Accenture buys digital innovation consultancy Happen

18 October 2019 3 min. read

Accenture has continued its rampant buy-and-build campaign in the digital innovation landscape with the acquisition of Happen. Around 50 consultants, designers and digital experts join Accenture in London, Amsterdam and New Jersey.

Founded in 2007, Happen helps its clients conceptualise, test, build and execute product and service innovations. Its offerings include innovation strategy, shopper insight and activation, brand positioning, product design and packaging, and digital listening. Alongside its consultancy services, Happen has many technology frameworks, tools and methods that support its work.

Joining Accenture will according to Mark Cowan, co-founder of Happen, allow the firm to scale its offerings and capabilities to a global level – Accenture has offices in more than 200 cities in 55 countries. The move will further provide extended career opportunities to Happen’s 50-strong team in the UK, US and the Netherlands. “We’re excited to become part of one of the world’s truly great companies.”

For Accenture, the deal is the most recent in a long string. In the past three months alone, Accenture has among others bolted-on tech consultancies Nytec and Fairway Technologies and creative agency Insitum in the US, financial services consultancy Parker Fitzgerald, big data expert Pragsis Bidoop in Spain, and data analytics firm Analytics8 and tech firm BCT Solutions in Australia.Accenture buys digital innovation consultancy HappenSpecifically in the innovation landscape, Happen joins a group of recently acquired firms including ?What If!, a UK-based innovation firm, US-based Mindtribe and Altitude, and Germany-based designaffairs. All these firms have been integrated into Accenture’s Products Industry X.0 business, the firm’s unit which helps clients use advanced digital technologies to reinvent their products, services and business models to achieve growth, innovation and higher efficiency.

Products Industry X.0

The same is now being done with Happen. Commenting on the Happen acquisition, Eric Schaeffer, a senior managing director at Accenture and Head of the Products Industry X.0 practice, said; “Happen helps companies tailor innovative products, services and experiences to create customer-centric businesses. This acquisition further enhances our analytics, design and engineering capabilities.”

Matt Prebble and Rob Knigge, managing directors and head of the Products practices in the U.K. and Ireland and the Netherlands respectively, added; “Accenture’s Products Industry X.0 business helps clients apply the latest digital technologies to drive their product innovation and growth agendas. This transactions underscores our commitment to innovation.”

The joining of forces will in particular boost Accenture’s industry experience in the consumer goods, food & beverage, retail and life science industries – the four sectors in which Happen is most active.