• August 3, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

HP Launches A CRM Consulting Service

HP Enterprise Services this week launched new business process consulting, analytics, and implementation services designed to help clients optimize the operating efficiency of their contact centers.

HP Transformation Services-Customer Engagement Management (CEM) is designed to help enterprises deliver great customer experiences across channels, increase revenue, and improve service levels. The service seeks to help companies increase revenue through improved conversion rates, completion success rates, up-sell percentages, cancel/save percentages, and revenue per transaction. Other stated goals include increases in customer satisfaction; better customer effort scores; higher net promoter scores; greater operating efficiency through increased agent use and retention, a higher percent of calls handled by top-tier agents, higher IVR and Web self-service completion percentages, first-contact resolution, and decreased call handling times; decreased operating costs; improved quality management; and greater compliance with corporate policies, industry mandates, or government regulations.

Dennison DeGregor, worldwide CRM executive at Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, says the service offers "a methodology to help transform clients to a customer-centric model from a business-centric model."

"Contact centers must transform to meet the needs of customers who expect a personalized and customized experience," added Danila Meirlaen, vice president of business process outsourcing at HP, in a statement. "HP consultants help drive this transformation based on our deep heritage of contact-center operations, industry experience, and global presence, assisting clients so they can increase revenue and customer satisfaction."

Features of the new service include site assessments in more than 10 core functional areas and more than 600 specific traits; process mapping and design to close the gap between the current state of the business and desired goals; optimization roadmapping, including a solution blueprint; and mentoring and support. Consultants can also help with CRM system integration, application development, and customization, as well as drafting long-term sustainability plans, including key performance indicators and accountability checkpoints to measure success.

To assess the quality and effectiveness of a client's contact-center operations, HP consultants analyze the current environment against industry benchmarks. After gathering data, HP identifies areas for improvement, such as the appropriate use of staff, processes, standards, and technology.

"We are technology-agnostic and vendor-agnostic," DeGregor points out.

Central to this effort is the use of broader, more predictive analytics and data management with HP's Autonomy and Vertica technologies, which help companies sift through and make sense of large volumes of data.

HP acquired Vertica, a provider of real-time business analytics for large and complex sets of data in physical, virtual, and cloud environments, for an undisclosed amount, in February 2011. Six months later, it acquired Autonomy for $10.3 billion.

The Autonomy acquisition was largely criticized by investors, particularly following a decline in license revenue. It was even blamed for the ouster of then CEO Leo Apotheker. Current CEO Meg Whitman named company chief operating officer Bill Veghte to head the unit in May, and HP is standing behind the deal.  "Autonomy is a very powerful tool, and that was why HP acquired the company," DeGregor asserts.

Autonomy's analytics technology will be especially useful in helping make sense of all the customer feedback that comes in through social media, DeGregor notes. "The number of customer interactions [in social media] are increasing steadily," he says. "Social [media] has brought in the new concept of big data."

But of all the company mentions in social media, typically only about 30 percent is relevant, and of that amount, only about 2 percent is actionable, he adds.

With the current offering, "we can now create a whole new dimension to the 360-degree view of the customer," DeGregor says. "We can analyze everything in real time from the social sphere."

The new service supplements HP's other services business, gained largely during the company's 2008 acquisition of EDS for $13.9 billion. That deal enhanced HP's services business in IT outsourcing, including data center services, workplace services, networking services, and managed security; business process outsourcing, including health claims, financial processing, CRM and HR outsourcing; applications, including development, modernization and management; consulting and integration; and technology services.

According to DeGregor, HP's customers had long been asking for this kind of product, which he says spans all verticals. "It's not targeted to a specific type or size of company," he says. 

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