Accenture to boost Industry X services with umlaut acquisition

15 June 2021 3 min. read

Global consulting giant Accenture has closed its largest deal of the year with the acquisition of engineering advisory company umlaut. The bolt-on of the German firm will see over 4,000 professionals join Accenture's Industry X unit.

Founded in 1996, umlaut is a cross-industry advisory company that offers consulting and engineering services to clients. The firm currently has 4,200 consultants, engineers and technology experts working from a collective of 20 consultancies and engineering firms spread across 50 locations all over the world.

umlaut becomes Accenture's 22nd purchase since 2017 to build its Industry X capabilities, joining more recent acquisitions including Australian operations technology provider Electro 80, Brazilian industrial robotics and automation services provider Pollux, US operations consultancy Myrtle and German technology consultancy SALT Solutions.

Accenture to boost Industry X services with umlaut acquisition

Accenture Industry X is the firm’s embedded intelligence offering, aiming to help clients run factories and plants, as well as design and engineer connected products and services for sustainable growth.

Speaking on the news, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said, “Covid-19 has accelerated the need for companies to transform these core operations, and umlaut’s leading and highly-specialised engineering services will enhance our ability to meet the accelerating demand and also continue innovating for our clients.”

Prior to the pandemic, many consultancies were predicting that digital would ultimately be applied at scale to the core of a company’s business – the design, engineering and manufacturing of their products. In this context, Accenture has been building the unique capabilities and ecosystem partnerships to combine the power of digital with traditional engineering services.

Now, however, Accenture’s expansion of Industry X comes as the uncertainty of the last year has hastened this process, with software increasingly determining the market success of platforms, products and services.

“Bringing world-class digital engineering and manufacturing expertise to our clients helps them rapidly scale, accelerate growth, improve productivity and safety, and embed sustainability across their operations,” added Nigel Stacey, Global Lead of Accenture Industry X. “From consumers to R&D to the supply chain and factory floor, and back again, companies that use the power of data and digital to build value will become – and remain – relevant, resilient and responsible.”

New chapter

Umlaut’s capabilities span traditional and digital engineering services; testing and validation of smart connected products; strategy, process and organisational consulting; and hardware product development as well as software development. According to the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, Peter Althoff, the move will emphasise umlaut’s global reach, while also giving it access to Accenture’s large client base.

“Business leaders across many industries who face the convergence of the digital and the product world are looking for a trusted partner that understands their language and can really help navigate each step of the journey to bring tangible outcomes in engineering and manufacturing,” Althoff noted.

“We are excited to bring our unique engineering and consulting culture, deep industry know-how and subject matter expertise to Accenture Industry X and jointly create the capabilities and scale to help clients successfully transform.”