Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft Team on New Digital CRM

A new customer analytics tool from Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft aims to help banks, insurance companies and other businesses in the finance sector deliver more personalized, profitable and digital services to customers.

Built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) platform, the Accenture Customer Analytic Insights Solution (ACAI) was launched earlier this week during Microsoft's first-ever Envision conference on digital transformation, held Monday through Wednesday in New Orleans.

By collaborating to develop ACAI, the three companies seek to bring together their individual experiences in financial services to offer a new solution designed for the digital transformation era. The new tool provides users with, among other things, predictive analytics to help them offer new product and service recommendations based on customers' financial histories and needs.

ACAI uses Microsoft's cloud-based Azure Machine Learning to analyze customer activity and then apply analytical models to predict customer behavior and recommend next-best actions. These recommendations can be integrated with other interaction systems, such as customer service channels using Dynamics CRM.

Financial Services Need Digital Transformation

ACAI is "the latest innovation in our quest to help financial services firms transform and succeed in the digital world," Karen Cone, Microsoft's general manager for financial services, said in a statement. ACAI "represents how Microsoft technology can be used to help financial services transform into more insightful, productive and customer-centric organizations," she added.

Such digital transformation is increasingly important for businesses in the financial services industry, according to recent research from Accenture. That's because bank customers and other users of financial services -- like customers across almost every other business sector -- increasingly expect customer service that is available anytime, anywhere, through any device or channel.

By 2020, more than 30 percent of banking revenues could be at risk from new competitors and trends, a 2015 study from Accenture found.

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