Consulting and outsourcing services outfit Accenture slightly raised its full-year profit forecast, but the revised outlook was still below market expectations.
Accenture has invested heavily in its digital and cloud services, amid stiff competition from Cognizant and Biggish Blue.
Revenue in its consulting unit, which has a higher profit margin than its outsourcing business, increased 2.6 percent in the second quarter its slowest growth in more than a year.
Chief Financial Officer David Rowland told the press that he plans to write $1.5 billion cheques for acquisitions in the year ending August.
Accenture said it expects adjusted profit of $5.70 to $5.87 per share for its year ending August, slightly higher than its prior forecast of $5.64 to $5.87 per share.
However, the company narrowed its full-year revenue forecast growth range to 6 percent to 8 percent in local currency, from its earlier 5-8 percent range.
The new forecast points to revenue of between $34.86 billion to $35.51 billion.
Analysts on average are expecting a profit of $5.87 per share and revenue of $34.60 billion.
Accenture said second-quarter net revenue rose 4.7 percent to $8.32 billion, as it benefited from strong demand for its digital, cloud and security-related services, which made up more than 45 percent of revenue.
Net income attributable to Accenture fell to $838.8 million in the quarter, from $1.33 billion last year.
Profit in the year-ago quarter received help from a $553.6 million gain on the sale of some businesses.
The company’s profit in the second quarter was hurt in part by a higher tax rate and increased operating costs, up 4.3 percent to $7.62 billion.
Analysts on average had expected revenue of $8.34 billion.
Last year’s reply-all cock-up by the NHS where 500 million emails being sent across the health service’s network in just 75 minutes is being blamed on outsourcer Accenture.
On 14 November a senior associate ICT delivery facilitator sent a test message on what was thought to be a local distribution list she had created. However, it instead went to all 850,000 people with an NHSmail email account.
The blank message, sent early in the morning with a subject line that simply read “test”, was sent to a distribution list called “CroydonPractices”. Around 80 promptly replied and demanded that they be removed from the list which was when trouble really began.
An official report into the meltdown said that NHSmail’s Dynamic Distribution List (DDL) allows administrators to create distribution lists using a range of options and rules.
The local admin selected the “only in my organisation” rule, which she thought would restrict the distribution list to her South London clinical commissioning group.
However, a software configuration error meant that the system applied an ‘All England’ rule rather than one including only the administrator’s organisation. The administrator would not have known that this had occurred.”
The NHS report blames Accenture for not having failsafes in place that would have prevented the fiasco. The system’s design requirements was that “strict controls must be in place to limit the volume of any one email sent by an individual user or local administrator.” This was something that Accenture has not come up with.
The ability to create DDLs of similar forms will remain disabled until NHS Digital is satisfied this has been delivered, the reports said.
Accenture has won a contract with the French gas and power group Engie to develop digital applications to boost its customer service.
Accenture’s design and innovation unit Fjord will develop new applications for billing, electric vehicles, web-linked domestic applications and clients who produce their own power with solar panels. No one is talking about the money involved in the deal.
Engie Chief Executive Officer Isabel Kochersaid that the company plans to invest 1.5 billion euros in new technologies and digitalisation in the next three years.
Fjord founder Mark Curtis has no concrete projects in mind for Engie, but would look for ways to boost the utility’s relationship with its customers, as Fjord has done for banking and telecommunication companies.
Fjord had developed mobile banking applications, and applications for Swedish telecom companies that show the real-time cost of calling.
“We plan to do the same thing for Engie and turn a transaction – the monthly bill – into a service,” he said.
Engie’s new chief digital officer Yves Le Gelard said Engie and Accenture plan to present the first digital applications in June. The company’s new marketing tools will be rolled out first in its key markets of France, Belgium and Italy.
The Metropolitan Police have signed an £86m deal with Accenture to manage its applications for the next three years.
The London coppers want to save £200m from its IT budget by carving up its Capgemini contract. The deal will last for five years, with the option of a three year extension. It will mean that 113 staff will be transferred to Accenture’s Newcastle base.
Accenture beat HCL, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Unisys to win the deal.
The Met has been busy lately. Last month it awarded £250m in contracts to CSC and Atos. CSC one a contract for user computing and hosting towers and Atos scored contracts to integrate the various IT components as part of its Total Technology Programme Infrastructure strategy.
A separate £216m contract to outsource the Met’s back office IT to Steria’s shared services centre, will see hundreds of back office IT roles made redundant the Met said last year.
As are result the Met will slash the number of its in-house staff from 800 to 100.
What is rather odd is that the move to outsource to lots of different large suppliers is no longer government policy. The Ministry of Justice having reportedly hit major problems doing that sort of thing.
it the internet of things (IoT), some call it the internet of everything (IoE) and some even call it the internet of fangs (IoF).
These terms are not, as yet, perfectly defined and there is a complete lack of standards defined, just like in the “cloud” space. But there’s one thing for sure, and that is it’s going to be worth a lot of money so as many vendors as possible are getting on board the gravy train.
Future Market Insights (FMI) prefers the IoE and said that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4 percent between 2014 and 2020.
It will be the Asia Pacific market which will kick off the growth, synched to the arrival of big data. That’s because there will be investment in so called “smart cities” and smart grids, financed by the Indian, Chinese and Japanese governments.
FMI divides the market into business to business (B2B) and IoE vertical markets.
The verticals include manufacturing and public sector, but the health care sector will grow by 20.6 percent CAGR during the period, followed by utilities.
The major players in the market are Cisco, Samsung, IBM, Apple and Accenture – these vendors had over 50 percent market share in 2013.
According to research outfit Information Services Group (ISG), the public sector outsourcing market in the UK has taken a massive hit in the first half of the year. The ISG Outsourcing Index for EMEA found just €2 billion of outsourcing activity in the UK for the first half of the year. Last year the market was worth €4.6 billion.
However, Britain still leads the way when it comes to public sector outsourcing in Europe. The whole EMEA market for the first six months of was just €2.3 billion compared to €3.1 billion last year. In other words, the UK accounted for five sixths of all public sector outsourcing in EMEA this year.
The ISG figures track all outsourcing contracts with an annual value of €4 million or more. They include IT contracts, business process outsourcing, back office processes, but IT dominates with more than two thirds of all contracts. Public sector outsourcing now accounts for 41 percent of all outsourcing activity in EMEA, with Britain in a clear lead.
The top 15 companies winning these lucrative contracts are Accenture, AECOM, Arqiva, Arvato, BT, Capgemini, Capita, CSC, Grupo Ferrovial, HP, Interserve, QinetiQ, Serco, Thales and Tieto.
Accenture has teamed up with Hubris to implement cross-border multichannel solutions more effectively. Accenture is now the sole global strategic partner of hybris, the world’s fastest growing commerce platform.
The unholy alliance should combine Accenture’s prowess in digital marketing, platform management and customer experience with hubris’ leading omni-channel software. The companies hope to peddle commerce solutions to enterprises in retail, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, telecommunications, media/publishing, software and gaming.
“We have seen huge growth in e-commerce in the last few years, often driven by global brands looking for complex platform solutions, but with the ability to offer local languages and market websites for customers,” said Frank Schoutissen, Vice President Channel of hubris. “Our alliance with Accenture will allow these companies to have both a technology and implementation partner that can help them meet these objectives. We are very excited about the potential this will bring to both companies and the customers we can support as a result of this.”
Anatoly Roytman, EALA managing director of digital consulting for Accenture Interactive, said Accenture can help bring the hybris’ omni-channel commerce platform to companies that have struggled to implement worldwide transaction solutions that can be tailored to local country needs.
“Our global presence can reduce the complexity and cost of transforming the consumer transaction experience across multiple geographic markets,” he added.
The agreement should enable international brands to create consistent consumer transaction experiences across multiple channels, including online, mobile and in-store, regardless of geographic location.
Outsourcing and consulting services provider Accenture is predicting a miserable year as businesses still do not want to consult with it.
The company slashed its full-year outlook and reported a third-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.
In a statement the company said that clients were slowing the pace and level of spending on existing contracts.
According to Bloomberg, CFO David Roland told analysts that the company expects outsourcing revenue to be moderate, and consulting revenue to either decline or grow slightly in the current quarter.
Barclays analyst Darrin Peller commented that the Accenture results indicated that there had been moderate improvement in businesses discretionary spend in 2013. But the consulting segment, particularly in Europe, was still not doing well.
Accenture’s consulting net revenue dropped two percent to $3.9 billion in the three months ending 31 May. Revenue from the business, which Accenture expected to return to growth, fell for the fourth straight quarter.
This meant that consulting bookings were almost $400 million lower than the company expected.
Accenture chief exec Pierre Nanterme said that the consulting side of the business didn’t improve the way he hoped.
He was somewhat cheered that outsourcing net revenue rose four percent to $3.3 billion in the quarter.
Net revenue rose 0.6 percent to $7.2 billion. Net income rose to $874.1 million in the third quarter, from $762.8 million a year earlier.
In a time when the ICT sector is banging on about equality, companies are still trying to cash in on the girl geek status.
This time, Datanews has taken the industry back to when girls were famed for their love of pink phones and fluffy gadgets, creating the title of ‘Young ICT Lady of the year’ 2013 as part of its ‘She goes ICT’ competition.
The beauty pageant, disguised under the tech umbrella saw 27 “talented and ambitious” women fighting it out for the title that was won by Karen De Smet, UMAX project manager at Itineris.
She beat off competition from Katty Verresen from RealDolmen and Mercedes Diaz – we can’t be sure this wasn’t a stage name – from Accenture after being “grilled” by the jury on why she should win.
Karen De Smet graduated from Suma Cum Laude with a Master’s in Business Engineering in 2009. She started her career as a functional consultant at Itineris but as a result “curiosity” she began learning about different sectors within the company and by the end of her first year, was already acknowledged as a consultant with high potential.
A few months later she took on the combined role of Functional Lead and Release Coordinator for one of the largest utility players in the Dutch market (Eneco).
When the job opening for Functional Solution Architect for a project at E.ON arose; Karen’s name quickly popped up on the shortlist of potential candidates.
Her new role entailed guarding and ensuring the overall perspective of the end-to-end product envisioned by and for E.ON.
Today, Karen is the project manager at E.ON, where she successfully implemented the Itineris’ UMAX “solution” for utility suppliers together with her team of Itineris consultants.