Business

Accenture’s ClientHouse buy shows there’s more room for cloud software in Europe

IT consulting and outsourcing giant Accenture is bolstering its ability to sell popular cloud software internationally by buying German Salesforce.com partner ClientHouse.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. But the acquisition does suggest Accenture is willing to spend in order to make a richer business out of helping many companies in Europe move to cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.

In the press release announcing the deal earlier today, Accenture pointed out that it’s already a big provider of Salesforce software, with “more than 2,400 people skilled in Salesforce.” Still, the ClientHouse deal will “help propel our SaaS business in Germany and Europe,” Accenture executive Jack Ramsay said in the release. In other words, Accenture should get a new set of customers and local leads.

ClientHouse, based in Jena, Germany, started in 2003. It sells a bunch of Salesforce’s software products, including the widely used Sales Cloud customer relationship management (CRM) software for managing leads and the Marketing Cloud for contacting potential customers through social media and other content channels. ClientHouse also sells QlikView’s business intelligence software and Veeva Systems’ CRM tool.

The deal comes at an interesting time from an international cloud perspective.

If companies want to manage all of their leads in one place, software from companies other than Veeva and Salesforce are available. For example, CRM is available from the Berlin-based startup Linko, which recently took on $2.6 million in seed funding. Perhaps, following revelations in recent months about the National Security Agency’s snooping, some businesses in Europe have considered trying CRM software from companies based in Europe, just as some businesses in Canada and the United Kingdom have decided to pull their data from U.S. hosting infrastructure and bring it closer.

The fact that Accenture sees opportunities to grow by pushing software from Salesforce, QlikView, and Veeva, all of which are based in the United States, might be an indication that the blowback might be less than some think.


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