January 09, 2017
Accenture Acquires Product Design and Innovation Firm Altitude, Enhancing Ability to Help Companies Harness the Internet of Things to Create New Business Models
NEW YORK; Jan. 9, 2017 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has acquired Altitude, a privately held product design and innovation firm based in Boston that uses its expertise in consumer insight, design and product engineering to help companies innovate and develop new physical products and services.
Serving clients across a wide range of industries – including consumer goods, healthcare, industrial and high-tech – Altitude has created award-winning products for many leading brands, including Anheuser-Busch, DeWalt, ThermoFisher Scientific and Under Armour. Altitude’s key areas of expertise include consumer insights, where teams identify new opportunities and determine how an organization can commercialize them; and product creation, where teams design new physical products and services that create meaningful experiences.
The acquisition will result in a unique combination of Altitude’s innovation, design, and engineering expertise with Accenture’s industry knowledge and full range of consulting, technology and digital capabilities including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and Internet-of-Things (IoT). The combination will enable the creation of an integrated set of connected-product services, better positioning Accenture to help companies rapidly develop IoT business models and capture new revenue streams in the high-growth, connected products and services market.
The Altitude team will enhance Accenture’s Connected Product Lifecycle Services practice in North America. Accenture will also use the acquisition to establish a Connected Products Studio in Boston, which is an emerging hub for IoT innovation. Accenture has been building its ability to deliver design for new services and products for clients. This includes a suite of capabilities including Fjord, with 24 studios around the world, which are focused on service design and the delivery of digital products. The acquisition of Altitude strengthens Accenture’s ability to help clients design and create physical products.
Research by Accenture shows that only 27% of businesses have a strategy for IoT and many lack the capabilities needed to pivot their business models at speed and scale to harness IoT innovation.
“Disruption introduced by connected products and the IoT is re-writing the old rules of a product-based business model, forcing manufacturers to transform to deliver value-added services and deliver meaningful outcomes for consumers,” said Brian Doyle, Accenture’s managing director for Connected Product Innovation in North America. “The addition of Altitude strengthens Accenture’s position as a premier innovation partner for companies looking to seize the opportunities in the new connected world. Together we will provide the vision and end-to-end capabilities to help clients become disruptors and innovate at the speed of a start-up, but with less risk.”
Brian Matt, Altitude’s Founder and Chairman, said, “Altitude has helped companies invent and change the way they deliver goods and services for the future, such as integrating robots into homes, redefining mobility for aging populations, personalizing consumer experiences, and turning an industrial equipment company into a service provider. Together with Accenture, we can amplify our impact and help clients realize a new future, one they wouldn’t get to on their own.”
“Designing and building connected products requires entirely new competencies to redefine the business or product strategy, customer experience and ecosystem, along with the underlying technologies that Accenture has built, such as cybersecurity or machine learning,” Doyle said. “This acquisition will enhance our ability to help clients drive more successful innovation and create growth platforms that harness the Internet of Things.”
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Boston, Altitude has filed more than 96 patents and has won more than 100 awards for innovation, including the prestigious Edison award. Altitude’s capabilities span the full range of design and development, from ethnographic research, opportunity identification, growth strategy and innovation strategy to product design and development, digital design, technology development, experience design and brand design. The company has close links to the innovation ecosystem and leading universities in the Boston area, including MIT, Harvard, Tufts and Northeastern.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 394,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “likely,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “positioned,” “outlook” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. These include, without limitation, risks that: the transaction might not achieve the anticipated benefits for the company; the company’s results of operations could be adversely affected by volatile, negative or uncertain economic conditions and the effects of these conditions on the company’s clients’ businesses and levels of business activity; the company’s business depends on generating and maintaining ongoing, profitable client demand for the company’s services and solutions, and a significant reduction in such demand could materially affect the company’s results of operations; if the company is unable to keep its supply of skills and resources in balance with client demand around the world and attract and retain professionals with strong leadership skills, the company’s business, the utilization rate of the company’s professionals and the company’s results of operations may be materially adversely affected; the markets in which the company competes are highly competitive, and the company might not be able to compete effectively; the company could have liability or the company’s reputation could be damaged if the company fails to protect client and/or company data or information systems as obligated by law or contract or if the company’s information systems are breached; the company’s results of operations and ability to grow could be materially negatively affected if the company cannot adapt and expand its services and solutions in response to ongoing changes in technology and offerings by new entrants; the company’s results of operations could materially suffer if the company is not able to obtain sufficient pricing to enable it to meet its profitability expectations; if the company does not accurately anticipate the cost, risk and complexity of performing its work or if the third parties upon whom it relies do not meet their commitments, then the company’s contracts could have delivery inefficiencies and be less profitable than expected or unprofitable; the company’s results of operations could be materially adversely affected by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; the company’s profitability could suffer if its cost-management strategies are unsuccessful, and the company may not be able to improve its profitability through improvements to cost-management to the degree it has done in the past; the company’s business could be materially adversely affected if the company incurs legal liability; the company’s work with government clients exposes the company to additional risks inherent in the government contracting environment; the company might not be successful at identifying, acquiring or integrating businesses, entering into joint ventures or divesting businesses; the company’s Global Delivery Network is increasingly concentrated in India and the Philippines, which may expose it to operational risks; changes in the company’s level of taxes, as well as audits, investigations and tax proceedings, or changes in the company’s treatment as an Irish company, could have a material adverse effect on the company’s results of operations and financial condition; as a result of the company’s geographically diverse operations and its growth strategy to continue geographic expansion, the company is more susceptible to certain risks; adverse changes to the company’s relationships with key alliance partners or in the business of its key alliance partners could adversely affect the company’s results of operations; the company’s services or solutions could infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others or the company might lose its ability to utilize the intellectual property of others; if the company is unable to protect its intellectual property rights from unauthorized use or infringement by third parties, its business could be adversely affected; the company’s ability to attract and retain business and employees may depend on its reputation in the marketplace; if the company is unable to manage the organizational challenges associated with its size, the company might be unable to achieve its business objectives; any changes to the estimates and assumptions that the company makes in connection with the preparation of its consolidated financial statements could adversely affect its financial results; many of the company’s contracts include payments that link some of its fees to the attainment of performance or business targets and/or require the company to meet specific service levels, which could increase the variability of the company’s revenues and impact its margins; if the company is unable to collect its receivables or unbilled services, the company’s results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely affected; the company’s results of operations and share price could be adversely affected if it is unable to maintain effective internal controls; the company may be subject to criticism and negative publicity related to its incorporation in Ireland; as well as the risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed under the “Risk Factors” heading in Accenture plc’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements in this news release speak only as of the date they were made, and Accenture undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements made in this news release or to conform such statements to actual results or changes in Accenture’s expectations.
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