I was at a tech conference a few years ago, and Janice Fraser, an expert in emerging management styles, said something on stage that resonated quite profoundly: “Today is the slowest and least complicated day of the rest of your life.” As a person who’s spent my entire career working in technology—first building hardware, then writing software, then managing products and teams, and now leading global cloud development teams—I really understood what she meant. I think we all do.

The world doesn't slow down.

Technology, particularly, doesn’t slow down. If businesses want to stay ahead, speed is the new normal. Speed can mean many things, but in my mind, one of the most important definitions for today’s organizations is the pace of change in customer expectations. Today’s customer is increasingly reliant on digital channels and increasingly demanding regarding how they interact with businesses.

The ability to reimagine experiences for the digital age quickly can be the difference between disruption and obscurity. Delivering exceptional, indulgent customer experiences that allow customers to do what they want, when they want and how they want has rapidly risen to the top of the agenda for organizations looking to retain, expand or increase the value of their customer base.

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The Accenture AWS Connected Customer Experience modernizes not only technology but also the way businesses engage customers.

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That need for speed is why Accenture formed the Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG) to help our clients quickly get more value from the cloud while keeping their customers happy. In our 15-year partnership with AWS—that we are renewing at this year’s re:Invent 2021—we’ve seen how speed enables organizational agility. This agility allows businesses to pivot quickly, implement new solutions rapidly and handle new and changing demands for customization (among other things).

One of our primary tools for this is our Accenture AWS Connected Customer Experience and Applied Customer Experience platform (ACE+).   It empowers clients to form better, stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers. Using trailblazing AI automation capabilities, we enable our clients to meet and exceed the modern customer’s expectations by creating personalized, omnichannel customer journeys all while doing it in a fraction of the time of a traditional deployment.

With our Accenture AWS Connected Customer Experience, we modernize not just the technology but the way our clients engage customers. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we created Larry the chatbot for the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), a friendly and visually-driven webchat virtual agent who handles tens of thousands of employment-related inquiries a day. Larry was built in just under six weeks to solve a pandemic surge problem, and he has far exceeded those initial expectations.

Accenture AWS Connected Customer Experience helps organizations accomplish these multi-faceted journeys fast. A few years ago, it might have taken months or even years to modernize a call center, but now, we can do it in hours. Our current transformation record is 48 hours to turn up a fully-operational production call center for a US mortgage company. We can achieve these rapid deployments with three core Accenture capabilities:

  1. People

    We have over 2,000 experienced ACE+ AWS solution architects who’ve done real client deliveries. These seasoned experts know how to move quickly to help clients avoid common pitfalls and find optimal paths for acceleration. When we launched Larry for the TWC, we saw a much higher level of adoption by citizens than initially expected and we were able to quickly increase his throughput. Rather than panic, we set the client at ease because we knew what to expect, we knew how to respond, and we could do so quickly.

  2. Experience

    With over 215 ACE+ AWS client solutions delivered as of this writing, our architects have seen a wide variety of scenarios, like Larry, across many industries. That scope allows us to have a dense library of carefully-tailored blueprints we can quickly deploy. If a banking client needs to turn up a lost card reporting bot, we have a blueprint for that. If agents answering chats need to escalate to a co-browsing session, we have a blueprint for that.

    These blueprints ensure no client starts at square one. Because many of these transformative features involve self-service, you also increase customers’ speed, gifting them more time. Instant brand hero!

  3. Assets

    Finally, Accenture has also created software tools that increase innovation speed and provide broader functionality for clients. Among these are our conversational AI platform that dramatically  simplifies the building and management of natural language conversational AI, or the Unified Agent Portal, which provides an omnichannel agent experience that reduces the cognitive load on agents by reducing swivel-chair activities. This makes transformation faster for clients in two ways: we’ve already poured development hours into making these products, which saves clients the need to develop them, and we can deploy and customize them through automation, which reduces the time to deploy them.

Faster takes you further

We’ve all had the frustrating experience of dealing with customer service that doesn’t work. These situations often happen because clients are intimidated by change due, perhaps, to past experiences: fear overrides the focus on the customer.

Accenture AWS Connected Customer Experience and ACE+ helps to shatter those perceptions to get the focus back on the customer. We have hundreds of customer experience transformations that show how you can unify your brand’s image in your customer’s eyes and save time and money doing it. Businesses come out better, stronger, more profitable and with a happier customer base. We can drastically reduce cost and drastically increase speed and ease of adoption.

Gone are the days where you could spend a year to meet customer needs. People want what they want, and they want it now. Businesses can significantly boost brand love by giving customers what they want when they want it, or even before they know they want it. Businesses gain value in return for customer indulgence. It’s a win-win situation!

Learn more about  re:Invent 2021 here.

Shawn Guenther

ACE+ – AWS Global Market Lead

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