Apis boss Tim Ryan reflects on the tie up with Accenture

04 October 2020 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Nearly a year on from being acquired by Accenture, Apis Group Managing Director Tim Ryan has described the combination as “1+1+3” for everyone involved.

For him, the mix has been right in many ways. First is the cultural alignment, which rapidly became clear from when the two firms first made contact. An on-site, client-focused and outcome-driven approach was very much the modus operandi at both firms. Topping this off, Ryan points out that the expertise of the two teams is complementary.

Apis is a government-focused consultancy that supports public sector institutions with every step of the policy making process, from strategy to design and delivery. Ryan joined Apis in 2003, four years after it was formed when the team had 10 professionals. When Accenture made contact late last year, the team had grown past the 100 mark.

Key to growth, according to Ryan, is that the firm is fully invested in the issues that it deals with – aged care reform, healthcare services, social security, education and other key issues that matter for everyday life. The firm’s focused and dedicated approach has combined well with the scale and depth of Accenture’s expertise.

Tim Ryan, Managing Director, Apis Group

“The match worked because Accenture was looking to broaden and deepen its value proposition at the policy reform end of government – not just the systems reform end. While with government services becoming increasingly digital, Apis needed deeper expertise in specialty areas like data and analytics. We’d considered building that capability ourselves, but that’s challenging and takes time. Whereas, joining Accenture gave us immediate access to those and a whole range of other world-leading capabilities,” said Ryan.

What resulted was a scenario where everyone involved got more than what they bargained for, particularly since the culture and priorities at both firms were already aligned to a large extent.

“It was a ‘1+1=3’ move for our company, our clients and our people, who are now part of an organisation with far deeper learning and networking capabilities than we could offer them. Accenture has given all of us access to geographies, case studies and experts in a raft of complementary skills and areas – not to mention a lot of new opportunities,” Ryan added.

No doubt, integration of two firms of this scale doesn’t happen overnight, and there are still challenges. The Apis Managing Director highlighted that Apis was still toeing the line between being a regional focused firm and being part of a firm with global scope and scale. First on the agenda has been to “get everyone comfortable” with the arrangement.

For clients, Ryan points out that there has been little change, however, in some areas, Apis can benefit from Accenture’s resources as a means of adding more value to clients.

A note on the circumstances, Ryan indicated that Accenture’s quick response to the crisis was a tremendous boost to recovery efforts, and put the success down to the working model. “I think a lot of that is about being connected and grounded with the client. When you’re truly working in a blended team, you can move with the client effectively. If you’re separate from the client – or just an add on’ – you get left behind,” he said.