(ACN) Accenture Wins Airedale Deal

After winning a deal from the Brazilian communication service provider Oi, Accenture Plc. (ACN) has now entered into a three-year agreement with the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Accenture will provide the IT infrastructure that will make 1.1 million patient records available to Airedale clinicians. The easy accessibility of data will increase the efficiency of Airedale’s healthcare system, thereby improving patient care.

In the process, Accenture will be deploying TPP’s SystmOne solution, which targets the entire hospital system, including the administration system, out-patient care, emergency care management, bed management, e-prescriptions and e-discharge. Each of these systems is available as a module, facilitating its deployment. Accenture has stated that all except the last two modules will be set up immediately, with the last two scheduled for 2013.

It is encouraging to note Accenture’s progress in the healthcare segment, since U.S. health reforms are pushing many healthcare providers toward the electronic health records (EHR) segment. This is likely to be positive driver for the segment in the near to medium term and Accenture, along with other technology companies like Hewlett Packard Company (HPQ) and Dell Inc. (DELL) is likely to benefit.

Apart from the consulting business, Accenture witnessed strength in its Outsourcing domain during the third quarter of 2012, which resulted in the seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Moreover, the company is also seeing an expansion in the European market as outsourcing deals increased in the region. Outsourcing business is gradually improving, which is expected to continue in the near future.

Accenture has been instrumental in providing technological services not only for companies in the field of telecommunication and supply-chain management, but also for companies coming from a completely different industry like drug manufacturing and healthcare.

We are encouraged by the steady flow of new businesses and believe that the trend will continue. However, increasing competition from IBM Corp. (IBM) and a cautious spending environment may curb its growth prospects to some extent. This apart, low business growth in Europe is also acting as a dampener.

The company has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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