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In line with its Industry X services expansion strategy, global tech major Accenture has agreed to acquire umlaut, an engineering consulting and services firm headquartered in Aachen, Germany.

Under the arrangement, Accenture plans to significantly scale deep engineering capabilities to help companies use digital technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence, and 5G to transform how they design, engineer and manufacture their products as well as embed sustainability. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

As part of the acquisition, umlaut’s  over 4,200 industry-leading engineers and consultants across 17 countries will join Accenture’s Industry X services, and expand the company’s capabilities across a range of industries, including automotive, aerospace & defense, telecommunications, energy and utilities.

Industry X combines Accenture’s powerful data and digital capabilities with deep engineering expertise to offer clients the broadest suite of services for digitizing their engineering functions, factory floors and plant operations, improving productivity, speeding up the transformation of hardware into software-enabled products, and allowing for faster and more flexible product development.

Commenting on the takeover, Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture, said, “We predicted that digital would ultimately be applied at scale to the core of a company’s business – the design, engineering and manufacturing of their products. And, for nearly a decade Accenture has been building the unique capabilities and ecosystem partnerships to combine the power of digital with traditional engineering services. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies to transform these core operations, and umlaut’s leading and highly-specialized engineering services will enhance our ability to meet the accelerating demand and also continue innovating for our clients.”

Accenture’s expansion of Industry X services comes at a time when network virtualization is driving market success of platforms, products and services across industries that require intelligence to be embedded. However, in a survey of more than 1,500 industry executives, Accenture research found that only 38% of companies have deployed at least one project to digitize their engineering and manufacturing.

“Bringing world-class digital engineering and manufacturing expertise to our clients helps them rapidly scale, accelerate growth, improve productivity and safety, and embed sustainability across their operations,” said Nigel Stacey, global lead of Accenture Industry X. “From consumers to R&D to the supply chain and factory floor, and back again, companies that use the power of data and digital to build value will become—and remain—relevant, resilient and responsible.”

umlaut’s capabilities span traditional and digital engineering services; testing and validation of smart connected products; strategy, process and organizational consulting; and hardware product development as well as software development.

“Business leaders across many industries who face the convergence of the digital and the product world are looking for a trusted partner that understands their language and can really help navigate each step of the journey to bring tangible outcomes in engineering and manufacturing,” said Marc Peter Althoff, chief technology officer, umlaut. “We are excited to bring our unique engineering and consulting culture, deep industry know-how and subject matter expertise to Accenture Industry X and jointly create the capabilities and scale to help clients successfully transform.”

Accenture’s most recent acquisitions include operations technology provider Electro 80 (Australia), industrial robotics and automation services provider Pollux (Brazil), operations consultancy Myrtle (US) and technology consultancy SALT Solutions (Germany).

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