Accenture To Buy Boutique Analytics Consultancy OPS Rules

Accenture plans to purchase OPS Rules, a consultancy that uses data science to solve complex business problems in the retail, high-tech, life sciences and industrial verticals, Accenture said late Monday.

Dublin-based Accenture, No. 2 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said its acquisition of Waltham, Mass.-based OPS Rules will improve its ability to apply machine learning to optimize supply chain, procurement risk and dynamic pricing operations.

OPS will focus on ideas that are two or three steps away from becoming a finalized offering, and will seek to identify ways to bring machine learning to the Internet of Things space, Michael Svilar, managing director of Accenture Analytics, told CRN.

[Related: Accenture Pulls Off Another Digital Business Acquisition]

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"Every day, we are focused on helping clients identify and capture hidden opportunities in their data," David Simchi-Levi, chairman of OPS Rules, said in a statement. "By joining Accenture, we will be able to tap into its global footprint, ability to deliver at scale, and deep industry knowledge on advanced and operational analytics strategies."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. OPS Rules employs between 11 and 50 people, according to the company’s LinkedIn profile.

OPS Rules was founded in 2012 and is led by Simchi-Levi, a professor of engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Accenture has worked with Simchi-Levi for many years in an academic setting, Svilar said, and believed OPS Rules would be a good fit for its North American marketplace.

"This is an example of our excitement and our passion for bringing in bleeding-edge thinking and always trying to bring the best capabilities to our clients," Svilar said.

Simchi-Levi will be meeting with Accenture’s key clients around the globe, Svilar said, but the rest of the team will focus almost entirely on North America.

OPS said on its LinkedIn page that operational traditional continuous improvement methodologies such as Lean or Six Sigma won't create a competitive advantage, as operational processes have already been leaned out to a point where they are fragile and cannot perform well in situations that require subject matter expertise.

OPS Rules goes beyond those methodologies, the company said on its LinkedIn page, to deliver strategic insights around flexibility, complexity reduction, risk management and end-to-end optimization.

Simchi-Levi and his team will join Accenture and be part of its Data Science Center of Excellence, which uses approaches such as machine learning, deep learning and text analytics to solve pressing client challenges. Svilar said OPS Rules will provide an additional level of sophistication in the multinational supply chain, optimization and dynamic pricing spaces.

OPS Rules is focused on helping its clients improve operations and enhance business results through multi-echelon inventory optimization, custom supply chain analytics, supply chain risk management and dynamic pricing services. Specifically, OPS Rules leverages operations strategies to obtain performance gains and a competitive advantage from clients' complex supply chains.

OPS’ clients span the gamut from 3M and Schneider Electric to PepsiCo and United Rentals. Svilar said he expects OPS' offerings to be most appealing to firms in the retail, life sciences, industrial, media and technology spaces.

This is Accenture's fourth major acquisition on the year, and comes a month after the consulting giant acquired Japanese digital agency IMJ and three months after Accenture purchased capital technology markets consultancy Formicary and Netherlands-based Salesforce goliath CRMWaypoint.

Accenture spent $2.5 billion on 38 acquisitions from 2013 to 2015.