November 23, 2011

Capgemini launches an ‘all-in-one solution’ for clients seeking social media solutions and software

Social Skills

Word BubblesCapgemini launches an ‘all-in-one solution’ for clients seeking social media solutions and software


Earlier this year, Paul Cole, Vice President for BPO Customer Operations at Capgemini, was in a cross-functional executive meeting with one of the firm’s major clients. The topic was social media and how this client could gain a competitive edge by taking advantage of online social interactions.

“There was so much tension in the room. Different departments wanted to buy different tools because they are each part of the customer experience, and everyone was accusing the other of overstepping their boundaries or not doing their jobs effectively,” Cole says. “We said ‘time out.’ You can all be users of this [technology] and get what you want out of the process, but still benefit from economies of scale with a single platform.”

And that was the idea behind the launch of Capgemini’s Social Media Management service, which is designed to deliver business value to clients through social media. To make it happen, the firm partnered with Attensity, which offers comprehensive monitoring, analysis and customer response capability to drive action and engagement from social insights.

The service is part of a wider drive from the firm into the social media space and complements Capgemini Consulting’s social media solution called ‘Social Insight into Action.’ For this new endeavor, Capgemini created a “customizable all-in-one, subscription-based solution” to offer real-time web listening, analysis and customer outreach, Cole says.

And, depending on client need, he says, social media conversations can be acted on in real time through Capgemini’s onshore and offshore Customer Interaction centers. The feedback can then be used directly to modify processes, optimize marketing campaigns and improve the overall customer experience; ultimately leading to accelerated growth and increased ROI.

Over the last ten months, Capgemini has already delivered pilots and early stage programs of Social Media Management with 20 customers, including Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, a major gift card supplier and a global furniture retailer.

“There aren’t a whole lot of case studies out there yet and the ROI on this is still a big question, Cole says. “They want to see the improved profitability or the enhanced revenue stream, and we thought that by offering an all-in-one model, it would be easier for our clients to dip their toe in the water.”

Cole says Capgemini is attracting interest from many top-notch, global companies kicking the tires on social media. “We still have plenty of clients paying for PowerPoint,” he says. “ They still want best practices, they still want to understand what it all looks like, they still want advice. So, that tells me that we’re early on in this process. We’re telling them that social media doesn’t need to be a core competency for their business.”

Cole lived through the waves for CRM, e-Commerce, Y2K, ERP and says that “we haven’t had a wave like this in awhile,” he says. “I think it’s going to be transformative eventually.”

Depending on where you look, estimates cite social media’s potential in billions and even tens of billions over the next several years. “I don’t think the issue is how big this will be from a dollar standpoint,” Cole says.

“I think currently the ratio of rhetoric to revenue is out of proportion. We’re still in the early stages of this. Social media is the shiny new object, but it will find its equilibrium and it will just become part of the fabric of how companies do business.”

—Joseph Kornik

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