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Viewpoints: Industry Experts Share Their Perspectives on the Financial Services Industry

Cisco’s Financial Services Industry Marketing team is pleased to welcome a monthly contribution from industry professionals sharing their insights and observations on key trends in the Financial Services industry. The opinions expressed in these posts are those of our welcomed guests and may not reflect the opinions of Cisco.

Silva McSwain-Campbell Combined

Jerry Silva, Principal at PG Silva Consulting, is a 25 year industry veteran and thought leader in retail banking. He recently had the opportunity to discuss what comprises a high quality customer experience with Kelly McSwain-Campbell, Customer Experience Director at US Bank. In this role, Kelly is responsible for working across the enterprise with all lines of business and channels to help ensure teams deliver a differentiated customer experience that builds stronger and deeper relationships.

Delighting the Customer: Simple Works

As a banker and technologist, I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with systems that manage customer self-service channels like the ATMs and online banking, or with the systems that bank staff uses to interact with the customer. As a consumer of banking services myself, I’ve always been interested in the people side of services delivery and how banks can deliver quality experiences at the branch and the attended contact center.

I recently had a chat with Kelly McSwain-Campbell, SVP and Customer Experience Director at Minneapolis-based US Bancorp, and asked her for some insight into today’s challenges and how she manages to delight the customer in spite of the increasing complexity of the banking environment. Organizational and technology complexity sometimes work to hinder our ability to provide an excellent customer experience and we as bankers sometimes find ourselves even more distant from our customers.

But during my discussion with Ms. McSwain-Campbell, she made it clear that given the challenges with managing customer expectations across the multiple delivery channels, she is focusing on simple but effective ways to stay connected with customers at each point of interaction. We spoke about three areas that can ensure customers continue to enjoy the best banking experience possible. Read More »

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What is Cisco and SAP doing together?

3 years ago Cisco entered the server platform market with the Unified
Computing System (UCS). This server platform was built from the ground up
for virtualization and immediately started making an impact and gaining
market share. Today it holds the number 2 position worldwide for blades.

At this same time Cisco began to deepen its partnership with SAP. SAP
customers who had relied on Cisco for their networking gear looked to
expand the Cisco relationship by moving their SAP instances to UCS. SAP
HANA accelerated many of these customers move to UCS. Because SAP HANA
operated outside the bounds of the Data Center, it has allowed the
companies to look at UCS without affecting their current SAP instance
while proving UCS as a fast, reliable, scalable, cost reducing platform,
giving the customers confidence that Cisco UCS can more than handle the
mission-critical application workload

But that was just the beginning of the relationship between these two
giants. The diversity of both Cisco and SAP has allowed for a much more
strategic and far reaching relationship allowing each of us to expand our
business together.

SAP Afaria and Precision Retail in SAP’s mobility area combined with the
Cisco mobility and Cisco UCS platform business is bringing mobility to
the masses in a cost efficient way. In addition SAP has begun
collaboration with Cisco’s Jabber collaboration product again using UCS
as the basis platform for these products. Teamed together, Cisco’s and
SAP’s Cloud business has also made a big impact in the form of Vblock and
Flexpod.

Last but not least, Cisco, unlike its platform competitors, partners with
EMC and NetApp for the storage and SANS product in order to complete all
solutions with SAP. Customers enjoy the flexibility of these solutions
allowing them to keep the vendors they have already standardized on. An
added bonus to these customers is that it allows them to also maintain
their reseller relationships using the massive channel capabilities of
Cisco, where over 95 per cent of Cisco products are sold

Cisco and SAP recently completed a 20 city world wide SAP HANA and Cloud
road show generating millions of dollars of new revenue for both
companies. Cisco and SAP are the world leaders in their respective
areas, reinforcing their position in the market connecting the world in
the Internet of Things.

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Change is the only constant in data center infrastructure

May 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm PST

By: VCE CTO Trey Layton at EMC World 2013     (@treylayton)
TreyLayton
Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said “change is the only constant in life.” And without question, change is the lifeblood to our industry and like any transition, albeit from VHS to digital, from board games to mobile apps, or even dare I say it, Tom and Jerry to Jerry Springer, the “customer” conversation takes on a new shape, with new questions and a fresh dialogue.

Today, we’re seeing something very similar with a natural transition towards convergence in the data center market. No longer is the conversation about the impact on IT departments, but about how to influence change to meet the business needs of the company. Refocusing an entire business around a common goal is no easy feat, especially within those longer standing companies with more traditional, more siloed approaches to their business – and as such skill sets are once again going to have to change or people will find their options becoming limited. Like the technology they’re going to have to adjust; it’s a natural transition for not only the IT department, but leaders across multiple faculties of the business.

Economic and competitive pressures are demanding we do more with fewer resources. Take Columbia Sportswear who deployed Vblock systems in order to transform IT to be much more service orientated in order to fulfill business requests that much faster. Rapid deployment and ease of use also enabled Columbia to redirect IT staff to find new ways to solve business problems, rather than focused on the IT “plumbing”. Above all, the need for flexibility is commonplace in today’s business environment and hence require their IT to “never say no” regardless of the project that comes through the door.

VblockLab

VCE is leading the charge into the next generation data center, simplifying and accelerating data center modernization efforts for our customers. Simply put, VCE represents the next evolution of IT, one focused on the next generation data center and the future of cloud computing.

So where do we go from here?

As the IT industry and the needs of the customer continue to evolve, so will VCE and the Vblock systems. Already we’ve taken our Vblock family to the next level by enhancing the existing 300 and 700 systems and expanded our portfolio by adding the 100 and 200 systems. We also developed Vblock Specialized Systems that are optimized for SAP HANA software and added our own layer of intelligence to existing management toolsets by creating VCE Vision Intelligent Operations to enable and simplify converged operations.

As we look to the future we will continue to innovate on top of the success we’ve already seen to ensure converged infrastructure retains its position as the foundation for next generation data centers. And trust me, there’s a lot more coming to you this year, including the notion of “hyper-convergence” – something you’ll hear a lot more from me on in the coming months.

Join us at this year’s EMC World in Las Vegas to experience for yourself the simplicity behind the Vblock converged systems and see what the future holds for the next generation data center.

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Cisco will ride the 802.11ac Wave2

If you recall, back in the early days of 802.11n, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) rolled out the 802.11n certification program in phases.  Here we are several years later and in that same fashion, the WFA has split the IEEE 802.11ac specification into two certification phases: Wave 1 and Wave 2.

Last week we announced the availability of our 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the 3600 Access Point and along with that, our intention to develop an 802.11ac adaptive radio module that will support the second phase of 802.11ac, or Wave 2. Most of the 802.11ac discussion in the last year has been focused on Wave 1, so we want to kick off the conversation about the second phase, Wave 2.

80211ac1
If Wave 1 promises increased wireless performance to address the increasing demand for higher performance including growing number of clients demanding higher performance for applications such as HD video streaming, then Wave 2 will stun you with its ability to provide even more throughput beyond the 1.3Gbps that Wave 1 provides as well as a number of other features that will further improve wireless connectivity. It is like taking a really good rock song and adding more cowbell to it.

SNL jokes aside, with the additional features packaged in Wave 2 comes the opportunity for further innovation in Cisco’s Wireless portfolio. We feel that it is important to stay ahead of the technology curve so that customers can plan and benefit from these advances sooner rather than later. So let’s discuss what features are coming with 802.11ac Wave 2. Read More »

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Cisco and SAP inaugurate Co-Innovation Labs in both Singapore and Shanghai

Over 200 attendees were present for the opening of two different Co-Innovate Labs (COIL) recently. The COIL is charged with accelerating co-innovation within the SAP partner ecosystem.

This lab is part of the company’s global R&D network and it offers a hands-on environment for SAP, partners and customers to work together on current and future technologies.

The Co-Innovation Lab Singapore is located at SAP’s Asia headquarters in Singapore. It joins a global network of existing co-innovation facilities in Palo Alto (California, USA), São Paulo (Brazil), Walldorf (Germany), Moscow (Russia), Bangalore (India), Shanghai (China) and Tokyo (Japan).

SAP Co-Innovation Lab Singapore is supported by key technology partners Cisco, Intel, NetApp and VMware. Each company provided its latest generation of hardware and software products to the facility’s computing centre, which operates its own private cloud as well as the SAP HANA in-memory platform.

Co-Innovation Lab Singapore has already helped Singapore-based startup ZelRealm Interactive improve their solution, said the company. They developed Sogamo to help game developers optimise and better monetise their online games. Similarly, YFind Technologies, a Singapore-based company, is collaborating with SAP R&D and SAP Co-Innovation Labs to build a product that enables mobile shopping and checkout in retail stores and creates a social network in the supply chain in order to personalise offers and sense demands from customers in real-time for upstream suppliers.

The Coil Lab in Shanghai officially opened March 5th and will server the same purpose as the others around the globe

Cisco, with its Unified Computing System Server Platform and Enterprise Networking Products, and SAP, with SAP HANA, Business Suite, Precision Retail, and Jabber integration, continue to partner in order to bring the best solutions and collaborative products to the world.

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