Build an agile digital customer experience management prototype

Going beyond marketing, sales and service

More software solutions than ever before are available in today’s faced paced system and vendor landscape. New solutions continue to grow and existing ones change. Especially, in the new areas of omni-channel management and customer experience this trend is evident. New functionalities like social media integration become relevant and require different features and solutions.

In addition customers’ as well as business users’ expectations towards systems are raising.

A seaming less customer experience is no longer a differentiator, but a prerequisite. Usability and personalization cannot be neglected as “nice to have” features any longer and integration becomes even more crucial than previously.

Taking the right direction for a future platform for digital customer experience management is not an easy task under these circumstances. Software demonstrations always look nice and shiny, but does the solution really work in the specific environment?

To decide for the customer experience management platform of the future a system demonstration is normally not enough. This decision should be made on a solid basis to give the business and IT confidence in the new solution and convince the management that it is worth the investment. So, what are the right steps to identify the right software solution?

Steps in finding the right platform

The starting point to narrow down the amount of suitable solutions are generally system demos showing the general features and look and feel of the software. These demos provide a first idea of functionality and usability to select favorites that should be evaluated in more detail. (For more information, please refer to our test drive offering).

In a second step the solutions that left the best impression in the demos are evaluated. A software comparison is made evaluating the detailed features. (For details please refer to our offering on software assessment). This evaluation should include functional as well as technical features needed to optimize the digital customer experience.

Mostly, the target of the software comparison is to make a final tool decision. However, is it really possible to make the selection for a solution that is at the heart of every company’s business, namely the customer experience, based on a theoretical feature comparison? Many questions might still remain open at this point in time.

Will the tool keep its promises in practice? Do the features really fulfill the needs to implement the required business processes? Is the software flexible enough in practice for needed modifications? How complex will the integration of the software with the own system landscape really be?

These are just some examples of questions that might prevent a final software selection after a software evaluation purely based on feature comparisons.

To ensure that the future software really fulfills the company’s needs a prototype with selected business processes in an integrated landscape can help to make the final decision for the future digital customer experience management system.

Prototype the future system with Accenture

Accenture offers its clients to prototype its potential future digital customer experience management system within Accenture owned demo systems in an agile way (More information on agile delivery can be found in our offering on software implementation methodology health-check). These demo systems are permanently available and are embedded in an integrated landscape so that it will be possible to see the data flow between systems and also prototype interfaces to some extent. Target of the prototype is to prove the suitability of the targeted tools for the client specific processes. Multiple iterations in prototyping should allow to come from a more generic to a more and more granular system setup. In contrast to a generic demo prototyping should discover strengths and weaknesses of a tool specific to the client processes. The prototyping involves several steps:

  1. In an initial workshop Accenture’s prototyping team and the client team will work on identifying a suitable sample process for the prototype. The client team should involve representatives from both business and IT to cover functional and technical requirements. The systems to be demoed and the extent to which interfaces can and should be involved will be defined. In addition the client team should provide sample data so that the prototype can be shown with data applicable to the real processes.

  2. In the prototyping iterations the Accenture team starts to setup the demo systems, interfaces and sample data as agreed in the initial workshop. To optimize the result prototyping will be done in an agile way involving three to four iterations. After each configuration phase the client team will review the current state of the prototype with the Accenture team and can add details needed for the configuration along the iterations.

  3. When all iterations are completed the Accenture team will collect the Lessons Learned. These should include tool strengths and weaknesses encountered during the prototyping and the impact they might have on a large scale implementation. In addition the tool flexibility with regards to the client specific requirements will be assessed and requirements will be clustered based on their complexity to highlight quick wins and effort drivers for implementation.

  4. The last step will be the final system demo during which the configured systems will be shown and the lessons learned presented. Participants from the client side should be the key decision makers as well as active participants in the prototype for the software selection. After the system demo decision makers should have a complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses as well as suitability to own processes of the remaining systems. They will be ready to make the final decision which tool should drive the future digital customer experience.

Client benefits

Software Vendors are all presenting shiny slides. As every client situation is different, we look together with you beyond the slides and conduct a neutral assessment hands-on.

Customer experience projects involve many stakeholders. Accenture’s Proof-of-Concept helps to shape the approach and team-setup before the project start. All stakeholders get involved and can contribute at an early stage.

Capability and adaptability can be identified before the implementation. Potential obstacles are identified upfront and prevent sunk-costs for the engagement. A profound tool decision is made -> avoid the need to change the tool when implementation is in progress.

The experience from the prototype provides an indication for implementation efforts, roadmap and timeline. This improves budgeting, project planning and quality.

The Accenture and the client team work together on the prototype, so that the team is already familiar with requirements before the actual implementation. This saves time and cost for the project.

Contact Us

For more information contact Torsten Albrecht: