Informa’s Business Intelligence division transforms customer engagement with CloudSense

 

 

Product launch time cut from months to days

Personalized customer experiences & self-service capability

Provisioning of digital services cut from 2 days to instant

Background

Informa’s Business Intelligence (BI) division provides specialist data, intelligence and insight to businesses and professionals, helping them make better decisions, gain competitive advantage and enhance return on investment.

Informa BI offers a portfolio of more than 100 digital subscription products, providing critical intelligence to niche communities within six core industry verticals.

At the beginning of 2015, to improve customer engagement and transition from providing information and news, to intelligence and insight products and services, Informa BI undertook a growth acceleration plan. The plan centered around simplification and reorganizing the business around priority verticals.

Providing a personalized sales and digital delivery experience

To deliver a friction-free, personalized and integrated sales and digital delivery experience across channels, Informa BI selected CloudSense’s Salesforce-native Platform to work in tandem with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Identity capability.

We talked to Richard Peers, Informa BI's Technology Platforms Director, to find out more about Informa BI’s business transformation. First covering the challenges the organization faced, before delving deeper into its revitalized digital landscape and how it has helped Informa BI achieve its business goals.

Customer experience undermined by legacy systems

Prior to its transformation, Informa BI's legacy technology stack undermined the business’ ability to provide the seamless experience today’s digital customers expect.

Siloed legacy systems & disconnected data

Not making the most of data for personalization

Disjointed onboarding & customer experience

The use of multiple legacy systems meant business units were working across different platforms and using a variety processes. Richard Peers explained how the disconnect caused by these siloed systems was at the root of Informa BI’s issues:

“Our data was poorly managed and reconciled across different legacy systems. We had more than 20 databases storing customer information that, taken in combination, had the potential to produce powerful customer profiles that we could use to deliver highly tailored marketing and personalized service delivery.”

As well as limiting Informa BI’s ability to offer personalized sales and marketing, the incomplete data provided by its siloed systems led to disjointed customer journeys. This impacted on the organization’s ability to onboard customers and control their access to content, undermining the customer experience in the process.

It was clear that in order to scale the business to meet Informa BI’s ambitious growth plans – while also increasing efficiency and agility, Informa BI needed to replace their systems with a single joined-up platform for every sales channel.

Making the most of Salesforce with CloudSense

To transition to a single platform, Informa BI needed a single solution that provided Configure Price Quote, Sales and Subscription Order Management, Product Catalog, Entitlement and Self-Service capabilities, all integrated with a standards-based identity solution.

CloudSense’s Salesforce-native Platform proved the right solution to extend Informa BI’s use of the Salesforce Sales Cloud and integrate their new capabilities with the existing Salesforce opportunity management and Identity solutions.

Richard explained how CloudSense extended Informa’s Salesforce capabilities:

“CloudSense gives us the integrated platform capabilities we needed on top of Salesforce to deliver on our business objectives.”

“CloudSense’s CPQ functionality enables us to model and configure our subscription products, including the specification of entitlements for customers. The Order Management generates entitle-able entities and the supporting subscription change processes, while CloudSense also provides the functionality to allow customers to self-manage their entitlements.”

Because CloudSense is Salesforce-native, all British Gas users can now access the systems via a single interface – using the browser in the call center and an iPad application in the field.

Previously the teams had to wait for data to migrate between different cloud providers before it was visible on Salesforce. With CloudSense the Heating Sales Advisors can work quicker with real-time data and a single source of information for each customer. Instead of laptops, they now use iPads, which provide far more flexibility and let them concentrate on giving customers a better experience.

One integrated platform, a 360-degree view of customers

Personalized sales and marketing

With its single data model provided by CloudSense and Salesforce, Informa's Business Intelligence division now has a seamless, integrated 360-degree view of customers. 

This empowers Informa BI’s sales, pricing, product and business operations teams to rationalize their data and provide a single view of customers, including past purchases, renewals and content consumption.

Better knowledge about its customers, along with a more agile platform, means Informa BI can deliver personalized, relevant messaging and content recommendations – ensuring a seamless, consistent customer experience across channels.

Richard explained, "We now have a single view of our customers which significantly improves customer service, as well as driving our own business insights through collating all forms of usage and buying data.”

Friction-free content access

The smooth customer journey continues uninterrupted with the automatic provision of friction-free subscription access to Informa BI’s customers through CloudSense and Salesforce Identity.

Richard reinforced the importance of Informa BI mastering its complex subscriptions:

 “The CloudSense Platform can handle the complexity of our digital subscription model and this has ensured we can now provide an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations in a continually evolving industry.”

Using CloudSense, we have now integrated our provisioning process with the sales process which automates access instantaneously for our customers. We have also provided self-service functionality to put power in their hands to self-manage

Richard continued, “If a new customer signed a 6-figure plus contract with Informa, it used to then take us 48 hours to provision access for our customers to the digital services they had just signed for.

The rationalization of Informa’s legacy digital estate has not only enabled Single Sign-On (SSO), but also ensured new services can to be brought to market faster and more efficiently.

“We can start selling and provisioning access to new products within 1 week, previously it took us several months to align all of our product and customer master data across multiple business functions and systems.”

Tangible cost savings

Along with delivering a joined-up, personalized customer experience, the project has also immediately delivered tangible outcomes. Informa have made considerable savings by decommissioning legacy solutions and the time savings the client services teams have already made.

Sales are also rising, with optimized cross-selling and upselling, proactive client support and right-first-time fulfillment of products and invoices proving invaluable in driving more revenue.

With improvements still to come, Richard Peers summed up the impact CloudSense has had on Informa BI’s growth acceleration program to date.

“We are looking to achieve a total saving through decommissioning legacy solutions of £400k per year by the end of our program. And we will have enabled significant time savings in our client services teams to allow them to provide excellent service instead of being bogged down by constant data cleansing and administration activities.”

"With CloudSense we now have a seamless, integrated single view of our customers which significantly improves customer service, as well as driving our own business insights through collating all forms of usage and buying data."

Richard Peers
Technology Platforms Director, Informa BI

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