It’s our 20th Anniversary…and we are thankful to everyone who made it happen!

  • Posted on November 21, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
It’s our 20th Anniversary…and we are thankful to everyone who made it happen!

When I first sat down to write about Avanade’s 20th anniversary year, I felt slightly challenged to come up with something meaningful. We are long past the fledgling start-up that celebrates its milestone first year standing around a cluster of desks with a bottle of champagne and a box of pizza, still running on the adrenaline that comes from making the impossible, possible. And we are far from those companies that have been around for generations, with roots so deep it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t around. But Avanade is turning 20, and the truth is, twenty years is an impressive milestone, particularly for a fast-growing technology services company in today’s competitive environment.

But it’s not about the number. It’s about what these milestone years – regardless of how many years it reflects – offer us: an opportunity to celebrate and show gratitude for where we are today. That gratitude starts, of course, with our people who show up every day armed with passion, energy and an innovative spirit to grow our business from the inside out. It extends to the thousands of clients we’ve been fortunate to partner with over the past two decades, transforming the way we all work and live through the power of digital. And last, but certainly not least, to our partners and parents – Accenture and Microsoft – whose vision to create the most successful tech joint venture in history was the first step on the wonderful journey to get us to where we are today. Let me be the first to say, “thank you.”

So, how will we celebrate this anniversary? Well, we’ll be celebrating all year long in many ways. For example, each Thursday on this blog (#ThrowbackThursday!) we will feature unique voices from individuals in our company and others who had a role in shaping Avanade’s heritage. From employees who’ve been with us from day one to alumni who have gone on to make their mark outside of Avanade’s walls, it’s all about how our past is the foundation to the success we’ve achieved and how we will build upon that success for our future. We’ll also be sharing stories from our clients who have partnered with us, had faith in us and who we have learned so much from on our journey to 20 years. And of course, we’ll be taking the opportunity to help everyone learn a little something about Avanade along the way. I thought sharing 20 things you may not know about us would be a good way to kick things off. Feel free to comment below if there are any other facts that you would add to the list!


  1. We were founded in April 2000, by Accenture and Microsoft – and are known as one of the most successful technology joint ventures in history.
  2. Before 2000 was over, Avanade had already expanded across the US and established a presence in Europe and Asia Pacific.
  3. The name “Avanade” comes from the words “avenue” (evokes advantage) and “promenade” (helpful, beneficial).
  4. Before we became “Avanade”, our code name was “Project Shasta,” named after Mt. Shasta – big and majestic.
  5. The first person to receive a paycheck (a real paper check too!) from Avanade is still with us today. In fact, we have 69 members of our original team from 2000 still with us and going strong!
  6. Our first logo was a “power on” sign, turned 90 degrees to the right.
  7. We originally reported our time and expenses through a system called “WITWAY” – an acronym for “where in the world are you?”
  8. Our first paying client was EMI Music – now a part of Universal Music Group.
  9. Avanade’s headquarters are in Seattle, Washington, also the location of our first ever office. Today we are located at 2nd and Seneca, but our original location was at Columbia Tower.
  10. By our first anniversary in April 2001, we had completed 150 projects for 120 clients.
  11. We have five core values that guide how we work with our clients; we change things for the better, we believe everyone counts, we innovate with passion and purpose, we deliver with excellence and we act with integrity and respect.
  12. Avanade’s purpose is to make a genuine human impact. It’s not just about what we do – it’s about why we do it. Our purpose, vision and values set the tone for everything we do.
  13. For our 15th Anniversary, we announced our “15 for 15” Scholarship program, which awarded 15 scholarships to women across the globe. Today, that program, now called the Avanade STEM scholarship, has grown to 73 scholars at 12 Universities in nine different countries.
  14. Avanade holds a Guinness World Record! In October 2016, we achieved the most contributions to a computer program in 24 hours at a single venue. This took place at the Grace Hopper conference that celebrates women in technology and computing in Houston, Texas.
  15. We have had three CEOs in our 20 years. Pretty impressive! I stepped into the role in September 2019. Before me, Adam Warby was CEO for 11 years, and Mitch Hill was our founding CEO.
  16. Avanade’s newest office opened in Portugal in June 2019. We currently have 80 locations in 25 countries.
  17. Our Avanade family is made up of a team of more than 38,000 team members. Since launch, we’ve continued to enjoy phenomenal growth.
  18. Our company color is orange – combining the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement and stimulation.
  19. We have four personality traits: bold, fresh, passionate and optimistic. These reflect what we call our “Avanade attitude.”
  20. Last, but certainly not least, we are all in on Microsoft. This year we were recognized by Microsoft as Digital Transformation and IoT Partner of the Year. We became the #1 deployment partner for Office 365 (for the 10th time!) and for Microsoft Teams. We have more than 90 Microsoft awards to date. Together, our team has over 25,000 Microsoft certifications and 17 Microsoft Gold Competencies. The industry recognition speaks for itself. In 2019, we were also recognized by Forrester as a leader in Dynamics 365 and IDC as a Leader in Worldwide Microsoft Implementation Services.

What did I miss? Comment below with any Avanade facts or trivia you’d like to add to this list!

Mandakini Bhatia

Thanks Pam for sharing this collection of facts. Truly amazing! 
Another fact - We have strong women leadership - from CEO to regional leaders to Market units leads and so many women technology leaders, we have it all at Avanade!

September 22, 2020

Jeff Cohen

As an Avanade employee, I've been on this wonderful ride for 13 of Avanade's successful 20 years.  Great summary Pam and a useful new perspective for our clients looking to learn more about us. 

March 3, 2020

Mirjam van Olst

Great post, Pam! I love the energy and the sentiment in it, it's very Avanade!

November 27, 2019

Debra Underwood

Awesome facts Pam.  I will be using these to promote the Anniversary in Australia.  The insights will also make a great Trivia game! So looking forward to the celebrations!

November 26, 2019

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