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Accenture, Merck & Amazon AWS Partner for Cloud Platform

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Accenture plc (ACN - Free Report) , Merck (MRK - Free Report) and Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) have collaborated to develop a cloud-based informatics research platform.

Built on AWS, this platform is one of the solutions that Accenture Applied Life Sciences Solutions practice offers. Notably, Merck is the first pharmaceutical to use it.

The platform enables scientific research-based organizations in the life sciences industry to quickly access, aggregate and analyze research data from multiple applications. Data can now be accessed from a single interface, with integrated workflow, reporting and analytics capabilities. It facilitates easier collaboration across the R&D enterprise, including external partners, through incorporation of a modern user interface and a secure, multi-tenant environment.

The platform can be availed by a range of life sciences industry players such as pharmaceutical, biotech and scientific research organizations to enhance productivity, efficiency and innovation in the early stages of drug development.

Also, Accenture will form a coalition of clients to oversee and expand capabilities of the platform, opening up an opportunity for pre-competitive collaboration.

Brad Michel, managing director of Accenture Scientific Informatics Services, stated that “understanding the industry’s need to drive faster, more efficient and more innovative scientific research, we are pleased to collaborate with Merck and AWS to launch the platform and associated ecosystem to help our clients accelerate the discovery of new, targeted treatments for patients.”

In a year’s time, shares of Accenture have gained 25.6%, outperforming the S&P 500’s 15.8% rally.

Our Take

We believe that the latest move will help Accenture boost its Products segment as it comprises the Life Sciences industry group, which serves pharmaceutical, medical technology and biotechnology companies. Performance of this segment was particularly strong in the last reported quarter, with revenues increasing 17% on a year-over-year basis.

Accenture PLC Revenue (TTM)

Zacks Rank and Key Pick

Currently, Accenture carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader Business Services Sector is CRA International (CRAI - Free Report) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

CRA International delivered an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 38.6%.

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