Accenture Interactive seeks tighter integration with launch of London locale

28 March 2018

Aimed at bringing together design, advertising and technology talent obtained via numerous recent acquisitions by Accenture Interactive, the consultancy’s design wing has opened a new office in London. The facility is designed to integrate the diverse talents now accommodated by Accenture’s famous agency, as it bids to offer a holistic end-to-end design service, and win business from long-term advertising market incumbents. 

In a recent report from Accenture, the multifaceted consulting firm found that the digital M&A deal trend is likely to continue over the next year as UK businesses increasingly look to buy-in the latest digital technologies and talent. However, while ‘buy over build’ strategies are useful for helping companies to accelerate change and drive competitive advantage, Accenture found that many UK businesses are struggling to extract the full value of acquisitions, due to their inability to integrate diverse company cultures. Having spent more than $1 billion on acquisitions in the design space last year, Accenture itself looks determined to buck this trend, with the announcement of its new combined Accenture Interactive office in London.

Accenture Interactive has grown substantially, and is presently ranked as the world’s largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report. While this is something hotly disputed by design market incumbents such as WPP, further acquisitions in 2018, coupled with a growing client portfolio, have led the digital design wing of the international consultancy to consolidate its UK forces into an, expanded, state of the art base in the UK capital. 

Accenture Interactive seeks tighter integration with launch of London locale

The 30 Farringdon Road location will host up to 100 employees, and enables Accenture to move its design, advertising and technology talent together, marking a new step in the firm’s approach to blending the diverse businesses and teams that it has acquired, allowing them to collaborate more closely with clients. Symbolic of this drive for integration is the fact that the Farringdon studio is in the same building as Karmarama, a London-based design agency that Accenture acquired in 2016, which already occupies one of the other floors.  

The new facility will house the firm’s new Fjord studio – a design advisory firm acquired by Accenture in 2013 – as well as being home to space for all key parts of the Accenture Interactive business. Taking cues from the Scandinavian heritage of Fjord, the office will act as a blank canvas and fully flexible work environment. The multi-layered and functional design gives teams the ability to create effective work spaces to suit each of the projects they are working on. It is also aimed at allowing teams to create on site alongside clients in a dedicated client area. By bringing all elements of each project together such as marketing, media, creative and product/service design, project teams can co-create and help clients bring end-to-end experiences to life. This model plays to a key aspect of Accenture Interactive’s core values – with the group aiming to foster a culture of collaboration, co-creation and experimentation. 

Abbie Walsh, group director, Fjord UKI, said, “As the founding studio in the Fjord network, Fjord London takes pride in continuing a legacy as a lighthouse for the organisation. This new, design-led space will encourage collaboration, cultivate creativity and bring breakthrough services to life. We’ve also designed the space with our clients in mind, encouraging them to come and create experiences with us.” 

The office will host up to 100 employees, helping Accenture Interactive integrate its acquired UK assets

Joy Bhattacharya, head of Accenture Interactive for UK and Ireland, added, “We constantly encourage, and take proactive steps, to allow every part of Accenture Interactive to collaborate. Our philosophy is that we are a culture of cultures, working better together. Doing so physically is another step in this journey as we create and deliver the greatest customer experiences on the planet.” 

Accenture Interactive’s global workload has seen a number of notable additions recently, including a partnership as the innovation partner of global media conglomerate The Walt Disney Studios, which sought the firm’s help to found StudioLAB. Disney is the latest of a host of high profile clients of Accenture Interactive, also featuring Maserati, which chose the firm to maximise investments in supporting and enhancing the end-to-end customer journey, US chocolatier Hershey’s, the Canadian Government, and the Vatican.


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US consulting firm Slalom opens Manchester office

25 April 2019

American tech consultancy Slalom has announced plans to open a Manchester office in which it will employ 200 staff by 2025. The firm opened a London office in 2014, and also recently launched its operations in Canada.

Slalom Consulting is one of the largest management and technology consultancies in North America, with some 4,000 consultants, and revenues of more than $550 million. Founded in Seattle in 2001, the advisory firm spent its initial 13 years of business focusing on domestic expansion. While many fast-growing firms in Europe seek to expand across borders to open up new markets, Slalom’s positioning in the world’s largest and most mature consulting market meant that by the start of 2014, the firm had grown its revenues to around $480 million with offices solely in the US.

At that point, however, the firm decided the time was finally right to go global, and in the Summer of 2014 the consultancy opened an office in London. Run by Alex Qatsha – formerly a consultant at Unisys, Accenture and Deloitte – the London operation has since enjoyed a growing track record across the UK and European clients and industries. Through its London office, Slalom has established a reputation in the UK for successfully delivering impactful projects to private and public sector clients across numerous industries.

US consulting firm Slalom opens Manchester office

In the following four years, Slalom has grown into more new markets, including Canada – where it opened an office in Toronto – and launched a new software and tech 'building' offering. Amid growing demand in the UK, the consultancy has turned its attentions back to British shores once more. The UK represents the world’s second largest individual market for consulting services, and with the Northern Powerhouse project seeing business boom in the North-West in particular, Slalom has opted to launch a new Manchester office. 

While the move to a fast-growing region is understandable, it comes after venture capital funding fell by 30% in the North West in 2018. The haul was worth £122.2 million, down from £173.4 million in 2017, while the North as a whole saw the same 30% venture capital drop. Despite that, Slalom hopes its second UK location at Peter House, in the heart of Manchester’s innovation and academic district, will allow it to tap into the city’s deep talent pool, while investing in the development of its existing team members to strengthen its UK reputation. The company plans to employ 200 people in Manchester by 2025.

Dave Williams, UK Country Managing Director, said, “Manchester is a city of digital enterprise with a wide range of strengths across industries including manufacturing, healthcare, utilities and consumer services – which perfectly complements Slalom’s breadth of expertise. We’re looking forward to collaborating with clients to shape their internal capabilities, building a team and making an impact on the local community.”

Paul Squire, Managing Director – who will move from the London office to head up operations in Manchester –  added, “I’m excited about working with our clients in the North West of England, helping them to deliver people-centric change, bring strategic solutions to life, and ultimately, to love their future.”

Tim Newns, Chief Executive of Manchester’s inward investment agency, MIDAS, meanwhile stated, “Greater Manchester is a hotbed for collaboration and innovation, making it the ideal location for pioneering businesses like Slalom... Establishing operations within one of Europe’s largest digital and technology clusters will provide the consultancy firm with ample opportunities to join forces with the rapidly increasing number of world-leading brands that are choosing Manchester.”