SAN FRANCISCO – Accenture PLC announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire Atlanta-based cloud services consultancy Cloud Sherpas as leaders of both firms attended Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference this week.
Cloud Sherpas has a team of technical experts that assist companies in migrating to the cloud, focusing on Salesforce.com, Google, and ServiceNow products. Accenture will be adding to its team of 2,700 consultants dedicated to the Salesforce platform with Cloud Sherpas 500 experts. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Saideep Raj, global managing director of SaaS and emerging platforms at Accenture, describes it as one of Accenture’s “more significant acquisitions.”
The acquisition was motivated by Accenture’s need to provide complete cloud solutions to its clients, Raj says. The firm sees its clients moving beyond point solutions with cloud services and wanting something on a more wide-scale level, overhauling how they interact with their customers. Cloud Sherpas will help provide that with its staff of certified technical architects.
“They’ve really built very deep expertise around the technical architecture,” he says. “When you think about these large-scale solutions, a lof of it is around stitching them together and these architects will help with this.”
Both Accenture and Cloud Sherpas take a cloud-first approach when bringing solutions to their clients. Rather than explore the merits of implementing on-premises, the focus is on how a company can find innovation with cloud services. That’s part of why the deal made sense for Cloud Sherpas.
“We call ourselves born in the cloud,” says David Worthington, CEO of Cloud Sherpas. “Clients are looking for true innovation to their business processes. We’ve been driving that and Accenture has the same vision and we can bring more capability to our clients to do that.”
Closing of the acquisition is anticipated to occur in October, Raj says. When that is done, Cloud Sherpas and its 1,100 employees will be operating as a separate division of Accenture until their systems are integrated over the next quarter. It’ll be operating under the Accenture Cloud First Applications team. Founded in 2007, Cloud Sherpas joins Accenture after building a consultancy that is one of four ServiceNow Master Partners, and a four-time Google for Work Partner of the Year recipient.
“During that time, we’re taking the best of what Cloud Sherpas does and marrying it with what Accenture does,” Raj says.
For Accenture, the acquisition will build on its strength in designing tailored solutions for different vertical industries with cloud software. In particular, Cloud Sherpas has built strong competency in focusing on companies in the financial services industry. Now Accenture will be see the acquisition of new customers to that category as well as a bolstering of what it can offer to current customers in that area.
“We see some of the newer things that Cloud Sherpas are driving as growing into the enterprise at a very early level,” Raj says. Google and ServiceNow are both booming platforms for the enterprise that Accenture can offer customization on for different industries. “We see a tremendous market opportunity around both these platforms.”
Both Worthington and Raj spoke to the shared company culture of their firms as being another factor contributing to the acquisition. The companies make efforts to provide their employees with a transparent career path with clear advancement criteria, as well as learning opportunities to further their certifications.
“We see that in the Cloud Sherpas team, they have a lot of pride in being a Sherpa,” Raj says. “We want them to be a part of this.”