In a showcase today, Accenture Technology Labs showed off some of its latest projects. One, a newly developed "intelligent selling" application called Real Time Sales and Service Empowerment, could be used by wealth and asset managers, particularly in departments suffering "brain drain" - where knowledgeable managers are leaving or retiring and younger workers lack experience but are eager to learn. The Accenture application, which it developed with a French bank, is a basic customer relationship management system combined with a cognitive rules engine that acts as training wheels for the new investment manager.For this product, Accenture would spend time with a firm's top performers, reviewing basic customer account information with them and finding out which data points they consider important and why. From that knowledge base, the Accenture consultants would build a set of business rules and a decision tree (e.g. if a customer has too much debt, suggest a particular savings goal). Once the business rules have been applied to the entire customer database, when wealth managers do a customer lookup, they see the most important data fields highlighted in blue, and they can pull a plain-English summary of the customer, his holdings, his goals, and any trouble spots in his portfolio, as well as a proposed sales process and specific recommendations to make to the customer.