In the second of this two part CIO webinar series \u2018Driving business success with true enterprise applications\u2019, we speak with DXC Technology, brewing giant Lion and analysts Ecosystm about \u2018How to take customer experience to the next level\u2019.\n\nToday more than ever before, the customer is king.\n\nAnd having been conditioned \u2013 some might say spoilt \u2013 over the past several years to hyper-personalisation via the growing number of intelligent digital platforms, delivering them the best possible experiences has now emerged as a major competitive differentiator.\n\nKey to this is ensuring you have the right data and systems to underpin every customer interaction. This means having all customer-related data in a single repository, updated in real time, and accessible by business critical systems.\n\nBut as with so many challenges in this business, it\u2019s a lot easier said than done. You need the right strategy, the right teams and the right culture, as well as the right solutions in place. And you need a proper plan to bring everyone in the organisation along with you on the journey.\n\nBrewing giant Lion is one of the most established companies in Australasia, having carried some of our most famous and enduring beverage brands over a more than one hundred year history. And the explosion of new beer brands, especially in the craft space over the past several years, means it's a more dynamic and complex business than ever.\n\nBack in 2019, before COVID, Lion\u2019s head of customer business process excellence, Nicole Par\u00e9s and her team embarked a mission to gain a \u201c360 degree view\u201d of the company\u2019s partner customers.\n\nShortly after, they met and quickly partnered with DXC Technology to set out a strategy to optimise the SAP Marketing solution and provide a customer experience that only a fully integrated tech stack could provide.\n\nChanging customer \u2013 and partner \u2013 expectations demanded that the company undertake a full transformation if it was going to develop proper systems for managing its many moving parts and remain competitive into the future.\n\n\u201cI recognised that we had, three hundred legacy systems that had very little integration between them, making it difficult to utilise data and analytics, to draw insights and make business decisions,\u201d Par\u00e9s recalls.\n\nDeployment of multiple SAP modules followed, until one day the legacy systems were switched off and Lion was operating in a new digital world.\n\nData driven\n\nPerhaps the most profound change, Par\u00e9s says, has been the cultural shift towards becoming an organisation that properly understands the value of data, especially in terms of driving better customer experiences.\n\n\u201cI can see the impacts through that our entire value chain \u2026 it [data] gives you the avenue through the technology of that marketing cloud to be really targeted in who your customer segments are.\n\n\u201cThat in itself has been a transformative journey for our business\u201d.\n\nMatthew Varone, SAP CX consultant with DXC Technology says he and his team were initially brought in to work on a fairly narrow use case deploying SAP CX applications and marketing cloud.\n\nFrom there the remit was expanded to encompass a broader plan to improve engagement with Lion\u2019s extensive partner channel.\n\n\u201c[We started] working towards the right solution that\u2019s 100 percent focussed on excellent customer experiences\u201d.\n\nThis meant making sure the solution was right for everyone \u201cand so that involved partnering very closely and doing lots of discovery, and going on the journey together to make sure we get the right outcome.\u201d\n\nAlan Hesketh, principal adviser with ecosystem and author of Start fast: Achieving rapid impact from digital transformation, has himself been at the coalface of several major digital transformation projects, in particular for the retail and fast moving consumer goods sectors.\n\nHe notes that for companies like Lion the challenge is how to harness data so that people find it easier - and are more inclined - to do business with you.\n\nIt\u2019s essential therefore, to have \u201caccurate data\u201d.\n\n\u201c[It means] you're able to use the data that they're giving you to do the right kind of promotional activities to get that the expected returns .. and so when they're doing that electronic ordering, it just flows through smoothly.\u201d\n\nVarone explains that DXC has helped Lion connect with its customers across multiple touchpoints.\n\n\u201cWe're measuring click through rates and engagement when they're on the phone with agents and through the CRM system. You know those interactions are coming back, and all of those are being centralized and building this vision of one picture of a customer.\u201d\n\nPar\u00e9s adds that being able to demonstrate that the project would give rise to new revenue streams was a key factor in getting buy in from the broader executive team. And further endearing her and her team was the fact that there were \u201czero issues\u201d after \u2018go-live\u2019; a remarkable achievement for a project of this scale.\n\n\u201cIt's amazing now to look back and reflect on what that journey was like for us, putting that case forward and getting the buy in. Now we have the right technology, we can turn that into a competitive advantage.\n\nWorking on the marriage\n\nMuch is made of the importance of having great teams if major digital projects are to achieve their most ambitious objectives. And that also means different teams being able to work well together.\n\nPar\u00e9s reflects that hers and Varone\u2019s team at DXC were united by strong sense of purpose but without any illusions about what needed to be done.\n\n\u201cWe kept each other accountable, challenging what it was we were trying to achieve, and how we would get there.\n\n\u201cI think for me what I really enjoyed was it wasn't a case of saying \u2018here's what I want to do. Go and do it. It was a partnership to understand, \u2018well, have you considered that this is possible, or you are doing this process right now?\u2019.\u201d\n\nVarone feels that that\u2019s what made the \u201cmarriage\u201d between Lion and DXC special.\n\n\u201cDid it take work? Yes, like most teams like this, forming and storming and norming, and all of those sorts of progressions that we all make together.\u201d\n\n\u201cBut there was always a lot of respect for each other\u201d.