Stepping out of a long shadow is not easy. But Arthur Andersen hopes to shine, as the company moves into the consulting spotlight on its own.
The accounting firm long operated as Andersen Consultings sidekick, until a bitter divorce split the company into two parts two last year.
“The reality check is they always operated in the shadow of Andersen Consulting. says Tom Rodenhauser, president of Consulting Information Services. “Now that the whole arbitration case has disappeared, Arthur Andersen is trying to emerge from the shadows.”
It wont be an easy process. Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture, grabbed lots of camera time last fall when it launched a massive $175 million branding campaign.
Now, Arthur Andersen is looking for equal time. The company says its integration arm, known as Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, is growing rapidly and hiring at a faster rate than its consulting competitors.
The unit expected to finish its current fiscal year, ending Aug. 31, with 12,500 consultants. Thats 2,000, or 18 percent, more than it had at the end of the previous fiscal year. “Were actively recruiting, says Tony Treccapelli, partner and co-leader of the companys Internet Services division.
The business consulting division also is projecting a sizable sales gain. It expects to collect $2 billion in revenue this fiscal year and $2.5 billion next year. Thats impressive, con->> sidering fiscal-year 1999 revenue was about $1.6 billion, according to the company. Arthur Andersen as a whole racked up $8.4 billion in revenue last year.
“We are focusing on integration strategy, leveraging our relationships with existing clients globally, across all service areas,” says Treccapelli.
He cites a project for Compaq Computer, where Arthur Andersons business consulting services worked on Internet strategy; its corporate finance division worked with business consulting to help Compaq identify possible acquisitions to support that strategy; and its assurance (accounting) group provided due diligence.
“Thats how weve always worked and how we will continue to offer services,” says Treccapelli. He contrasts this approach to that of other consulting firms, which have separated from their parent company and can no longer offer a broad service menu.
Despite the divorce from Accenture, the company maintains “best client relations,” with Arthur Andersen, says Treccapelli. The firms refer business to each other and both continue to use Arthur Andersens famous Center for Professional Education in St. Charles, Ill., as a training center
Arthur Andersen is also using a “market integration strategy” to help clients integrate their business internally and with suppliers and customers for various business solutions, including procurement, CRM, HR, and ERP, and via different means, such as wireless and voice portals in addition to conventional desktop computers. “Thats where the sweet spot is,” says Treccapelli.
Arthur Andersen certainly has market share in those areas. Now all it needs is more mind share.