Call for change

Accenture is on a digital transformation journey to drive additional value for our clients, our people and our business. Our strategy involves continuous evolution so we can keep our processes up-to-date, automate and use analytics and insights to digitally enable the business.

To make the change, we knew we needed to approach our business in a radically different way, working across the entire organization to streamline the whole client account and business unit management process. It required a fundamental shift in how we approached the services, solutions and support for our business so that they were better integrated.

In turn, we would be able to work more efficiently improve the experiences of our client teams and drive the flow and insights from our data to offer better services that directly benefit the business.

In the past, our client-facing teams had managed, sold and delivered services without online, “joined up” processes and reporting. By introducing a digital superstructure, founded on SAP, we were able to create digital business services that offer our people the best tools to manage, sell and deliver work.

Today, with Accenture IT infrastructure 95% in the public cloud, we are able to easily enable digital services and experiences that generate new business value. By aligning and better integrating our technology and the support of our corporate functions, our teams can focus on better serving their clients.

“Accenture’s digital transformation is breaking down the barriers of internal inefficiencies and putting the power of digital technologies in the hands of our people.”

— SHANE MARSHALL, Managing Director – Global IT, Client and Market Technology

When tech meets human ingenuity

Moving from the old to a new digital business services suite to create additional value was a multi-year journey. The focus was on developing practical solutions using tools and technologies to support how we manage our entire business.

We wanted to give our client account, sales and delivery teams everything they need to perform on their best day. We also recognized that, while technology is vital, on its own it’s not enough to drive transformation. We needed our people to work in new ways and use the technology to the fullest to drive the best outcomes.

Working together with the business, the Accenture global IT team created a structured and integrated framework to address every area of the Accenture business and operations—reinventing processes for account planning, forecasting, sales, pricing, revenue management and reporting.

Our change management team was there on the journey to prepare and support our people to use the technology and processes so that they could better manage client accounts, sell more work and deliver on the contract.

Prepare

Introducing any new technology is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is getting people to use technology’s full capabilities—when people are busy, they naturally prefer to use the tools and processes that are familiar to them.

With many new and updated processes, change and adoption activities needed to be tailored to specific audiences to be effective. Using a role-based, person-centric approach, we relied on the support of our sponsors and leaders to identify what was needed. We then focused our efforts on engaging people with the new, necessary behaviors and changes. The approach empowered our people with digital ways of working.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Active sponsorship from visionary leaders: We worked with our sponsors and leaders to understand the “north star”—the desired business outcomes and value from reimagining business services. Then we determined the new behaviors, as well as the technology and process changes that were necessary to achieve success. We used a partnership model, bringing together technology and the business.
  • Audience-specific engagement approach: We introduced clear and easy guidance to move along the technology change journey by developing audience-specific engagement and marketing, just-in-time training and ongoing process support. We helped our people understand the “why” not just the “how” behind technology change. We explained the benefits of the technology and how it integrates into the ways they already work.
  • Identified adoption and success measures: We engaged our sponsors and leaders to set adoption success and business-based outcome targets. These enabled us to monitor and adjust change interventions to reach our north star goal quickly and efficiently.

Manage

We have improved the processes around market management, account management, forecasting and talent.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Eased performance management: Client group and market leaders now understand how their business is performing and make informed, data-driven decisions. Executives are able to interact directly with their business data to assess historic and projected future performance and access a common set of metrics and a “single source of the truth” for all decision making.
  • Automated future forecasting: Sales and revenue data comes together in a new online, automated and forward-looking forecasting capability that improves forecast quality and provides instant visibility and consolidation for Finance and business unit leads.
  • Improved team and roster management: Enhanced analytics and business insights drive efficiencies, simplify processes and improve productivity for complex team management activities. Customized solutions are available for our client teams across Accenture.
“By aligning and integrating our technology and the support of our corporate functions, our client account and management teams can now better focus on the direction and profitability of Accenture’s business.”

— ANDREW INCHLEY, Managing Director – Accenture Finance Strategy and Enablement

Sell

We have addressed sales enablement, pricing, quality management and how we negotiate and execute thousands of highly customized, multilingual legal documents every month.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Integrated sales experiences: Online sales processes and capabilities are integrated in one platform based on Salesforce to enable Accenture’s global account teams to connect with the right people, the right assets and the right data to be more effective in their sales pursuits. Curated insights are based on Analytics Studio (also known as Einstein Analytics) to help sales teams shape value propositions and winning strategies. For example, our Win Probability Predictor predicts the opportunity outcome with 97% accuracy in less than three seconds; this enables leaders with the focus areas for deal coaching to sharpen strategies and increase win probability. Used by more than 30,000 users in 50 countries, sales engagement and the adoption of sales processes have been boosted by the platform.
  • Aligned pricing capabilities: Our approach to pricing has changed in two ways. First, our pricing has switched from being based on a cost-plus approach to aligning with competitive market rates and value delivered. Second, we reinvented our approach to sales and delivery integration. Around 70% of our opportunities can be priced on the platform and use our pricing intelligence. In this way, the “pricing architect in-a-box” enables our sales teams to price accurately, consistently and with confidence.
  • Digitized contract management: Digitized Accenture contracts create economies of scale by moving away from manual processes to optimize workflow and promote transparency. Streamlined data brings insights which help to speed up and standardize contracting—easing the process for client teams and clients alike. Contracts and their underlying data are routed automatically through reviews, changes and approvals. This enables client account teams, Legal teams and other stakeholders to work with transparency, clearly seeing where each contract stands in the sales process, who is working on it and when it is finalized.

Deliver

We have tackled the final piece in the puzzle by reimagining delivery management, client financial management, automated billing and contract management.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Standardized work delivery: Our solution makes it easier to team, track and forecast resources’ work effort and manage contract financials to improve how we collaborate and deliver work. It carves up the work into manageable components so that delivery teams can create and manage cost plans, delegate responsibilities and establish and track actionable metrics. We can identify issues more quickly, enabling them to be resolved in a consistent and standardized way.
  • Mitigated contract risk: We created a simple way to track and manage contracts through shared data, reporting and dashboards to mitigate risks and errors. By providing a contract health score, we can help users to follow the status of a specific contract and identify next best actions to resolve issues. Contributing to the health score calculation, our next-generation contract management solution also works in harmony with our forecasting, contracting, risk planning processes. In particular, our sophisticated contract risk review and approval tool, the Contract Insights Platform (CIP)documents contract risks prior to signature. These risks are then passed to our contract management tool where they can be managed during the delivery process.
  • Enhanced billing production: We support billing production requests for more than a half a million client-facing invoices each year in a single, cohesive flow across our various platforms. As a result, using ServiceNow, Accenture has reduced the average client invoicing production time from three days to under 10 minutes, achieving significant cost efficiencies and improving the company’s cash flow.

With more data available across many systems Accenture people have access to more insights. One of the analytics tools that was particularly helpful in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic came from the cross-functional area of Legal. The award-winning Accenture Legal Intelligent Contract Exploration (ALICE) tool has natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) which makes contracts more easily searchable and translates with high accuracy. What is more, market leading analytics that used to take more than 500 hours can now be provided in 30 minutes, delivering greater business value.

Here are some key technology tools that became the vehicle to value:

Manage myBusiness is a performance management platform to help client and portfolio leaders to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Manage mySales brings sales processes and capabilities online and integrates them to connect the right people, assets and data for more effective sales pursuits.

Manage myPrice is a pricing architect in-a-box that has reinvented our approach to sales and delivery integration.

Manage myDeal is a central platform that digitizes Accenture contracts, optimizing workflow and promoting transparency.

Manage myEngagements handles teamwork, tracks and forecasts resources’ work effort and manages contract financials.

Manage myTeam uses enhanced analytics and business insights to drive efficiencies, simplify processes and improve productivity for complex team management.

Manage myRecords handles new contracts, extensions or terminations, manages compliance in line with information management policy and has at-a-glance progress updates.

Manage myContracts offers a simple way to track and manage contracts through shared data, reporting and dashboards.

ALICE, Accenture Legal Intelligent Contract Exploration tool uses artificial intelligence to make contracts more searchable and translate with high accuracy.

Contract Insights Platform (CIP) a digital platform that documents contract risks prior to signature, shares with our contract management tool so they can be managed during delivery.

Client Business Projection is a solution that brings sales and revenue data together to facilitate a new online, automated and forward-looking forecasting capability.

View All

A valuable difference

Our digital business services have brought digital capabilities to our business leaders, client account teams and supporting functions. We have transformed how we work, creating experiences that are individualized and intelligent and enable successful outcomes with a robust change management and adoption approach.

We have tackled internal inefficiencies and unleashed the power of global connection. For instance, the critical foundation for the digitization of our business was the fact that we had a global single-instance SAP S/4HANA® enterprise system which provides full data integrity and a “single source of the truth.”

Now, our cross-platform technologies mean that our client account teams spend less time on administration and can work faster and more effectively.

“With the support of insights and accurate, timely information, our people are free to focus on developing client relationships and innovating to grow our resilience."

— PENELOPE PRETT, Chief Information Officer – Accenture

213TB

of enterprise data.

99%

reduction in invoice production cycle from three days to 10 minutes.

50K

log-ins in the first month of launch of Client Business Projection.

0%

data entry spreadsheet errors (down from 30%) due to automated invoicing.

24K

contracts onboarded in Manage myDeal system in the first three months.

97%

accuracy in less than three seconds for win opportunities with Manage mySales.

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