries to the next level. Accenture also noted that the GDN is complemented by Global Delivery Excellence, a program that includes the systematic re-utilization of skills and assets, continuous improvement, market-leading standards and accreditations.

In the area of specialization, it cited people development and training programs that are focused on developing capabilities by industry, business function, application product suite, and technology platform.

“Our revenue growth and increased market share did not happen by chance,” said Dave Hill, Accenture’s Managing Director for Systems Integration. “They can be attributed to the clear articulation of our SOA vision and our strong partnerships with leading software vendors, as well as greatly improved market conditions,”

According to the IDC report, worldwide SI services experienced its strongest year since the peak of the dot.com boom in the late 1990s. The market experienced growth of approximately 4% in 2005, about double over the previous year. However, half of the top eight companies experienced declines due to various factors.

“The improved economic conditions, pent-up demand and a desire to align business processes with IT systems drove spending,” continued the report. “High-growth areas are investments in SOA, infrastructure improvements, and application services.”

IDC also noted that willingness to embrace the evolution of the software environment, close collaboration with partners and customers, strong understanding of the industry-specific business processes, and mature and seamless global delivery capability are predictors of future success in the SI market.

Outsourcing growth opportunities notwithstanding, project-based services represent the leading services business for most of the top 10 worldwide SI providers, according to the report. Accenture, for example, further increased its outsourcing business to 40 percent of its overall services business, compared with 37.4 percent the previous year.

For the purposes of the report, IDC defines SI as a process that includes the planning, design, implementation and project management of a solution that addresses the specific technical or business needs of a client, including systems and customer application development and implementation and integration of enterprise packaged software.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With approximately 140,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated revenues of US$16.65 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2006. Its homepage is www.accenture.com.

* IDC, Worldwide and U.S. Systems Integration 2005 Vendor Shares: Top 10 Vendors for 2005, Doc # 203780, Nov 2006.

Ed Trapasso

+1 (917) 452 3555