The year 2003 was an extremely difficult period for many employees to live through, but the global downturn strengthened Accenture’s competitive position. With many traditional rivals left in a weakened financial state, Accenture remained unmatched in terms of its global breadth and depth. We were leveraging these strengths with scores of new and continuing engagements to drive growth in consulting revenues that was projected to exceed global growth in IT spending going forward. Once again, as it had many times in its history, Accenture showed its ability to quickly respond to changing conditions in the marketplace to best serve its customers’ needs.
Accenture also leveraged its global industry groups to differentiate itself from rival consulting as well as outsourcing firms. That fact hasn’t been lost on clients. Whether we took an insurance system we developed in Spain and installing it for a client in Chicago, or we took a banking system developed in Spain and installed it in the U.K., we got a lot of credit from our clients who say: ‘You can see that there’s “one firm”—and that’s Accenture’. A recent visit to Accenture delivery centers in India left clients with the same impression. We had a couple of clients visiting our sites in India where they said, ‘It’s very clear, you go into an Accenture office in London or you go into an Accenture office in India, and you say, that’s Accenture,’ said Karl-Heinz Floether, former group chief executive-Financial Services.