AMP, Starlight speak about transformation journey: Salesforce World Tour

Continuous innovation keys to delivering seamless customer experiences

Craig Ryman of AMP speaking at Salesforce World Tour
Craig Ryman of AMP speaking at Salesforce World Tour

Continuous innovation in business is the “critical path” to deliver a seamless and effortless customer journey, according to AMP group executive, technology and operations, Craig Ryman.

“Innovation is the critical part,” Ryman said, speaking to a packed crowd at Salesforce 2018 World Tour about the company’s customer-led journey.

“If you’re going to deliver great customer experiences, they are not going to be standing still or upgrading slow. Year-on-year their expectations of what great is goes up - and so continuous innovation is really important to us.”

Ryman said the company has committed to a 'trailblazer' philosophy that focuses on continuous innovation.

“We have a bold vision - and to bring that vision to life you need a bit of courage in the way you execute. It is really important for us to deliver a seamless, effortless experience for our customers,” he said.

Ryman said in order for AMP to “reshape the organisation” and deliver a seamless experience to customers, it had to replatform all of its channels by migrating about 40 to 50 systems onto the one Salesforce platform. The ambition is to maintain a more simplified, efficient, agile and innovative platform.

Related: AMP CEO highlights customer-led technology investments in solid financial result

“The value for AMP is that it creates the glue that makes the connectivity of all of those different channels and ensures the customer gets a seamless and consistent experience, however they want to deal with us,” he said. 

AMP has 11,000 advisers interacting with AMP on a day-to-day basis.

“What we are seeking to do is make them more productive so they can spend time servicing their customers, rather than doing complex tasks and helping them grow their business through new capabilities such as artificial intelligence and better sales management capabilities,” Ryman explained.

The goal is to go full circle - draw on AMP’s strong customer service heritage - and find the intimacy in the customer relationship. The company recognises it is not just competing again the next financial services provider, but competing with the big tech companies that have completely redesigned their customer experience.  

Salesforce executive vice-president, product and solutions marketing, Stephanie Buscemi said companies like AMP act as a good example for how to transform an organisation to meet modern customer expectations.

“We are all disruptors. We are all leaders in our business. We are all agents of change for our personal self, professionally and for our community,” she told attendees.

In saying that, the successful brands during this fourth industrial revolution will be the ones delivering a connected experience, she noted.

"It is a crazy time and at the centre of it is technology. We’ve seen throughout history that technology is at the heart of innovation,” Buscemi said.

Nanocomputing, robotics, AI, autonomous vehicles, for example, are the path forward. “It means all of us live in this connected world. All of these devices and things are connected and they are connected with all of you.”

Buscemi pointed to Coca-Cola, which has taken a simple cooler and transformed the consumer experience by using Salesforce's Einstein artificial intelligence capabilities.

“When people go in, they know exactly which things, which product, people are selecting and they are able to automatically update their inventory. Gone are the days of clipboards and pens and technicians looking and checking that,” she said.

But the reality is many businesses are not able to deliver a connected customer experience. “We talk about it in the form of a customer crisis. . . I hear repeatedly, ‘do we have the capability to create these connected experiences?’’

According to Salesforce research, 59 per cent of surveyed companies don’t have those capabilities today. “That has got to change,” Buscemi said.

“This isn’t just about technology. This isn’t just about product. This is about changing the world and making the world a better place... We live in uncertain times so companies have to step up their game and be part of change.”

Related: Salesforce looks to democratise AI, IoT with latest customisable platform play

One organisation striving for a more connected customer experience - and making the community a better place - is the Starlight Foundation. CEO, Louise Baxter, said the children’s charity wants to be technologically savvy, agile, smart and mobile in order to put “the human back in what we do.”

Read more: How Starlight Foundation is enacting digital transformation – for good

“The one thing we all want for our children is to be healthy and happy. For seriously ill children, that is taken away from them overnight. What we do at Starlight is positively disrupt this challenging time by putting the fun and play back into children’s lives. That delivers positive health outcomes," she said during the Salesforce World Tour event.

“We all know whatever we were doing yesterday is not what we need to do tomorrow in order to get where we need to go. We know things are changing at such a fast pace, we need to be seeking out change, because of that change and disruption, and embracing opportunity that it holds.”

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