Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft Team on New Digital CRM
A new customer analytics tool from Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft aims to help banks, insurance companies and other businesses in the finance sector deliver more personalized, profitable and digital services to customers.
Built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) platform, the Accenture Customer Analytic Insights Solution (ACAI), pictured above, was launched earlier this week during Microsoft's first-ever Envision conference on digital transformation, held Monday through Wednesday in New Orleans.
By collaborating to develop ACAI, the three companies seek to bring together their individual experiences in financial services to offer a new solution designed for the digital transformation era. The new tool provides users with, among other things, predictive analytics to help them offer new product and service recommendations based on customers' financial histories and needs.
ACAI uses Microsoft's cloud-based Azure Machine Learning to analyze customer activity and then apply analytical models to predict customer behavior and recommend next-best actions. These recommendations can be integrated with other interaction systems, such as customer service channels using Dynamics CRM.
Financial Services Need Digital Transformation
ACAI is "the latest innovation in our quest to help financial services firms transform and succeed in the digital world," Karen Cone, Microsoft's general manager for financial services, said in a statement. ACAI "represents how Microsoft technology can be used to help financial services transform into more insightful, productive and customer-centric organizations," she added.
Such digital transformation is increasingly important for businesses in the financial services industry, according to recent research from Accenture. That's because bank customers and other users of financial services -- like customers across almost every other business sector -- increasingly expect customer service that is available anytime, anywhere, through any device or channel.
By 2020, more than 30 percent of banking revenues could be at risk from new competitors and trends, a 2015 study from Accenture found.
New Tech 'Dissolving' Industry Boundaries
"Customer behavior is changing, led by technology innovation, mobility, big data, social networks, disrupting customer expectations, creating new business opportunities, and enabling new entrance and competitors," Juan Pedro Moreno, chairman and CEO for Accenture Spain, Portugal and Israel, said in an introduction to that study, titled, "The Everyday Bank: A New Vision for the Digital Age."
Digital technologies are "dissolving the boundaries between industry sectors" in banking and other areas, the report noted. That means that non-banks can become increasingly competitive and "may be poised to become as integral to the banking value chain as the incumbents in the not-too-distant future," the study noted.
The new ACAI offering is aimed at addressing such challenges, according to the three companies. It starts by optimizing an omni-channel view of customer activity from Accenture's Customer Analytics Record and then analyzing those results to suggest future recommendations based on the customer's expected needs.
The result is "a solution that enables real-time decision-making and recommendations, and actions to be presented and applied across any customer interaction channel," the companies said.