(Image source: Accenture.)
Accenture (Dublin) and IPsoft (New York) have announced the creation of an Accenture Amelia practice, designed to accelerate client adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve business outcomes and create new growth opportunities for their businesses. Accenture will use IPsoft’s Amelia platform to develop go-to-market strategies, solutions and consulting service offerings around deployments of virtual agent technology for clients across several industries with initial focus on banking, insurance and travel, the vendor says. The new practice builds upon an existing relationship between the two firms.
“Artificial intelligence is maturing rapidly and offers great potential to reshape the way that organizations conduct business and interact with their customers and employees. At the same time, executives are overwhelmed by the plethora of technologies and many products that are advertising AI or Cognitive capabilities,” comments Paul Daugherty, CTO, Accenture. “With our new Accenture Amelia practice, we are taking an important step forward in advancing the business potential of artificial intelligence by combining IPsoft’s world-class virtual agent platform with Accenture’s broad technology capabilities and industry experience to help clients transform their business and operations.”
Rapidly Expanding Market Opportunity
Accenture places its announcement in the context of a rapidly expanding market opportunity for AI. Analyst firm IDC predicts that the worldwide content analytics, discovery and cognitive systems software market will grow from US$4.5 billion in 2014 to US$9.2 billion in 2019, with others citing these systems as catalyst to have a US$5 trillion – US$7 trillion potential economic impact by 2025 (, “Worldwide Content Analytics, Discovery, and Cognitive Systems Software Forecast, 2015–2019.”).
Accenture’s own research, Technology Vision 2016—which fields responses from over 3,100 business and IT executives across the public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies in 11 countries and 12 industries—finds that 70 percent of corporate executives are making significantly more investments in artificial intelligence related technologies than two years ago, with 55 percent stating that they plan on using machine learning and embedded artificial intelligence.
“Accenture has embraced Amelia’s unique capabilities as a pillar of its technology suite for artificial intelligence, and we believe this will be transformative for clients in every industry,” comments Chetan Dube, president and CEO, IPsoft. “We are at a turning point in seeing CEOs take the decision to adopt true digital labor as their differentiation strategy. By equipping Amelia with Accenture’s deep industry knowledge, technology skills and ability to scale, we can together help enterprises realize the full potential of artificial intelligence technology as it reaches maturity.”
“The creation of an Accenture Amelia practice will have a significant impact on the emerging market for AI,” says Phil Fersht, CEO of HfS Research. “Accenture’s services capabilities and focus on AI, combined with IPsoft’s strong positioning across HfS’ Intelligent Automation Continuum, spanning both Autonomics Platforms and Cognitive Computing, promises to offer a new threshold of value for customers.”
Accenture cites examples of various companies that are already integrating Amelia into their business processes:
- A global oil and gas company has trained Amelia to help provide a prompt and more efficient way of answering invoicing queries from its suppliers.
- A leading European bank has completed a rapid deployment of Amelia within the IT function, successfully equipping the cognitive agent to take action a mere 45 days after project start.
- A large US-based media services organization taught Amelia how to support first line agents in order to raise the bar for customer service.
- A prominent global bank intent on seizing first-mover advantage in its digital strategy has successfully tested Amelia’s ability to support its network of mortgage brokers by providing guidance on policy details.
The formation of the Accenture Amelia practice further expands existing collaboration with IPsoft and builds on Accenture’s own artificial intelligence capabilities and efforts; including the recently announced accelerated research and development agenda in artificial intelligence across its global network.