In an organization like ours where we’re managing 213 terabytes of enterprise data, you can imagine the appeal of digitally enabling our business. Automation and analytics, alongside keeping our processes up-to-date can help. But to be fully successful in how we sell, manage and deliver work for the long term, we knew we needed to approach our whole business in a radically different way.aerial view of tall city buildings

Let’s face it, as any organization grows it’s easy to develop bad habits. Internal inefficiencies and silo working can often result from people under pressure to do what they need to do to fix today’s challenges, without reckoning on the impact on the rest of the business.

But we believe that by aligning and integrating our technology and the support of our corporate functions, our client account and management teams can better focus on the direction and profitability of Accenture’s business.

We decided to apply technology to create a fundamental shift in how we approached the services, solutions and support for our business—resulting in better integration and “joined up” processes and reporting.

Multi-year journey

Of course, no digital journey happens overnight and for us it has been a multi-year effort. But we were laser focused on giving our client account, sales and delivery teams everything they needed to perform on their best day.

We also recognized that, while technology is vital, on its own it’s not enough to drive transformation. Our people needed to work in new ways and use the technology to the fullest to drive the best outcomes.

We started by developing a structured and integrated framework to address every area of the Accenture business and operations—reinventing processes for account planning, forecasting, sales, pricing, revenue management and reporting.

Here’s the stages we undertook to drive the change:

  • Prepare. We focused on empowering our people with digital ways of working and making sure they were fully engaged in the new, necessary behaviors and changes. We relied on active sponsorship from our visionary leaders and an audience-specific engagement approach. We also set adoption success and business-based outcome targets so we could monitor and adjust ongoing to reach our north star goals more quickly.
  • Manage. We looked at all the processes we were using and ended up easing performance management (through our teams being able to make informed, data-driven decisions). We automated future forecasting, so that sales and revenue data comes together in a new capability that gives us instant visibility. And we improved team and roster management with customizable, enhanced analytics and business insights.
  • Sell. We integrated online sales processes and capabilities in one platform, based on Salesforce, so that our people can connect with the right people, assets and data to be more effective in their sales pursuits. We aligned pricing capabilities (around 70% of our opportunities can be priced on the platform and use our pricing intelligence) and we digitized contract management. Contracts and their underlying data are routed automatically through reviews, changes and approvals which helps our teams see at-a-glance who’s working on the contract and when it is finalized.
  • Deliver. The final piece in the puzzle was our delivery management processes. We standardized work delivery to make it easier to team, track and forecast resources’ work effort and manage financials—and that improves how we collaborate and deliver work. We mitigated contract risk by providing a health score that helps users to follow the status of a specific contract and identify next best actions to resolve issues. And we enhanced billing production using ServiceNow to save us money and improve the company’s cash flow.

Technology solutions lie behind all these improvements—and some are award-winning, such as ALICE, the Accenture Legal Intelligent Contract Exploration tool uses artificial intelligence to make contracts more searchable and translate with high accuracy.

We’ve reached some amazing milestones, too—99% reduction in invoice production cycle from three days to 10 minutes due to automated invoicing and 97% accuracy in less than three seconds for win opportunities with our sales solution, to name a few.

You can read more detail about how we digitized business services in our case study. In the meantime, why not consider how you could put the power of digital technologies in the hands of your people? It’ll help you not only tackle any internal inefficiencies, but also transform how you work with your customers.

Shane Marshall

Managing Director – Global IT, Client and Market Technology

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