One of Accenture’s big announcements during the recent AWS re:Invent conference was our new multi-year agreement with ETS, the world’s largest private, non-profit educational testing and assessment organization.
ETS has decided to migrate to AWS, and Accenture will provide end-to-end management of the organization’s AWS cloud environment. The agreement is to provide ETS with cost optimization and billing management, which is enabled by our flagship cloud management service, Accenture Prime.
Accenture Prime includes Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP), a cloud management platform (to govern services across cloud providers), cloud consumption services (to provide a consumption-based model), cloud management services (to deliver end-to-end management), and cloud optimization services (to extract the full benefits of cloud over time). Accenture Prime also includes comprehensive cloud security monitoring to enable real-time compliance across the cloud estate.
I had the opportunity to be interviewed at the conference about this Accenture-ETS collaboration, along with Chris Milkosky, Enterprise Architect at ETS. In this blog, I’ll share some of the highlights from that interview.
As Chris pointed out in the interview, ETS had been experimenting with the cloud for several years. But, after doing some pilots and proofs of concept, they truly became aware of the complexities of cloud migration and management. What ETS needed was to work with somebody who had the capabilities, experience, knowledge and history of having done migration and management already. In 2017, they asked Accenture to help them.
As part of this initiative, everything from the tooling of the cloud management capabilities, to setting the policies, to managing security, to cross-managing the cloud management services, to optimizing costs is all through Accenture.
The freedom to innovate
The transformation program with ETS can best be understood in the context of the company’s mission, which is “to help advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services.”
Over time, ETS found that its traditional IT environment was impairing their ability to innovate in the context of that mission. “The business was hungry,” as Chris put it. “but felt constrained. We understood that we needed to figure out ways to become more competitive, to stay a leader in the industry, to innovate faster. That's how we ended up with cloud migration—to give ourselves capabilities to become more innovative.”
That’s a big part of Accenture’s value proposition when it comes to cloud migration and managed services: We give clients the freedom to deepen their core competencies and to innovate by taking care of their cloud environment end to end.
Creating a culture of innovation
This commitment to innovation—from mobility to artificial intelligence to data analytics and more—is already having a positive effect on ETS’s culture. According to Chris, “You notice it in people. They see the change in ETS already. It has already fostered this new and renewed feeling of creativity and it's becoming pervasive. Everybody's coming up with new ideas and we're trying out new things. With the help of Accenture, we're going to be able to do that a lot faster and in volume.”
No need to worry
It’s an exciting time for ETS because they can now pivot to new technologies more cost-effectively while we help them reduce their time to market with a new cloud framework. It’s even more rewarding to know that the savings gleaned from ACP will go toward innovative products and services to benefit students, educators and academic institutions worldwide.
As Chris concluded, “At ETS, our goal isn't to be the best at building a cloud environment or migrating and managing secure cloud services. We don’t need to worry about those mechanics. We can focus on our mission of advancing quality and equity in education.”