Accenture adds innovative ‘diamond’ to digital manufacturing practice by acquiring Ontario-based Callisto

Callisto’s presence extends well beyond Canada, because of the global scale of their large manufacturing customers, and they have what Accenture believes is a unique ability to optimize processes from the shop floor to main office.

Global systems integrator Accenture has bolstered their digital manufacturing practice with the acquisition of Oakville ON-headquartered Callisto Integration. Callisto’s strength is in digital manufacturing, and the acquisition is a significant one for Accenture because Callisto’s deep skillset strengthens Accenture significantly in this specific area in North America and Europe as well as in Canada.

Callisto has an unusual organization in that they serve the Canadian market from that single office in Oakville, at the extreme west end of the Greater Toronto Area. However they also had two American offices, in Richmond, Virginia and Albany, Oregon, and two in Europe, with one in Warwick in the U.K. and the other in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. They have a very deep focus on digital manufacturing services, focusing on large companies in the food and beverage, chemicals, utilities and other industries.

“Callisto is a very interesting company,” said Stephen Gardiner, Managing Director and Strategy & Consulting Lead – Canada, at Accenture. “We would consider them global leaders with a strong core in Canada. That’s very exciting for a global company like Accenture.”

Gardiner characterized Callisto as having a very strong North American footprint, and a significant European presence, and said that the broad geo presence reflects the characteristics of today’s manufacturing industry.

“The type of clients they serve, including manufacturers in chemicals and food and beverage, tend to be global clients,” he said. “Even if their headquarters is in North America, they are likely to have a global presence. So you need that global perspective.”

Callisto’s 160 employees join Accenture’s Industry X.0 practice, which handles digital technologies like the Internet of Things, data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“We bring device analytics together to drive performance,” Gardiner indicated. “A lot of it is Internet of Things, but it’s all about the ability to take digital data and process that in real time.”

Those 160 Callisto employees are a significant enhancement just in terms of headcount, as Accenture’s Industry X.0 practice is north of 400 in terms of numbers.  But Gardiner emphasized that the Callisto people bring skills which will be a real differentiation for Accenture in the market.

Stephen Gardiner, Managing Director and Strategy & Consulting Lead – Canada, at Accenture

“The numbers are significant, but we don’t believe there are other organizations out there that can bring the depth that they do around connected manufacturing,” he said. “Callisto has a very strong ability to optimize right from the shop floor to the head office, which will strengthen our ability to provide strategy and core technology integrations to manufacturing clients. We see them impacting Accenture’s business in Canada, in North America, and globally. They really are a diamond in terms of shop floor optimization.”

Gardiner said that the deal came about not because Callisto was looking for an exit strategy, but because Accenture identified them as someone they wanted to acquire.

“Accenture scans continually for exciting companies that have unique capabilities,” he indicated. “We have been looking at them for over a year.”

While Callisto’s resources will be integrated directly into Accenture, Gardiner stated that Accenture typically tries to retain the structure and culture that made them want to acquire a company in the first place.

“Every integration is somewhat unique, but we have acquired companies because they have a special DNA, and that’s something we want to preserve and augment and scale,” he said. “We want to provide them with the oxygen to do that, and over time find their place within Accenture.”

Gardiner also said that the deal is significant for more than the companies involved because it illuminates the direction that the systems integration business – and the IT solutions business overall – is headed.

“This deal is important because it demonstrates the idea to which tailored solutions involving different types of software around a specific manufacturing environment are now being housed in one place to improve execution,” he stressed. “It’s really tightly integrated and allows for a very differentiated offering both in Canada and beyond. That trend will continue, and encompass many other areas like banking and energy.”

Callisto is the third digital manufacturing expert that Accenture has added recently, following the 2019 acquisitions of Silveo in France and Enterprise System Partners in Ireland.