Cisco shares tips for CIOs and strategies for BFSI segment

Enterprise networking vendor Cisco has shared its strategies and tips for CIOs in BFSI segment in India.

As the Indian BFSI industry becomes more complex and competitive due to the addition of new applications and expansion of existing products, there is a pressing need to expand sales and service offerings, multiple delivery points and ensure a faster turnaround time.

Banks also need to cater to the increasingly diversifying needs of customers while keeping a close watch over compliance and security issues. The challenge is to adopt innovative and cost effective IT solutions while meeting stringent guidelines set up by the RBI.

Gartner indicates that Indian banking and securities companies’ IT spend will grow 9.8 percent to INR 462 billion in 2014 as compared with INR 421 billion in 2013. The Indian BFSI vertical is keen on adopting trends and technology solutions based on cloud (private, public and hybrid), virtualization, unified computing for data centre, video-based collaboration and compute.

Cisco believes that financial inclusion will become the top priority for most banking institutions in the country. Technology remains the most important and significant enabler to this transformation. We expect significant innovations to come in next few years in the areas of Customer Analytics, Knowledge Management, Customer Experience, Payments Solutions and financial Inclusion. While this task seems daunting, banks that get it ‘right’ will emerge winners.

Cisco customers

Most private and public sector banks, financial institutions including (bourses) Stock exchanges and Insurance companies are Cisco customers.

Cisco customers include: HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, United India Insurance Corporation, New India Assurance, National Insurance Corporation, Life Insurance Corporation, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, IDBI Bank, ICICI, IDRBT, Vysya Bank and Yes Bank.

Treasury and cash management services are traditionally very profitable for banks but at the same time are complex in nature. “We have seen many scenarios where banks have a limited number of specialists in this role to cover a very extensive branch footprint,” said Arindam Mukherjee, manager for Regional Sales (BFSI), Cisco India and SAARC.

Key demands of BFSI

The Indian BFSI segment is operating in a challenging world of rapid technological change, technology-savvy customers, and increasing expectations. In an industry with limited opportunities to differentiate products, excellent customer service is the best competitive tool. Consequentially, they are on the lookout for solutions and technologies that help them achieve profitable and sustainable growth, or allow them to capture the attention of new customers, strengthen bonds with existing customers, and balance their focus on increasing revenues while reducing operational expenses and mitigating risks. Banks also need to cater to the increasingly diversifying needs of customers while keeping a close watch over compliance and security issues.  The challenge is to adopt innovative and cost effective IT solutions while meeting stringent guidelines set up by the RBI.  They also need to deliver consistent and compelling customer experience across multiple channels.

Tips to BFSI CIOs

As the BFSI industry becomes more complex and competitive due to the addition of new applications and expansion of existing products, there is a pressing need to expand sales and service offerings, multiple delivery points and ensure a faster turnaround time.  Banks also need to cater to the increasingly diversifying needs of customers while keeping a close watch over compliance and security issues.  The challenge is to adopt innovative and cost effective IT solutions while meeting stringent guidelines set up by the RBI.  They also need to deliver consistent and compelling customer experience across multiple channels.

Arindam Mukherjee- Cisco

“Given the above challenges, we at Cisco feel that banks need to focus their investments on five infrastructure strategies that will help them achieve their goals and address all challenges. These include mobility for productivity, unified communications for collaboration, Virtualization of datacenter resources for efficiency, business video for agility and contact center for consistent experience,” Cisco’s Mukherjee added.

YES Bank CIO on Cisco

YES Bank wanted to implement a solution that helped them collaborate better and serve their customers efficiently and quickly as expanding its customer base was a key objective for the bank. The existing infrastructure at YES Bank was not enough to support this rapid growth so the bank conducted a thorough examination of collaboration, mobility and video based solutions.

The bank decided to deploy Cisco’s Unified Communications solution to enable them to utilize a single system spread across locations with local survivability for any kind of link/ network failure. The solution enabled the bank to cut down on the branch roll out time considerably and its staff could now collaborates more easily using audio, video and desktop sharing tools as well as the ability to work with clients on the move via video soft clients installed on their tablets and smartphones.

Amit Sethi, senior president & CIO, YES Bank said: “We were the first bank in India to adopt a total IT outsourcing model and that has kept us lean and agile for growth. Cisco’s UC solution has helped us increase our efficiency many times over and better our customer service capabilities.”
Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking Smart solution

Cisco offers the Remote Expert for Retail Banking Smart solution for retail banking. This solution enables customers to connect with banking experts and advisors in real time, using whatever channel they choose and wherever the experts are located in the enterprise. It is based on Cisco Unified Communications infrastructure that many banks already have in place.

With the capabilities of a Remote Expert, the cash management experts are able to interact with small business customers and open up additional revenue opportunities, driving wallet share. It can also be used to train branch-based resources to identify treasury and cash management opportunities and start the sales process. Cisco powered mission critical data center networks are the base for nine out of ten financial transactions.

Cisco Physical Security Solution for Retail Banking

Cisco also offers the Physical Security Solution for Retail Banking – a comprehensive security solution that boosts protection of assets and customers, lowers operational costs, and improves return on investment (ROI) in physical security systems. The Physical Security solution for Retail banking encompasses a comprehensive suite of IP video cameras and intelligent video surveillance, access control, and incident response solutions. It has six major components including hardware, applications, and services.

Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras

Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras are a broad portfolio of high-definition, standard-definition, and dome IP cameras. The solution uses an already existing IP Network that banks already have in place as a flexible platform to build more collaborative and integrated physical security systems, while preserving existing investments in analog-based technology. This makes it easier for security personnel to gain rapid access to relevant information across all security systems and the ability to make faster, better decisions.

Rajani Baburajan
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