Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has acquired award-winning product design and innovation agency VanBerlo, headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The acquisition will strengthen Accenture’s capabilities to help clients benefit from the merging of physical products and digital services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
VanBerlo innovates products and services for companies in many industries, including fast-moving consumer goods, mobility, healthcare, banking and high-tech. The agency’s smart connected solutions combine physical objects with digital services, using technologies like internet of things sensors, artificial intelligence and data analytics. These solutions can provide more personalized offerings and convenience to users while offering companies new ways to expand their businesses.
Since its foundation in 1982, VanBerlo’s work has collected more than 150 awards, including from iF, Red Dot and Good Design. In 2017, Erasmus University and Dutch television and radio broadcaster AvroTros named it the Netherlands’ most innovative company.
VanBerlo has a team of more than 90 professionals working from studios in Eindhoven and The Hague. They have deep experience in innovation and product strategy; product, software and user experience design; and prototyping, with a focus on sustainable solutions. The team will join Accenture Industry X.0, the part of Accenture that uses digital technologies to improve how companies design, engineer and manufacture products and services, and operate industrial facilities.
Frank Rennings, managing director and Accenture Digital Lead in the Netherlands, said: “The number of smart connected products is increasing rapidly and the speed of digitization is challenging our clients’ design and development processes. Both call for a new approach to innovation. Bringing VanBerlo’s creative team into our Industry X.0 practice will enable us to help our clients develop new business models and generate new revenues from smart connected products and services.”
Thomas Paulen, CEO of VanBerlo, said: “Our multidisciplinary team is passionate about creating forward-looking solutions that meet humans’ needs and generate growth for clients. We are looking forward to joining Accenture Industry X.0 and driving innovation for global clients.”
The acquisition of VanBerlo will complement Accenture’s acquisition of innovation agency Happen in October 2019, which has a team in Amsterdam.
Other acquisitions Accenture has made to strengthen its Industry X.0 business include US product innovation and engineering company Nytec, German technology consultancy Zielpuls, and German strategic design agency designaffairs.