On December 19, 2017, CROC experts took part in the fourth event of the Winning Digital Strategies series held by the Vedomosti business daily in partnership with the National IT Leader Prize. Top managers of large banks met at the round table to share cross-industry experience and ideas regarding retail banking digitalization.
Digitalization is changing people’s habits by increasing consumer service requirements, thus fueling a shift towards a customer-centric development strategy among banks, with digital technologies being the main driving force of this development. At the event, CROC, MTS Bank, Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development, DeltaCredit Bank, Home Credit Bank, Citibank, B&N Bank, and URALSIB Bank shared their business cases and discussed how digitalization opens new customer interaction channels and transforms the approach towards customer service.
During his presentation, Alexey Smirnov, Director for Integration Solutions, CROC, said that legacy banking IT systems hamper omnichannel customer service, with 'omnichannel' often being misinterpreted as 'multichannel'. Alexey believes that banks today apply a multichannel model for digital user interaction, when not every communication channel is involved in offering a service. For example, a bank makes a personalized offer by phone or via a mobile app, but when a customer comes to the bank’s office, its employees know nothing about the offer made. Meanwhile, an omnichannel approach provides for the integration of all online and offline methods of communication for consistent and seamless service provision.
The expert also noted that banks do not need to completely rebuild their IT infrastructures to adopt a new digital banking model. Instead, they can opt for integration platforms and microservice architecture to adjust and then further develop their existing infrastructures. Where it is impossible to improve legacy systems, a bank can use robots to emulate the functions of specialists in existing systems according to preprogrammed standard scripts.
According to the speaker, such an approach will help banks improve flexibility and verify their hypotheses by themselves, independent from suppliers and counterparties that provide data from external sources. Alexey highlighted the Data Lake solution, which accumulates all data coming from both internal and external sources in a unified scalable infrastructure, features flow processing of hypotheses, and is a big help for data scientists, with CROC both using this solution itself and helping customers with relevant implementations. CROC's mathematical modeling experts detect data patterns and dependencies to provide businesses with verified hypotheses that will help them develop individual offers.
Furthermore, Alexey told attendees about open-cycle processing of personalized offers, another crucial problem banks face today. For example, a marketing specialist offers a one-click-away service, which is unavailable via the bank's IVR, and therefore inaccessible for customers. Due to poor integration, information about customers and offers made to them cannot often reach the so-called 'last mile', i.e. where the service is actually provided. Alexey believes this problem can be solved by mandatory data transmission from Data Lake to remote channels, offices, and a call center.
"As noted earlier, obsolete IT infrastructure hampers banking digitalization. Having realized that our customers need flexible IT infrastructures, we launched a new 'Digital Generator' service provided by our agile team of experts, from data scientists to IT architects and marketing specialists. This team, jointly with a customer, develops new digital services and determines the infrastructure changes required for implementation," said Alexey Smirnov, Director for Integration Solutions, CROC.
Mikhail Bashlykov, Business Development Director, CROC, noted that the development of digital service and remote access channels in the banking sector calls for greater focus on security and that new legislation regarding biometric identification of citizens will push the remote banking market forward.
Mikhail also told attendees about the benefits of speech analysis technology being actively used by CROC's customers in contact centers. Moreover, CROC's video surveillance service, based on easy-to-use and low-cost cameras, allows customers to identify visitors and ensure more personalized communication, with banks and retailers already using this service.
CROC has been working in the IT market since 1992 and is today one of the top 10 IT companies (RIA Rating, Kommersant Dengi, Expert Rating Agency, 2015-2016) and the top three consulting businesses (Kommersant Dengi, Expert Rating Agency, 2016) in Russia.
CROC is the number one IT service provider in Russia (PAC, 2015), a leader in IT outsourcing (TAdviser, 2015), BI (CNews, 2016), ERP (TAdviser, 2016), EDMS, ECM and EDI (CNews, TAdviser, 2016), telecommunications (Expert Rating Agency, 2016) and IaaS (CNews, 2016), and is also one of the largest providers of integrated data center, building and facility infrastructures (CNews, 2016).
CROC regularly ranks among the top three Russian IT service providers to the finance (TAdviser, 2016), healthcare and transportation (CNews, 2016), energy and manufacturing (Manufacturing Management portal, 2016) sectors.
In addition, CROC offers services based on its own commercial data centers and its public cloud, and also creates private and hybrid clouds based on either own or client data centers. Indeed, CROC is the only Russian systems integrator with a data center to have received full Tier III certification from the Uptime Institute.
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