Communicate sits with David Fregonas, Accenture Interactive Lead - Middle East, to learn more about the company’s recent shift in operations to the cloud.
What is the strategy behind this new initiative?
We’re following the same advice we give our clients in this time of relentless change: act with great agility and boldness. The new initiative departs from convention to capture our new purpose and voice today’s and tomorrow’s most pressing question: How can we help our clients embrace change to better businesses, communities, and lives?”
‘Purpose’ is a crucial lens through which companies can evaluate their strategy, priorities, and the opportunities they create for their people. It is not just a social impact statement—it represents the values you want to be known for in the market. Our new purpose is “to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity.” It is a clear statement that connects us to the incredible work we do each day, creating value for our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities.
The new purpose and brand campaign “Let there be change” is grounded in Accenture’s leadership formula – embracing change and continually transforming its business to create value, powered by its people’s talent and creativity. Exponential changes in technology and the impact of Covid-19 have raised change to a new level, requiring companies to reimagine everything and requiring economies and entire industries to rebuild.
We developed our brand positioning and purpose with Droga5, the world-class creative agency acquired by Accenture Interactive in 2019. This is without any doubt Accenture’s most significant brand move in the last decade. We strongly believe in it and are tripling our media spend to $90 million. We are leveraging our internal and external digital properties simultaneously through television and online advertising, including social media campaigns across our various markets, including the Middle East.
Was the Covid-19 crisis the major drive for this, or was this already in the works before the pandemic happened?
We started working on the new brand positioning and company purpose more than a year ago. However, the Covid-19 pandemic reinforced and accelerated the need for change. Our client’s current business models will no longer be successful in the future. Let’s look at the scale of movement to e-commerce and marketplaces in the Middle East. The previous requirement of physical contact sales is exponentially shifting towards new digital marketing, sales, and service experiences. And the remote working or ‘work-from-home’ is just the tip of the iceberg. What is at stake is a pure reinvention of the way we work, our tools, processes, and the way we interact with one another. So if our new brand positioning started during the pre-Covid-19 period, our new purpose has never mattered more than it does right now.
Could you explain the 360-degree value concept and how you plan to execute it?
We are facing a new reality, and its characteristics include change, volatility, and uncertainty – which are even more present in our part of the world. Our clients are being challenged at a vertiginous scale and along several axes. 360-degree value means delivering and measuring value across all stakeholders – clients, employees, shareholders, partners, and communities. Business speaks in the language of value. We believe 360-degree value has the potential to transform our industry and the broader business community and ultimately make a real difference in society. For our clients, this means helping them to transform and reinvent their businesses, reskill their employees, or become more sustainable by moving to the cloud, with clear financial return.
What kind of challenges did you face while shifting 70% of the brand’s business to the cloud?
Today, we completed our rotation to “the New,” and approximately 70 percent of our business is in digital, cloud, and security. Our rotation to the New over the last six years has demonstrated an unmatched ability to identify and scale new opportunities in the most strategic, high-growth market areas. These changes are designed to increase the company’s ability to anticipate client needs and market changes.
Companies and their leadership are being held to new standards that have nothing to do with what they are selling, and everything to do with if and how they respond to political or social change. Customers are judging companies and basing loyalty on the actions companies take and their adherence to values and purpose. With our new purpose, our 360-degree value and our brand campaign, we are focusing more on shared success and the ability to make the brand more tangible. This decade promises to be all about the delivery of shared success. The challenge to do so is our ability to measure the value generated by the 360-degree value we are delivering across all stakeholders.