Paulo Salomao is a Managing Director for Financial Services at Accenture Canada, where he has overall responsibility for the company's insurance business in the country. He is also responsible for the day-to-day partnership with Green Shield Canada (GSC), one of the country's largest health and dental benefits providers.
Salomao explains that the partnership formed when GSC was looking for a lead partner to help drive their ambitious digital transformation program. "They wanted to both introduce a new digital health business, as well as drive a step change in the performance of the legacy group benefits business" he says. "We were invited along with seven other firms to participate in a comprehensive Request For Proposal (process), designed to assess both capabilities and the cultural fit of a potential partner."
Accenture then committed to investing in a four-month diagnostic phase, that saw over 40 members of staff work full time, hand-in-hand with GSC to develop a five-year technology transformation plan that would support their digital aspirations. "I think that gave them an opportunity to experience first-hand what it would be like to work with us, and it gave them confidence in the cultural fit between the two organisations" Salomao says.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security across 40 industries. The firm offers Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. "We also have around 50,000 professionals who help our clients bring transformation to life through people, technology, and change efforts" Salomao explains. The company is also the largest digital marketing agency in the world, with more than 60,000 data and analytics professionals.
"We manage operations on behalf of more than 500 companies worldwide, including about seven health insurance companies like GSC, where we help them extract value by focusing on business outcomes, as opposed to just focusing on cost reduction."
Salomao says that partnerships such as the one with GSC are at the heart of Accenture's business. "It's very difficult to unlock substantial value for our clients through one-off efforts, so the primary focus of our organisation is to develop partnerships with clients like GSC. We go out of our way to ensure these are win-win, and they create value for all of those involved."
In terms of the future, Accenture aims to continue being the leading professional services organisation in the world. "We're going to continue to invest in building our own capabilities, as well as acquiring a number of other players in the marketplace that have differentiated themselves, to continue to complement our business" he says.
The partnership with GSC is still in its early days, and Salomao says their key objective is to become the partner that will help them achieve their broader digital transformation aspiration in a way that is both cost efficient and market-relevant. This will involve three main things: taking GSC's existing capabilities and complementing them with new cloud, CRM, data and analytics technologies; futureproofing the legacy business so GSC can quickly react to changes in the operating environment; and bringing together the legacy business and the new digital health business, so GSC can continue to be a market leader. "When we successfully do that, then I think we're going to have a very prosperous partnership with GSC for many years to come" he says.