Accenture is launching a dedicated Microsoft practice in New Zealand ahead of the opening of a new local Microsoft datacentre region.
“This is a big development for us and, indeed, technology consulting services in New Zealand," said Accenture's head of technology for New Zealand, Nick Mulcahy.
New Zealand organisations will benefit from Accenture's global expertise and strategic partnership with Microsoft as well as the success of Accenture’s Australian Microsoft business group, he said.
“Combined with our local market leading expertise in ERP [enterprise resource planning] and cloud services for medium and large organisations, Accenture has unmatched capability to deliver mission-critical Microsoft ERP, CRM [customer relationship management], and Azure projects," Mulcahy said.
Microsoft announced plans to launch an onshore datacentre region in New Zealand last May. Once construction is completed, this will give organisations access to enterprise-grade cloud services with additional assurance around data sovereignty.
Mulcahy, who joined Accenture as a result of its $45 million buyout of local SAP practice Zag last October, said the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had prompted many businesses to advance their digital transformations more rapidly, and pervasively, than had been planned.
Accenture was well placed to help them with their transformations, he said.
“For a lot of businesses, last year was like that new pair of glasses," he said. "The pandemic was a moment of truth, forcing enterprises to look at themselves through a different lens.
"It raised the bar for how adaptable and how innovative organisations needed to be, and it revealed vulnerabilities that many had largely been able to ignore before."
Accenture NZ experienced its own pandemic impact, with COVID-19 "significantly adversely impacting" its business during the 2020 financial year.
The local firm reported total revenues of $66.1 million for the year ended 31 August 2020, down from $76.7 million in 2019. Net profit after tax dropped for the year from $9.5 million to $6.8 million.
COVID-19 showed businesses the limitations of how they had been operating, exposing inflexible work arrangements, fragile supply chains and untrustworthy information, Mulcahy said.
As a result, businesses had to dramatically accelerate their digital transformations.
"However, what we’ve seen is that the gap between those companies using technology effectively and those that don’t is widening," he said.
According to Accenture's global research, the top 10 per cent of companies in any industry using technology most effectively were outperforming the digital laggards by a factor of five.