August 4, 2017

Accenture Continues Cloud Push With Search Deal

George Leopold

Professional services and technical consulting outfits continue to snap up up-and-coming big data startups with specific capabilities such as search analytics that combine transaction with other data.

Continuing the trend is professional services giant Accenture, which announced this week it would add startup Search Technologies to its growing analytics unit as it expands its enterprise cloud service offerings. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Accenture also announced a separate deal this week to acquire London-based marketing and sales consultant Brand Learning. No terms of the deal were released.

The buyer (NYSE: ACN) said Thursday (Aug. 3) that nearly 200 data engineers from Search Technologies would join Accenture Analytics where they will focus on search techniques needed to make sense of unstructured content, including social media, video and audio.

Kamran Khan, CEO of Search Technologies, Herndon, Va., will lead the new Accenture content analytics team. The company’s more than 800 customers include e-commerce, financial services, media and manufacturing firms.

Search Technologies’ proprietary Content Processing Framework along with API-level data connectors will be integrated with Accenture’s cloud-based Insights Platform. The data links are designed to enable access to unstructured enterprise data spread across legacy and other systems.

Earlier this year, Search Technologies unveiled the latest release of its Aspire content processing framework that included an enhanced version of a data connector to Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) content.

The addition of the search framework would help Accenture clients embed analytics and AI into their operations to generate business intelligence.

Accenture said it would also create a new delivery center in Costa Rica for the more than 70 Search Technologies data engineers based there. The unit will focus on customer as well as content analytics as Accenture expands its services to address what it notes is “the explosion of content across multiple channels.”

The deal for Search Technologies is the latest in a series this year as Accenture’s analytics unit looks to boost its analytics and AI capabilities as it scales up efforts to become a cloud-based analytics provider. In June, the consultant purchased the informatics consulting firm LabAnswer. Accenture said it would establish a informatics services unit as a result of the LabAnswer acquisition.

Accenture’s analytics unit is built around its cloud-based insights platform that includes analytics apps and “accelerators” with built-in features and interfaces designed to speed up the configuration of apps.

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