Accenture Launches Digital Portal to Help Product Developers

Leveraging this portal, professionals can use analytics to anticipate problems, as well as develop insights and make more informed decisions.

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Accenture announced the launch of a digital portal designed to help developers and engineers accelerate delivery of products to market at lower costs through greater efficiency.

The Enterprise Product Information and Content (EPIC) Portal consolidates large amounts of product development data from multiple enterprise systems in a single, organized view.

Leveraging this portal, professionals can use analytics to anticipate and solve problems, as well as develop insights and make more informed decisions.

"The engineering IT landscape is highly fragmented with the majority of product development business processes having to span multiple engineering and enterprise systems," Kevin Prendeville, managing director of Accenture’s product lifecycle services business, told eWEEK. "This results in engineering resource inefficiency and product quality challenges. While leading engineering IT vendors--PLM, ALM, and others--have strong product portfolios, they might only cover at most 50 to 60 percent of the end-to-end business process. This pointed to the need for our portal to span 100 percent of the process."

Prendeville noted product development and research and development (R&D) are high budget areas, with Global 2000 companies spending more than $700B a year. Engineers are some of a company’s most valuable and expensive resources, he noted.

"Our portal was designed to increase process and resource efficiency by streamlining access to the data needed to complete tasks and make decisions using analytics during new product development, launch and sustainment," he said.

Accenture developed the EPIC portal for companies that design, engineer and manufacture complex products in the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, electronics, industrial equipment, high-tech and life science industries.

The portal features pre-defined integration with product lifecycle management, enterprise resource planning and a range of other applications used in product design and production.

For example, a supply chain procurement engineer with an automotive manufacturer could use the EPIC portal to more rapidly ascertain the engineering status of automotive parts and avoid delays delivering products to market.

"We have been working with leading product development companies across industries for 20 years including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, high-tech, life sciences, and industrial," Prendeville said. "We needed this experience to understand the end-to-end product development process, the roles typically played in it, and the data created, used and consumed along the way. It was important to understand how users interacted with these complex systems and develop a user experience that was easy and provided significant improvements in productivity."