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Poste Italiane is Italy’s leading postal services operator offering universal postal services and integrated communication, logistics and financial services and products throughout Italy.
Highly competitive and no stranger to innovation, the company is anxious to prepare for the fast-approaching liberalized market by focusing on a customer-centric approach to achieve profitability and, ultimately, high performance.
The postal organization employs more than 155,000 people and boasts a network of 14,000 post offices, 40,000 vehicles and around 200 sorting centers for mail and parcels. Poste Italiane generated net revenues of €17.8 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.
Poste Italiane is preparing for the European postal market liberalization, planned to affect Italy by 2011. As a part of this liberalization and to remain profitable while extending the scope of its traditional services, Poste Italiane identified the vital importance of its customer base.
The postal organization recognized the need to balance acquiring and retaining customers with extending the relationship between public administration and citizens, especially with respect to e-government initiatives.
In March 2006, to support its customer-centricity strategy, Poste Italiane launched a customer relationship management (CRM) program aimed at improving customer strategy, standardizing processes across its business units and providing a unique multidivisional (postal, financial, etc.) view of customer information, helping the sales force to better understand customer behavior.
As result of a public tender, Poste Italiane selected Accenture to work on the design and development of a new, large-scale CRM capability. This capability would affect all of Poste Italiane’s commercial channels (private and business customer markets); Poste Italiane’s postal services and Bancoposta business divisions; and the whole of Poste Italiane’s customer base: business customers comprising close to 100,000 large and top account customers, 1.7 million small and medium business and small office home office customers, and retail customers numbering almost 32 million.
Accenture played a primary role in scoping and implementing the CRM project. It put together a team of 50 Accenture professionals with diverse skills in SAP-based solutions including SAP CRM, technology architecture with public service, along with postal and banking industry specialists.
The cross-functional skills of the team helped in a number of ways—from understanding the user requirements, to the design and implementation of the solution and undertaking the rollout. Accenture has developed deep experience with customer relationship management solutions that leverage SAP’s CRM technology.
Accenture was able to draw on the cumulative functional experience of some of its 10,000 professionals with SAP CRM-related skills spread around the globe. The team made use of the industrialized assets available within the Accenture Delivery Center in Naples, Italy, to accelerate the project’s software development.
From the beginning, Accenture used the expertise of its technology architecture professionals to design, to size and implement the technical architecture, and was also responsible for the management of the entire project, including production.
“Above all, we had a solid team, both from a functional and a technical point of view,” says Accenture’s Roberto Marinelli. “With strong collaboration and a keen orientation toward measurable results, we were able to focus on the real requirements of Poste Italiane users. Moreover, we were keen to support end users in Poste Italiane branches across the country. We knew from experience that the cooperation of the people out in the field would make a significant difference to the project’s overall success.”
As part of a staged approach, Accenture teamed with Poste Italiane to deliver the customer relationship management capability by focusing on two aspects: customer segments and the business processes.
As a leader with a 30-year track record of quickly delivering highly complex systems integration projects, Accenture was able to bring a wealth of experience to help Poste Italiane achieve high performance. Critical success factors included using an enterprise data warehouse to ensure the consistency of data transferred from legacy systems. In addition, Accenture took a thorough but pragmatic approach, introducing prototypes and customizing them to gain the acceptance and cooperation of users.
Accenture collaborated with the Poste Italiane team to manage the change program, helping the Poste Italiane workforce to embrace change through a series of communications. These communications clearly set out the new customer strategy and the benefits to both the workforce and Poste Italiane from the new CRM program, highlighting achievement milestones and reinforcing the rewarding nature of the process.
A large-scale project with a high-volume activity, the new CRM system is reaching 24,000 users in 14,000 Poste Italiane post office branches across Italy and more than 33 million customers (across large and top accounts, the small and medium business, and small office home office, and consumer segments).
Ongoing work includes further development of the sales processes (through better integration with the back-office system), multichannel CRM (employing the Internet and contact centers to better effect) and the general rationalization of back-office processes.
Having achieved its transformational goal, Poste Italiane can now enjoy the benefits of diversification through its enhanced CRM capabilities. Above all, Poste Italiane recognizes the importance of its relationship with the Accenture team in realizing a successful result.
“I’ve perceived enthusiasm, professionalism and effective teamwork in our joint teams," said Agostino Ragosa, CIO, Poste Italiane. "I feel confident in saying that, through the customer relationship management project, Accenture and Poste Italiane’s relationship moved into a real partnership.”
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