A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Adqura's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Adqura is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Kayvan Mahinfar, CEO
Global leaders in customer
Our customers at the heart of our business” is a vision
held by many organisations. Anyone with a customer
base knows that the days of price and product
leadership are in the past, and that to truly succeed, the
business must be customer-focused. Founded in 2011, Adqura
is a customer decisioning and artificial intelligence specialist.
It helps organisations understand their business and customer
needs through the customer journey, processes and interaction
development, and works to fulfil those needs through next-
generation customer decisioning solutions. Put simply, it
defines, builds and supports omni-channel and AI capability for
corporate businesses, which enables the customer experience
dream to be fulfilled, alongside many other business challenges.
Marketing and customer experience director, Annette Kerlin,
discusses the challenges businesses typically face in delivering
their vision, and how Adqura’s unique and innovative approach
provides game-changing business solutions.
The businesses we work with typically have millions of customers, with billions of
interactions happening across multiple channels and product lines. Often, these
channels do not communicate appropriately with each other, if at all. To make
matters even more challenging, the needs and tastes of customers today are rapidly
evolving and increasingly sophisticated. Many businesses are struggling to join up the
dots and provide a consistent and relevant experience.
»CEO: Kayvan Mahinfar
»Established in 2011
»Based on Gresham Street,
»Services: Decisioning and AI
specialist, delivering end-to-
end omni-channel marketing
»No. of employees: 70
»Solutions from omni-channel
customer optimisation and
AI-driven NBA to fraud
prediction and customer-led
Highlighting best practice
»British Gas: Next Generation
Decisioning across more
than 50 channels
»AA: Customer Decisioning
Strategy + phased omni-
channel delivery
»US food chain: AI-driven
NBA for salads
»TUI: Strategy design +
»Global Print Company: AI-
driven NBA for device failure
and service recovery
»Vodafone UK, Group, Turkey:
Strategy, analyses, inception
»Opun, Towergate, Macmillan,
KPMG Boxwood, North
Highland, Hastings Direct:
Architecture and Consulting
We are one of the few companies
globally who specialise in the design
and delivery of a state-of-the-art
decisioning capability to address
this problem. Our team possesses a
unique mix of business and technical
expertise along with a strong history
of delivering sizeable financial benefits
across multiple sectors and global
territories. Our mission is to break
new boundaries in customer-focused,
data-driven transformation; we have
consistently created innovative, agile
and value-driven solutions and have
a relentless focus on excellence in all
that we do. We see ourselves as true
partners with our customers.
So what is decisioning?
On-demand customer decisioning
– also known as “next best action”
(NBA) – is about making the right
offer to the right person at the right
time; that is to say, truly personalised
communications. Doing this effectively
requires the capability to make
decisions about what is right for the
customer, considering all aspects of
their behaviour, their intent and their
needs and priorities, all balanced with
business objectives.
The Pega Marketing Decisioning Hub,
along with Adqura’s complementary
capabilities, enables businesses to
build a single place to create and
optimise decisions for every customer
across multiple products, journeys and
channels. The decision hub allows you
to use both historic, current and future
data and insights to select the most
appropriate message for the customer.
Compared to traditional segmentation,
and models that can take months to
develop and are not deployable in a
real-time environment, this approach
can be very powerful. The AI-driven
models we have created typically
deliver in excess of a two to three-
fold improvement on standard, offline
models deployed in a batch campaign
environment. A personal, tailored
interaction can be industrialised – the
model can be personalised en masse,
while automated, highly intelligent,
continually learning and able to be fine-
tuned constantly. Thiscan prove to be
a winning formula for both customer
and business.
What does it look like in action?
Each customer we work with will have
different needs, so we have a range
of services on offer. These include
strategy development, full end-to-end
design and delivery of decisioning
capability, AI-driven optimisation and
ongoing support.
One of our clients for whom we’ve
previously worked in this capacity is
British Gas. With an active customer
base of around 10 million, British
Gas decided that the way forward
was to put its customers at the
heart of its strategy. They realised
that re-engineering its customer
decisioning platform would unlock
key improvements for customers
and generate more value from the
company’s significant data assets.
With British Gas Next Generation
Decisioning, we have delivered the
vision of true unified customer-centric
decisioning. It considers the customer
state based on events over the past
24 hours, and, in some instances, in
real time. It then assesses the best
conversations to initiate or continue in
channels based on a household-level
view as well as customer personal
contact preferences.
The solution optimises these AI-driven
NBAs with business priorities to
deliver desired volumes to channels.
We deliver billions of simulated NBA
offers and treatments across more
than 50 channels, and have recently
built a rewards platform which enables
the company to return value to its
customer base. Jo Allen, British Gas’s
business lead on the project, described
it as having “multiple benefits” and
being a “global first”.
Use AI and real-time
data to personalise
every customer
The needs and
tastes of
today are
rapidly evolving
and increasingly
There have been numerous benefits
already, including significant
improvements of over 20 per cent in
customer conversions as soon as it
launched; reduced data lag time; multi-
million-pound savings; huge increases
in the ability to deliver customer-
centric, dynamic communications; and
the launch of a sophisticated reward
programme in record time.
Adqura have also developed complex
AI-driven capability, which can help us
to deliver value in the Internet of Things
(IoT) space. This means the ability to
predict when machines may break down,
and being able to discern things such as
the best times for service or maintenance.
If you combine this capability with an
omni-channel marketing mechanism,
this becomes a market game-changer.
While technology is critical to success,
those who truly succeed recognise
that organisational transformation
and a desire to be customer-centric is
just as important. The coming Fourth
Industrial Revolution has the power
to reshape the delivery of products
and services for customers in a
fundamental way – with IoT forming a
key element. To be able to appreciate
and maximise these benefits,
organisations must first build a vision
that will drive them in this direction. By
starting with a clear idea, and building
with the future in mind, it is possible to
create this capability quickly, and enjoy
the knowledge and financial benefits it
will bring.
Creating a clear vision and strategy is
an area that Adqura specialises in, and
one that can truly help businesses to
identify what they need.
The future
Customer experience is already
recognised as being the future.
Forrester data shows that while 72
per cent of businesses say improving
customer experience is their top
priority, only 63 per cent of marketers
prioritise implementing technology
investments that will help them reach
this goal. Adqura has invested heavily
in building a unique set of decisioning
and AI assets that help businesses
to meet and exceed their customer
and business needs. We know and
understand the needs of the customers
we work with, and believe our shared
commitment to a successful outcome,
alongside our knowledge and asset
base, make us invaluable partners in a
customer-focused world.
Omni-channel customer
Capturing moments of
truth with personalised
customer interaction

This article was sponsored by Adqura. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy