How a Global Customer Service Leader is Using a Reference Model to Structure Its Transformation While Remaining Fast and Agile

  • Karsten KraumeEmail author
  • Klaus Voormanns
  • Jiaqing Zhong


Chatbots and virtual assistants, the Internet of Things and ‘always on’ mentality—these are just some of the trends keeping all of us busy. They also have a massive impact on customer services and thereby on companies like Arvato CRM Solutions (Arvato CRM), who delivers customer services for some of the best-known brands worldwide. To maintain and enhance its current position as market leader in the Customer Services BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry, Arvato CRM needs to further transform. Naturally, strategic direction has been defined, implementation follows and regular strategic reviews and adjustments take place. But the challenge is complex: the sheer size of the organization with more than 45.000 employees, providing global services in more than 25 countries at more than 100 locations to over 500 clients requires a highly structured approach to properly understand the current business and to plan for the future. This article describes how Arvato CRM utilizes Process Management methodologies and a reference model to face current and future challenges. It pays special attention to why a structured approach can go hand-in-hand with more speed and more agility, which are vital in today’s markets.


Reference model Transformation Customer services Structuring Agility 


  1. Arvato-CRM. (2018a). Customer Service in 2027: How automation, RPA and AI will transform the way companies deliver customer service over the next decade. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  2. Arvato-CRM. (2018b). Omni-channel panel. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  3. Arvato. (2017). Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  4. Becker, J. (n.d.). Icebricks. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  5. Becker, J., Delfmann, P., & Knackstedt, R. (2007). Adaptive reference modeling: Integrating configurative and generic adaptation techniques for information models. In Reference modeling: Efficient information systems design through reuse of information models (pp. 27–58).Google Scholar
  6. Becker, J., Probandt, W., & Vering, O. (2012). Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Modellierung. Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Becker, J., & Schütte, R. (2004). Handelsinformationssysteme. mi-Wirtschaftsbuch.Google Scholar
  8. Capgemini. (2017). 8 in 10 Consumers willing to pay more for a better customer experience as big business falls short on expectations. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  9. Deloitte. (2015). Global contact center survey results. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  10. Everest. (2018). Contact center outsourcing (CCO)—Service provider landscape with services PEAK MatrixTM assessment 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from
  11. Gartner (2014). Market trends: Digital services, automation and marketing services to transform CM BPO services through 2016.Google Scholar
  12. Heuchert, M. (2017). Towards a process reference model for business process.Google Scholar
  13. IDC. (2016). Customer service’s role in creating excellent customer experience. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from Retail CS Whitepaper.pdf.
  14. Rosemann, M., Schwegmann, A., & Delfmann, P. (2012). Vorbereitung der Prozessmodellierung. Prozessmanagement (pp. 47–111). Berlin: Springer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  16. Schütte, R. (1998). Grundsätze ordnungsgemäßer Referenzmodellierung: Konstruktion konfigurations- und anpassungsorientierter Modelle. Gabler.Google Scholar
  17. Stachoviak, H. (1973). Allgemeine modelltheorie. Wien/New-York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Trautmann, H., Vossen, G., Homann, L., Carnein, M., & Kraume, K. (2017). Challenges of data management and analytics in omni-channel CRM. In Working Papers European Research Center for Information Systems No. 28. Eds.Google Scholar
  19. vom Brocke, J., & Buddendick, C. (2006). Reusable conceptual models-requirements based on the design science research paradigm. In Design Science Research in Information Systems Proceedings (DESRIST) 2006 Proceedings. Claremont, CA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karsten Kraume
    • 1
    Email author
  • Klaus Voormanns
    • 1
  • Jiaqing Zhong
    • 1
  1. 1.Arvato CRM SolutionsGüterlohGermany

Personalised recommendations