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Always-on customer engagement: Better perspectives lead to better insights 

Have you ever thought about what makes a leader different from a manager? Is it skills and experience? Expertise? Natural talent? Think about it this way. Loggers in a forest are working away at their task of felling trees and trying to find the best way forward to clear out their allotted space effectively and...Read more

Empowering women in financial services: Real leaders share real experiences 

Business operations have transformed tremendously over the course of 2020. Leaders across all industries, including financial services, have evolved how they communicate, collaborate, problem solve, and lead teams in a remote and hybrid work culture. And today, many of those leaders shepherding financial services companies through challenging times of change are women. A study by Oliver Wyman found that women now make up 20% of executive committees and 23% of boards at major financial institutions1.  Watch the Empowering...Read more

How Microsoft helps insurers thrive during challenging times 

In the lead-up to 2020, insurers were showing great staying power as they rode out an unsettled economy. But with the onset of COVID-19, that turbulence has only gotten more intense. Claims are becoming more frequent and more severe as catastrophic events happen at an increasing rate. Regulatory requirements are changing, and it’s become more...Read more

Inside leading energy firms’ plans for the future 

Energy markets are not exempt from the impact of digital change in the global economy. Recently, I attended a panel discussion hosted by Risk.net and Beacon Platform that explored what drives energy firms like Shell, NRG, and BP as they plan for the future, and how technology companies like Microsoft and Machina Automation support their...Read more

Driving the evolution: thoughts on Sibos 2020 

What a great week it has been at Sibos 2020. It was exciting to hear from leaders how they are adapting to a new environment, as they deliver digital value and innovate responsibly. The theme of “evolution” that Sibos landed on for this year’s event resonated with me on many levels, given the dramatic changes...Read more

Advocating for fairness and transparency in financial services AI 

Financial services institutions are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate and augment their decisions. But when it comes to which AI algorithms to use, fairness and transparency must factor into the equation. Black box AI: a cautionary tale Some of the algorithms under heavy consideration today are called “black box” algorithms. While black box...Read more

The ESG data conundrum and the SDG funding gap: what’s the path forward? 

The financial services industry worldwide recognizes sustainability as both risk and opportunity. With a real global need, growing regulatory pressures, a clear moral mission, and unstaunched innovation, sustainability is proven to be a massive growth play. The green bonds market is on a roar and banks are raising their sustainable finance objectives, while investors hunger for green assets over brown.   Yet we’re...Read more

Rethinking anti-money laundering 

The traditional methods banks use to address Anti-Money Laundering (AML) have been failing for some time. Financial crimes and fraud, like Ponzi schemes, are slipping through the cracks because criminals, with enough time and patience, can seemingly find their way around any security measure. One of the central ways that regulators and institutions are cracking...Read more

To optimize or not to optimize, that is the question 

Recently, I had a conversation around optimization for a banking customer — specifically, about whether they could optimize a particular activity. It sparked an interesting debate: What is optimization, and where can it be applied? This post offers some ideas about where and when to apply optimization. This discussion cuts across industries and is a valuable...Read more

Understanding cloud transformation and resiliency: a conversation with EY 

Resiliency is a significant challenge for finance organizations, and during the current COVID-19 pandemic, financial service providers need the right mix of security, compliance and agility to stay flexible.  A previous article from Lisa Choi and Luke Thomas outlines the importance of the cloud in building elastic infrastructures. To follow up on that topic, I recently spoke with Michelle Unger, EY Global Technology Officer, who outlined her organization’s experience enacting the cloud transformation at...Read more

Always-on Customer Engagement: Call centers and agents play a critical role 

Companies are putting great emphasis on digital or self-service contact channels. The economics of self-service are undoubtedly compelling: Whereas live support channels cost dollars, self-service channels, by contrast, cost pennies per interaction. Also, self-service channels are improving quickly. With the introduction of intelligent chat bots and other AI-inspired innovations, these channels can handle many more types of transactions than was possible even a few years ago.   However,...Read more