When You Have Legacy Systems, Make Lemonade

legacy systems

A number of us here at Ecrion traveled to the Insurance Nexus Customer Engagement Summit, where our own Paul Schenkel presented on how our communication and engagement solution leverages legacy systems. He shared three different examples, from three different markets (construction management, healthcare, and hospitality), where Ecrion’s customers combined our platform with legacy business processes to deliver data-driven and personalized communications in pursuit of customer-centric experiences.

We were not surprised when a live survey of the audience showed that these insurance leaders, the ones with responsibility for customer experience, see legacy systems as a barrier to implementing their vision: 60% of them identified legacy systems as their biggest concern.

Legacy systems carry with them a multitude of problems, including silo applications, redundant data fields, replicated business processes (e.g. from mergers), and dead-end roadmaps. While there are certainly replacements available, ripping out legacy systems is a risky strategy. That brings “change management” to the forefront of strategic planning. Change management is about keeping risk under control as process changes are implemented over time: It is time that carries with it opportunity costs, and it is often the case that change management comes down to a trade off between risk and lost time-to-market.

But, what if the value of legacy systems was leveraged rather than replaced? Legacy systems do have value. They are battle tested, and the processes within them successfully drive the business operations. Over the years, incremental investment and wise change management does result in a reliable business infrastructure. These deployed systems contain valuable raw information about customer behavior, customer events, buying patterns, claims history, and who knows what else. When the term “legacy” is used to describe it, it directs focus on what could be, rather than what has already been won. But, what if this untapped data could be put into play to enhance customer experiences, improve customer satisfaction, and raise net promoter scores? It would mean changes could come without risk to established business processes: It would leverage a solid foundation rather than replace it.

Our Customer Engagement Management solution excels at integration, and can be used to mine the value from legacy systems, and from that, orchestrate the customer-centric journey that moves the KPIs in the right direction. Customer-centric journeys and legacy business systems can co-exist if the right solution is deployed.

Although this particular conference was specific to insurance, the reality is that leading companies in every sector are competing with each other based on customer experience. Over and over we hear how Amazon has changed the world, and how customer experience leaders envision an Amazon-style approach to their customers. Such an experience would make shopping easy, information accessible, purchases simple, and publish trackable post-purchase status updates. Insurance companies, financial institutions, utility companies, along with retailers are all working towards their own take on this customer experience.

Ecrion’s mission is to help companies communicate with their customers, and we have developed our Ecrion products and services with this in mind. If you need personalized content, automated engagement, rich KPIs, or just a solution with enough agility and flexibility to empower innovation in your customer experience group, give us a call.

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