Cisco attended the Next Generation Insurance Summit (March 11-13) in Newport Beach, CA and the Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium (March 13-15) in Carlsbad, CA. Some of the top minds in the financial services industry were in attendance and it was great to see these leaders deliver ideas and solutions for how to further the customer experience for both industries as well as the agent experience in insurance. Both conferences focused on reducing the amount of time it takes to adopt new technology and innovative ideas for competitive advantage, a current problem many financial institutions are going through.

At the Next Generation Insurance Summit, Cisco’s Michael Cantwell, Financial Services Solutions Architect, delivered a keynote on building a customer centric distribution network and how the expectations of today’s insurance customer has of their insurance institution/agent. He stated that from the end customer’s point of view everything is getting more integrated and simplified, but that insurers have yet to create that agent or customer omnichannel capability that allows for communication channel choice as well as fluid switching during an interaction to answer questions or assist in self-directed channels. Michael also touched on how enabling insurers with new tools and technologies, including sales force automation and mobile devices, will be key to fulfilling overarching business goals of improving sales interactions through traditional channels and, therefore, driving revenue.

Attendees showed immediate interest when Michael spoke about the best methods for line of business executives to work with their IT executives and vice versa. The success of customer retention rates among insurers who have incorporated Cisco solutions to improve customer-centricity was also of special interest to attendees.

At the Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium, Jason Bettinger, Cisco’s Americas, Retail Banking Lead, delivered an Industry Innovation Luncheon Keynote, where he discussed the evolution of multichannel to omnichannel banking. Jason’s presentation highlighted trends impacting the retail banking industry, technology initiatives, and the role Cisco’s Business Transformation Group plays in enabling the new omnichannel delivery model.

Jason spoke about how banking customers today are increasingly interested in virtual banking and outlined the top benefits and concerns expressed by customers who responded to Cisco’s omnichannel study. Attendees were interested in learning about solutions that are already operational at a number of Cisco’s banking customers and received Jason’s presentation with a high-level of interaction and interest, especially in the ways the branch, online, mobile, and social channels can be linked to support one another.

Jim Henschel, Senior Advisor, Financial Services, Cisco, and Marvin Cortez, Senior Solutions Advisor, Financial Services, Cisco, also took part in an industry executive roundtable discussion.  Executives highlighted a number of areas of focus for their institutions and provided extraordinary insight into priorities for the years ahead.

The conferences were a great success as we were able to provide some valuable insight to leaders in financial services as well as learn from other industry leaders.


Kathryn Truesdale

Marketing Manager

Americas Lead, Financial Services Industry