Business consulting firms go OTT to support enterprise customers

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Sep 30, 2016

In dire need of business transformation... © Flickr/cc-licence/scottpartee

In dire need of business transformation... © Flickr/cc-licence/scottpartee

  • Accenture teams with Google for cloud, mobility and analytics
  • Deloitte teams with Apple to bring iOS into the workplace
  • Part of a developing trend to target vertical markets

The broad telecoms industry is often defined by macro trends that result in huge transformational shifts in direction, in terms of both technology and business practices, but it is the more numerous micro trends that often indicate interesting new directions.

One such trend is emerging in the enterprise mobility transformation space. Within the space of just a couple of days, two of the leading business consultancy firms have announced alliances with leading “OTT” internet companies to help enterprises with their transition to more a productive digital and mobility performance.

Accenture has announced an alliance with Google to bring to market industry-specific solutions that will help clients use cloud, mobility, and analytics to advance their digital transformation agenda. Meanwhile, Deloitte has announced a partnership with Apple to help companies transform the way they work by implementing the iOS platform to the workplace.

“The Google alliance supports our digital and cloud strategy, and will help clients benefit from innovative and industry-specific cloud and mobile solutions built on the full stack of Google technologies,” said Paul Daugherty, CTO at Accenture. “Whether our clients need to innovate faster, create new services or increase the value from their existing technology investments, cloud should be the starting point for their digital transformations.”

“Google’s ongoing product advances, incorporated into joint customer solutions - from mobility and analytics, to machine learning and productivity apps - combined with Accenture’s deep industry knowledge, means we can rapidly address the critical business needs of our customers,” said Diane Greene, SVP of the just-rebranded Google Cloud.

Google and Accenture says they will work together to deliver solutions to customers in a number of industries including retail, healthcare, consumer products, energy, finance, and others. Accenture has already integrated the Google Cloud Platform into its Accenture Cloud Platform, and both companies say they will provide dedicated resources with capability in cloud solutions architecture, mobility and app development.

Anyone spot a trend yet?

Accenture’s close rival Deloitte, and Google’s long-term nemesis Apple, have also formed an enterprise-focused alliance. Deloitte says it is creating a first-of-its-kind Apple practice with over 5,000 strategic advisors who are solely focused on helping businesses change the way they work across the enterprise, from customer-facing functions such as retail, field services and recruiting, to R&D, inventory management and back-office systems.

Apple and Deloitte will also collaborate on the development of a new service offering from Deloitte Consulting called EnterpriseNext, designed to help clients take advantage of the iOS ecosystem of hardware, software and services in the workplace and quickly develop custom solutions through rapid prototyping.

“We know that iOS is the best mobile platform for business because we’ve experienced the benefit ourselves with over 100,000 iOS devices in use by Deloitte’s workforce, running 75 custom apps,” said Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global. “Our dedicated Apple practice will give global businesses the expertise and resources they need to empower their mobile workforce to take advantage of the powerful ecosystem iOS, iPhone and iPad offer, and help them achieve their ambitions, while driving efficiency and productivity.”

“Through this partnership, we’re able to help even more businesses tap into the incredible capabilities that only the Apple ecosystem can deliver,” added Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.

Deloitte Consulting’s EnterpriseNext will cover more than 20 industries and offers customers “Value Maps” to help them discover the highest impact possibilities for iPhone and iPad within their industries, as well as workshops to take ideas from prototype to custom-built iOS solutions. In addition, a number of iOS architects, designers and engineers will be based within Deloitte Digital Studios at locations around the world.

So why does this matter? Apple’s deal builds on existing high-profile partnerships with IBM and SAP as it seeks to extend its iOS platform out from the plateauing consumer and BYOD market and properly integrate it with enterprise IT and the current global buzz words “digital transformation strategies” – as well as picking up considerable hardware sales of course, thanks to its tightly integrated model. Google doesn’t have the same hardware/software model (unless next week’s Pixel announcement changes the game…) but it does have the requirement to keep pushing its business credentials – currently more focused on SMBs rather than the enterprise. What’s more, neither company wants Microsoft to leverage its considerable cloud capabilities to bolster is productivity solutions and thereby lock them out of the market.

Smart telcos should also take note. We’ve spoken a lot on TelecomTV about network transformation, not just for the telcos themselves but for their enterprise customers. Yet a large part of this relates to business transformation – changing corporate cultures. Digital transformation in the enterprise is not just about giving shared access to files and folders, or enabling remote working, it pushes right into the IoT space. Telcos are desperate to court the major vertical markets, with promises of edge computing, IoT and bespoke network slicing. Leveraging the inroads being made by the likes of Accenture and others would be a sensible strategy.

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