• case study 3

    A leading worldwide provider of predictive analytics software and solutions (now acquired by a globally integrated technology and consulting company). The client has more than 250,000 customers worldwide, served by more than 1,200 employees in 60 countries.

    The client faced several CRM-related challenges including an ongoing e-commerce implementation that was behind schedule and over budget, customer service capabilities and processes that lagged behind the competition, and lack of data and process integration between functions (Marketing, Sales, Service). The client retained us to conduct assessments of the customer-facing processes and systems, identify and recommend strategic solution alternatives and tactical initiatives, and assist in the management and execution of CRM-related projects.


    alternativedecision model

    Our initial focus was on the e-commerce implementation, designed to replace an aging and failing e-commerce platform. The implementation had been going on for 18 months and was several hundred thousand dollars over budget. We quickly determined that the root cause of the problem was that the client had not formulated and agreed upon an e-commerce strategy and business model — simply put, there was no existing ESA or other strategy in place. While working on a longer-term plan to determine executive-level ownership for the client’s e-commerce strategy and facilitate the development of that strategy, we gained approval from the CIO to pursue the implementation of an interim solution. We developed a decision model for the adoption of an interim platform solution, and evaluated a number of interim solutions. Once our recommendation for the the interim solution was adopted, we continued to work with the client on its implementation.

    Once the project was stabilized, we next turned our attention toward a more holistic assessment of customer-facing processes at the client, focusing primarily on e-commerce. We conducted interviews with various stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts; reviewed Voice of the Customer (VOC) survey and call data from customer service and technical support functions; developed a customer-based use case interaction model; conducted competitor benchmarking in order to determine how other companies execute their CRM processes; and completed a current state analysis matrix (by use case) outlining current process/capabilities, channel(s)/supporting systems, problems, metrics, ideas for improvement, competitor approaches, best practices and future vision.


    order flowcustomer impact

    Following adoption of the strategy deliverable, we assisted the client in the definition and development of a solution to integrate customer data stored in various systems within Sales, Marketing and Technical Support (Service) functions. In this case, operational considerations precluded the consideration of an integrated CRM application suite as a solution alternative vs. custom-developed integrations.

    Among the outcomes achieved during our association with the client were:
    • The client successfully upgraded its e-commerce system to a new and stable platform while continuing to work toward the adoption of an e-commerce strategy.
    • The client adopted our strategy recommendations, and has implemented many of the initiatives identified in the strategy document.
    • The client successfully implemented the project to integrate the customer-related data within its Marketing, Sales and Service functions.

    In October 2009, the client was acquired by a global software and professional services company.

    Key Takeaway:

    • Oftentimes, although an enterprise is unsure of its strategic destination, the major initiative train is already headed down the tracks. If you ask a sample of the key stakeholders about the itinerary, each will give you different destinations and schedules. In those cases, it may be necessary to radically adjust or even halt ongoing initiatives until a strategic direction can be established.