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Interaction Technology: Neutralizing the Barriers of Time, Location, and Staffing Levels

In my last blog, I continued the discussion about the 24-hour bank and how banks must transition from the physical business model to the digital business model. As part of my series on the 24-hour bank, this post builds on the question of how banks could begin to develop the capabilities, enabled by technology, to address the operational and logistical challenges inherent in operating in a customer-driven 24-hour world.

First are the factors that shape our existing banking distribution model: the traditional route to market and how clients connect and interact with their bank. Starting with branches, the traditional distribution model has evolved with the development of technologies such as the telephone, ATM’s, and the Internet. While these technologies provided increased options for clients to interact and transact, they were still affected by constraints of the existing operating model– the availability of bank staff with the requisite skills.

How so? Contact centers, telephone, and online banking required a shift in staffing models to enable customers to interact and transact outside of the normal work day. ATM’s began to allow customer self-service for certain basic transactions at any time of day. Collectively, these technologies extended operating hours for clients, but services were limited due the fact that the expertise required for more complex services were still unavailable outside the traditional workday. Read More »

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Open 24 Hours: Bringing the Full Capabilities of the Branch to Digital Channels

In my previous blog I introduced the series with the idea that financial services firms are now being expected to operate and be “Open 24 Hours.” Underlying this is the transition from the physical business model to the digital business model. This principle can be built upon by exploring the factors that are driving this change and some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

The explosion of digital devices, mobile apps, Wi-Fi everywhere, cloud computing and broadband internet together, provides consumers with increasing ways to explore and shop online. With increased use, shopping and buying online is quickly becoming the normal approach, especially with younger consumers. In fact, a recent study found that 64 percent of generation Y pays half or more of their bills electronically.

Increasingly, consumers start their purchasing journey in the digital space – primarily on the internet. This initial step is usually preceded by a referral from a friend, colleague or family member based on a superior experience. Regardless, the trend for consumers especially in the retail industry is to shop online and purchase offline.

How is this manifesting for retail banks? Just look at the forecasts of usage patterns and changing transaction mix across banking channels. Recent industry surveys all confirm that the volume and mix of transactions is forecasted to change over the next five years. Specifically, the internet, through mobile channels, is increasing in usage. The branch channel is expected to flatten and in developed markets, expected to decrease. In addition, the nature and type of transactions traditionally conducted in the branch is shifting to digital channels, as more technology-enabled solutions are deployed. Read More »

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Systematic Transformation in Higher Education: The Intersection with Technology in a Journey Toward the Future (Navigating Culture)

March 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm PST

AM73036Part 3 of A Six-Part Series: Transforming Higher Education in the US

This six-part series will focus on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States. The Need for Change and  Shared Challenges were the focus of the previous chapters in this series.

From Cisco’s experience with higher education institutions in the U.S., those that are implementing change well are laser-focused on three critical areas: the ability to address questions of culture, to modernize teaching and learning, and to scale and propagate change across multiple, often divided, siloes within their institutions.  Also, these institutions are using technology to manage each area more effectively.

Technology plays a critical role within each of these sectors, and if used wisely and artfully, can help to accelerate innovation and change. The rate and speed at which institutions need to change will never happen without technologies such as a solid core infrastructure, wired and wireless networks that enable ubiquitous connectivity, collaboration tools that provide seamless and robust communications, and new social collaboration platforms that support and extend the interaction of multiple communities, and ultimately, create a federated higher education society.

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Ushering in the New Era of Healthcare

I’m not a doctor…but I am a patient.

I’m also a keen observer of the world around me—especially when it involves my health.

For many healthcare professionals, I believe the recent challenges surrounding the industry have taken some of the enjoyment out of their work. Issues such as new and changing regulations, increased lawsuits, escalating costs, and barely manageable patient loads, among others, have all taken their toll on the doctors, nurses, and administrators who, I believe, entered the healthcare field to have a fulfilling, lifelong career serving people and helping them live better lives.

This situation presents a real issue for literally everyone fortunate enough to have access to modern healthcare. Population growth and aging populations in many countries around the world mean we need more healthcare professionals, not fewer. Happier, more productive doctors and nurses mean better care for their patients. And, people who dedicate years of their lives to practice medicine should have a satisfying work experience.

In the United States, demand for physicians will outpace supply by 130,000 by 2025 (Source: AAMC Center for Workforce Studies, 2011)

In the United States, demand for physicians will outpace supply by 130,000 by 2025 (Source: AAMC Center for Workforce Studies, 2011)

For healthcare professionals (and the rest of us), I have great news—we are at the cusp of a renaissance in healthcare. Technology—including the Internet of Everything (IoE), robotics, 3-D printing, wearable technology, cloud, mobility, and many others—promises to usher in this new era in healthcare. In short, the best is yet to come.

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To make my point, here are a couple of examples that I believe will transform healthcare over the next 10 years. (For those of you attending the HIMSS13 conference March 3-7, I will be presenting several more examples in my keynote speech.) Read More »

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Shared Challenges - Part Two of Six on Transforming Higher Education

February 25, 2013 at 9:14 am PST

AM71346This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States.  This part focuses on the fact that universities are more similar than they are different.  Universities in the U.S. share common challenges: inadequate access, dated teaching methodologies, and perceived irrelevance of our current programs.

First, we have a problem of access: We simply do not have enough capacity to meet demand. In the U.S., there were 3.2 million graduating seniors in the class of 2012, 73 percent of whom believed they needed still more education to obtain higher-paying jobs. Since 2007 the number of international students has also increased by more than 20 percent. And, competition is increasingly stiff for places in top academic universities: Harvard accepted only 5.9 percent of applicants, and Yale accepted 6.8 percent. With only 4,000 higher education institutions in the U.S., it’s easy to see that we lack the capacity to continue delivering against the increase in demand.  (U.S. Department of Education and the New York Times)

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