Accenture announced today that it has acquired Genfour, the pureplay automation integration and professional services company, for an undisclosed amount. Everest Group research indicates that Genfour is growing fast more than doubling revenue year on year but that is the norm in a growth market that is currently dominated by RPA technologies. Revenue mix includes annuity, run and operate as well as consultancy. The company head count includes a large developer pool. Genfour has a strong presence in the insurance and utilities sectors, as well as a few clients located in the US.
Acquisition of additional automation skills likely a key driver
Genfour works with a number of Service Delivery Automation (SDA) technologies, Blue Prism, UiPath, and Celaton. It also has its own Genfour Autonomic platform with multi-tenant features and interfaces to third party workflow and reporting software. It not only develops and deploys automation for clients but offers on-going as-a-service operation and support services.
Automation skills are in short supply in the market, and Genfour brings Accenture expert personnel. This is likely to be the main reason for the acquisition.
Client acquisition is unlikely to have been a driver for this take over given that many of Genfour’s clients are mid-sized organizations that are not usually targeted by Accenture. However, Genfour’s presence in the insurance sector might have helped.
In terms of technology, the two companies’ capabilities mostly complement each other. Accenture has built extensive automation capabilities in recent years by following a strategy of partnering with leading automation technology vendors, Blue Prism and IPsoft among them. While the two companies share expertise in Blue prism, and to some extent, UiPath, Genfour adds Celaton and its own IP to the Accenture mix.
Expect the M&A trend to continue
The market is moving towards increasing levels of domain and industry specific automation. Accenture is likely to follow this trend and build capabilities for specific domains and vertical expertise as well as increasingly more complex projects.
It is unsurprising that there is M&A activity in this market. We have predicted this, and there is more to come. This acquisition is unlikely to be the last in SDA in 2017.
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