Managed services News
Deloitte Expands Software, Product Engineering Chops With Optimal Design Buy
Joseph F. Kovar
“[Optimal Design has] the capabilities to go from a cocktail napkin through design through an engineered product through a production pilot. And they’ve got a broad range of skills from industrial design, mechanical, electrical, embedded software, connectivity, and prototyping skills. So it’s a really exciting add to the Deloitte family, because they are such a powerhouse of cross capabilities,’ says Kevin Prendeville, Deloitte Consulting’s principal and product engineering services leader.
Global IT solution provider and consultant Deloitte this week unveiled the acquisition of Optimal Design, a product engineering services firm focused on developing smart connected and IoT devices.
Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Optimal Design is a profitable 20-year-old company specializing in product innovations across every industry, said Kevin Prendeville, principal and product engineering services leader for New York-based Deloitte Consulting.
“They have the capabilities to go from a cocktail napkin through design through an engineered product through a production pilot,” Prendeville told CRN. “And they’ve got a broad range of skills from industrial design, mechanical, electrical, embedded software, connectivity, and prototyping skills. So it’s a really exciting add to the Deloitte family, because they are such a powerhouse of cross capabilities.”
[Related: Deloitte Layoffs To Hit 1,200 US Workers As Consulting Business Slows: Report ]
Deloitte always had a lot of abilities to work in platform software and cloud-native software, so it develops a wide range of digital products, Prendeville said. Deloitte has also over the last couple of years made other related acquisitions such as that of Hashed Technologies to gain additional competency in the cloud-native development space and Dextra Technologies for its 400-person embedded software skills, he said.
“But Optimal Design is a net new add in many spaces, particularly the physical part of the product,” he said.
Optimal Design is a product engineering services company that goes from idea to reality, Prendeville said.
“Optimal Design takes any product idea you might have for a smart connected product, an IoT device, a wearable, mobile, anything, and can go from your idea to help you along the way to get that all the way into production,” he said. “They’re an engineering services firm. They’ve co authored about 300 patents through the years, so they’re also inventors. They’re not just a body shop. They’re a highly skilled organization The average experience, I think, is 18 years. And they’re so these guys are pros.”
For now, the acquired company will be known as Optimal Design, a Deloitte business, Prendeville said.
“We’re still investigating our longer term engineering strategy, how we brand around that, but at least for the next year or so [that name is] going to be there, and maybe longer, much like Dextra Technologies and Hashedin still are in some ways.”
With the Optimal Design acquisition, for which no dollar value was announced, Deloitte will gain an additional 50 people, including the three co-founders who are now managing directors within Deloitte’s product engineering services group, Prendeville said.
“They work with me,” he said. “They’re here for the long haul.”
The acquisition came about because of a long-term Deloitte strategy to build out its product engineering services started many years ago via both organic and inorganic activities, Prendeville said.
“We were looking to complement that with a U.S.-based innovation firm,” he said. “Someone that really has high-end engineering and design talent to help companies invent first-to-market products or first-to-market IoT devices. So we did an exhaustive scan of probably over 100 companies, and found a few that we liked that hit all the criteria. We reached out to them. And what I liked about Optimal Design was not just their competency, but their culture match was very good with Deloitte on how they serve their clients and have been serving them for the last 20 years like we have been for over 175 years.”