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Business & Technology Services
1 December 2019

Firms that put their customers’ ideas into practice. Companies that invest in innovations to transform lives. Apps that help people simplify time-consuming tasks or apply for services efficiently. The purpose of technology that helps hotel guests enjoy seamless experiences.

For innovative companies today, purpose goes beyond profit and can change the status quo. Here are five companies that ensure that the purpose of technology programs aligns with their business objectives and creates positive outcomes, not just for the enterprise but for their customers. 

1 USAA: Fueling growth and innovation

USAA was founded in 1922 when a small group of US Army officers came together to insure each others’ cars. It is now one of America’s biggest financial services firms, catering for both serving and retired military personnel. 

The company has been a leader in using digital technology to fulfil its mission – to ensure the financial security of its members and their families. Last year, 93% of USAA members regularly interacted with the firm digitally.

One way they can do this is by talking to EVA, a virtual assistant who can help with everything from insurance claims to banking queries. EVA has logged 34 million interactions with customers last year. 

USAA is also part of a group of insurers partnering with smart home tech startup Roost to provide policyholders with an IoT device that can detect water leaks and monitor the performance of hot heaters. When a problem occurs, customers are alerted via their smartphones.

The insurer says indoor water leaks are one of the biggest risks for significant property damage. USAA plans to use data from the devices to gather data on how to help customers use smart devices to protect their homes. 

The firm has recently rolled out an AR smartphone app to help members buy cars. When the user points the phone’s camera at any car built after 2000 the app will tell them how much the car is worth, what it will cost to insure and provide details of similar vehicles for sale locally.

2 CVS Health: Promoting health, safety, and well-being 

US healthcare group is using virtual care technology to bring affordable healthcare to people 24 hours a day at home. Its MinuteClinic virtual care platform uses a smartphone app to assess and triage patients with minor conditions.

If the virtual assessment identifies that their condition is more serious, the patient can have a “Video Visit” from a clinician through the app and offers access to medical staff based on the virtual assessment. 

CVS acquired health insurer Aetna last year and, using its mass of data, has created Attain, a wellbeing tool that analyses a users’ health history and links to Apple Watch to deliver activity-driven incentives and personalized health advice.

Attain will continue to be developed using AI analytics and machine learning. CVS recently announced plans to deliver tech-enabled consumer-centric healthcare on a hybrid-cloud platform. By leveraging data, CVS says it can deliver mass personalization to fulfil the company’s purpose, to help people on their path to better health. 

3 Duke Energy: Sustainability and positive environmental impact

US electricity supplier Duke Energy wants to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to achieve this goal it’s driving innovation in renewable generating capacity and energy storage. 

And its mission extends to its customers. The firm has launched an app that monitors usage in real-time, allowing people to make changes that reduce not just the amount of electricity they are consuming, but their carbon footprint, too.

The company says it has already reduced its CO2 emissions by a third, placing it ahead of the US industry average. And it says the new app will accelerate this process, as well as allowing customers to manage their power bills more effectively. 

4 American Express: Improving engagement and enhancing experiences

Global financial services giant American Express says its mission is “helping others accomplish theirs” – and it has made technological innovation a priority as it seeks to make payments as painless and invisible as possible. 

The company has developed a Facebook Messenger bot that sends members real-time notifications about purchases and perks. If a member buys an airline ticket the bot will tell them how to access airport lounges or suggest restaurants in the terminal.

At last year’s US Open Tennis championships, card members were given an Amex Band, a blue wristband that allowed them to make payments at the event just by tapping their wrists. 

Amex says card-swiping will soon be history as it integrates with the platforms that customers are using every day like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb.

Amex is also using AI to analyze its large store of member data to help predict future customer behavior. Its new digital lending platform uses big data to accelerate the application process from request to loan to less than three days. 

5 Ritz-Carlton: Empowering through access

The purpose of technology of luxury hotel chain’s is to create unique, memorable, and personable customer service experiences. Step into one of its hotels and the emphasis will be on personal service. But today that is enhanced by technology. 

Ritz-Carlton was a pioneer of customer relationship management software with its own system, Mystique, which tracks customer preferences. It’s the system behind the personal touch when doormen greet guests by name.

Going further by introducing digital mobile check-in, check-out and room service ordering was viewed by the industry as a radical departure for a brand so firmly rooted in personal service. 

The Ritz-Carlton app even allows guests to order poolside drinks. It integrates with the chain’s online sites and social media and guests can share memories of their stay. It even automates requests for toothbrushes, laundry, shoe-shines and more.

The purpose of technology: Customer-focused business transformation 

For many of the world’s leading enterprises, purpose of technology is opening up new avenues and opportunities, empowering individuals and teams to drive innovation and truly make the shift, from customer-driven to customer-obsessed.

About the author(s)
Business & Technology Services

TCS’ Business and Technology Services organization combines the power of business excellence with digital innovations to help enterprises and leaders be purpose-driven and performance-oriented, making the shift from shareholder value to stakeholder value. By harnessing the abundance of data, talent, connectivity and capital, B&TS helps leading companies around the world build ecosystems that fuel growth and innovation, foster collaboration and engagement across ecosystems, improve health, safety, and well-being, enabling empowerment and inclusivity, and driving sustainability and positive environmental impact.