Accenture to acquire Gekko for cloud innovation
The acquisition of Gekko would expand Accenture's AWS resources for clients in France and Europe to support industry specific enterprise migrations and development on cloud platforms.
“The combination of Gekko’s deep skills in AWS with Accenture’s industry knowledge and experience in global large-scale cloud initiatives would now provide highly differentiated end-to-end services to the European market. Clients would benefit from full range cloud services including strategy ideation, migration and managed services,” commented Accenture.
The intended acquisition will require prior consultation with relevant work councils and be subject to customary closing conditions. However the financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
“The acquisition of Gekko would underscore our multi-cloud strategy and would expand our AWS capabilities for clients to realize incremental business value through a cloud adoption and DevOps transformation. It would increase our on-shore AWS fully automated cloud operations and FinOps capabilities with Gekko’s delivery center located in the west of France. The acquisition of Gekko would enhance our position as one of the leading providers of AWS expertise and cloud transformation in the French market,” said Cedric Le Yeuc’h, managing director at Accenture Technology in France and Benelux.
The AWS consultant for integration and management services - Gekko - has over 100 trained cloud professionals, with more than 85 AWS certifications and a strong relationship with the company. Gekko is also an AWS Advanced partner, holding a competency in Storage, as well as being an AWS Authorised Training partner and a part of the AWS Solution Provider and Well Architected Framework program.
“Aligned with our development strategy, the acquisition of Gekko would be another significant addition because it would give clients more support for public cloud options. Gekko would also be a major opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy in France,” said Olivier Girard, Accenture’s Geographic Unit managing director for France and Benelux.
“Accenture’s advantage is our ability to keep pace with evolving customer expectations. Our clients call on Accenture to help them innovate and transform their business. Gekko would bring key cloud, AI and DevOps skills and would help us serve a greater and more diverse range of clients in France and the broader European market.”
Since its establishment in 2015, Gekko has helped over 80 companies to design, deploy and maintain a flexible, connected and secure cloud infrastructure.
“In the fast-growing cloud market, joining Accenture would be a unique opportunity to help even more organizations to leverage journey to the cloud for accelerating their digital transformations, growing their businesses and improving customer experiences,” adds Roland Esnis and Julien Favre, co-founders and CEOs of Gekko.
“By combining the renowned talent, reputation and capabilities of Gekko with Accenture’s strong team of AWS practitioners in France, we would be better positioned to lead the industry in cloud services in France,” he concludes.
For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”