For an exclusive series titled 'What's cooking in the labs', IDG India spoke to Mohan Sekhar, senior managing director at Accenture Technology and global lead at Accenture Advanced Technology Centers. He shares insights on the Accenture Innovation Hub and uses cases of implementations.
According to Sekhar, an organization’s success in future is determined by how far it capitalizes on technologies. He believes that companies should explore new tech capabilities and experiment with combinatorial effects to innovate business models; personalize experiences for clients with customized products and services.
Can you tell us the concept and various elements under the Accenture Innovation Hub? And how this serves your customers?
We launched the Accenture Innovation Hub in Bengaluru in 2017 to help our clients to anticipate technology advancements and help them rotate to the New. The Innovation Hub brings to life all six elements of Accenture’s innovation architecture - Accenture Research ( to identify major business and technological trends), Accenture Ventures (to identify partners and strategically invest in the most promising innovations in the market), Accenture Labs ( to focus on applied R&D), Accenture Studios (to bring innovative solutions to clients), Accenture Innovation Centers (to demonstrate and scale industry solutions) and lastly the Advanced Technology Centers (to industrialize the delivery of innovations). Each of these elements aligns extremely well with our client’s business challenges and industry context, enabling them to pivot to the New.
“At our innovation hub, the primary focus is on developing industry specific solutions. Clients not only get to see proof-of-concepts and demos, but will also get a first-hand experience in the production environments”
At our innovation hub, the primary focus is on developing solutions for over 40 industries. We help our clients transform businesses by weaving our technology expertise with our deep domain knowledge. Clients not only get to see proof-of-concepts and demos, but will also get a first-hand experience in the production environments. They can also see innovation in action across various industries and witness new-age solutions in a real environment.
While our focus at Accenture’s Advanced Centers for Technology is to innovate at scale, the Accenture innovation hub at Bengaluru aims to showcase the best to our clients.
Can you share specific use cases that have already been implemented and innovated for the client from Accenture innovation hub at Bengaluru?
Since the launch of the innovation hub in Bengaluru, we have developed a large number of use cases and technology assets. It has offered industry-specific solutions to our customers and helped them realize the power of technology. Our ideation process is such that we conduct co-innovation workshops with clients, working closely to apply latest technology to solutions and address the most pressing business challenges.
Here are a couple of innovative solutions developed for clients at the Accenture Innovation Hub:
• With the advent of IoT, one of the emerging sources of customer data is a connected device. We developed a Connected Car solution to record customer’s driving behaviour. It tracks speed, acceleration and braking. This solution provides a wide range of customer-centric benefits that includes detection of distracted driving and crashes, and also provides real-time insurance quotes based on the usage.
• Organizations need to responsibly train AI. On the same lines, we developed an exciting new set of services for AI testing, underpinned by a proprietary methodology called ‘Teach and Test’, to ensure that AI systems are producing the right decisions. We used this technology on a financial services company website, where we trained a virtual agent to engage in accurate, unbiased conversations and refer conversations to a human wherever necessary.
Are you focusing on a specific technology – if yes, why? Also can you elaborate on the DARQ Power mentioned in your latest Technology Vision Report.
Today, there is not a single technology that can be called out as more important than the other. As digital becomes core to every business, companies will have to look at the combined effect of new and emerging technologies to drive growth and innovation.
To reimagine entire industries, we have captured the current digital evolution as DARQ Power (Distributed ledger technology, Artificial intelligence, Extended Reality and Quantum computing) in our latest Technology Vision Report. While each of these DARQ technologies will be powerful on its own, collectively they will push each other forward to open unimagined new pathways into the future.
An organization’s success in future is determined by how far it capitalizes on technologies, exploring new capabilities and experimenting with combined effects of these technologies; innovate business models; personalize experiences for their clients with and customized products and services.
One of the problems faced by companies is creating a culture of innovation among employees and upgrading their skills. How is Accenture building skills internally to keep the hunger for innovation going?
At Accenture, learning is a continuous agenda. We have placed great emphasis to equip our people with skills that are needed to address clients, today and in the future.
Over the past five years, we have sharpened our focus as an innovation-led organization at our Advanced Technology Centers. We have continuously invested to develop highly specialized skills to respond to the rapidly changing business requirements.
“The ability of enterprises to absorb and deploy resources is key to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape. ‘Efficient use of resources’ is more important than having ‘unlimited resources’ to drive transformation. ”
Additionally, we have created exciting avenues to fuel the innovation-led mindset amongst our people. Our annual innovation contest at the Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI), for example, is testimony to our innovation prowess. We saw over 60,000 ideas generated by our people to drive innovation in FY 18, demonstrating our strong culture of innovation and our ability to innovate at scale.
If Accenture had unlimited resources – how would you like to implement tech in the enterprise?
The ability of enterprises to absorb and deploy resources is key to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape. ‘Efficient use of resources’ is more important than having ‘unlimited resources’ to drive transformation. Enterprises should look at their business landscape, people, adoption of right technologies and change management to deliver total effectiveness and drive innovation. Take banking for instance, here we see significant disruption in the industry. However, the large global banks are struggling to compete with the new-age banks that appeal to today’s digitally-savvy customers, because they are struggling to transform their legacy systems to the NEW. Even with unlimited resources, the culture to innovate, the appetite to transform and complexity of their custom environment is what is slowing them down.
Organizations of the future should focus on implementing ‘technology with a purpose’, keeping the end consumer in mind and adopting the right culture to enable their people to remain agile and nimble to do so.