TCS has launched a new platform for designing targeted engagement solutions for the Connected Consumer. TCS Connected Intelligence Platform (CIP) 2.1 enables organizations to leverage all available data in real time and deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences driven by machine learning based augmented intelligence. While there are many platforms that promise quick and easy app development for the clever engineer, this is the one platform that can deliver a faster time to value. We sat down with Marcus Hearne, Global Head, Product Marketing at TCS to learn why – and how.
Question: What exactly is a “Connected Consumer”?
Marcus: A Connected Consumer is one who doesn’t think in terms of channels or products and doesn’t see any technology barriers. This is someone that wakes up in the morning and asks Alexa for the weather and doesn’t think twice about how much technology it takes for Alexa to return that information, or whether the information is coming from Alexa “herself” or an extended partnership ecosystem. The connected consumer expects every experience to be as good as – or better than – their last best experience. Here’s an example. It took a nanosecond for Connected Consumers exposed to Uber’s real-time ride tracking to expect the same experience from other providers. Real-time visual tracking is now a feature for UPS, Verizon Service, and pizza delivery. Personally, I expect that when something is coming to me physically, that I will have a way to know where it is and its ETA, without having to work for it.
Question: What makes the “Connected Consumer” different and – how does that change how organizations engage with these Connected Consumers?
Marcus: Connected Consumers are not thinking about “products” or even about “shopping”. They are thinking about an experience. These consumers more often than not ignore the streaming information they are bombarded with on what to buy, where to buy, how to buy. Helping them simply find, buy and start using a product or service – even if delivered well – is not a differentiator anymore and simply providing more information is not enough.
Seeta Hariharan, the General Manager for TCS Digital Software & Solutions, had some great examples of this in her recent article with Tech Target. She recounted how credit card companies could deliver connected experiences. As you know, credit card companies increasingly compete for customer loyalty based on their ability to understand consumer behavior. To succeed they must connect insights from the real world and the digital world and use them to curate more personalized customer experiences. They have scores of partnerships with organizations — from airlines and hotels to insurance and car rental companies. They can tell when you’ve been filling up your gas tank multiple times while heading down the east coast. With that information, they can offer you a great deal on restaurants in Miami based on the analysis showing that it’s very likely to be your destination.
That’s an example of delivering a connected experience.
Question: What are the blockers to being able to deliver this kind of experience? It would seem with the wealth of data and analytical tools, this would be easy.
Marcus: Unfortunately, even with a lot of data and what seems to be a never-ending supply of analytical tools for business intelligence, data science, machine learning and more – many organizations find themselves unable to connect the dots in a meaningful way. To deliver connected experiences, organizations need a new form of insight that we call Connected Consumer Intelligence™. Creating this kind of insight is still very difficult for most organizations. Data may be big, but it’s still silo’ed. Sensors and devices can provide additional data points, but they’re inaccessible. Analytics tools are plentiful – but they require skills that are in high demand and short supply, and often multiple tools are required before value is realized. Organizations don’t have the time to wait for the perfect environment to be built – delivering a differentiated connected experience is not a nice to have but a matter of survival.
Question: How does TCS help organizations create Connected Consumer Insight™?
Marcus: It all begins with data. Many organizations are sitting on vast amounts of enterprise data already, but generating Connected Consumer intelligence means connecting to new digital data sources and partner systems. TCS provides an IoT-ready platform that does just that. Our platform is pre-configured with the connectors, the analytics, the machine learning and the workflows that can take advantage of a wide variety of data, and its open architecture makes it an easy fit for any environment. Users get to value faster because they don’t need to spend the time standing-up and configuring their own environment and hoping it will work in production. TCS also includes self-service capabilities that make data management, analytics, and administration easier.
All of this means that developers, data scientists and business stakeholders can progress from an idea to production very quickly. TCS has already successfully applied this platform to banking, retail, water management, street lighting, transportation, and communications. Besides having the technology, TCS also provides guidance and best practice methodologies that are proven and battle tested with some of our most demanding customers. We’re ready to help more organizations create the experiences that will become the new normal for the Connected Consumer.
Question: What’s the best way to get started?
Marcus: Visit us on the web to learn more about CIP and our full family of TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) products:
Connected Intelligence Platform
Customer Intelligence & Insights
Intelligent Urban Exchange