An online forum for thought leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities impacting the changing world of banking.

August 27, 2014

Make Business, Not Engineering


Most Indian IT companies have strategized, developed, branded, sold, implemented and established products & solutions catering to various industries and used by clients all over the world. Given the strength of Indian engineering skills, and good career options in that area, the Indian IT industry's commitment to exploring and building products is not surprising.  While a few products go on to attain maturity and leadership, many others struggle to gain acceptance. The Banking and Financial sector is full of complex IT solutions for core banking, insurance, Asset Liability Management, prevention of money laundering, etc. Such products and solutions must be easily deployable, and have the right features meeting the needs of the target market.

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August 22, 2014

Optimizing Training Costs in Core Banking Transformation

Core Banking transformation enforces change of such magnitude that it requires massive re-training of staff. Almost every user in the bank will be touched by it and therefore large budgets need to be set aside for training. In a budgetary crunch, when banks are looking at cutting costs everywhere, training is almost always a casualty. At the same time no one wants to cut corners in improving employee productivity.

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Is innovation all about managing change?

I did an Internet search on "most innovative companies in the world". Predictably, the search engine that I used, Google was in the list along with several other new-age organizations. There was a clear pattern though - none of the lists featured top-notch business or management consulting organizations at the top. Isn't it surprising that reputed management consulting firms that drive innovation at several client organizations are not considered innovators themselves? They have the ideas and the expertise, so where do they falter?

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July 7, 2014

Prequalification and Prioritization of Opportunities

Software vendors participate in multiple bids across the globe. Though each vendor has a set of presales processes spanning activities in the bidding lifecycle from end to end, they occasionally deviate from them for a variety of reasons ranging from tight deadlines to lack of skills.  However most of the global vendors follow the basic processes, ensuring compliance with eligibility conditions and stipulated timelines. There may be a few cases where the submitted proposals are not of the required standards and are likely to be rejected.

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June 25, 2014

Process Integration and Customer Service Synchronization in the Services Industry

Most services organizations follow different processes spanning activities that run from end to end of the lifecycle of their business operations. Processes, such as those in customer services, are common across industries. 

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June 16, 2014

Banking Sans Banks

The emergence of any new phenomenon often spells the demise of the existing scenario. The internet revolution is credited with ending the reign of several products, services and businesses, such as snail mail and music CDs. Physical marketplaces are fast losing their importance in the era of e commerce. Gaming, libraries, ticket counters, bill payment counters, newspapers & publications, advertising boards etc. have all rapidly moved to the internet domain, leveraging its ability to connect them with a massive borderless audience easily, in next to no time and cost.

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What goes into Winning Bids?

The software companies invest time and effort in bid management process for submission of multiple bids as part of various pursuits. The bids which are submitted include solutions for products, services, application development and maintenance, infrastructure etc. The value of bids submitted is taken as an indication of potential/future business for the vendor. The field force of IT companies sources these opportunities through direct relationship with clients /consultants or engages with local partners in specific markets for procuring the RFP. The global analyst rating and credentials of IT vendor which are known to external world also ensure that some of the opportunities comes by default to the vendor.

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How well is the IT industry aligning with the latest banking trends?

When compared to the last decade, when the IT industry provided software solutions meeting comprehensive banking needs, the trend in the current decade may be seen as a reversal. The core banking solution (CBS) with a centralized platform, along with channels built around the solution, just about met banks' requirements in the last decade. Though there were functionality and technology gaps in the solution, most clients and banks accommodated them as something that would only come into the picture in the future and made do with work around approaches or manual processes. A few banks built the missing functionality through customization or procured a lighter peripheral or specialized solution from the market. However, a CBS with multiple modules and solutions with rich functionality helped banks to improve business in that era.

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Workforce Automation with Mobile Devices

Automation is the key to effective selling, and sales force automation is prevalent in the retail industry. Workforce automation is an extension of sales force automation, where every employee works more efficiently using mobile devices such as tablets.

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Heartbleed : What banks ought to learn

Around the second week of April, most of the security websites were inundated with news related to an interesting term called "Heartbleed ". I was intrigued by the term and went on to research further, thinking it might be just another bug in a colony of cyber threats. To my amazement, I found that Heartbleed was one of the biggest vulnerabilities ever, affecting over two thirds of servers worldwide and impacting billions of people across the globe.

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