Posts

PwC accelerates SaaS strategy as latest round of solutions aim to solve marketers’ business challenges

In a series of conversations with PwC leaders during the past quarter, TBR learned more about the company’s growing products portfolio, including PwC Customer Link and PwC Media Intelligence, in addition to receiving an update on PwC’s CMO advisory practice. TBR spoke with Brian Morris, Customer Analytics and Marketing lead overseeing PwC Customer Link, and Derek Baker, CMO Advisory lead overseeing PwC Media Intelligence. While each capability serves a specific client need, a common approach and business models suggest PwC is accelerating its portfolio transformation without losing sight of the need to deliver outcomes.

Productizing knowledge while relying on trust expands PwC’s addressable market opportunities with the marketing department and beyond

As PwC continues to evolve its business model, the firm’s push into selling products not only expands PwC’s addressable market opportunities but also elevates its brand, compelling software incumbents to pay closer attention. Both the PwC Customer Link and PwC Media Intelligence solutions are part of the PwC Products catalog and support the firm’s goal of driving SaaS and managed services sales. While both products enable marketing departments’ transformation discussions, each also bolsters PwC’s value proposition with noncore buyers, including chief digital officers and chief data officers, as well as internal audit departments in the case of PwC Media Intelligence.

Relying heavily on its PwC CMO Advisory practice, as well as other areas of the firm, such as its network of Experience Centers, as the medium to introduce these offerings helps PwC drive conversations for cross-selling and upselling services. Solving complex issues around managing customer data is an ever-challenging task for clients. Productizing knowledge through the development of pointed solutions helps PwC address client pain points and close business technology gaps. As PwC continues to build client use cases by selling, deploying and managing these solutions, we expect the firm to continue to approach clients through its fundamental lens: helping marketers solve business challenges.  

Solution overview

PwC Customer Link differentiates on its ability to not only connect offline and online data but also to integrate third-party data and provide analytics around it, as the solution uses various data depositories. Key features include Data Manager that handles first-party and all digital data; Insights Manager that allows PwC to perform better analytics segmentation down to the audience level; and Orchestration Manager that supports buyers’ omnichannel campaigns. Additional features include PwC’s ability to work through a technology-agnostic lens and offer supplemental capabilities with cloud data providers such as Salesforce and Adobe.

DMS market will return to growth in 2021 as vendors explore new ways to engage audiences

After a major slowdown in 2020, largely due to vendors’ inability to conduct face-to-face workshops and buyers’ hesitation to invest in new proof-of-concept areas, demand for strategy services will gradually rebound. Growth will come from two primary areas. First, buyers will continue to orient any advisory spend toward brand awareness, as creating business value that addresses brand health challenges and/or helps brands integrate digital into offline experiences remains a critical connection, especially as COVID-19 widens the gap between brands and consumers. Second, buyers that are further along the digital transformation maturity continuum will seek guidance to implement customer experience (CX) frameworks enabled by emerging technologies, including AI and machine learning, to optimize their back-office and supply chain operations. Vendors with broad-based relationships across the C-Suite will be positioned to win as long as they can overcome internal politics, particularly around data sharing.

While creative services, like strategy, will face initial headwinds, in the long run it will remain the fastest-growing service line. Marketers will remain true to their core and constantly test new ways to provide personalized, human-centric messaging. While the trend is nascent, we believe creating short documentaries will overtake traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. Connecting human experiences through a short story while incorporating behavioral, professional, purchasing and social data will become a way to generate brand awareness without sounding like a traditional ad.

TBR’s Digital Transformation: Digital Marketing Services Benchmark addresses changes in leading digital transformation vendors’ strategies and performances as well as their investments and go-to-market positions within marketing and advertising segments. The report includes use cases; analysis of agencies’, IT services’ and consultancies’ management of their technology partnerships and acquisitions; and a forward-looking view around key market trends, implications to customers and vendors, vendor performance, and associated technologies enabling digital transformation opportunities. Region-specific market trends are also highlighted in the report.

Genpact adapts service delivery model to help customers succeed with digital transformations

Internal shift positions Genpact to capture digital demand

Genpact continually invests in its business and delivery model to align with changing client demand for emerging technologies, such as IoT, digital and cloud, and is initiating a companywide evolution — its fourth in two decades — to embrace digital. Building out AI- and automation-enabled services strengthens Genpact’s core capabilities around business process services. Taking an outcomes-oriented approach provides clients with the tools and technology necessary to streamline and automate lower-value tasks. Genpact’s approach to digital transforms clients’ traditional workflows to address their business challenges. Genpact views digital transformation as a set of opportunities that enable clients to change their business models to address human need and unlock business value. Three key aspects guide Genpact’s digital transformation method — scale process to power transformation, connectivity and data at scale — helping clients create the “human experience.”

During the event, Genpact noted that less than 50% of its approximately 98,000 employees are based in India. Building talent throughout the U.S., Australia, LATAM and Europe increases Genpact’s client touchpoints and enables it to work more closely with clients around transformation and drive business value and insights for clients. Also, the expanded global client base improves Genpact’s position as a global professional services vendor and helps the company move beyond the perception of being a low-cost BPO provider.

Genpact Analyst and Advisor Day: Genpact (NYSE: G) hosted approximately 50 analysts in Boston’s Seaport District to provide an update on its business and transition to the digital age. Additionally, the company highlighted its service design capabilities and how it is differentiating from peers.

CX customers are buying into Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience vision as competitors innovate similarly

Data unification, enhancement and intelligence are key

Out from under the ERP and autonomous database narratives of Oracle’s (NYSE: ORCL) top executives, Oracle’s CX leadership was able to curate an inspiring event around its CX portfolio with themes of empowerment and valuing people’s time — both employees’ and customers’. The bulk of Oracle’s Modern CX event built on announcements made five months prior at Oracle OpenWorld 2018, most notably the capabilities that will be enabled through the launch of Oracle CX Unity and the acquisition of DataFox. These advancements will enable CX clients to engage with their customers in a more informed, timely and intelligent manner.

Through CX Unity, Oracle’s customer data platform, clients will be able to create and act on a unified customer profile that is retained and enriched within the persistent data store, for use across all other CX products, whether from Oracle or a third party. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage hyperpersonalized profiles that are updated from all CX systems in real time to best engage and delight customers. Integration across all front-office systems enables sales personnel to be aware of factors that may impact a sales opportunity, like a service ticket that implies sales personnel should hold off on a pursuit until a customer’s issue has been remedied.

The data curation assets that Oracle has acquired further enrich these customer profiles and contextual points. Augmenting the largely business-to-consumer (B2C)-oriented data that many of its previous acquisitions enabled, Oracle touted the ability of the acquired DataFox platform to utilize current, relevant market data to inform business-to-business (B2B) interactions, such as identifying when a prospective customer appoints a new executive or closes a new round of funding that may make the prospect more likely to purchase. These data assets, paired with the company’s first-party data, bolster Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligence Applications (AI Apps) portfolio, which is set to expand rapidly from eight to 17 AI Apps. Among those being added to the CX suite are Lead Optimization, Smart Talking Points, TAM Expansion and Churn Prediction.

Held in conjunction with Oracle’s Modern Business Experience, Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience brought together more than 4,000 customer engagement professionals to inspire a deeper understanding of the functionality Oracle is adding to its customer experience (CX) applications and prompt adoption against competitors’ offerings.

Genpact adapts its service delivery model to help customers succeed with their digital transformations

Internal shift positions Genpact to capture digital demand

Genpact hosted approximately 50 analysts on March 13 in Boston’s Seaport district to provide an update on its business and transition to the digital age. Additionally, the company highlighted its service design capabilities and how it’s differentiating from peers. Genpact continually invests in its business and delivery model to align with changing client demand for emerging technologies, such as IoT, digital and cloud, and has initiated its fourth major companywide evolution in the last 20-plus years, this time to embrace digital. Building out AI and automation-enabled services strengthens Genpact’s core capabilities around business process services with an outcome-based approach, to provide clients with the tools and technology necessary to streamline and automate lower-value tasks. Genpact’s approach to digital transforms clients’ traditional workflows to address their challenges. This approach includes identifying digital tools and technologies that allow clients to improve operations and customer satisfaction by eliminating pain points and bottlenecks associated with manual tasks.

During its presentation, Genpact noted that less than 50% of its approximately 98,000 employees are based in India. Building talent throughout the U.S., Australia, LATAM and Europe increases Genpact’s client touchpoints and enables it to work more closely with clients around transformation and drive business value and insights for clients. Also, the expanded global client base improves Genpact’s position as a global professional services vendor and helps the company move beyond the perception of being a low-cost BPO provider.

Customer-centric digital transformation: What’s up with that?

An exclusive review of TBR’s Digital Transformation Customer Research and Digital Marketing Services Customer Research

Customer experience (CX) optimization remains a natural first channel for digital transformation, providing test cases for data synthesis across the organization and new methods of engagement that can inspire future initiatives. Join us Dec. 19 to discover what vendors need to know to compete effectively for CX-related opportunities in the fast-evolving digital transformation market.

Join Jen Hamel and Boz Hristov as they dig into how enterprise adoption of digital transformation solutions is evolving, with a specific focus on the CX function. Based on enterprise adoption research, TBR will give a snapshot on today’s digital transformation and digital marketing services marketplaces.

Don’t miss:

  • The state of adoption for digital transformation technology and services
  • Insights into CX as a starting point for digital transformation, including who buys or influences solutions
  • Market maturity and opportunity, as well as winning vendor strategies, in CX

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed at anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Ending consulting roulette: BXT evolves from grand idea to engaged approach

Aspirational ideas while executing on BXT

Flight delays and cancellations spark anger in travelers and cost the airlines, in both revenue and brand, making predictive maintenance an easy sell to airlines looking for help. Delivering on the promise of being able to predict when a plane needs to be serviced, the positioning of the necessary technicians and parts, and how to best streamline, analyze, and improve the entire process requires an intricate understanding of an airline and its operating environments, the disparate data sets, and the regulatory complications requiring strict compliance. Most importantly, a consultancy needs to bring trust — deep, proven and sustained levels of trust — something PwC explicitly maintains it delivers, as the firm has stated, “We trade in earned trust.” PwC’s airline-based predictive maintenance case study demonstrates the firm’s ability to attack a client’s business problem, understand the user experience and apply a technology-infused solution, in addition to highlighting three of PwC’s current strengths: 1) earned confidence that the firm understands clients’ industry, regulatory and business intricacies, 2) client expectation that the firm will bring “aspirational ideas,” not simply routine consulting suggestions and solutions, and 3) evidence that the firm’s Business, Experience, Technology (BXT) approach has grown from a well-conceived goal to a functioning, well-engrained way of doing business.

 

Over two days, PwC hosted 50 analysts in its New York City offices, providing opportunities to meet PwC leaders and consultants from nearly every aspect of the firm’s advisory practice. In contrast to recent events, PwC opted to hold its Global Analyst Day sessions in somewhat traditional office spaces, rather than one of its dedicated Experience Centers, subtly reinforcing the message that its BXT approach permeates the entire firm and is not something that is practiced only at special locations. In addition, PwC discarded the traditional analyst day playbook, instead requiring attending analysts act as consultants while PwC professionals acted as clients, giving the analysts a better feel for PwC’s challenges and solutions.

SaaS sweetens the cloud pot but requires vendors to up their ante to participate

‘Best of breed’ spawns diversity in the SaaS provider landscape

The vendor landscape may be consolidating on the IaaS side of the cloud market, but that is not the case for SaaS. Customers are most likely to increase the number of SaaS vendors utilized over the next two years, supported by a number of market trends, including new workload and feature adoption, platform ecosystems, and integrated multicloud deployments.

For workload adoption, there is a leveling of the playing field for which services customers are considering cloud as a deployment method. ERP, for example, used to lag in public cloud adoption but is now much closer to par with often adopted services like CRM and HR. Much of this increased consideration comes from enhanced comfort on behalf of customers for delivering sensitive workloads from cloud providers versus their on-premises data centers.

The other factor is the proliferation of complementary services available via PaaS ecosystems. The most tenured and largest example of this comes from the Salesforce Platform, which supports thousands of ISVs developing and selling solutions that complement and extend core CRM. Salesforce may have been the first, but other SaaS vendors, including SAP, Workday, Microsoft and ServiceNow, are taking the same approach, exponentially growing available SaaS services. The last driver is the continued rise of best-of-breed customer purchasing. For contracting and performance reasons, customers have long yearned for multivendor application environments, and now vendors are actually moving to accommodate that desire. Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft and SAP’s introduction of the Intelligent Enterprise vision are the latest examples of how vendors are supporting customers in choosing and integrating solutions from numerous providers.

 

This special report is part of a series driven by TBR’s Cloud Customer Research reports, for which TBR conducted more than 50 interviews and 200 surveys. These special reports will highlight key trends and topics impacting the cloud industry.

SaaS sweetens the cloud pot but requires vendors to up their ante to participate

Despite the simple graph in Figure 1 depicting SaaS market size, the space remains difficult to sum up. In the eyes of customers, SaaS options are proliferating and spanning a wide swath of business functions and stakeholders. Yes, SaaS is the largest segment of the “as a Service” cloud market—and yes, it will continue to expand. Beyond that, however, SaaS will remain a collection of separate markets, with most vendors specializing in one or two core and adjacent areas, instead of one unified opportunity. Some examples of this fragmented and overlapping landscape include Microsoft leveraging collaboration dominance to reinvigorate its CRM strategy with cloud delivers, SAP returning its focus to SaaS CRM after ceding the market to Salesforce, and Workday investing to build out a financials-focused SaaS business from its HR roots.

The market behaves in contrast to the IaaS market, which is highly consolidated around a standard set of often interconnected services and a small collection of vendors. In the SaaS market, growth will be achieved by new vendors addressing new workloads and features. From a vendor standpoint, there will be greater presence from legacy application providers such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, but also plenty of room for more niche providers as functional and regional niches develop.

While SaaS will grow the overall cloud opportunity, the challenge for vendors is that the SaaS opportunity will be more difficult to capture. That is not to say the historical model for SaaS adoption will cease to exist; there will still be SaaS purchases that are driven by lines of business (LOBs), transacted with a credit card in some cases, and deployed separately from legacy systems. At least some of the growth will continue to occur in that shadow IT model. However, much of the growth will be from SaaS solutions that deliver more critical services, are procured by joint IT and LOB teams, and are tightly integrated with legacy systems. These scenarios will require vendors both large and small to up their ante, bringing more sales, integration and support services to the table to win these more complex deals.

Figure 1

Graph depicting SaaS market size by delivery method from 2017 to 2022

‘Best of breed’ spawns diversity in the SaaS provider landscape

The vendor landscape may be consolidating on the IaaS side of the cloud market, but that is not the case for SaaS. As seen in Figure 2, customers are most likely to increase the number of SaaS vendors utilized over the next two years, supported by a number of market trends, including new workload and feature adoption, platform ecosystems, and integrated multicloud deployments.

For workload adoption, there is a leveling of the playing field for which services customers are considering cloud as a deployment method. ERP, for example, used to lag in public cloud adoption but is now much closer to par with often adopted services like CRM and HR. Much of this increased consideration comes from enhanced comfort on behalf of customers for delivering sensitive workloads from cloud providers versus their on-premises data centers.

The other factor is the proliferation of complementary services available via PaaS ecosystems. The most tenured and largest example of this comes from the Salesforce Platform, which supports thousands of ISVs developing and selling solutions that complement and extend core CRM. Salesforce may have been the first, but other SaaS vendors, including SAP, Workday, Microsoft and ServiceNow, are taking the same approach, exponentially growing available SaaS services. The last driver is the continued rise of best-of-breed customer purchasing. For contracting and performance reasons, customers have long yearned for multivendor application environments, and now vendors are actually moving to accommodate that desire. Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft and SAP’s introduction of the Intelligent Enterprise vision are the latest examples of how vendors are supporting customers in choosing and integrating solutions from numerous providers.

Figure 2

Graph depicting the change in the number of cloud vendors utilized in the next two years

Expectation inflation raises the bar for SaaS providers

There may be a growing pool of revenue and room for more providers, but meeting customer expectations for SaaS solutions is anything but easy. Expectations have been on the rise, stoked by the greater control buyers have with cloud solutions versus on-premises software. The days of long-term software contract risk falling entirely on the customer are quickly coming to an end. Not only has the power dynamic shifted, but, as shown in the graph below, customers are successfully using more of their IT dollars to fund innovation over maintenance of existing systems. As a result, different evaluation criteria are being used for IT investments. Up front, there is a much more collaborative process between IT and LOB teams as they decide which offerings meet their underlying business need, not just what fits into their existing footprint. Calculating the benefits and return from SaaS investments is also a challenging task, as deployments use business outcomes as the ultimate goal. Although hard calculations seem challenging for most customers, it’s clear that enhanced levels of support and “customer success” roles are increasingly valued. Having these post-sale resources available and putting a greater focus on outcomes and other intangible benefits than on technology benefits seems to be the best way for SaaS vendors to meet inflated customer expectations for what the solutions can and should do for their business.

Figure 3

Graph depicting IT investment strategy of SaaS adopters three years ago versus now versus three years from now