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TECHNOLOGY LAGGARDS FACE EXTINCTION UNLESS THEY TRANSFORM THEIR APPROACH TO INNOVATION, CBI-ORACLE REPORT FINDS

If the change in the FTSE 100 has shown anything it is that no company or sector is immune to disruption. Four in ten companies listed on the index ten years ago are no longer there.

Conventional wisdom has it that large companies always have the resources and ‘know-how’ to compete. Yet in an age of disruption, many larger businesses are struggling to digitally transform at the pace, a new joint report from CBI and Oracle – ‘Bigger, Faster, Stronger’ has found.

Greater adoption of technology could unlock productivity and wage growth. Research shows that more adoption, coupled with better management practices, could add £100 billion to the UK economy and cut income inequality by 5 per cent. However, only 54 per cent of UK companies believe disruptive technologies play an important role in their organisation, much lower than in countries such as France, Germany, India and Russia.

Since the 2008 Financial Crisis, UK productivity growth has slowed considerably compared to many G7 competitors, with key sectors such as financial services and construction experiencing negative growth. At the same time, a productivity and prosperity gap is opening up between companies willing to invest in the latest technologies and those that are not.

The research highlights that larger companies – which account for 48 per cent of UK turnover and employ 40 per cent of its workforce – are especially struggling to digitally transform. They face a range of issues including skills scarcity, complex legacy systems and a 25 per cent greater threat from cyberattacks compared to other companies. By contrast, smaller start-up companies are more likely to adopt new technologies, while firms aged over 15 years are the least likely. 

Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Digital and Innovation, said:

“No business can rest on its laurels when it comes to technology. Big firms must be doing all they can to stay ahead of international competitors and adopt new technologies that will boost productivity and efficiency.

“Many will assume that, with the resources at their disposal it’s easy for large firms to adopt new technology. But a host of challenges, from ageing legacy systems, cyber security threats and agile new challenger firms can make successful innovation feel like hitting a moving target.

“For the UK’s big hitters to secure their position as world leaders over the next 10 years, senior business leaders must be prepared to challenge their established ways of operating and cultivate an environment that encourages employees to seek innovative solutions to company-wide issues or these companies risk extinction.

“If larger businesses don’t want to become dinosaurs, they need a long-term plan for adoption of new technologies. But they cannot do this alone.”

Neil Sholay, Vice President of Digital Innovation at Oracle, said:

“In any digital transformation project, culture is crucial and knowledge is power. Both the latest technologies and connected thinking are needed to ensure the benefits of innovation are felt at all levels of the organisation. Digital innovation is everyone’s job, and everyone should be willing to learn from exemplars in other companies and sectors.

“One of our customers, West Midlands Police, wasn’t unique in the challenges it faced, but it’s a great example of utilising technology to its fullest. By adopting a shared services model in its back-office based on a standardised Oracle software-as-a-service module, West Midlands was able to create £36 million in savings and streamline processes for officers. This not only cut resolution time to 24 hours for 80 per cent of operations, it doubled reported satisfaction.

“At the same time, innovation isn’t an endgame, it’s a constant process of transformation. The only constant today is disruption, so businesses need to evolve ruthlessly fast to keep up with it. That means providing employees with the tools they need to be creative, collaborative and agile at all times.”

The four fuels of innovation

The joint report also sets out new guidelines from CBI and Oracle to help large businesses ease their digital transformation journeys and become more competitive. Recommendations to improve productivity and employee engagement include:

  • Bring digital transformation to the boardroom – senior business leaders must commit to addressing risks, sharing learnings across departments, and being strong advocates for change
  • Digitally empower your workforce – make growing digital skills a company-wide initiative and focus on building trust and fostering communication to drive further innovation
  • Maximise and connect your silos – silos are a reality within any large business, but when connected to an overarching strategy they can act as useful testing grounds for innovation
  • Automatically upgrade –invest insystems and software that constantly update and self-optimise to help the business keep pace with disruption

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BANKIA TRANSFORMS THE CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE WITH BIANKA BY IPSOFT

Developed with cognitive artificial intelligence, IPsoft’s conversational agent can carry out transactional tasks, perform different roles in customer service and assist branch employees

 

IPsoft, one of the largest independent leaders in enterprise artificial intelligence (AI), today announced that Bankia has launched its industry-leading conversational agent, Amelia® (known as Bianka), to serve customers in call centers and in the Bankia mobile app. Bianka will also help employees resolve their customers’ day-to-day requests.

Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, continues to make progress in its digital transformation process using the most advanced technology in the market. Recognizing the potential of artificial intelligence and cognitive agents to improve customer relationships – both digitally and at bank branches – Bankia has chosen Amelia by IPsoft as the backbone of Bianka. Amelia is the most advanced technology in the market. She is the result of more than 20 years of research and development and has been repeatedly chosen as the industry leader by independent analyst firms, including Everest GroupForrester and Ovum.

Her cutting-edge artificial intelligence and natural language understanding are capable of recognizing customers’ contextual changes, intention and emotional state. This enables Bianka to hold human-like conversations and execute tasks independently.

Additionally, its advanced Machine Learning capabilities also mean that she constantly evolves over time to accumulate knowledge and improve the user experience.

 

Bankia customers will be served by Bianka in three areas:

  • Bankia Mobile Application – Once customers are logged into the mobile app, they can have a conversation with Bianka via chat or voice to request account information and complete transactions such as money transfers through Bizum.
  • Customer Service Center – Bianka will serve clients through the customer service center, where they can now ask open-ended questions when she asks, “How can I help you?” When interacting with Bianka, customers will always arrive at a resolution: from user identification to the execution of tasks, such as blocking a lost credit card and requesting a new one. Bianka will be able to resolve many customer requests quickly because she has access to the bank backend systems, allowing her to solve queries immediately. When the requests are more complex or require human intervention, Bianka will transfer the call directly to a human employee. As a result, human employees can focus on resolving more complex tasks that bring greater value to the client.
  • Support for branch employees – Bianka also provides guidance to branch employees on more complex inquiries, such as requests about insurances. Employees are no longer required to speak with another customer service agent when they run into a problem. They can instead interact with Bianka by chat, who offers timely and detailed information about the process while the human agent is serving a customer. This not only provides more help for employees when they need it, but also allows them to improve the customer experience with more immediate responses.

These services have been implemented for Bankia’s 12,000 branch employees since December 2019 with a resoundingly positive response.

 

Elena Sanz, Director of Bankia Channel Architecture; Gema González, Director of Conversational Agents; and Eva Valle, Director of Control of Operations, said:  “We are very satisfied with IPsoft’s support in Bianka’s launch, which is the bank’s response to the needs of our digital customers. At Bankia, we have been integrating artificial intelligence into many of our processes for several years with the goal of improving our clients’ experience and making their lives easier. Technology offers us the opportunity to create great products and services and additionally allows our human employees to get personalized advice for their clients in our branches or through remote channels. All of this makes our banking proposal unbeatable.”

 

Chetan Dube, IPsoft CEO, said: “Bankia has shown that it is truly at the forefront of the banking digital revolution and that it is committed to improving the experience of both customers and employees by using cutting-edge technology. Until now, as users, we have been continuously disappointed in the so-called digital service improvements that rely on frustrating and highly limited chats. However, by integrating true cognitive intelligence with the bank’s back-end services, Bankia has been able to offer a service that infinitely improves the experience of its customers and employees.”

 

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RISK AND INVESTMENT SPECIALIST, CARDANO, TAKES TO DOCUMENT AND EMAIL MANAGEMENT IN THE CLOUD WITH ASCERTUS AS IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER

Ascertus also providing document comparison tool, compareDocs 

 

Cardano, a privately-owned, purpose-built risk and investment specialist, has chosen Ascertus Limited as its implementation partner to deploy document and email management platform, iManage Cloud. Once implemented, iManage Cloud will securely centralise, store and structure over 10 years’ worth of documents in the firm’s corporate legal department, giving users including lawyers, the legal assistant and the compliance officer access to the content from anywhere and any device. The document comparison tool, compareDocs, will also be seamlessly integrated with the iManage solution. Ascertus provides tailored information and document lifecycle management solutions, on-premises and in the cloud, to professional services firms and corporate legal departments across the UK and Europe.

“In keeping with our business growth, including the assets under management, our legal team has expanded too, making document management essential for the legal department’s operation,” explains Miriam Lindsay, Senior Legal Counsel, Cardano. “Presently, we have a shared folder system for documents. Additionally, everyone uses their email inboxes to store information in a string of folders that potentially run into the 100s. It’s an inefficient way of keeping documents and requires a lot of time which could be better focused elsewhere.”

Cardano selected Ascertus as its implementation partner following recommendation. Ascertus is currently working closely with Cardano’s legal department to design and configure iManage Cloud so that the platform delivers efficiency and productivity gains to the users. For ease of information sharing, the folder structure in the iManage platform is being streamlined. Tags and metadata are being used to index content and facilitate search. The system will automatically assign numbers to documents in iManage Cloud for easy trackability.  iManage Cloud is being fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, to enable users to save documents and emails directly from Outlook and Word into the document and email management platform. Users will have visibility of the documents and emails that have already been filed in the system, directly from their Outlook inboxes, saving them time and ensuring that there are no duplicate files residing in iManage Cloud.

“It’s clear to us that the Ascertus team has sound knowledge of iManage Cloud,” adds Lindsay. “They are working with us patiently and systematically to meet our system requirements. Their approach to working is very straightforward and professional – with a lot of emphasis on attention to detail.”

Ascertus is also providing Cardano with compareDocs, which seamlessly integrates with iManage Cloud. Users at Cardano will be able to compare any file type, review accept and reject changes in a live Word document and save it back to iManage Cloud.

“Due to the large volume of files that a corporate legal department has to deal with, the lack of document and email management capability can be hugely frustrating for lawyers,” comments Jon Wainwright, Sales and Marketing Director of Ascertus Limited. “Once deployed, iManage Cloud will deliver significant efficiency and productivity gains to the individuals as well as streamline the department’s operation to a large extent.”

 

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