Most B2B software companies seem to make the enterprise buyer – not the consumer — their central focus. Yet being driven mainly by the needs of business clients rather than what it takes to dazzle consumers often discourages the ‘B2B2C’ mindset needed to win in the marketplace.
Take today’s connected consumers, who demand great experiences. They’re looking for frictionless purchasing, enriched by personal data that could make any event—from buying a product to walking down a city street—a personalized one.
In their roles as citizens, their expectations are just as demanding. That’s why smart cities are entering a new phase in which the city itself is becoming a platform for interacting, collaborating and co-creating with citizens. Success now requires urban leaders to redefine smart city goals to meet the intrinsic needs of citizens.
Back in 2014, TCS DS&S Group realized that meeting the rising expectations of connected consumers and citizens called for a new type of insight. From retailers and banks to cities, a kind of connected consumer intelligence was needed to deliver the connected consumer experiences that weave together each and every touch point of an individual’s experiences, both online and in the physical world, and with partner brands.
Just as the consumer expected a great experience when they bought something, they were ripe for that expectation in every aspect of their lives, including their relationship to the communities in which they lived.
DS&S staked an early claim in understanding this new environment. Focusing intently on meeting the needs of the consumer, we applied augmented intelligence and machine learning technology to diverse sources of digital information, hoping to narrow in on what a consumer or citizen really wanted or needed — even before they understood their own desires.
What if our software could help a bank understand that a customer was on the verge of buying a home, and offered them a suite of customized services from partner companies, in addition to a mortgage? That could ease the stress in making life’s biggest purchase, deepening customer loyalty.
Imagine a city able to tell, through sensors attached to streetlamps, that a roadway was becoming congested, and then suggested to individuals easier pathways home based on their previous driving preferences? Or let police know about a possible disturbance, and turn up the illumination to prevent further crime?
What if music fans leaving a rock concert could be directed to certain restaurants based on their dining history, and then offered a discount coupon for going there. Of if tourists in a congested city like Venice could be sent to less-crowded attractions than St. Mark’s Square, based on the history of their cultural preferences.
A common factor in these futuristic scenarios was that an ecosystem of partners was necessary to deliver connected customer experiences. Enterprises and cities also needed to understand the context behind the unique situations consumers find themselves in at specific moments in time. Otherwise the connected experiences would miss the mark.
Today, the DS&S portfolio of pre-integrated, industry-specific software powered by connected consumer intelligence delivers connected experiences that seamlessly join every interaction along an individual’s journey – including ones involving ecosystem partners. Our solutions allow companies and cities to truly understand what drives consumers and citizens by deciphering the context surrounding their behavior at points in time — like window shopping on a city street.
While our customers and the channel partners that sell our solutions realize that focusing on consumer needs and expectations is the right strategy for developing winning software, it’s particularly gratifying when the technology industry acknowledges it, too.
On December 5, Channel Partner Insight magazine bestowed its 2019 Big Data and Analytics Innovation Award to TCS Digital Software & Solutions Group for our flagship smart city solution, Intelligent Urban Exchange. IUX leverages machine learning and AI to help urban leaders identify, view and analyze city-wide events in real time so they can make better decisions that improve quality of life for citizens.
DS&S Group’s VP and Global Head of Engineering & Product Management, Sridhar Rao, summed up what makes this award so satisfying. He said that unlike other market segments, building smart cities is only possible through an ecosystem of partnerships. As smart cities refocus on the needs of citizens, he noted, they will rely on channel partners who can deliver solutions that help them meet the rising expectations of urban dwellers.
For channel players looking for new, high value growth opportunities, that sounds like a winning strategy.