PwC Consulting Looks to ACCEL Global CRM Implementations
New initiative designed to set strategy and expectations.
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PwC Consulting is looking to cut through the customer confusion surrounding CRM technology and its implementation process.

To do that, the consulting behemoth recently launched the CRM Architecture for Cross-channel Customer Experience and Loyalty (ACCEL) initiative to provide global enterprises with a simplified approach to understanding how CRM technology fits into their business strategy and technology infrastructure. ACCEL is now part of PwC Consulting's core CRM offering to companies doing business around the world.

"CRM has been under attack," says Adam Klaber, managing partner of PwC Consulting America's CRM Practice. "We feel strongly that this should not be the case. There is significant value for companies to improve their customer relationships."

The new initiative by PwC Consulting was put in place to provide global companies with the strategy, knowledge, and integration services needed to successfully implement a CRM system, Klaber says. The offering represents seven years of PwC Consulting's experience in consulting, implementing, and servicing CRM solutions, he says.

"The goal is to set expectations and help companies get this done faster," Klaber says. That is the main obstacle standing in the way of successful CRM implementations, he adds, and the better PwC consulting can help global businesses set a CRM strategy and set reasonable expectations, the higher the success rate will be.

With evolving communications channels such as wireless technology and interactive TV, customers are expecting faster and more personalized service, as well as a consistent experience across all channels, according to Klaber. The problem is that these services have been developed independently and have overwhelmed global enterprises trying to integrate all the technology resulting in higher costs and customer frustration, he says.
That is where ACCEL comes in.

The three major pieces to PwC Consulting's ACCEL initiative are helping customers envision what CRM will accomplish for the organization, then designing a solution and choosing the technology, and finally implementing that technology.

The consulting company is leveraging its relationships with other technology vendors as part of the initiative, including Sun Microsystems Inc. for customer analytics and back-office functions, BEA Systems Inc. for transaction integration, Siebel Systems Inc. for content management, and Avaya for channel management. "It takes more than just one vendor to build this architecture," Klaber says.

The main goal of the ACCEL plan is to expedite CRM implementations and reduce risks, Klaber says. "Customers want things better, faster, and cheaper," he says. Through one of the company's four global solution delivery facilities in Chicago, Philadelphia, London, and Tokyo, global customers can see firsthand how a CRM implementation can make it more efficient and improve customer service. This phase is designed to help global customers define their CRM strategy and set reasonable expectations, Klaber says.

"We want to help these customers get this done faster. We want to cut down the time period for the entire process," he says.

PwC consulting has more than 3,500 people dedicated to CRM and working on approximately 800 projects, Klaber says. In the six years since establishing a CRM practice, this part of the business has grown to $1.1 billion in revenue for the consulting company, he says.

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