Accenture Bulks Up Design Capabilities With Fjord Expansion

Ida Jensen

The Wall Street Journal: Consulting and tech services firm Accenture ACN +0.71% is placing an even bigger bet on design.

Accenture on Tuesday is unveiling plans to expand its Fjord design and innovation unit, including opening more studios in the U.S. and abroad, starting a new recruitment program for design professionals, and offering training for new and existing design employees. The company said the moves will help it meet increased client demand for digital solutions to business problems.

“Most strategic business problems actually have or should start with empathy with the end user, whether that’s going to be a customer or an employee,” said Baiju Shah, managing director for Accenture Interactive  and global co-Lead for Fjord. “Design is very much at the center of that.”

Fjord is a digital design firm that sits within Accenture Interactive and creates digital services for clients on smart devices, tablets and personal computers.

As new technologies have disrupted the marketing industry, there’s a new crop of players taking on some of the tasks that traditional ad agencies and marketing firms have long handled and even attracting some of its creative talent. Accenture started investing in design capabilities earlier than most other consulting firms, which gives the company an advantage as the digital marketing and design space gets even more crowded, Mr. Shah said.

The firm’s Accenture Interactive arm, which serves as the agency for Accenture Digital, has spent $200 million over the past two years to grow its design offerings, including the 2013 acquisition of Fjord and the recent purchase of digital studio Chaotic Moon. In addition to design capabilities under the Fjord banner, Accenture Interactive also provides content, commerce and marketing offerings for clients. Mr. Shah said both Fjord and Accenture Interactive are growing in “multiples” of the market.

Since being acquired by Accenture, Fjord has more than doubled the size of its design team and increased its studios from nine to 17. Fjord plans to open three to five new studios over the next year, including in Seattle, Toronto and Hong Kong, said Fjord Chief Executive Olof Schybergson.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal 


Ida Jensen

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