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Building by Bits Unblocks ROI
Gathering far-flung customer information solidifies a development model.
For the rest of the December 2005 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Jeremy Gray, head of architecture at Prudential's IT division, PruTech, faced the same problem that many large insurance companies face. Prudential Financial, a company with $511 billion in assets under management and more than 16 million customers and 20,000 employees, needed Gray to take the vast amounts of customer information stored in multiple databases and deposit it all where its value could be maximized. Prudential had numerous call centers spread across multiple locations in the U.K., with each call center dedicated to handle customer inquiries related to a single product line. Data on each individual product resided in back-end mainframe systems. This meant that customers had separate numbers for each of their products. Call center agents would have to transfer customers to different departments in separate call centers for each product. The goal was a common one: break down the silos of information to gain a holistic view of the customer. Prudential needed to implement a software platform that would create the foundation for its Integration Competency Center (ICC). A key requirement would be installing a system that "could scale our integration efforts as data volumes continue to grow," Gray says. Prudential selected Informatica and Wipro to create an operational customer database to provide a single touch point for customers worldwide. Informatica provided a network solution, PowerCenter, which integrates information from disparate systems, and PowerExchange, which uses changed data--capture capabilities to identify and move only small fractions of data that has changed within a given period. Wipro, a tech consultancy and systems integrator, helped Prudential establish some best practices to follow when operating in the new ICC data environment. The company also integrated a front-end customer service application into a single consolidated system to help Prudential get the most bang for its buck out of Informatica's PowerCenter. Other integration projects accomplished by PruTech centralized data within the ICC to include an enterprise data warehouse to provide visibility into customer trends for the sales and marketing departments. A management campaign system was also installed to improve the targeting of marketing campaigns.
In the end, the combination of Wipro's consulting teams and Informatica's data integration platform and access software enabled Prudential to create a secure, onshore/offshore development model that has integrated Prudential's customer information into the ICC. Perhaps most important, the implementation has laid the framework for some significant ROI. "The implementation was pivotal in the successful transformation of Prudential's customer service program, which is projected to achieve an annualized ROI of $48 million over five years by improving our customer responsiveness," Gray says. "Our ICC has helped us gain a holistic view of customer information."
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