Avnet Services:IBM

Market Force

Market Force

Market Force works with hundreds of the world’s largest consumer companies to enhance their customers’ experience and drive nancial performance through customer intelligence. To do so, the company collects and analyzes a variety of data streams, from customer satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping audits, to internally generated data like financial metrics and third-party data streams. The combination is powerful, but the technical challenge of crafting a solution that deals with “big data” from disparate sources was daunting.

“Every major retailer has a simple formula for success: Drive people into their stores and delight them when they arrive, which leads to increased sales. But that simple formula is extremely hard to accomplish consistently without a complete view across all stores and insight into what consumers are thinking. That takes data, analytics, and a powerful technology platform to manage it all, so we embarked on our vision to create just that.”
– Janet Eden-Harris,
Chief Marketing Ofcer and SVP Strategy

Challenge:
Development of Market Force’s Customer Intelligence Platform began in earnest once the company had gathered input from industry luminaries, but it found the development more challenging than originally scoped. The development team wasn’t meeting the deadlines and milestones they had set for internal product releases. They didn’t have visibility into project status or whether the platform they were developing was meeting requirements, and there was poor rigor around the testing regiment. They had licensed a third-party software application to support development, but suspected they were not utilizing the product or managing their engineering team to their full potential.

“The project was having the typical software development challenges—we found ourselves over budget and behind schedule just as demand from clients was really picking up.”
– Todd Siegler, Chief Administrative Ofcer & SVP, Corporate Development

Solution:
Market Force contacted Ascendant to help identify weaknesses and areas of opportunity for the Market Force software engineering team using Agile and CMMI. The assessment led to a contract to help the engineering team adopt new Agile processes and more effectively utilize their software development tools. Ascendant helped the team gather requirements using user stories, created a project backlog and release plan, and put product testing in place, then transitioned the project to Market Force’s engineering team once it was back on track.

“The first weeks were challenging. The team was skeptical and defensive that a third party was coming in to assess their work, even though everyone was frustrated that we weren’t making progress faster. Ascendant was able to navigate those challenges and help put a standardized process and tracking program in place.”
– Todd Siegler

Results
Market Force has released its new Customer Intelligence Platform to its first client and has received rave reviews. The client used the adjectives “phenomenal” and “game-changing” to describe how much value they were getting from the new platform. With many more clients lined up to investigate the solution, the company is
anxious to on-board more over the coming months.

“With Ascendant’s guidance we better leveraged our development tools to track tasks, added disciplined agility to the project, began delivering iterations on time and on budget, and really turned the project around - all in just a few months.”
-Todd Siegler

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