This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.
Two factors are driving an operational revolution in the global financial services market, claims David Rimmer, director of Innovation for Financial Services at HPE Enterprise Services (HPE ES).
“First, banking profit levels haven’t returned to 2008 levels so employee productivity is now a fundamental issue for all banks and they’re looking at increasing the tools and capabilities for their staff to up-sell and cross-sell,” he says. “Another big trend is fintech. This is bringing a completely different approach to financial services – not just via new products, but also in consumer-style approaches to both the customers and employees.”
Certainly, modernisation is something financial services institutions can no longer ignore, agrees Chris Moyer, vice president of Mobility and Workplace and CTO at HPE ES.
“Banks are trying to be accurate and modern enterprises are all about giving employees the best solutions so they can get the right information at the right time on the right device so they can make the right decisions,” he says. “In the past, a laptop or desktop worked with a one- or two-size-fits-all approach, but now we’re seeing a much different approach where we actually tune the experience for various kinds of users in financial services.”
Traders, for example, can be equipped with high-powered, low-latency workstation-based solutions in the office, whereas consumer-facing employees can be given access to information on a mobile device.
“Whether it be a tablet or smartphone, they need something that is easy to take with them so they can interact directly with customers,” Moyer explains. “As an employee, I want to be as armed and dangerous as I can be with information so that when customers come in, I know enough about them to serve them well. This leads to up-selling and profitability.”
HPE ES is developing solutions to empower financial services employees – including some on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. For example, HPE ES created a tablet-based solution for customer-facing associates at a Germany-based financial management and pension advisory company.
“Sales agents can sit down with customers to model their financial goals and help them understand how much they need to invest over time,” says Rimmer. “It’s dynamic and interactive, which really increases the level of customer engagement and trust.”
Moyer expects financial services institutions to prioritise giving employees these consumer-like experiences (backed by enterprise-grade security) and instant collaboration capabilities soon. “We’re starting to see smarter workplace environments with smarter employees in the sense that they have more information so they can be more effective at their jobs and have some fun. It’s now very easy to do, so a lot of banks and financial services companies are doing it.”