Success Story

Accenture Builds Specialized Life Sciences Consulting Capabilities in Orlando

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Accenture Scientific Informatics Services’ Digital Lab of the Future. Photo Credit: Accenture

Industry: Life Sciences

Facility Function: Training, Delivery & Innovation Center

Location: SouthPark Center

Local Employees: 185

Year Business Started in Orlando: 2011

Total Square Footage Occupied: 39,000

Why Orlando?

When the specialized consulting firm LabAnswer established its Scientific Consultant Development Program in 2011, it could have chosen to set up shop anywhere in the United States. But a key leader in the organization, Don Rainville, recently moved to Orlando from Massachusetts with his family and fell in love with the area’s climate and culture. The company, and Don’s operation specifically, was working to develop consultants and thought leaders in scientific data management to meet overwhelming demand in the market. The talent they needed was fresh and motivated; the company was making a bet on the next generation of digital natives that would transform the future of the life sciences sector.

Don was easily able to make the case to stay in Orlando because the abundance of young, technically relevant, and diverse talent, including many graduates from one the country’s largest technical schools (the University of Central Florida). Orlando’s reputation as a family-friendly, international destination and its moderate cost of living made it easy to recruit employees and manage client relationships.


  • LabAnswer expanded to Orlando and fully established its Center of Excellence focused on training and development in 2011. It became part of Accenture’s Life Sciences practice and renamed to Accenture Scientific Informatics Services (ASIS) in 2017.
  • Accenture’s Orlando operation recently more than doubled the size of its office space from 18,000 to 39,000 square feet, including a brand-new lab space that functions both as a training laboratory and a Digital Lab of the Future showcase.

What’s the Secret to Their Success?

Fast-forward six years and LabAnswer nearly quadrupled in size, made possible in part by the Orlando-based development program’s support to rapidly scale. At that time, LabAnswer was acquired by global consulting company Accenture.

Accenture saw the value of the unique skills and diversity of the development program’s workforce, a product of the focus on hiring to a very specific educational and personality profile. The unique combination of both laboratory science and computer science education is the starting point for screening candidates. Then, a strong orientation toward teamwork and the personal qualities of “humble, hungry and smart” serve as the basis for selecting the right candidates from many applicants (attributes detailed The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni).

 If you hire the right people, give them the right foundation, and foster the right culture, you’ll build a team that delivers uncompromising, personalized professional services to your clients.

Pat Pijanowski, Managing Director and Global Practice Lead

Accenture recognized the unique value and growth potential of the training program that Don and his team had developed, investing further in the operational model to fuel yet another wave of growth and international expansion. With his family by his side, Don moved to Dublin in the Autumn of 2018 to replicate the same successful model in Europe.

“I have a fundamental need to create something new and to have an impact on the people and the world around me,” said Don. “This is what motivates me.” Accenture’s already large footprint in Ireland allowed Don to quickly recreate the training program and service model in Europe. Don replicated the facility’s laboratory space, which functions as a model for the Digital Lab of the Future. When the team thought through how to effectively train new analysts on the concepts and the complexity of biopharmaceuticals manufacturing, they realized that the steps map quite nicely to the process of brewing beer… and the concept of the A.L.E. lab was born! 

Accenture Orlando Digital Lab of the Future
The Accelerated Learning Environment (A.L.E. Lab) uses the process of brewing beer to train new analysts on the complex process of biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Photo Credit: Accenture

Brewing Better Training Methodology

The Accelerated Learning Environment (affectionately known as the A.L.E. lab) operates like a simple biopharmaceuticals manufacturing facility and provides a near “real world” experience to new Accenture’s Scientific Informatics Services (ASIS) analyst training. A.L.E. lab environments give analysts a fun and engaging training experience as well as the opportunity to function in an international cross-collaborative environment. This unique training model differentiates the company’s services from its competitors, positioning Accenture to meet the growing need for digitization of the laboratory environment.

Accenture Orlando Digital Lab of the Future
The unique training model in the A.L.E. lab differentiates the company’s services from its competitors, positioning Accenture to meet the growing need for digitization of the laboratory environment. Photo Credit: Accenture

“Take the development of the COVID-19 vaccine as an example,” Don explains. “There’s an immense amount of activity taking place within laboratories every step of the way. From discovery research through product and process development, on into the complex manufacturing process, labs are key to assuring quality, safety and efficacy of every vial. Laboratory tests generate data, which must be managed. If all that data doesn’t flow seamlessly, a product’s time to market may be extended unpredictably.” Integrating systems and the digitalization of information across the chain of data actually “sharpens the curve” of time to quickly produce life-saving treatments.

The trend of digitalization has been accelerated to a faster pace as the world reacts to a global pandemic, and the model built by Don and his team to create the industry’s next generation of specialized consultants is more applicable than ever. In Orlando, the office has grown its space in SouthPark to 39,000 square feet that includes brand-new lab space.

Accenture Orlando Digital Lab of the Future
Accenture Scientific Informatics Services’ Digital Lab of the Future showcases how technology like touch screens, augmented reality (AR) headsets and robotics can improve efficiency in the modern lab environment. The lab uses AR headsets (including the HoloLens AR headset pictured) to allow laboratory personnel to access printed files without needing to re-do cleaning protocols due to physical contact with materials. Photo Credit: Accenture

Don and his family have recently relocated back to the Orlando area after his successful deployment to Dublin, and Don is thrilled to be working alongside Pat once again. In support of a digital lab transformation strategy, they are focused on showcasing the Digital Lab of the Future, demonstrating tangible solutions to whet the appetite of their client base as they generate new ideas in an innovative and collaborative new environment. Don has a passion and capability for inspiring, leading and building teams while generating excitement for innovation in the Digital Lab space. In this endeavor, Accenture’s Orlando Office has established itself as a significant part of Accenture’s Global Innovation Network.

I have a fundamental need to create something new and to have an impact on the people and the world around me.

Don Rainville, Principal Director

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