Accenture acquires IBB to ramp up its CMT strategy consulting


Professional services giant Accenture acquires IBB to bolster its CMT strategy practice for communications and media transformation, convergence

television-panelsProfessional services giant Accenture today continued its pursuit of ‘The New’ — cloud, digital and other fast-growing sectors — with the acquisition of IBB Consulting, a leading strategic advisor to communications and media companies shifting to new business and technology models.

Adding IBB’s 160 consultants will significantly bolster Accenture’s strategy practice serving the communications, media and technology (CMT) industry, confirms Gregory Douglass, Senior Managing Director of the practice, speaking exclusively to diginomica today:

It’s a meaningful acquisition to us, and gives us significant extra capacity especially in North America.

This adds skill in breadth and depth to our CMT practice in North America. We feel there’s a large market here to serve.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, IBB has been a pioneering strategy consultancy advising companies on how to manage convergence in the mobile, media and cable sectors. It has helped shape digital media strategies at US communications giants Comcast and Verizon, among others. The consultancy has a significant presence in the US market and in Australia. Accenture will also be able to leverage its experience and assets when engaging with clients in Europe, says Douglass.

Transformation at scale

IBB’s main offerings are in wireless and mobility, broadband and multichannel video programming, and media and entertainment. It brings expertise in applying new technologies that have the potential to transform operations at scale in the communications and media industries. Douglass explains:

In communications and media, technology is the product. [IBB] have service-defined networking experts, 5G experts, people who are very knowledgeable about the AI impact on operating functions of a telco, like call center and finance. Their skills will be really used at scale.

The business also brings a skilled IoT practice that will be able to serve Accenture clients in other industries as well as the CMT sector, says Douglass.

But it is the communications and media industries that are most affected by trend towards digital transformation and convergence. IBB considerably strengthens the capacity of the Accenture Strategy CMT practice either to help customers grow revenues, says Douglass.

Our clients are asking for two key things. [We help develop] new sources of revenue growth through further monetization of existing products or the introduction of new products.

IBB’s specialization and resources are very well versed in new product introductions or product management capabilities. They’ve had great success introducing new products at scale.

In a prepared statement released today, Accenture says the acquisition of IBB expands its capabilities to advise on industry issues such as:

Networks, digital video and IPTV, digital transformation, next generation mobility, internet of things (IoT), M&A, cloud, advanced advertising, data analytics and insights, marketing optimization, and international growth.

Terms of the acquisition, which is subject to the usual closing conditions, were not disclosed.

My take

As Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterne said after its last earning release, consulting-rich strategy programs are an important driver of continued growth across all of the organization’s service lines, including technology and operations. Acquisitions continue to play a key role in expanding Accenture’s ability to advise business leaders on their next moves in a fast-changing world.

The acquisition of IBB adds considerable strategic clout to Accenture’s CMT offerings, as Douglass confirms:

We have clearly prioritized our strategy consulting business as one of the key tenants of the overall Accenture business. We obviously think it’s important to be relevant to the key issues the C Suite is dealing with.

When we find this kind of skill set and blue-chip customer base … We’re very excited about having them on board and joining the family.

In an industry that’s undergoing unprecedented disruption, those skill sets are very much in demand.

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