Business & Tech

Accenture to add 400 jobs in Boston

Accenture’s Boston offices were moved last fall from the Prudential Center to the new tower at 888 Boylston St.
Accenture
Accenture’s Boston offices were moved last fall from the Prudential Center to the new tower at 888 Boylston St.

Consulting giant Accenture is unveiling plans Tuesday to add 400 new technology jobs in the Boston area by the end of 2020, growing its workforce by more than 25 percent.

Accenture is scheduled to discuss the expansion at an event attended by Governor Charlie Baker at its offices in the new tower at 888 Boylston St. in the Back Bay. The Dublin-based firm relocated its Boston operations from the adjacent Prudential tower in October. (Boston Properties owns both buildings.)

The job growth is part of Accenture’s broader effort to open 14 “innovation hubs” across the United States by the end of 2020 and to expand its US workforce to more than 65,000 people by that time.

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In Boston, that expansion involved last fall’s move into a 52,000-square-foot, two-story office space, one that is about 50 percent bigger than its previous digs. The new office becomes Accenture’s sixth such “innovation hub” to open in the United States. About 1,500 people work out of the office today, although many employees spend the bulk of their time at client locations.

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These innovation hubs provide centralized locations for Accenture to encourage collaboration. Clients can attend workshops to understand more about changes sweeping their respective industries. Consultants can work side by side with them to reimagine aspects of their businesses, or figure out how to take big ideas and make them a reality.

Accenture
“We really believe that innovation, by definition, doesn’t have a playbook [but] it does have an approach,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s North America chief executive.

“We really believe that innovation, by definition, doesn’t have a playbook [but] it does have an approach,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s North America chief executive. “We want to bring innovation to the doorstep of our clients.”

In some cases, an innovation hub might have an industry focus. In Houston, for example, Accenture works with energy and other industrial clients, while the one in Washington, D.C., has a cybersecurity speciality.

Sweet said the Boston office’s focus is “multi-industry” — consultants here specialize in taking innovations developed within one particular sector and broadening their applications to others.

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The firm has made five Boston-area acquisitions during the past three years alone, buying mobile designer Intrepid; product design firm Altitude; analytics consultancy OPS Rules; management consultant Axia; and fund company adviser Beacon Consulting Group.

Accenture finds Boston appealing for many of the reasons that other global companies decide to expand here.

Sweet pointed to the vibrant startup community; the concentration of universities; the significant number of large corporate clients that are already here, such as Biogen and Boston Scientific; and the growth prospects for signing up future clients.

“We expect the Boston hub to be very focused on companies coming in . . . in most cases to go from idea to solution and to be able to prototype it,” Sweet said. “The new office is designed with collaboration in mind.”

Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.