Accenture Acquires Product Design and Innovation Firm Altitude
Accenture has acquired Altitude, a privately held product design and innovation firm based in Boston that uses its expertise in consumer insight, design and product engineering to help companies innovate and develop new physical products and services.
Serving clients across a wide range of industries — including consumer goods, healthcare, industrial and high-tech — Altitude has created award-winning products for many leading brands, including Anheuser-Busch, DeWalt, ThermoFisher Scientific and Under Armour. Altitude’s key areas of expertise include consumer insights, where teams identify new opportunities and determine how an organisation can commercialise them; and product creation, where teams design new physical products and services that create meaningful experiences.
The acquisition will result in a unique combination of Altitude’s innovation, design, and engineering expertise with Accenture’s industry knowledge and full range of consulting, technology and digital capabilities including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and Internet-of-Things (IoT). The combination will enable the creation of an integrated set of connected-product services, better positioning Accenture to help companies rapidly develop IoT business models and capture new revenue streams in the high-growth, connected products and services market.
The Altitude team will enhance Accenture’s Connected Product Lifecycle Services practice in North America. Accenture will also use the acquisition to establish a Connected Products Studio in Boston, which is an emerging hub for IoT innovation. Accenture has been building its ability to deliver design for new services and products for clients. This includes a suite of capabilities including Fjord, with 24 studios around the world, which are focused on service design and the delivery of digital products. The acquisition of Altitude strengthens Accenture’s ability to help clients design and create physical products.
Research by Accenture shows that only 27% of businesses have a strategy for IoT and many lack the capabilities needed to pivot their business models at speed and scale to harness IoT innovation.
“Disruption introduced by connected products and the IoT is re-writing the old rules of a product-based business model, forcing manufacturers to transform to deliver value-added services and deliver meaningful outcomes for consumers,” said Brian Doyle, Accenture’s managing director for Connected Product Innovation in North America. “The addition of Altitude strengthens Accenture’s position as a premier innovation partner for companies looking to seize the opportunities in the new connected world. Together we will provide the vision and end-to-end capabilities to help clients become disruptors and innovate at the speed of a start-up, but with less risk.”
Brian Matt, Altitude’s Founder and Chairman, said, “Altitude has helped companies invent and change the way they deliver goods and services for the future, such as integrating robots into homes, redefining mobility for ageing populations, personalising consumer experiences, and turning an industrial equipment company into a service provider. Together with Accenture, we can amplify our impact and help clients realise a new future, one they wouldn’t get to on their own.”
“Designing and building connected products requires entirely new competencies to redefine the business or product strategy, customer experience and ecosystem, along with the underlying technologies that Accenture has built, such as cybersecurity or machine learning,” Doyle said. “This acquisition will enhance our ability to help clients drive more successful innovation and create growth platforms that harness the Internet of Things.”
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Boston, Altitude has filed more than 96 patents and has won more than 100 awards for innovation, including the prestigious Edison award. Altitude’s capabilities span the full range of design and development, from ethnographic research, opportunity identification, growth strategy and innovation strategy to product design and development, digital design, technology development, experience design and brand design. The company has close links to the innovation ecosystem and leading universities in the Boston area, including MIT, Harvard, Tufts and Northeastern.