Accenture acquires in the MES space with ESP

/ March 9, 2019/ Accenture, Digital Manufacturing, Healthcare, Ireland, M&As (small under $50m in revenues)

With the launch of Industry X.0 last year, Accenture had voiced its intention to enter the ER&D services, starting by IoT and digital technologies. During the summer of 2018, the company had acquired two embedded software specialists and one product design firm. The scale of the acquisition was relatively modest with a combined ~450 consultants added.

The acquisition builds, however, on numerous acquisitions done by Accenture in UX and product design, for its Fjord branded units. And indeed, when he announced the acquisition of Aricent, Dominique Cerutti, CEO of Altran, acknowledged that Aricent’s Frog had become the third largest product design firm after Accenture’s Fjord, and Ideo, an independent firm.

So, in our view, one should not underestimate the potential competition of Accenture in the ER&D services space. Accenture just announced another acquisition this week, that of ESP, a firm headquartered in Cork, Ireland. ESP brings capabilities in the MES space, and overall in manufacturing applications. The company services the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Its headcount is 200.

ESP has several specific offerings specific to the manufacturing sector. One of this offering is MBR Factory, a factory delivery-based service for providing Master Batch Record services, the equivalent of Master Data Management in the industry space, along with equipment definition, and work center locations. Another offering of ESP is specific to the pharma industry and is serialization, the tracking at unit level of pharmaceutical prescription.

In short, Accenture Industry X.0, with ESP, gained very specialized skills that are adjacent to the ER&D services. Was this acquisition a one-off or does it show that Accenture intends to go deep in the manufacturing space? What is clear that under Industry 4.0/Digital Manufacturing, manufacturing firms will need to refresh their MES, and Accenture just positioned itself in the pharma sector. Well done!

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