Deloitte buys Eclipse

Keen to add Internet design to its consulting capabilities, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has taken a 20 per cent stake in Internet development firm Eclipse Group.

Deloitte growth solutions partner, Michael Kean, said Deloitte wanted to invest in a company with multimedia and Internet skills, and Eclipse stood out because of its business processes.

`I was impressed that they had processes in place to deliver on time and on budget,' Kean said. `They have reusable objects, so you don't reinvent the wheel every time. With other companies what you got seemed to depend on the person assigned to your project. They are finding it difficult to break out of the cottage industry mentality - they are producing good work but it's on a case-by-case basis.'

The Eclipse deal is part of Deloitte's strategy to invest in startups across industries such as specialised e-commerce and business process outsourcing.

There's going to be an explosion in the Internet space,' Kean said. `There are a lot of Web sites that are just electronic corporate brochures and a massive amount of work to turn them into true Web sites. We're sitting on a volcano here.'

Kean said many of Deloitte's current clients were already working on e-business projects, but Deloitte could only help them so far. `We could help them with strategy and back office support, but we needed skills at the front end. We wanted an end-to-end solution, rather than start the process and then outsource part of it.'

The two companies have signed a strategic alliance, backed by the 20 per cent equity stake involving the purchase of shares and a capital injection.

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