Rebecca Gibson |
This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
Fintech start-ups are introducing multiple new innovations that are transforming the payments, banking and wider financial services experience for customers. Facing pressure to do the same, international business travel management and payment solutions provider AirPlus International decided to transform from being a traditional product-centric company into a cloud-first, digital organisation that puts customers at the centre of its operations.
AirPlus International, which operates in 50 countries, began its digital transformation by closely analysing its processes and the products it delivers to customers. To do this, the company studied customer behaviour and evaluated the true value of the services it delivered to customers.
Based on the internal analysis, AirPlus International realised that one of the main challenges for the company was that it lacked omniproduct, omnichannel processes. Instead, it had separate product-specific systems to manage each different customer touchpoint, which meant that the customer experience could vary across products and channels.
“To strengthen customer centricity throughout the organisation, we needed a central data repository for customer information and interactions,” says Christian Binderbauer, lead architect and chief product owner at AirPlus International. “Another goal is to deliver products we currently sell and service through assisted channels only also via self-service channels, which will hugely improve efficiency and make them available to smaller companies.”
AirPlus International opted to implement a portfolio of solutions from VeriPark that are built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure technology. The solution is designed to enable companies to use a central platform to deliver the same processes across each different customer touchpoint, thereby eliminating the boundaries between assisted and unassisted channels.
“VeriPark’s software adds a significant set of ready-to-use financial industry specific processes,” explains Binderbauer. “Modern cloud architecture fulfils state-of-the-art security requirements and helps speed up delivery. Using software-as-a-service is a safe and smart way of combining functional elements across boundaries – and it works.”
Moving from a mainframe-centric architecture that had largely been developed in-house to a cloud-based platform where more than 95% of functionality and integration comes from an industry-standard platform was challenging.
“VeriPark teamed up with several other Microsoft partners for the digital transformation project including SiteCore for the content management system, Pros for the configure price quote system, Icertis for the contract management functionality, XperiDo for document generation capabilities and InRule for the rules engine,” says Wim Geukens, managing director of VeriPark Europe.
Now, AirPlus International has a unified cloud-based ecosystem that integrates these functionalities with customer relationship management and omnichannel delivery solutions. Around 700 AirPlus International employees will use the platform, with the sales, marketing and customer service teams primarily using the customer engagement features. The company will also use VeriPark’s solution to provide its customers with access to services and products through new AirPlus portals. In total, it is expected that there will be 300,000 system users.
Being able to use one platform to manage a single process across all channels has multiple benefits. For example, the solution will eliminate numerous process workarounds and the exceptions that previously resulted from a lack of legacy flexibility.
Meanwhile, sales and customer service agents will be able to access the interaction history for every customer, allowing them to deliver enhanced services. AirPlus International also forsees the implementation of VeriPark’s ‘Next Best Action’ functionality to help agents determine what the most important thing is for the customer at a given point in time. By supporting Next Best Action with artificial intelligence, employees would have greater insights into customer behaviour, while users will be able to go on individualised journeys on the self-service portal.
Most importantly, VeriPark’s platform will help AirPlus International achieve its aim of becoming a fully digital solutions provider.
“A key driver for AirPlus is efficiency,” says Binderbauer. “If you have a process that can be delivered through multiple channels, there is one machine you build and maintain for several purposes. Implementation of functionality currently happens in record time by the current standards of our organisation.”