Disney selects Accenture Interactive as innovation partner

23 March 2018 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Accenture has added to its list of digital and design projects after the firm’s Interactive wing was chosen as innovation partner for Disney. The global entertainment giant joins US chocolatier Hershey’s, the Canadian Government, and the Vatican, as recent clients of Accenture, as the firm seeks to continue expanding its profile as a design agency.

The digital design space has become increasingly populated in recent years, as companies and customers begin to increasingly leverage online products, goods and services. This has also led to a number of global consulting industry players buying into the industry, as they seek to diversify their portfolios to maintain growth, while offering clients a one stop solution across marketing, user experience and software related background. In 2017 this saw top firms spend $1.2 billion on agency acquisitions in the sector.

Of these firms, Accenture was by far the most prolific – accounting for over $1 billion of that combined fee. 2018 has seen the firm continue its high-spending habits, with the signings of Game of Thrones visual effects team Mackevision, and award winning Irish agency Rothco.

Disney selects Accenture Interactive as innovation partner

These further additions to Accenture Interactive have come amid increasing uptake for the firm’s digital offering. This has included high-profile communications design work for the Vatican, an engagement with the Canadian Federal Government to design a new digital known-traveller app, and the roll-out of SAP systems for US confectionary giant Hershey’s. Now, adding to the firm’s eclectic clientele, Accenture is joining forces with global media conglomerate The Walt Disney Studios, to found StudioLAB.

StudioLAB is an initiative based out of Los Angeles, which is dedicated to reimagining entertainment experiences and production capabilities using innovative technologies. Accenture Interactive has been appointed by Disney as founding member and innovation partner of the new project. Accenture has a 25-year history working with The Walt Disney Company, supporting some of its most innovative initiatives – ranging from myMagic+, Disney Movies Anywhere and Marvel Unlimited to Disney’s Enterprise Cloud Program and advanced marketing analytics at ABC.

This latest project will see Accenture Interactive and its design unit Fjord play a major leading role in helping to establish StudioLAB, co-crafting the StudioLAB’s charter and governance, physical lab design, and business operations, while working to define and develop cutting-edge entertainment technology – something which will be aided by the research and development (R&D) expertise of Accenture Labs, further demonstrating the threat posed to the advertising and design industry by the holistic offerings of larger multidisciplinary consultancies.

Accenture personnel will work alongside StudioLAB personnel to incubate and prototype new concepts expected to impact the entertainment industry. As well as collaborating on R&D, Accenture will support the operations of the StudioLAB as part of a three-year agreement. Areas the project will initially focus on include immersive entertainment; artificial intelligence; the internet of things (IoT); the future of movie production; and next-generation cinematic platforms.

“Accenture Interactive is thrilled to collaborate with the imaginative minds at The Walt Disney Studios on entertainment R&D to reimagine how people experience storytelling,” said Baiju Shah, Chief Strategist for Accenture Interactive and global lead, Fjord. He added, “Accenture is uniquely positioned to bring together the full set of diverse skills – from strategy, design and technology innovation, across emerging technologies like immersive entertainment, artificial intelligence, and IoT needed to run a first-class innovation lab and deliver the next generation of entertainment experiences.”

Commenting on the new partnership, Jamie Voris, Chief Technology Officer of The Walt Disney Studios, said, "As we thought about key partners to deliver our vision for StudioLAB, the decision to collaborate with Accenture Interactive was clear. Their ability to combine the design and innovation capabilities of a leading digital agency with the applied R&D capabilities of the Accenture Labs and deep industry expertise in media and entertainment makes them an ideal partner to innovate on the future of entertainment experiences."