As part of the alliance, Accenture takes a 4% ownership stake in the privately held Kalido, in which Shell has invested more than $31 million. Kalido CEO Andy Hayler says his company's software will play an integral role in Accenture's business-integration services, which package consulting, software, and systems integration to help clients compile data from disparate sources and use it to gauge the company's overall performance.
Large, multinational companies need to deal with the diversity of their information systems across different business units and from country to country, Hayler says. Shell Corp. has several enterprise-resource-planning software implementations within the company: 42 from SAP and 55 from J.D. Edwards. "[Kalido software] is designed to be noninvasive and help manage diversity within systems, rather than trying to get companies to standardize, which isn't realistic," he says.
Accenture fills an important need for Kalido, which is a software developer without a significant services arm. "Any project of significant size will require change management, business process change, and other types of integration, and Accenture gives us a high degree of credibility in those areas," Hayler says. Accenture last week launched a $1.67 billion partial initial public offering.
Kalido's data-warehousing technology makes it easier for large multinational companies to manage data that exists in different languages and formats, particularly when acquisitions and divestitures take place, says AMR Research senior analyst Peter Urban. "Using Kalido's software, you don't need a (database administrator) to create all of the data tables because the software does this automatically," he says. And Accenture's investment affirms the consulting firm's belief in Kalido's technology. Urban says, "For a big consulting firm to take an equity investment in a firm with only three clients speaks to [Kalido's] capabilities."