Talk:Accenture

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A few more updates to this article[edit]

As mentioned above, I'm currently working with Accenture to improve their article, and I have a few more updates I'd like to see made here.

Principal subsidiaries[edit]

This section is problematic, for a number of reasons. First, it is a haphazard list, with no clear rationale for what should be included as a "principal" subsidiary. Some of the entities included in the section right now are not actually subsidiaries of the company, for example Accenture Defense Group, Accenture SAP, Accenture Mobility Operated Services and Accenture Interactive are all internal divisions or service offerings for the company, not subsidiaries.

As you can see from the list of the company's subsidiaries in its SEC filing, a full list of subsidiaries is very long and would make the article ungainly. There's no easily apparent way to identify those subsidiaries from the list that are "principal", particularly as Accenture doesn't break down its subsidiary companies in that way. Also, currently this section seems to act as more of a magnet for inaccurate details than a source of useful information. So, even if the incorrect details were removed now, more would likely be added later. The Operations section already provides a breakdown of the company's structure and services, which seems like the most useful information to readers, so I'd like to propose that we simply delete the Principal subsidiaries section entirely and move the links to subsidiaries with Wikipedia articles to the See also section.

I suggest that only subsidiaries that have their own Wikipedia article be included, if there are any. That is a common practice for deciding what goes on such lists. Gigs (talk) 20:57, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey Gigs, thanks for taking a look at this—appreciate it! Replying in two sections to keep the conversation coherent. Regarding the "Principal subsidiaries" section, I'd tend to disagree; I don't think the existence of a Wikipedia article should be used to determine which subsidiaries of a company are its "principal" ones, especially when even Accenture doesn't break down their subsidiaries this way. It seems like it might confuse readers to use Wikipedia-internal criteria, but label it in a way that makes it seem as if it comes from an external source, like Accenture itself.
Chris, you are pushing this quite strongly. Has Accenture kept the same subsidiaries as listed in the original (S-1 pre-IPO?) SEC filing? If so, and that list is very lengthy, then it is not appropriate to include it here. Regarding standards, I bristle at your suggestion that we use Accenture's criteria rather than Wikipedia's, not because Wikipedia is correct, but because Accenture is a primary source! Wikipedia uses second or preferably third party sources! Regardless, here are two possible solutions.
  • Don't list ANY subsidiaries in the article, if they are nearly "uncountable" due to the fact that they contain multitudes. No, that isn't quite right. The subsidiaries of Accenture are legion, so instead, just include an entry in the "External Links" section at the end, that links to a page on the Accenture website which is kept current, and lists the subsidiaries.
  • find a list of Accenture subsidiaries from a credible 3rd or at worst 2nd party source (no PR Newswire though!) that lists the subsidiaries, and make it a reference in the article, with a properly formatted citation. Do not list the names of each subsidiary in the Wikipedia article! Instead, state that there are many subsidiaries, with the accompanying reference.
At present, the list of subsidiaries needs clarification. There are two government subsidiaries of Accenture listed, in sequential order, one after the other. Why are there TWO? Is one for the US government, and the other or governments of foreign powers in general? Well, you are an Irish company, so does that mean non-Irish versus Irish domestic? Chris, please listen to Gigs. Until I get my ef key repaired, I will not be available. Gigs seems quite familiar with Wikipedia AND real-world standards of corporate governance-related documentation. --FeralOink (talk) 11:47, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey again, I think my previous message wasn't clear, especially in terms of using Accenture's criteria instead of Wikipedia's. What I meant was that we can't possibly take the existence (or lack thereof) of a Wikipedia page to indicate whether or not a subsidiary is a principal one, either from the perspective of the company, or some valid, third-party source. An article would certainly indicate notability, but the title of the section isn't Notable subsidiaries.
That aside, as FeralOink points out, there's some confusion in the entities mentioned in the section. In fact, some of them are not even subsidiaries but internal divisions of Accenture. All of the following from the article are not listed as subsidiaries in the SEC filing: Accenture Federal Services; Accenture Defense Group; Accenture SAP Solutions; Digiplug; Accenture Mobility Operated Services; Accenture Interactive; Accenture CAS; Accenture BD.
The SEC filing is an up-to-date, accurate list of all the company's subsidiaries. However, as pointed out, it is a primary source and the list is too long to include in the article. In terms of the options suggested by FeralOink, I did take a look but was not able to find a second- or third-party source that lists all these subsidiaries, so adding in a cited sentence explaining that there are a large number of subsidiaries seems like it won't work. If everyone is agreeable, I think that FeralOink's first suggestion of not including a list and instead linking to a list of subsidiaries in the External links sounds ideal. Although Accenture doesn't keep a page on its website with a list, the SEC filing could be used. Does that work?
Chris, that sounds perfect to me! Specifically, I refer to this:

"not including a list and instead linking to a list of subsidiaries in the External links sounds ideal. Although Accenture doesn't keep a page on its website with a list, the SEC filing could be used."

--FeralOink (talk) 22:29, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
From what I can tell, it seems like this section had originally been intended to just include the subsidiaries with Wikipedia articles, but then editors have added to it with other subsidiaries (and even other entities within the company that aren't actually subsidiaries) based on their knowledge. I think even if we pared it back again, by keeping this section here, it would continue to act as a "spam magnet" in the future. Would you be ok with my suggestion of removing the section and just including the subsidiaries with Wikipedia articles in the See also section? ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 15:10, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - I suppose I take a pragmatic view of such things. I'm a member of WikiProject Skateboarding where we spend our time dealing with much, much smaller companies that were often started in garages and haven't progressed much from there (despite being "WP notable"). Brands and subsidiaries are constantly being bought and sold based on social relationships, team membership, competition success and market trends. As a result, few company articles under the WP:SKATE banner include all brands and subsidiaries; maintaining such lists would simply be beyond our capacity. As with board members, is there really much point including a list of non-notable red-link subsidiary entities? I suppose Accenture has an internal HR department and a janitorial staff too. Without taking anything away from those hard-working people, we wouldn't include them, right? So why include the division that "provides specialized solutions to airlines and railways" or the one that "provides customer management and mobility services"? I have no problem with including subsidiaries that are notable enough for their own articles (and are therefore blue links) simply on the basis that it aids navigation. But I'm not sure those need their own section. Just include a line in the history where they were founded/split off/sold off/bought in. I'd have no problem with a link to a primary source SEC filing under External Links. Stalwart111 10:40, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - Ditto to what Stalwart said. It is consistent with my comment above.--FeralOink (talk) 09:17, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Stalwart, that makes a lot of sense to me. I think that if it sounds good to everyone, I would be happy to go with your suggestion of adding a sentence about the one subsidiary that is bluelinked into the History section, removing the rest of the Principal subsidiaries section and linking to the full list of subsidiaries in the SEC filing in the External links.
For the sentence to add to the History section, would something like the following work to add to the Initial public offering subsection:

Also in 2001, Accenture became the majority owner of Avanade, an IT consulting subsidiary it initially formed in 2000 as a joint venture with Microsoft.[1]

Would someone be willing to make these edits? ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 13:10, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Chris, if I were working on this article on my own, before inserting the section about Avanade, I would want clarification about timeline and a bit more:
  1. Accenture and Microsoft form Avanade as a joint venture in 2000.
  2. Accenture becomes majority owner of Avanade in 2001. If you said Accenture became sole owner, you wouldn't hear a peep out of me. I would happily concur with you. However, majority owner is potentially nebulous. One can be majority owner of a company in surprising ways e.g. Bill Gates is (or was) majority owner of Microsoft with only 4.6% ownership (Steve Ballmer has 4.0%) as of last month.
I don't need the gruesome details about Avanade corporate structure! Just, please, check and confirm that Avanade is majority owned and controlled by Accenture, AND that despite majority ownership, confirm Accenture does not share significant controlling interest with another sizable owner of stock, even though less than Accenture's share. If there is someone else, that's fine, but it needs a 3-word mention e.g. "Accenture became the majority owner of Avanade, with XXX retaining X% of common equity", iff that is relevant. You are the corporate representative here, so I want you to get that information, not me ;o) I will be happy to comply with your wishes and insert the language you prefer, once this is settled. I am not being arbitrarily difficult. When matter like this are brought up, with a company whose corporate structure is complex, and huge e.g. Avanade, this IT subsidiary of Accenture, has 17,000 employees in 70 locations globally(!), it is necessary. --FeralOink (talk) 22:29, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
(Moved comment above which was inserted within the other.) Sounds sensible. I'm sure that can be clarified fairly easily. Stalwart111 22:54, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Hey again folks, okay, good to see we're all in agreement about what to do with the Principal subsidiaries section—hurray, consensus! Regarding clarifying the extent to which Accenture owns Avanade: per the source linked before (Highbeam link, Nexis link), Accenture had 75% ownership (they now have 80% ownership) of Avanade. The relevant quote from the article:

"Changes in the ownership structure at the end of 2001 reduced Microsoft's interest in the company, which now stands at 20 percent. Avanade is now considered a subsidiary of Accenture, which owns 75 percent of the company."

I'll let you decide when you make the edits if the specifics warrant mention here on Wikipedia—it seems a bit too detailed to me, now that we're clear on things here, but up to you.

Can one of you go ahead and institute these changes, removing the Principal subsidiaries subsection, adding in the external link to the SEC filing with the list of subsidiaries, and adding the sentence about Avanade to the History section?

Also, it doesn't look to me like we've yet reached consensus regarding what to do with the terminology regarding Tiger Woods, below. Any more thoughts there? For what it's worth, I still feel that simply stating that he appeared in Accenture's advertising is accurate, and less confusing than what is currently in the article. Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 14:16, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Marketing, branding and identity[edit]

There are two issues in this section that I'd like to address.

First, I'd like to suggest a change in language regarding the "greater than" symbol over the word Accenture in the logo. The mention of it being similar to musical notation seems to be completely WP:OR to me, as I can't find a source for this. Instead, the symbol was chosen because of its mathematical nature, and to reflect Accenture's goal of exceeding customer expectations. I'd thus like to suggest the following rephrasing:

Second, the final paragraph of this section about Tiger Woods is a bit misleading. Although Woods appeared in Accenture's advertising, he didn't serve as spokesman for the company. The use of the term "exploded" appears sensational, particularly in a fairly straightforward Wikipedia article about a company. I'd thus propose the following rewrite of the paragraph:

If these updates look okay, I'd appreciate it if someone could move them over into the article. Thanks! ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 15:13, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

First change accepted regarding the trademark. I made a slight change to the Tiger Woods section to remove "exploded". Note that "a spokesman" is different from "the spokesman", and I think the current text is largely acceptable there. Gigs (talk) 21:03, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for updating the language regarding the greater than sign! Regarding Tiger Woods as "a" versus "the" spokesman—I hate to seem like I'm arguing semantics, but calling Tiger Woods even "a" spokesman overstates his role. He was simply hired to appear in advertising, and didn't speak for the company outside of that role. I realize that the word "spokesman", often used in conjunction with the word "celebrity", is sometimes used to describe a situation like this, but I think labelling him as a spokesman will potentially cause readers to misunderstand his role with the company. I feel that it's just as accurate, and potentially less confusing, to simply state that he appeared in Accenture's advertising. What do you think? ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 15:10, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey again Gigs, since we seem to disagree about what should be done with these edit requests, I've gone ahead and reached out to two editors who helped me with this article previously, User:Stalwart111 and User:FeralOink, asking them to weigh in here with their opinion. Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 16:27, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Chris, I concur with Gigs. Again, I apologize in advance for my broken "eph" key, and am using "ph" as a replacement. No disrespect toward any individual is intended in the following comment. Please forgive me. Tiger Woods WAS a spokesman for Accenture. He was not THE spokesman, but he was A spokesman. He received hefty sponsorship funds from Accenture. It was NOT Accenture's fault that Tiger Woods turned out to be an appalling serial adulterer and brought shame to his wife and family! How do you think Warren Buffet felt when he found out that O.J. Simpson was charged with the deaths of his wife and that nice young man? Remember, O.J. Simpson was the famous product representative/ spokesman for Hathaway shirts (I think) and Warren Buffet owns Berkshire-Hathaway. It wasn't Warren Buffet's fault about O.J. Who knew? Accenture was deceived by Tiger Woods perfidy, just like everyone else. Tiger Woods was not charged and convicted in civil court of a crime as O.J. was. However, it is completely reasonable not to continue to retain Tiger Woods as an Accenture brand representative after the extent of his philandering became known globally, entering into popular culture ever since. He was a spokesman for Accenture though. Is it important to include that in the article? I have no idea, but if it IS included, it must be stated in a realistic way. --FeralOink (talk) 12:05, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Was quick, so I fixed your ephs for you! Stalwart111 13:43, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I think the issue might be the use of the term "spokesperson" rather than a disagreement about the role he played. To my mind, a "spokesperson" would be someone in a formal communications role, speaking on behalf of the company is response to media queries and the like. Much in the same way as the White House Press Secretary would be the spokesperson for the President/the Administration. In this case, Woods was representing the company, but he didn't have a formal "employee" role. His role was more akin to what I would consider a "brand ambassador" or "celebrity endorsement". Even "brand representative", as you put it, would work. I suppose "celebrity spokesperson" might work, but I think we need to be clear that he wasn't attending press conferences to discuss the share price, he was attending product launches to stand in front of a company logo with a golf club in his hands. Stalwart111 13:25, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Stalwart111's take is exactly what I mean—Tiger Woods had no formal role in discussing company policy, etc., and only appeared in advertising in a paid, promotional fashion. I feel like stating that he was simply a spokesman is potentially confusing and overstates his role. I'm open to other possibilities beyond what I suggested, I just don't think "spokesman" itself is clear enough. Any thoughts about the issue I mention above, Stalwart111, regarding principal subsidiaries? Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 16:09, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey folks, just wanted to ping about this again. It looks like there's consensus on the Principal subsidiaries section, so if someone could make that edit, that'd be great. Any other thoughts about Woods' role in Accenture's advertising? I still feel like the current wording could be read as overstating his role. Curious on your thoughts here! ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 16:09, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding Tiger Woods, I found more than 10,000 news articles having Accenture and Tiger Woods in them, likely due to Accenture sponsoring golf tournaments in which Tiger Woods played. But when you narrow those down to Tiger Woods "spokesperson" for Accenture, there still is more than 200. There probably is more in other databases. "Celebrity spokesperson" and "sponsorship deal" seem a reasonable way to describe Tiger Woods connection with Accenture. Chris, these seem to address your concerns of giving the wrong appearance that Woods spoke on behalf of Accenture activities rather than merely drawing attention to Accenture. The Woods information probably should be move and chronologically divided into the history section. Instead of building this article from information that is not independent of Accenture and using lower quality independent reliable sources, it would help if the article were built on scholarly articles and books on Accenture and structured similarly to those articles listed in Category:FA-Class company articles (if not already). -- Jreferee (talk) 14:04, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for your input, Jreferee. I think with that we have consensus on this last remaining issue—namely, leaving the wording about Tiger Woods as it is. I'll mark this request as done. Thanks, all, for your help here! It is very much appreciated! Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 12:39, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I assume you mean consensus is to keep the spokesperson characterization about Tiger Woods and rather than consensus is 'leaving the wording about Tiger Woods as it is'. -- Jreferee (talk) 14:24, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I meant that there seems to be consensus to keep the current wording, which describes Woods as a celebrity spokesperson. Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 14:52, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • OK, I just revised the section,[1] and now see what Chris was getting at. I think we should revise "Accenture used Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesperson and advertised using the service mark ..." to read "Accenture used Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesperson, such as in advertising that used the service mark ...". Outside of scripted television ads, Tiger Woods speaking on behalf of Accenture probably was to say something like "Accenture, yea. They're great" to a reporter while giving a nice smile and the thumbs up after winning some golf tournament. I think the revision I propose -- "Accenture used Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesperson, such as in advertising that used the service mark ..." -- meets the above views and more closely represents the current sourcing. Gigs, FeralOink, Stalwart111, please weigh in if so desired. -- Jreferee (talk) 13:56, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm okay with whatever y'all decide here. As is probably clear from my previous comments, I do think the wording could be clearer, but I'll leave the specifics up to you. Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 14:15, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm comfortable with "celebrity spokesperson". I'm comfotable with anything that makes the distinction between Woods' role and that of Accenture's Director of Corporate Communications; their "official" spokesperson. As long as we don't use language that suggests Woods was the latter, I'm okay. The language suggested by Jreferee above seems fine to me. Stalwart111 22:39, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Updates for Growth Platforms[edit]

Hello, I'm back with the additional updates I mentioned. They're very straightforward additions to the Growth Platforms section. Accenture's two new growth platforms (Digital and Strategy) were added to the article after their launch in December, but I'd like to propose including details about each to match the descriptions of the Technology and Business platforms already present in the section. Here is suggested language and citation markup.

Let me know if there are any questions or additional thoughts from editors about these changes. I'd appreciate it if someone could move them over to the article if they seem ok. Thanks! ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 19:28, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Done, though I reworded the beginnings slightly just to make it clear that we're talking about an actual platform here. Them having such generic names can get a bit confusing. SilverserenC 23:46, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Hey Silver, thanks so much for doing this! I just heard back from Accenture, and they feel that just "platform" is a bit vague and nonspecific, as they're technically "growth platforms". How would you feel about starting these off with just "Accenture Strategy" and "Accenture Digital"? Would that work for you?
There was also a recent addition to the introduction that seems a bit problematic to me—the addition of "BPO", presumably business process outsourcing. Not only are we leading with an undefined acronym, but since BPO is a sub-type of outsourcing, it also makes the sentence redundant, as it already mentions outsourcing. What do you think about rolling it back to how it was? Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 18:28, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry it took so very long, but done. SilverserenC 03:14, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
No problem at all—thanks so much! ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 13:33, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

I am pretty sure someone will delete this as a "subsidiary without an article"[edit]

In 2013, Accenture launched a new business services group entitled Accelerated R&D Services,[1] or Life Sciences Accelerated R&D Services.[2]

my gut feeling is that nobody who has influence over this article will accept this unless there is an article about this entity. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:58, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Some additional updates to this article[edit]

Hello, I'm back again with a few more suggestions for this page. As discussed above, I'm working here on behalf of Accenture, and so have a financial COI. I thus won't make any direct edits to the article.

  • First, the net revenue figure has, once again, been changed to the wrong figure, despite the source used having the correct figure of $28.6 billion. Can someone please change this figure back to the correct amount?
  • Related, given the constant changes to this figure, I'm wondering what editors would think about semi-protecting this page for a bit, in the hopes that the edit will stick a become a bit more evergreen so we don't have to keep revisiting it?
  • Second, there were recently two links added to the External links section ("Accenture's Customer List" & "Accenture's Partner List") to Spiderbook, a commercial website for finding connections at possible client's companies; this doesn't seem appropriate to be linked here, so I'd like to ask that these links be removed.
  • Finally, Accenture recently changed the name of it's Business Process Outsourcing unit; it's now called simply "Accenture Operations". However, there isn't a third-party source that discusses this. Their website has been updated, though, and from the language therein (and the URL), you can see that Operations has supplanted the BPO language. The name change is also discussed in this blog post. I realize this isn't great in terms of sourcing, but if an editor is willing to make this change under the Growth platforms section so that the page is accurate, I'd appreciate it.

If you have any questions about this, let me know! Cheers, ChrisPond (Talk · COI) 15:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Silver seren took care of numbers 1 and 2 by restoring an earlier version. The revenue figure has been fixed and those inappropriate external links have been removed. I had a look at number 3 (including the links you posted). While there isn't a specific third-party source, the claim itself is not a controversial one - it's just the name of a functional division. My personal view is that a primary source would be acceptable for that particular undisputed fact anyway. If someone has a significant objection then we can revisit it. Stalwart111 22:02, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Please provide a full financial statement source in order to support the information provided in financial figures. I just don't understand why one source for revenue while another source for other figures. It would better to provide one common source. See other articles like Microsoft, Google or GE.--♥ Kkm010 ♥ ♪ Talk ♪ ߷ ♀ Contribs ♀ 23:27, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but your efforts so far have been to blindly edit-war things into the article without discussing them here and your first contribution to the talk page is to question why something that has been explained several times has been done a particular way? Maybe start by having a read of what has been discussed previously - I think you'll very quickly have an answer to your question. Stalwart111 04:05, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I concur with Stalwart on this. I understand and acknowledge your point, ♥ Kkm010 ♥. It would be best to have a full financial statement source, however, we have been doing thing this way for awhile. Accenture is a huge messy multinational, and unless I were doing financial statements analysis for an employer (e.g. as due diligence for M&A, debt rating or securities issuance) there's no way I'm doing that here. Also, that isn't what Wikipedia is for, regardless. We only update about 5 financial data points in this article, so referencing a full financial statement is overkill. Keep in mind that we are providing what iis of most interest on this article based on feedback, and that numerous editors have settled into a routine of updates, despite some (like myself) being strongly opposed to paid editing. Chris Pond is scrupulous, Stalwart and I implement or push back as needed, various others with greater authority (or age, or experience, or low tolerance for nonsense) intercede periodically. It works. Stalwart made a good suggestion to you.--FeralOink (talk) 21:30, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

ChrisPond, I meant to ask you a question. Should we continue to have Accenture listed as part of Wikiproject Chicago at all? I think it was discussed before. Accenture could be in a lot of other better suited WikiProjects than Chicago, or just one fewer than it is part of currently would be okay!
Second point, yes, thank you for asking that those Spiderbook URLs be removed. They were totally inappropriate/ spammy.--FeralOink (talk) 21:39, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Other changes[edit]

  • made the following changes--added criticism section and included obama care in Honour's list. Rim sim (talk) 10:23, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've undone one of the additions and amended the other. The awarding of a contract (and a fairly minor one in the context of the company) is not an "award" that would fit into that section. The other addition included a word-for-word block quote (uncredited) lifted from the source article. I've left the note itself but I've removed the uncredited quote. Stlwart111 14:02, 30 June 2014 (UTC)