Summary:

Accenture has followed up its investment in Apigee with a new alliance to help its big enterprise customers figure out their mobile and developer strategies.

When Apigee listed off the new investors for its latest $35 million round on Wednesday, one name stood out as a bit of an oddball: Accenture. I speculated that the and outsourcing firm was making a strategic investment in Apigee to get into the mobile application programming interface (API) business. That turned out to be exactly right.

Accenture announced today that it is forming an alliance with Apigee to advise its Fortune 500 clients on their app strategies and TO connect their enterprise systems to the mobile world at large.

“As our clients go digital, they are looking for ways to more rapidly deploy mobile applications and integrate cloud platforms across their enterprise systems,” Accenture Mobility senior managing partner Jin Lee said in a statement. “API-based infrastructure has emerged as an innovative and very promising solution to these challenges, and we’re pleased to expand our relationship with Apigee, who is a leader in this area.”

What form the alliance will take, I don’t know, but Accenture could easily build on the work Apigee is already doing with companies as diverse as Walgreens and Telefonica. Apigee develops APIs that expose the complex inner workings of telecom and enterprise networks to developers in a language they can easily understand.

By tapping into a simple airline API, for instance, Delta’s ticketing system could communicate with any travel app, allowing it to download and display your boarding pass. Or a hospital healthcare API could let fitness gadget makers upload your exercise data directly to your doctor’s files. Enterprises can also use APIs internally to easily build workforce mobile apps that can access company data.

To say the alliance expands Apigee’s reach would be quite the understatement. Accenture does consulting and outsourcing work for most of the top 100 largest companies in the world and has a reach of 120 countries. Accenture said it has worked with Apigee in the past, but the new investment and alliance would strengthen that relationship further with Accenture joining Apigee’s advisory board. This might even be the prelude to an all-out acquisition.

Correction: This post was updated at 9:45 PM PT to show that Accenture is joining Apigee’s advisory board, not the other way around.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user kazoka

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