xerox_logo_2009.jpg The recent Xerox (news, site) acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.  (ACS) turned into the release of an advanced customer relationship management product that will search the web for all and any reference or information about a specified subject and pull all that information into a single database for analysis and review.

At the time of the buy-out, Xerox had said that it intended ACS to operate as a standalone company – under its flag of course – and that it would be pretty much business as usual for the business process outsourcing giant once cash had changed hands.

This release would seem to confirm that as it not only extends ACS’ CRM abilities but affirms the direction that company will be pursuing in the future despite suggestions at the time that it would be subsumed directly into Xerox with its different segments attached to whatever business unit in Xerox suited best.

Community as a Strategy

There aren’t many details about the new software called ‘Community as a Strategy’ as it is only being released today, but its focus is to compliment the work of call centers, which makes up a large part of ACS’ business, by providing information to call center operatives to better target their activities.

It takes information and conversations from blogs and social networks, displays on call center agents’ newly developed dashboards, who can then initiate actions based on this feedback.

However, ACS also envisages that this will become a core plank in formulating the company’s external business strategy and aims to cut costs by applying reduced call and email volumes, and better insight into customer reactions. In fact, it aims to get a jump on customers by applying:

  • Social media marketing
  • Advanced analytics
  • Automated social media monitoring
  • CRM reporting and data integration

The goal is to be able to identify and contact the customer before they have had a chance to contact the company.

Xerox, ACS and CRM

However, while CRM may be new to Xerox it’s not new to ACS. In 2009 it was positioned by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for CRM Contact Center BPO for North America.

And it was practically this market that Xerox was targeting when it bought ACS early last year.ACS provides information technology services to industries including telecommunications, retail, financial services and education.

And while no one is trying to estimate ACS’s share of that market at the moment, no one is disputing the fact that ACS is the largest provider of managed services to government with over 1,700 federal, state, county and local government contracts.

The deal was only finalized as of the end of last September and in the next three years is expected to save Xerox US $400 million by streamlining its own internal functions.