July 28, 2015
Accenture Interactive Expands its Design and Innovation Capabilities through New Fjord Studios, Bigger Global Footprint, Growing Design Team
NEW YORK; July 28, 2015 – To meet increased demand, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) continues to expand the capabilities of Fjord, the design and innovation unit within Accenture Interactive. Two years following the acquisition of Fjord, Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, has integrated and expanded its Design and Innovation capabilities under the Fjord banner and will be investing further in service design that drives business outcomes through the innovative use of digital technologies and elegant design across platforms including smart devices, tablets and PCs.
In the past two years, Accenture has invested approximately $200 million to build and strengthen Accenture Interactive’s design capabilities, including the 2013 acquisition of Fjord and, more recently, Chaotic Moon, a digital design and creative technology studio based in Austin. Accenture plans to continue growing its Fjord unit both organically and strategically through a large-scale recruiting program for design professionals, training new and existing design professionals, and the opening of more Fjord design and innovation studios in the US and abroad.
Fjord CEO Olof Schybergson and MD, Accenture Interactive and Fjord Co-Lead Baiju Shah discuss the Fjord past and present
“Acquiring Fjord into Accenture Interactive’s experience, marketing, content, and commerce business in 2013 was a game-changer for us and, in our industry, gave us a huge head-start in the successful integration of Fjord’s service design expertise,” said Brian Whipple, senior managing director, Accenture Interactive. “While companies are only recently waking up to the power of design for business, we’ve already established a world-class design and innovation powerhouse and made it work.  We are committed to extending our lead through significant and long term investment. By connecting service design to Accenture Interactive’s broader suite of marketing services, we’re helping our clients succeed in today’s experience-driven economy.”
The successful integration of Fjord has led to a period of strong growth and high demand for the end-to-end services offered by Accenture Interactive, giving Accenture the differentiated ability to offer holistic services across experience design, marketing, commerce, and content. Since the acquisition, Fjord has:
  • More than doubled the size of its design team
  • Increased its studios from nine to 17, including recent openings in Milan and Sao Paulo
  • Expanded its geographic reach from two to four continents
  • Brought design work to many of Accenture’s largest clients
  • Infused design-led thinking via its Service Design Academy to improve collaboration across Accenture’s own HR and IT processes – catalyzing a new Accenture employee experience
  • Launched ground-breaking thought leadership in its Design and Innovation Trends 2015 and The Era of Living Services reports
The Fjord acquisition complemented Accenture Interactive’s business consulting and technology capabilities with design to create services that delight. (© 2015 Accenture) 
“We’re firm believers in the transformational potential of design,” said Olof Schybergson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Fjord. “As customer experience design rises rapidly to the level of C-suite conversations, we’re leading the way in showing how a design innovation approach can engender business success in everything from superior customer experiences to far-reaching organizational change. Combining our design experience with the leading business operations and technology platforms and capabilities of Accenture, we believe we’re a superior match for companies looking to transform their businesses through design-led innovation.”
One such company is Skoda, the Czech automobile manufacturer and part of Volkswagen Group, a long-term client of Accenture Interactive and, now, Fjord. Skoda chose Fjord as its digital partner on many strategic initiatives across Skoda’s European markets – from driving its digital strategy and designing its business platforms, to helping define the future of the brand.  “Over the last two years, Fjord has been a key innovation and digital collaborator to Skoda – helping us to significantly grow our business platforms, while successfully bringing in fresh ideas and initiatives across our markets and moving us closer to our goal of becoming a digital leader in our field,“ said Michael Lamm, global head of digital, Skoda.
In addition to working with category leaders, Fjord is also collaborating with digital innovators and disrupters including Fitbug, a pioneer in wearables and proactive health and wellness. Fjord designed Kiqplan, the pioneer digital fitness service that works in tandem with a variety of smartphones, smart watches and activity trackers. The service gives users simple but targeted 12-week plans, such as ‘Beer Belly Blaster’ or ‘Goodbye Baby Bump,’ which give people motivating, tangible goals and personal coaching. The digital packages are sold in retail stores such as Target and Amazon. 
"Kiqplan was born out of a desire to move wearables on to the next chapter, making the data they create work harder and help people to achieve goals that are important to them,“ said Paul Landal, chief executive officer, Fitbug. "Working with Fjord was highly rewarding.  They helped us to refine our thinking and create a service proposition that puts the end user at the heart of the experience. The project continues to be highly collaborative with our teams breaking new ground and has an important role to play in the digital health space.”
About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 336,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world’s leading brands drive superior marketing performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Accenture Interactive offers integrated, industrialized and industry-driven digital transformation and marketing solutions. With recent 2015 acquisitions including Brightstep in Sweden, Reactive in Australia and the PacificLink Group in Greater China, Accenture is expanding its capabilities to bring its unique blend of digital design, marketing, content and commerce services to clients around the world. To learn more follow us @AccentureSocial and visit www.accenture.com/interactive.
Copyright © 2015 Accenture. All rights reserved.
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David LaBar
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