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What’s on the Minds of Financial Services CIOs?

Earlier this week, I participated in the Financial Services CIO Summit, which brought together CIOs and other senior technology business leaders from global as well as regional financial services institutions to share insights on the industry’s evolution. The dialogue was rich, compelling, and creative. The leaders grasp the challenges before them and see solution pathways that will help their banks capture new opportunities. So what was on their minds?

Four main forces are driving change in the banking industry: 1) rapid technology development that is providing a new business reality; 2) increasing customer demands that require banks to rethink how they have historically approached customers; 3) heightened competition, not just among financial institutions, but from companies outside their industry; and 4) burgeoning regulation that will require banks to track and store data disseminated to customers, including text messages, emails, and other interactive forms of digital information.

Overwhelmingly, the CIOs agreed that their challenges are not about technology per se; they have a plethora of technology choices. Instead, the main challenge is how to apply technology to maximize business benefits. The role of the CIO is no longer to serve primarily as a transactional technology guru. Management now expects CIOs to identify business problems and apply the right technologies to drive new business and serve customers better—while at the same time helping the bank become more productive and cost efficient.

One of CIOs’ biggest challenges is serving new customer segments with tailored approaches. Banks want to appeal to the younger generation of customers in a more differentiated and adaptive way. Gen Y consumers expect banks to use the web, social media, interactive games, and ubiquitous mobility in their customer interactions. CIO Summit attendees agreed that they need to create greater brand presence in social media circles to stimulate conversations with this key customer segment regarding home ownership, retirement savings, and other personal finance issues.

For high-net-worth clients, CIO Summit attendees pondered two “virtual expert” scenarios based on two-way high-definition video: (1) utilizing virtual advisers in wealth management branches to broaden availability of subject-matter expertise; and (2) home-based solutions that enable clients to reach their financial advisers when it is most convenient.

The CIO Summit offered a glimpse at several great opportunities. To capture them, I think CIOs should consider three steps: 1) conduct research and analysis to identify and prioritize strategic options; 2) define the appropriate business architecture (business strategy, people, processes, and organizational structure); and 3) create the technology architecture that enables successful implementation.

Financial services CIOs face some interesting battles. However, they now have the opportunity to become even more business-critical to their organizations than ever before.

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Please Let Us Know: How Do YOU Use Google+ and Facebook?

There are many blogs and opinions floating around regarding the Google+ versus Facebook debate and by no means do I want to offer my own analysis here. Other people – much smarter than me – said it all. I’m sure you’ve also seen the infographics showing the explosion in Google+ account registrations. But, are people really using this site or did they just open an account?  

For this post, I want to do something different. I would love to hear from you…ABOUT YOU. A few days ago, I tweeted a question and asked some of my fellow practitioners about  Read More »

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Use WebEx to Raise Money for Your Cause: Social Giving [Infographic]

Source: Social Giving Infographic

Frank Barry at NETWITSTHINKTANK has published a compelling infographic that visually describes the power of social media to enhance charitable giving.

He describes this as the power of “friends asking friends.” A call out in the graphic notes, “Participants who use online fundraising tools raise six times more money than those who don’t.”

See the social giving infographic.

I know this has worked with me – I feel good when I click on a friend’s Facebook post about a walk they are doing or a cause they support. For just $5 or $10, I can support them and their cause and it’s a win-win-win.

According to the article,

Overall, those who use social media tools at all increased their fundraising by 40% compared to peers. However, fewer than half of fundraisers tap into their social networks or use social media tools when fundraising.

Those are persuasive numbers. The infographic shows a host of tools folks are using to raise money and it includes hosting events and other online tools. That’s where WebEx can help. It is just another tool to add to your arsenal for social fundraising. Read More »

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Partner Update Uncovers the Top Cisco News and Gets a Tattoo

Happy summer, everyone! The sun’s shining, it’s a new fiscal year, and, Andrew’s back from his honeymoon in Hawaii. Now we’re gearing back up to bring you all the partner news and info you may have missed over the last couple of weeks.

In this episode of Partner Update, we cover amazing incentives and profitability programs for partners, discuss an upcoming broadcast to help you learn more about how to deliver architecture-based solutions and maximize ROI for your customers, a new way to calculate customers’ Borderless Networks ROI, Amazon Consulting’s recommendations for solution providers, and two new Social Media Spotlight posts to help you learn the ins and outs of video editing and promotion. We also get to check out Andrew’s new Hawaiian-inspired tattoo.

Sit back, tune in, and watch the latest episode of Partner Update for all of your Cisco news (in less than five minutes.)

Keep reading for links and additional details on the news we covered this time and time stamps so you know where to find each item.
Read More »

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The Customer is King

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I am very excited to join the community and look forward to interacting with everyone!

As Chet mentioned, I will be involved in expanding the social media platform for the Cisco industry team.

I am fascinated by the new relationships that exist between businesses and customers as a result of social media. In the old paradigm, traffic was mostly one way: customers were inundated with sales and marketing information but rarely given the opportunity to provide insightful feedback. Not anymore. Via social media, the customer really is king. Customers rightly now expect a relationship that is collaborative, on-demand, automated, and in real-time. A customer can become a renowned expert and evangelist for a company – or embarrass a company by publicly criticizing its customer service.

Smart companies will embrace and promote this new relationship. It’s the best customer focus group on the planet, and it’s free! However, social media isn’t the goal but rather the journey. A smart company will also have a proper social media strategy, not just a social media presence. This is where I hope to make my biggest contribution. The Manufacturing Industry team has embarked on this social media journey to engage with you, our audience.  We need to be leading the conversation, listening properly and reaching the right people.  I hope that you will join me in this exciting process as active members and contributors as I help guide that journey. Thanks again for the warm welcome, and stay tuned!

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