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Tech Innovation Emerges within Carriers’ Legacy Environments

Solution architectures are typically derived from open-ended questions designed to discover customer needs. However, Cisco approaches customers with insights-based assertions that rest on the belief that true innovation emerges from disruptive ideas that make customers aware of unknown needs.

According to Gartner’s report “Agenda Overview for P&C and Life insurance 2014,” three concerns for change stand out for insurance companies -- profitability and business growth, cost savings, and customer centricity. The study further indicates insurance executives struggle to maintain legacy products while simultaneously addressing concerns and uncertainties of innovation. Read More »

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Cisco and Ignite Sales Join Forces to Solve Banks’ Customer Acquisition Challenges

Accelerating organic growth across segments, products, and services is a prime objective for today’s banks. The rubber often hits the road with the account opening process. And that process can go flat, especially when a customer runs into difficulties that cause it to breakdown creating an undesired customer experience. Cisco and Ignite Sales know that those potholes can be avoided and that’s why we recently teamed up during the Save the Bank Challenge Technology Showcase at the American Banker Digital Bankers Summit, in Los Angeles, CA and demonstrated how cross-channel account opening is a core element of an engaging customer on-boarding experience.

Customers who have a great on-boarding experience are inclined to consider additional products or services from the bank and the best time to capitalize on this opportunity is at the point of sales, when they are already buying. With the Cisco and Ignite Sales solution, banks have an opportunity to make account opening the centerpiece of a compelling customer acquisition strategy. Our ‘Save the Bank’ demonstration showed an Omnichannel account opening process that closes the gap that all too often exists between digital channels and in the branch. Read More »

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IT Spending: Top 8 Areas Where Banks Are Spending Their 2014 IT Budget

As we approach the second half of the year, banks are continuing to shift their IT and marketing budgets to focus on improving and differentiating the customer experience. Consumers are demanding more convenience from their banks, who are responding by expanding channel choices and offering differentiated services that attract these fickle clients. For existing clients, banks are investing in technologies to cross-sell, deepen relationships and reduce customer attrition as part of a larger customer journey initiative. I thought the insights provided by Penny Crosman in her December 2013 article, “Top 8 Ways Banks Will Spend Their 2014 IT Budgets” did a very nice job of highlighting how IT departments will invest to support these initiatives. I wanted to comment on a few of her points to add color with what I’m seeing. Read More »

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The Digital Renaissance Is Here. Is Your Company’s Culture Ready?

Sooner or later we all feel like throwing up our hands and cursing the complexity of modern life. But while technology may seem the chief culprit in making things unmanageable, it is also the ultimate solution to complexity.

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, it is particularly important for business leaders to understand the power of technology to simplify our lives and support JBradleySAPinformed decision making. And this was a core theme at Sapphire Now 2014, an event in Orlando, Fla., that I was privileged to attend last week.

By using network technology to integrate people, process, data, and things, IoE counters complexity in unprecedented ways. In a city, this can involve something as simple as cutting the time it takes to find a (connected) parking space. Or IoE technologies can scale up to reroute traffic lights; for example, to head-off highway backups before, during, and after a large event.

In a brick-and-mortar retail setting (a key area of discussion at Sapphire Now), IoE can alleviate the complexity of managing customers, staffing, and products. With data from multiple sources comes heightened, real-time awareness, empowering managers to react faster than ever. For example, they can then stock shelves and reorganize staff in response to constantly changing levels of demand. With predictive analytics they can even respond before a customer rush begins.

The idea of hyper-aware, real-time decision-making resonated during a Sapphire Now panel discussion titled Thrive in the Digital Networks of the New Economy. I was honored to share the panel with such luminaries as Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT; Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute; and Jai Shekhawat, Deepak Krishnamurthy, and Vivek Bapat of SAP. And there was much discussion on the impact of bad decisions on failed organizations. Which is why we all take such an interest in technology that enables good ones.

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Delivering More Personalized Customer Service

At Cisco Live, Hans Hwang, VP of Cisco Advanced Services spoke with Todd Walthall, Vice President, Digital Servicing Integration from American Express about how they are taking their customer service to the next level. By partnering with Cisco, American Express is piloting video chat capabilities in their American Express iPad application. With a push of a video icon button on an iPad, a video window appears, and a customer connects directly to a customer service representative to receive concierge service.

AmEx at Cisco Live 3c

Seeing this demo reminded me of a recent session I had the opportunity to attend where Rob Honts from Accenture presented on customer retention and loyalty, which is part of their annual Global Consumer Pulse Research survey. One of the key findings that Rob highlighted from the survey is that the number one reason customers stay with and switch their service provider is due to customer service. Not convenience. Not product.  Dare, I say it? Not brand. But customer service. Read More »

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