The Cisco Financial Services team welcomes imimobile’s Aly Abji – Strategic Client Director for Financial Services as our guest blogger this week.  Earlier this year Cisco completed its acquisition of imimobile, adding an enterprise-grade, digital-first client interaction management platform to Cisco’s industry-leading collaboration and contact center solution portfolio.

As Aly explains, it’s an exciting proposition for Cisco Financial Services customers – as digital engagement grows in sophistication so does the need for an omni-channel delivery capability that spans multiple lines of business without increasing complexity exponentially.  Cisco’s guiding principle is to deliver architecturally integrated platforms that enable institutions to build resilient digital businesses – and with the inclusion of imimobile we’re as excited as our customers to build next generation client interaction systems with them.

At imimobile, we have a saying – every interaction matters – something we live and work by for each of our clients every single day. It’s central to what we do, but more so, how and why we do it.

Before 2020, traditional financial enterprises were already focusing on digital transformation initiatives—both as an effort to improve customer experiences and a need to adapt to survive. Meeting customers where they are has been a common phrase and goal that customers share with us. Technology-fueled disruptors continue to threaten traditional financial businesses with the rise of fintech, challenger banks, and digital-only financial services. As a result, financial brands realize the need to create a unified customer experience across all customer touch-points, whether digital or physical, and be available to their customers any time of day, rather than only during weekday business hours.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still an ongoing crisis in 2021, the physical branch has suffered significantly. Research from Hubtype and The Financial Brand in December 2020 highlighted the 15-40% decline in branch traffic, while the increase in mobile banking activity rose from 20% to 80%. Meanwhile, contact centers have been crushed, seeing an increase in volume by as much as 50%. As phone-based contact center communications are reducing from 64% in 2017 to a projected 15% in 2023, Investments in self-service capabilities over digital channels are projected to increase significantly. What’s filling in the gap? Self-service opportunities include:

  • Rich mobile messaging channels
  • Real-time SMS communications
  • Video
  • Social channels

Source: https://thefinancialbrand.com/105340/contact-centers-call-human-digital-banking-strategy-trend-chatbot-live-chat-growth

At imimobile, we’re focused on enabling the world’s top financial brands to compete with disruptors and fintech’s. As the financial services industry is undergoing the most remarkable transformation it has ever seen, those that act and adapt now will have a greater chance of surviving into the next decade.

Now that imimobile is a part of Cisco, the ability to accelerate digital transformation for countless enterprises is now being realized. Cisco is a household name, and Cisco products and services are used by many significant enterprises today, especially in North America. As a result, the acquisition of imimobile enables both Cisco and imimobile to deliver the future of Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS). We are at a pivotal inflection point that will transform the Contact Center for financial brands struggling to meet and serve customers in a timely and efficient way. Our technology and expertise enable financial brands to make their customer experience a competitive advantage while building on years of technology and processes investments.

Digitizing your financial service can seem like a huge mountain to climb. There are several constraints that organizations working on this are running into, including:

  • Channel expertise and channel enablement
  • Multi-channel orchestration with individual channel APIs
  • Siloed systems and business departments or units that break customer journeys
  • Limited time or technical resources to deliver on experiences clients want now
  • Expensive cost of software, carrier channels like SMS messaging and Voice
  • Operational bottlenecks that slow down the ability to change (agile methodologies are now all the rage)

Implementing the digital hub you need without the risk and expense of “rip and replace” strategies:

A modular and tech-stack agnostic approach eliminates “rip and replace” scenarios and promotes a “plays nice with others” strategy while delivering digital customer experiences across any channel. By configuring across the existing tech stack and being non-disruptive to existing processes, financial organizations are pleased to learn that we can enhance existing tools and processes on a budget while accelerating the time-to-value of digital CX investments. This approach is the opposite of disruptive. We provide a combination of people + technology that eliminates extensive development and technical work and allows you to automate, integrate, and orchestrate in the cloud by both visualizing your existing tools and processes and mapping your customer’s journey.

You already have a CRM, a Marketing Automation platform, or Call Center software. Utilize those tools to their greatest potential and add digital enhancements by leveraging a centralized digital hub that breaks down walls and puts your customer’s needs first. Now your financial brand can deliver the best customer experience that drives value in every client interaction. Improve customer experiences and attract new customers. Grow business with existing clients, and realize operational efficiencies that provide exponential multiples on your investments. Future-proof your CX strategy. Here’s how:

  1. Orchestration is a vital part of what we do. With our imiconnect platform, we provide the underlying communications hub that many enterprises miss to orchestrate multi-step, multi-channel customer journeys across departments and technology tools or integrations.
  2. Automation is one of the essential parts of any digital strategy. That’s why imimobile spent years perfecting our Natural Language Chatbots with pre-built scenarios so you can get up and running quickly with common use-cases like scheduling appointments, or delaying payment, for example.
  3. Monitoring every step of a complex technology stack enables real-time debugging of systems and quick low-code optimization of customer interactions.
  4. Delivery is key across the spectrum, of course, because if you do everything right and your messages don’t get there or are slow, you’ll run into many challenges providing the digital experience you seek. Our partnerships extend beyond Mobile Operators. We sit on the GSMA RCS specification group which is responsible for the RCS roadmap. Additionally, we have partnerships with Apple, Google and other OTT providers to provide access to new rich channels like Apple Business Chat (aka iMessage for business) and Google Business Messages.

imimobile’s technical and industry leadership delivers the option to configure across your tech stack and deliver innovative, future-proofed customer experiences that compete head-to-head with digital natives while capitalizing on your strong client relationships. Now that imimobile is a Cisco company, we are the bridge to possible.


Al Slamecka

Global Financial Services BDM

Cisco Industry Solutions Group