How a two-time CX award winner takes a look at the customer experience

How a two-time CX award winner takes a look at the customer experience

Marcelo Scalia talks projects, chat bots, the importance of CX and more

Marcelo Scalia (Ekulus)

Marcelo Scalia (Ekulus)

Credit: Christine Wong

Ekulus Consulting has been doing business with Oracle for over a decade and has climbed the ranks to reach gold partner status.

Fast-forward to December 2019, and consulting director Marcelo Scalia is still managing to keep his company relevant in the customer experience (CX), something he expects to continue into the future.

The consulting firm started out with Siebel CRM, which was acquired by Oracle in 2005, so transitioning to customer experience was natural, according to Scalia.

“Our business is around what we call DXA, digital experience automation, and it's really about modernising CRM [customer relationship management], customer portals, mobile applications and bringing them together through data,” Scalia said.

During those 10 years, Scalia estimates the first half of the decade mostly on-premises with Siebel CRM, while the second half was focused entirely on cloud.

The firm performed its first rollout in late 2013, and since then, Ekulus’ focus has been on transitioning and acting as a leader in the market, Scalia claimed, looking at marketing cloud, sales cloud and service cloud.

In the last few years however, Ekulus’ shift has been towards investing in specifically Platform as-a-Service (PaaS) as Scalia claims “it’s really what helps you to connect that data together”.

Ekulus has been making waves in the customer experience (CX) space, winning awards from Oracle for its CX efforts in 2018 and 2019 across the Australia and New Zealand region. For Scalia, this success stems from responding to the needs of customers.

“It's not an easy thing to do because responding to customer demands is about what demands you respond to and which ones you don't, right? Businesses are different; someone has been able to respond to those demands and whether they make sense to your business or not,” he said.

“To the ones that do, it's about making it easy, seamless and consistent. Every time we're journey mapping, there is four key attributes; we’ll call them CX key attributes: consistency, value, seamless and responsive. It's basically how your customers are measuring you.

“In general, organisations have grown into complex technology landscapes, so seamless is not an easy thing to do because you've got different organisations working in silos," he added. "Putting that together, really bring that data into one place, it gives you seamless and consistency. You can be very responsive but if you don't have the data accessible to respond to that demand, then it slows you down into that experience.”

That focus on PaaS is something that Scalia sees as a way to differentiate his business from others.

“With CX, there are SaaS applications available, so they're meant to be packaged standard solutions that you tailor to a degree," he said. "But you can really create a unique experience with a PaaS because it allows you to really put a vision in place and work without limits,” he said.

“The SaaS world is more around adopting what's already there and living in efficiencies as opposed to reinventing the wheel.

“We certainly see that that's not something we would stop doing in the foreseeable future,” he added.

Utilising its experience with PaaS, Ekulus has achieved a number of wins over the last 12 months.

One such win for the consulting firm was its work with the Australian Finance Group (AFG) to enhance the home loan process for both customers and brokers, leveraging Oracle technology in its solution.

Initial planning began in September 2018 and its resolution wasn’t until June 2019. The first stage of work on a customer portal spanned from July 2019 to December 2019.

“That first phase took us six months, but it did require building a unique portal for them,” Scalia said.

“This was not about picking up a SaaS application and just delivering to your customers, they really wanted to engage with them. So, they actually built a unique experience for their customers and our job was to take that experience and execute it on Oracle cloud.”

That is to say, it wasn’t a seamless experience. Scalia said there were a number of different systems that had to be brought together, which included a marketing platform, an engagement platform and Siebel CRM.

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