Accenture expands its SAP C/4HANA business with maihiro

Accenture has been investing heavily into its SAP Business Group. With the acquisition of German-based maihiro, the provider adds a highly competent consulting firm for SAP C/4HANA.

The acquisition indicates a number of things. First, large players such as Accenture need to acquire companies in order to win talents they need to meet increasing customer demands. Second, SAP’s product family for customer experience management, SAP C/4HANA (see our Expert View on SAP C/4HANA) including Qualtrics (see our Expert View on Qualtrics) is a growth segment for SAP providers. Third, SAP consulting firms with specific expertise are becoming targets for M&As.

Winning and retaining talents in the SAP space has become a major challenge for service providers. But it is not just the number of consultants that matters. Also, SAP partners need to find the right skills. Although attention in the SAP business is very much focused on SAP S/4HANA, we observe growing demand from companies for consulting and systems integration support in the customer experience space, mainly SAP Sales Cloud and Commerce Cloud. Companies want experts that can guide them through the transformation of their customer experience management processes and that can facilitate the migration to the ERP back end.

Accenture has declared SAP C/4HANA to be one of its focus topics. At the latest Sapphire, the company, with Project Elevate, announced a co-development initiative with SAP to push industry-specific solutions based on SAP C/4HANA. So it is no wonder that Accenture now acquires an expert for SAP’s CX suite. Our general view on Accenture can be found in our vendor profile.

Who is maihiro?

The Germany-based IT services company maihiro can be described as a holistic consultant for the entire SAP CX portfolio. The largest part of maihiro’s revenues come from classic C&SI services as the company covers a broad spectrum of SAP CX products, including SAP’s on-premises portfolio elements (e.g. SAP CRM) as well as (components of) SAP’s new customer experience suite, SAP C/4HANA (Marketing, Sales, Commerce, Service, Customer Data). Moreover, the company offers field service management (FSM) and services around SAP’s newly acquired platform for feedback management, Qualtrics.

The firm has a broad customer base; however, manufacturing and retail are predominant, matching the economic structure of the geographic focus areas, Germany and Austria. For a more thorough analysis of maihiro, please see our dedicated SAP services company profile.

maihiro is not the first SAP CX expert to be acquired. Back in 2018, itelligence, a Germany-based SAP services provider that is part of NTT Data, bought Sybit, a consulting firm specializing in SAP C/4HANA (more details on this can be found in the itelligence SAP services vendor profile). For more details on the provider landscape for SAP C/4HANA in Germany and Switzerland, please refer to our PAC RADAR “SAP C/4HANA-related Services in Germany and Switzerland”.

How will the two sides be affected by this acquisition?

maihiro will be able to better scale its projects thanks to Accenture’s global footprint and greater resources, which will partly remedy the skills shortage.

The other side of the coin is that the further maihiro penetrates the Accenture cosmos, the more likely it is to lose some of its customer proximity - one of the company’s most important operational and strategic pillars. Accenture, on the other hand, has gained a fully-fledged niche expert on the SAP CX portfolio which enjoys a very good reputation among German and Austrian customers, is positioned almost industry-agnostically, and is very well integrated in the SAP CX partner network (formerly known as SAP Hybris).

Our outlook

SAP partners will continue to acquire specialists in order to win talents and expertise. Besides special knowledge about solutions such as SAP C/4HANA and Qualtrics, the capability of integrating CX with ERP to enable end-to-end business processes is key.