Accenture has had a pretty high-profile week, with three major initiatives attracting media attention. First, as a follow-up to the firm's work with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Accenture advised the group to make like a street performer and ask for money to shave down its $400 million budget. The MTA followed the advice and asked its major vendors—IBM and Goodyear among them—for concessions on existing contracts. Almost all of the vendors agreed, saving the MTA roughly $40 million over the next year. Accenture scored handsomely on the renegotiations, too, bringing in $3.2 million in fees. Accenture has also recommended steep layoffs and cutting back on unnecessary projects—which should amount to almost $90 million.
In the world of technology, Accenture will be causing more than a few smiling faces, especially with the announcement of its Over-the-Top TV. (And no, I didn't make that name up, but I desperately wish I had.) I won't even try to get into the technical details, but the service is meant to address consumers' growing demand for TV, computer, video and gaming whenever and wherever they want. Seems like a reasonable request to me—not over the top at all. And with another foot in the tech world, Accenture has hopped aboard the iPhone bandwagon. It recently collaborated with Generali France to create an iPhone app allowing brokers and agents to sell insurance to clients—a fast-growing trend in the industry.
Accenture is also getting in on the action in Asia, having signed an eight-year agreement with Hanwha S&C Co., a data-systems and networking company in Seoul. Under the agreement, the firms will jointly sell technology services to financial services firms in South Korea. The deal is one of the first between a global consulting firm and a Korean data systems company.