TOP 100: Accenture growth tied to delivering on commitments

Accenture Federal Services moves up the Top 100 as it captures new contracts and delivers results on current work, executives say.

Last year was kind to Accenture, which saw revenues rise and its government division grow. The factors driving this success rely on Business 101: The company makes good on its promises to customers.

“I think it all starts there – making sure that you’re delivering on the expectation,” said David Moskovitz, chief executive of Accenture Federal Services (AFS). “I think that’s where it starts in terms of being successful in this market.”

The Dublin, Ireland-based information technology consultancy, which employs about 373,000 employees in 55 countries, brought in record revenues of $32.9 billion, up from $31.9 billion in 2014, when its fiscal year ended on Aug. 31, 2015. Accenture’s Health and Public Service operating group, of which AFS is a part, played an important role in reaching that number by going from $5.02 billion in net revenues in fiscal 2014 to $5.46 billion last year. The company holds the No. 13 spot this year with $1.9 billion in prime contracts. It moved up from 17 last year.

Moskovitz also cited Accenture’s position “at the leading edge” of exploding technologies such as digital, cloud, mobility and interactivity in addition to its role as a provider to commercial firms and government entities alike as other reasons for its achievements.

“Being able to harness those new technologies and take advantage of the best practices of the commercial sector, I think, is a key part of our success,” he said.

Contract wins also help push revenue numbers higher, of course, and Accenture had notable wins. For instance, last summer, it captured the Defense Department’s Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract as part of a team with Leidos and Cerner. Worth $4.34 billion over 10 years if all options are exercised, the contract calls for the development of the next generation of medical records for DOD.

Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau awarded Accenture a blanket-purchase agreement in October to transform digital interactions on Census.gov, and last August, the Education Department renewed its contract with the company to continue operations and maintenance of the federal student aid system. That 10-year renewal deal was worth $966 million.

“Those are three that represent the scale that we do, how meaningful the work is and the impact it has on our country, and the focus on the new, the focus on digital and leveraging new technologies to improve outcomes,” Moskovitz said.

Looking ahead, he sees no reason for Accenture to slow its progress. In fact, the company is hiring. AFS, which has about 7,000 employees, hired more than 1,300 workers last year, including retired Army Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, who was the first woman and nurse to serve as a military surgeon general.

“I think we’re becoming the magnet for amazing talent in the federal space because of the impact of the work that we do and really being focused on the emerging technologies,” he said.

Digital services are one area of opportunity to put all these new-hires to work. AFS plans to open the Accenture Federal Services Digital Studio this spring in Washington, D.C., as a creative and collaborative hub that will help federal customers with digital strategy, human-centered and experience design, rapid prototyping of digital applications, and marketing services.

“Clients can come and develop new strategies, new digital strategies, focus on human-centered design, do rapid prototyping, build digital applications,” Moskovitz said.

Moskovitz also has an eye on the Agile development process. Increasing use of Agile will be a boon to the company, which acquired digital solutions provider Agilex Technologies in March 2015.

Agile could be important, too, as the government transitions after the presidential election this year, Moskovitz added. “Agencies are looking for lower-risk, more predictable projects, and I think that’s where there’s a lot of opportunity, especially as you see a transition from a current administration to a new administration,” he said. “They’re going to want to get things done before the administration runs out.”

On the flip side, some agencies could defer decisions until after the dust settles, he said. Either way, budgets will continue to be a challenge. To address that, Accenture is looking to redeploy existing resources in ways that help agencies be more efficient.

“I think there’s increasing expectations that government continue to step up how it serves its citizens,” Moskovitz said. “Government agencies are looking for ways to be more efficient, and so I think there’s great opportunity in helping governments re-imagine these digital capabilities, how they serve their clients and citizens and their employees. Accenture overall is making huge investments in this space.”

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