Deloitte strengthens tech offering through JKVine deal

31 October 2017

Big Four professional services firm Deloitte has completed the purchase of Australian technology consultancy JKVine, as the firm bids to strengthen its technological consulting capabilities. Deloitte will now bid to create a new platform test and optimisation unit within its consulting outfit.

Founded in 1998, JKVine is a technology consultancy that specialises chiefly in ensuring that new or upgraded computer systems perform well and are secure prior to the systems being made available for use. They also monitor and improve the performance of systems that are already in operation. With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, JKVine has made a name for itself in the local market with its performance engineering and testing for business systems – building a team of experts over 30-strong throughout the following 19 years. The business now includes Micro Focus, Riverbed, Dynatrace and AppDynamics, among others, as its vendor partners, along with claiming blue-chip customers such as MLC, Officeworks, the New South Wales State Government, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Deloitte strengthens tech offering through JKVine deal

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. However, Deloitte’s purchase of the firm will now see JKVine’s 30-plus team move into Deloitte’s Melbourne and Sydney offices, while the company’s four owners, Nick Singh, Dave Melgaard, Brad Cunningham and John Strumila, will join Deloitte Consulting as Principals. Similarly, last year when Deloitte acquired system integrator Sixtree, two of the founders of the 45-person firm were brought on as Partners. JKVine's Nick Singh described the deal as “a natural evolution in our relationship,” following the firms collaborating successfully on earlier projects. “It also offers our people more career development opportunities, which is really important to us,” Singh added.

Collectively, the JKVine team will now form the basis of the new platform test and optimisation unit that Deloitte plan to place within their platform engineering practice, led by Partner and Platform Engineering Lead, Clifford Foster. The acquisition is geared toward enabling the new practice to grow within the market, working to help clients to design, build, run and optimise technology-based platforms. “With the first-class talent of JKVine’s team, we can deliver superior value to our clients and the broader market to ensure platforms perform optimally, securely and flexibly,” Clifford Foster said.

Deloitte Consulting Managing Partner Robert Hillard meanwhile added that the move was part of an effort to "offer a true end-to-end technology implementation experience for our clients."

The new platform test and optimisation unit will be the latest technological addition to Deloitte’s global capabilities. In Spring 2017, the group announced the launch of a new aviation technology practice in the UK. The new division is aimed at supporting the aviation industry in tackling key technology opportunities and challenges, as the global market continues to expand.

Elsewhere, Deloitte was rocked by a hacking scandal in Autumn. Details emerged in September that the world’s largest cybersecurity advisory had been the victims of a breach which may have lasted as long as six months – resulting in the potential compromise of information belonging to multiple US governmental departments. The firm is presently under investigation by the New York State Attorney, as a result.


Royal HaskoningDHV buys UK firm to boost digital flood services

25 April 2019

Royal HaskoningDHV has acquired Ambiental to accelerate its growth of flood-related digital services. The UK-based professional services firm is a provider of actionable intelligence from data, which can be used to help protect people, property and capital from flooding and climate change.

In recent years the UK has been routinely stricken by flooding, with former forests and wetlands across the country having become susceptible to flooding, with few measures to soak up ground-water from heavy rainfall. Notably, 2007 floods along the River Don caused major social and economic damage to Lower Don Valley, while elsewhere in the UK, winter floods in 2013/2014 affected thousands, and killed 17. The following winter also saw considerable flooding across the UK from Storm Desmond, Storm Eva and Storm Frank, among other heavy storms, costing the nation billions of pounds in the process.

With a growing number of other incidences spread across the country, professional services firms are increasingly being tapped to help deal with flooding in the future. Founded three years ago, Ambiental Environmental Assessment was created to support the growing UK development industry with its flood risk assessment needs. Since then, it has worked on over 3,000 projects, including supporting the redevelopment of St Paul’s School, Richmond (EIA project), National Rail developments, gas-fed electricity generator compounds, solar farms, and the housing developments of over 400 properties.

Royal HaskoningDHV buys UK firm to boost digital flood services

In 2018 alone, natural disaster events across the world led to economic damage of $225 billion. With demand for flood risk assessment remaining high, Ambiental quickly attracted the attention of larger consultancies for acquisition. As a result, Royal HaskoningDHV has announced a deal to purchase Ambiental. The deal strengthens the Dutch consultancy's position in the insurance market, providing clients with data-driven software and services that complement its extensive engineering and advisory knowledge. The acquisition also enhances the firm’s flood resilience and environmental consultancy profile in the UK.

Ambiental, meanwhile, will considerably enhance its global presence and footprint with the deal. As a result, Ambiental hopes its combined unique data analytics, human resources and engineering expertise will allow it to improve its product offering and associated customer support. It will also mean the firm can further develop and scale its solutions in data products, software and associated services for improved risk pricing, risk selection, accumulation control, actionable intelligence and portfolio modelling.

Commenting on the deal, Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Erik Oostwegel said, “We are excited to welcome the Ambiental team with their high-precision, productised analytics and data solutions. Together we can help our clients to better understand and reduce risks from flooding and other natural hazards using digital services and market-leading intelligence. Ensuring that money spent on flood risk modelling and management delivers the greatest possible impact on communities, corporates and infrastructure.”

Ambiental CEO, Justin Butler, added, “Ambiental is very pleased to be joining Royal HaskoningDHV. We deliver many complementary solutions, and together with Royal HaskoningDHV and their new partners, we will be able to offer even more compelling value propositions, and broader solutions using predictive analytics, data science, machine learning and computational risk modelling to an expanding global customer base.”