For all the talk of artificial intelligence in the IT industry, people are as critical to building a successful business as ever. But when the technology landscape is changing so quickly and demand is so intense, the old ways of developing teams no longer suffice. BBVA and Cisco are taking a new path together.

Continuous learning is everyone’s responsibility

Forward-thinking organizations are prioritizing how they nurture engineering talent and adapting their practices to the new skills environment. BBVA is a great example.

“The great challenge we face in the area of training is that the cycles of professional obsolescence are increasingly shorter and we all will have an ever greater need for continuous training during our professional careers. The business models, the technologies and the parameters with which we operate today will probably change a great deal in two or three years. So, either we are capable, each and every one of us, of recycling ourselves continually, or this risk of professional obsolescence will be very serious.”

Ricardo Forcano, Head of Talent and Culture, BBVA

Across the BBVA group, IT teams have for some years engaged in hackathons, talent programs and innovation competitions. Engineers benefit from access to many different styles of learning and development activities, including video courses, mentoring, in-person training and knowledge-sharing communities such as the Ninja Academy and Tech University.

A new approach to bridging the talent gap

The bank is always keen to find new ways to strengthen the skills and knowledge of its teams, and as the next step in its strategic partnership with Cisco, BBVA has embarked on a pioneering new talent exchange.

The principle is simple — a select group of engineers from BBVA Next Technologies come to live and work at the Cisco CX Academy in Krakow, Poland, learning shoulder-to-shoulder with an intake of Cisco’s own early-in-career engineers. This phase of the exchange began in September 2018. Once it completes, it’ll be Cisco’s turn to send engineers to see BBVA engineering from the inside.

With the BBVA engineers settled in Krakow, we interviewed them to find out how they were getting on.


Not just training — a new social network

As the video above makes clear, the talent exchange is not just a training program. The engineers of course benefit from being immersed in world-leading technical and business training, but also build strong relationships that will endure throughout their careers.

Furthermore, BBVA gets an influx of knowledge into the latest Cisco technologies, while Cisco benefits from unique first-hand insight into the realities of IT in the banking and financial services sector.

Trust is key to any talent exchange

Such a simple exchange of talent between partners sounds like it should be easy to do, but few organizations have the mutual trust and respect to make it happen in practice. It’s testament to the strength of the relationship between Cisco and BBVA that the talent exchange is off to a flying start. Already, the teams are planning how to take the program to the next level.

Learn more

Learn more about the kind of relationships we build with our customers through our CX services here.

Are you the talent of the future? See what it’s like to be part of the CX Academy here.


Ant Newman

Services Content Marketing Lead

Services Marketing EMEAR