Accenture and Microsoft launch Accenture Microsoft Business Group

08 February 2019

Management and tech consultancy Accenture, together with Microsoft and their joint venture Avanade, have launched a the Accenture Microsoft Business Group (AMBG). The 10,000-person group will focus on digital transformations enabled by Microsoft platforms.

Accenture and Microsoft in 2000 launched Avanade to deliver enterprise solutions across the world using Microsoft platforms. That joint venture – majority-owned by Accenture – now has 35,000 professionals tackling client needs, ranging from AI to cloud to security.

Accenture and Microsoft have now further strengthened their relationship with the launch of AMBG. The group will focus on Microsoft Azure migrations, business process optimization via Microsoft Dynamics 365, and modern work and collaboration improvement via Microsoft 365.

AMBG’s and Avanade's combined employees gives Accenture a massive 45,000-strong detachment of Microsoft experts.

Accenture, however, doesn’t have all its technological eggs in one platform basket. The firm also partners with tech titans including Google, Amazon Web Services, and Apple to provide clients with whatever solution best fits their situation.

Accenture and Microsoft launch new Accenture Microsoft Business Group

In any case, the move reinforces Accenture’s position as a top Microsoft Partner. Accenture and Avanade have together been named Microsoft Alliance Partner of the Year 14 times. Meanwhile, HFS Research recently named Accentur the number-one firm for Microsoft AI Services in 2019.

Accenture and Avanade have already delivered more than 35,000 Microsoft projects to more than 4,000 global clients, and AMBG will further crank up the volume of Microsoft platform implementations as demand for digital transformation continues to grow.

“The Accenture Microsoft Business Group is a major step forward in our decades-long relationship with Microsoft,” Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and chairman of the Avanade board, said. “It brings Accenture’s broad industry experience and transformation skills together with Microsoft’s powerful digital technologies and Avanade’s specialization in the Microsoft ecosystem.

“The demand for digital transformation, powered by the cloud, has never been greater,” Daugherty added. “We are bringing the leading capabilities of our companies together to meet this demand and deliver innovation to our clients.”

AMBG will be headed by Accenture senior managing director Emma McGuigan, who has been with the consultancy for over 20 years. As global lead for AMBG, she will drive Accenture’s overall Microsoft business—including strategy, innovation, market differentiation, the Microsoft alliance relationship, and Avanade. Meanwhile, Adam Warby will continue to serve as Avanade’s CEO.

McGuigan previously served as group technology officer for Accenture’s communications, media and technology operating group, a role in wich she oversaw strategy, partnerships, and the positioning of emerging technology to drive consulting work. McGuigan was also formerlly managing director of Accenture’s technology business in the UK and Ireland.

“Every company is becoming a digital company,” Judson Althoff, Microsoft's executive vice president of worldwide commercial business, said. “Building on our successful partnership with Accenture and Avanade, we will help customers fuel innovation at scale and lead their industries into the future. This is core to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Related: Accenture wins quantum computing–related patent


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Crowe delves deeper into cybersecurity services

23 April 2019

Accounting and consulting firm Crowe launched a managed detection and response services offering earlier this year, further expanding their cybersecurity practice.

CEOs and executives routinely list cybersecurity as one of their top concerns in annual C-suite surveys. As operations become increasingly digitized, firms open themselves up to more cyberthreat avenues. A critical data breach has the real potential to cripple an organization’s operations, crush profits, and irreparably damage a brand. It’s a risk worth protecting against.

Consulting firms are continually monitoring client demand, and expanding services where the bigger profits lie. When the big accounting firms saw that there was room for more players in management consulting, they moved into the space. Today, the consulting slice of the revenue pie at the Big Four continues to grow, driven by the digital services that the heavy hitters keep boosting.

Crowe delves deeper into cybersecurity services

Because of the rapid change in emphasis to digital and emerging tech consulting, firms want to really project themselves as tech-savvy or out-and-out tech firms. BCG, for example, recently rebranded in order to push the fact that it is a supremely digital consultancy. Crowe, once strictly an accounting firm, has expanded its professional services offerings over more than half a century of operation – and now bills itself as an “accounting, consulting and technology firm.”

Last year, Crowe launched its own Security Intelligence Center, which provides a digital security operations platform for small and midmarket companies. 2018 also saw the firm launch a digital risk collaboration program with Purdue University, while also being named a “challenger” in ALM’s analysis of the Cybersecurity Consulting Provider market.

Earlier this year, Crowe expanded its cybersecurity offering with the launch of managed detection and response services. The outsourcing offering boasts 24/7 detection and response coverage, overseen by a team of cyber experts and analysts. According to Crowe, the managed service helps companies “reduce the burden of finding the right talent” while allowing them to “build a stronger, more resilient security program to effectively monitor and quickly respond to digital threats.”

The offering fits into a wider platform of cybersecurity services at Crowe, including strategy, solution implementation, and attack and penetration testing.

C. Glen Combs, a risk consulting partner at the firm, commented, "At Crowe, our digital risk team uses speed and knowledge to rapidly detect critical security issues so our clients can focus on the most pressing matters and address them quickly. This approach reduces the risk and likelihood of significant business interruption."

Crowe is the US member firm of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting and consulting networks. The network has over 36,000 employees, and $4.3 billion in annual revenue.