Accenture opened a new innovation hub in Boston’s Back Bay as part of the company’s accelerated innovation investment in the U.S.
As part of the investment, Accenture plans to add 400 highly skilled technology jobs in Boston by the end of 2020. The company – recently named a Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe – is recruiting people with the critical skills needed to serve clients, including in high-growth areas such as digital, cloud and security services.
Accenture is also expanding its U.S. apprenticeship program to Boston to provide under-represented groups greater access to digital economy jobs. Accenture’s national program will grow to more than 100 apprentices by the end of 2018, building upon the company’s success in Chicago and San Antonio.
Designed to help clients grow, compete and transform in the digital economy, the Boston hub is the second of 10 new innovation hubs that Accenture announced last year. Its nationwide investment also includes a $1.4 billion investment in training and the hiring of 15,000 new employees by the end of 2020. The company’s other U.S. innovation hubs are in New York, Chicago, Houston, San Jose and Washington, D.C.
“Our clients look to us to help them transform so that they can compete and succeed in the digital economy,” said Kathleen O’Reilly, senior managing director of Accenture, who leads the company’s business in its U.S. Northeast region. “We are bringing innovation to the doorsteps of our Boston clients with a new destination where we can collaborate even more closely to deliver tangible, ground-breaking results faster than ever.”
Julie Sweet, Accenture’s chief executive officer for North America, said, “From our experience across the more than 40 industries we serve, it’s clear that companies that continuously innovate will succeed in the fast-changing digital economy. Our innovation hubs around the country are designed to help our clients innovate, implement and scale new solutions, and repeat the cycle across their businesses and capabilities, at speed.”
In the company’s innovation hubs, clients work side-by-side with their Accenture teams in collaborative innovation journeys, exploring the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics and augmented reality. Workshops leveraging data-driven market insights and design thinking put clients in their customers’ shoes, helping them ideate human-centered products, services and business models.
After teaming with clients to develop solution ideas, Accenture rapidly develops prototypes – whether physical, digital or mixed-reality – on site, enabling clients to see in near real-time how an idea could work in practice. Once the prototypes are refined iteratively, the Accenture team scales them, leveraging the company’s global network of delivery centers to implement and operate the solutions.
For example, among the company’s numerous Boston-area clients are Boston Scientific, which teamed with Accenture to reduce the costs of treating patients with chronic cardiovascular diseases through a cloud-based, data-driven digital health solution for hospitals, and Biogen, which teamed with Accenture to use quantum computing to create a solution to speed up drug discovery.
“Massachusetts is a national leader in technology and innovation thanks to our talented workforce, exceptional schools and quality companies,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “We welcome Accenture’s decision to expand their commitments in the Commonwealth and look forward to the highly skilled opportunities they will create for Massachusetts workers.”
To help clients accelerate their innovation journeys, Accenture also taps the most provocative and advanced thinking from the local innovation ecosystem through strategic acquisitions – most recently of Boston-based Intrepid and Altitude – and through university collaborations, such as the company’s decades-long work with MIT. This relationship encompasses research, education and recruiting programs, including the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab Alliance, and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, of which Accenture is a founding member. In addition, more than 100,000 of Accenture’s people worldwide have received 16 million hours of education through the MIT Professional Education program, and MIT Sloan delivers executive development programs to the company’s technology leaders.
Located at 888 Boylston St., in the heart of Back Bay, the new innovation hub is home to the company’s 1,500 area employees. Spanning two levels with an open floor plan, the space is designed for collaboration and ideation and can connect with Accenture locations around the globe to tap specialized expertise. It includes an Accenture Liquid Studio that quickly turns concepts into prototypes through rapid software application development; a Nano Lab experience that offers a window into the extensive R&D conducted by Accenture Labs; and Accenture Research, which identifies and anticipates game-changing business, market and technology trends through provocative thought leadership.