8 min read

Achieving the four pillars of Digital Transformation in Banking with Microsoft Dynamics

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Not so long ago, digital transformation in Banking meant keeping pace throughout the third industrial revolution; meeting the digital challenge by providing basic online banking functionality that supported bricks and mortar mainstream branches. As digital evolved, account and loan applications were added, along with mobile transactional functionality to allow people to bank on-the-go. Personalisation and big data made its way into Board and Executive strategy conversations. The Retail Banking sector in particular, rose to the digital challenge, proving itself agile and adaptable to change, despite the unchartered territory of balancing strict risk and compliance controls alongside the necessary digitalisation of the customer experience.

As we hurtle towards 2020, through the fourth industrial revolution, digital transformation has become a lot more meaningful and immersive than simply providing online and mobile transactional functionality. Corporate and Commercial Bankers now find their marketplace in an accelerated state of change, alongside Retail Banking and the wider Financial Services sector. AI in banking and financial services is revolutionising the industry. FinTech, InsureTech, RoboAdvice and open banking capabilities are shifting the goalposts, stealing market share from incumbent banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers et al. And doing so with a side order of brand sass that appeals to younger audiences, almost as much as their instant gratification banking services do.

So how sound is your organisation’s digital strategy?

A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group highlights that executives in the banking sector lack confidence in their organisation’s digital futureproofing. With Big Tech and FinTech threats looming, over 40% of c-suite executives in banking reported that their own organisation didn’t have a digital strategy – never mind a sound one – despite 80% of respondents being aware that digital is leading transformation in the sector. Only 20% of banking executives believe that their bank has a market-leading digital presence, with the number one barrier to effective digital transformation cited as dated infrastructure and challenging legacy systems. Yet legacy IT needn’t hold you back as you map out future transformation and it doesn’t mean you need to rip out and replace high value tech to get started. The power of Microsoft Dynamics is that you can integrate legacy data sources right into the solution for quick results, now.

The four pillars of digital transformation in Banking and Financial Services

So, it’s clear that the opportunity to thrive, not just survive still exists for hungry market players with an eye on innovation. Boston Consulting Group recommend four key pillars for effective digital strategy in Banking and Financial Services. These key priorities align neatly with Microsoft’s four pillars of effective digital transformation and provide a cohesive starting point for reviewing and renewing your digital business strategy, market position and current capabilities. The possibilities, done right? End-to-end customer-focused journeys and increased satisfaction through the latest technologies in the Microsoft stack; from a safe and secure cloud-based Dynamics 365 CRM that unifies your people, data and business processes in a single, intelligent system, to AI for customer services and sales integrations that automate processes and decision making. All driven by sound data and providing enhanced operational workflows for every single person in your business.

Why is it so important to reach digital maturity in banking and financial services now? New technologies are constantly emerging, however, only digitally-enabled organisations with the right foundational solutions in place will be able to make use of these new innovations. The beauty of Dynamics 365 cloud platform is that once implemented, it’s constantly updating. Meaning you’re always working on the latest version, and able to access new release tools as soon as they hit the market. Recent releases include live chat and SMS functionality and new Power Platform capabilities which combine Microsoft Flow, Power BI and Common Data for apps which allow an easy and powerful collaborative integration into Dynamics 365 and Office 365.

Of course, these operational changes and strategic digital improvement can’t and shouldn’t be disconnected à la carte projects and initiatives undertaken in a silo. Successful digital transformation is a unified and co-ordinated business project, created in the Boardroom as a comprehensive, enterprise-wide strategy and implemented, with a clearly defined purpose, and an industry expert and experienced external partner like Redspire supporting the process.

The four key priorities for effective digital transformation in Banking

  1. Reinvent the Consumer Journey

The outdated banking model is dead. Customer expectations continue to rise, desiring and demanding service and personalised sales processes their way. Seamless, safe and secure fingerprint or facial recognition log in, one-click withdrawals, remembering personal preferences at every customer touchpoint and Alexa voice integrations are the bare minimum that customers expect when they interact with their bank today. Market disrupting challengers and nimble, born-in-the-cloud FinTechs have evolved the customer journey and traditional banks, building societies and insurers should do the same to remain competitive.

Cloud-based CRM is one of the most vital tools in the innovative banker’s arsenal. Gain a single view of customers and prospects with Dynamics 365, your entire business in one neat, expandable solution. With all customer data in the one place, available to your cross-departmental agents in real time, you can exceed and delight customers with insights that sell, service and convert. Seamlessly merged with big data, business intelligence and AI integrations, your agents can pick the next best action, systems are automatically updated and your customer gets the service they’ve come to expect from Big Data players like Amazon, Apple et al.

Before kick-starting any digital transformation project, spend time selecting the right partner and mapping the customer journey collaboratively to put your customers at the centre of your business. The beauty of Microsoft’s cloud technologies are that they can be moulded and integrated to suit your bespoke needs, reimagining and redefining your customers experiences. When you understand what matters most to different subsets of customers during critical junctures in their user journey – supported by the the immense capabilities of the Microsoft stack – can build user experiences that reward, engage and create long-term loyalty. On-board a client in just a few clicks with Adobe Sign. Automate lending decisions with Flow. PowerApps and Portals connect access to Credit Reference Agencies third party tools. The limitations are endless, with a quantifiable ROI evidenced from the outset.

  1. Discover the power of data

What’s the point of harvesting data if you don’t harness its power? Microsoft Dynamics and Power BI reporting provide insights that help you understand your clients and prospects, uncover missed opportunities, identify high-ticket clients or cross-selling opportunities and reduce the cost of acquisition, satisfaction and retention too. Dynamics online and Power BI allow your team to create, share and view immersive visual dashboards on the go, within global geographies, and are key drivers of building consultative client relationships that last.

During a recent Dynamics 365 implementation within the small business banking division at CYBG, unifying data from legacy systems allowed Relationship Managers and Team Managers to deepen customer relationships, easily identify key accounts and identify those at risk of default or depreciation. Data precision and clarity allowed the team to gain 3,175 days in increased productivity through increased data analytics and an 11 x increase on customer outreach calls, with impressive impact on annual results too.

  1. Redefine the operating model.

Living in an increasingly time-poor world, consumer needs have shifted in their banking relationships. That close relationship with the bank manager has become a convenient online digital relationship that’s easily accessible via their devices as and when they need it, outreaching for that human touch only when they have more complex needs. Hybrid sales, customer service and experience operating models that are well executed can inspire loyalty and delight a customer. Executed badly, can frustrate and have them abandon ship for a competitor without even stopping to let you know where you’ve failed.

Banks who successfully combine the human touch with self-service capabilities via AI bots and custom-built portals can expect to see up to a 15% increase in revenue and satisfaction levels and up to a 35% saving in branch network costs. Utilising bionic networks, whilst being open to collaboration with other FinTechs and Open Banking players can create the high value service levels that your customers desire and create seamless services that deliver on brand promise and value.

  1. Build a Digital Driven Organization

The final priority of successful digital transformation in banking is facing organisational culture hurdles face on to build a digital-first business.

When you set out strategically, with board, CEO and senior executives aligned on a vision to build a digitally driven banking business, you reaffirm to your customers, your people and your stakeholders that digital transformation is a priority. You state that every action in the future roadmap leads to agile and digital-first working methods, earmark funding and help recruit the best talent and partners in the sector to make your vision a reality. It takes collective vision to shift a traditional financial provider mindset into a radically changed innovative digital culture. Strong top down leadership is vital to make success happen, with the right partner steering your vision every step of the way.

The boldest incumbents and challenger banks are taking cue from FinTechs, mirroring their agility and born-in-the-cloud best practice to overcome legacy challenges and red-tape laden showstoppers that dampen customer experiences.

Data driven customer experiences, with a human touch

Digital transformation in banking today is connected, blending people, culture and technology to provide personalised service, slick and connected operations that service the customer how they want, when they want and where they want it. It’s speedy and agile, data-driven, with a human touch. Banking executives and the c-suite are under tremendous pressure to keep up and ensure a coherent digital strategy delivers on corporate vision. For more information on improving customer experience and gaining competitive advantage in Banking, join our webinar on Thursday 20th June @ 11 am.

3 min read

Digital Transformation in Banking: Four Key Solution Areas

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As the financial sector experiences its own shift in priorities in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, organisations are placing a much larger focus on the technology that will lead them through digital transformation in banking.

Microsoft frame digital transformation through 4 key solution areas:

Modern Workplace

With an increase in new business models, internal processes and a changing environment that encourages wider collaboration, the right digital tools are key to ensuring stability and productivity throughout a period of growth in the banking and financial services sector.

Some of the key integrations like Skype for business and Microsoft Teams strengthen an already diverse and functionally capable Office 365 suite, purposely designed to improve collaboration, creativity and empowerment within cross-departmental functions.

Business Applications

Functional business processes are becoming increasingly digitised as part of an industry evolution for organisational efficiency. The Microsoft solution model is designed to prevent cross-function disconnect and transform the customer journey by equipping individuals with single-view access to collaborative platforms like Dynamics 365, PowerApps and data-driven insights for customer service and marketing.

Digital transformation in banking starts by simply having better access to information, more powerful tools to analyse the data, and the processes in place to infuse it into the decision-making process. This allows banking organisations to better ensure customer acquisition and retention are at the very heart of their overall business objectives.

Applications & Infrastructure

Cloud-based infrastructure has become one of the main areas of investment within Microsoft over the last year. The Azure platform is a complementary solution that helps empower banking organisations to build business applications into the very core of their business. The multi-device accessibility and functionality is a crucial component of digital transformation in banking; building a streamlined mobile experience for customers, based on their interests and behaviour.

With such a huge emphasis on security and the privacy of customer data within the banking industry, the Azure cloud solution features safeguarding tools like threat intelligence, information protection and multi-step authorisation to ensure absolute safety to both the user and the data subject featured within the application.

Data & Artificial Intelligence

Modern-day business change is driven by data and insight. By combining this data with AI applications, banking organisations can leverage process automation to better service customers immediate needs. As customer experience becomes a more prominent consideration in decision-making, financial services organisations will be in a better position to offer more personalised recommendations on all touchpoints and product and service offerings by utilising the data analysis and AI relationship within the Microsoft technology suite.

Watch our video below for a short overview of the key solution areas and their impact in Banking:

Choosing the right Dynamics Partner

Choosing the right Microsoft Dynamics partner for your customer experience project is an essential part of success. It’s vital that you select a partner experienced within your sector, who understand the nuances and challenges of your business and who has references and success models within your industry. From pre-sales scoping and needs analysis to, project and process mapping and build… all the way through to implementation and beyond, a strong partner is the primary key to success.

Redspire have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money Advice Service and operations and field service at Golden Charter, our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that improves bottom lines.

Join our upcoming webinar: “Driving Change and Meaningful Customer Engagement in Financial Services with Dynamics 365” to dig deeper into how your own business can leverage the technology to better steer customer-focused organisational change.

1 min read

The State of Public Sector Digital Transformation 2019

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Redspire, Bridgeall and Exactive recently collaborated to host a Microsoft Gold Partner round table event chaired by Future Digital Leaders Director, Dr Jim Hamill. The interactive session presented scenarios covering the public sector workplace of the future.

We invited Public and Third Sector digital leaders to share insights and challenges relating to digital transformation across public service delivery discuss the tools that have helped them drive effective organisational change and improve citizen engagement.

Forum delegates were able to participate in live audience polling, open group discussions and Dr Hamill recorded the findings into a short white paper, The State of Public Sector Transformation 2019.

Download the white paper to read how to accelerate the digital transformation of public service delivery in Scotland and explore key findings from the round table, including:

  • Sector-wide acceptance that digital will deliver more cost efficient, agile and citizen focused public services.
  • The stark truth that less than half of public sector organisations are viewing digital transformation as mission critical and only 26 per cent of organisations have an agreed digital transformation roadmap in place.
  • How to eradicate the worst symptoms of productivity busting hierarchical and bureaucratic pre-digital public sector workplaces.
  • How to embrace innovation and overcome dated legacy systems.

Read more about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the latest Microsoft technologies are driving change in the public sector. Get in touch with us today to find out how the Redspire partner approach created organisational efficiencies and improved citizen and stakeholder engagement at one of the UK’s largest public sector organisations.

Download the whitepaper

2 min read

Redspire partner with Microsoft MVP Neil Parkhurst to boost digital skills talent in Scotland

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Redspire are excited to announce a year long partnership with Microsoft MVP and award-winning Dynamics 365 consultant Neil Parkhurst. Our Gold Partner agency will collaborate with the D365UG Global All-Star on an internal best practice programme that provides bespoke training and development for new recruits, front line project delivery and an open market events and webinar series designed to upskill developers, analysts and architects across the sector.

With over thirty years plus experience in IT, Parkhurst is a highly regarded leader in Dynamics, Unified Service Desk, Field Service and Project Service Automation. Boasting an extensive client roster, a popular YouTube channel and a series of sector awards, his contribution to the Dynamics space extends globally. NeilParkhurst.com – a free resource dedicated to supporting and upskilling students and professionals working towards Dynamics accreditation – has accrued over 1.7 million hits since launch in 2016, achieving double digit growth year on year, and gaining notoriety within the IT sector as one of the most valued digital resources available.

The collaboration will also extend the reach of Redspire’s on-going commitment to The Microsoft Pledge, which they signed in August 2019, a promise to help create a strong digital talent pool entering the sector and prevent skills shortages.

Second phase plans intend to take the Redspire and Parkhurst partnership from the workplace to the classroom, in a bid to help Scotland’s students and businesses prepare for the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and reduce skills gaps in IT graduates entering the workplace.

Redspire’s Services Director Steven Brown says: “Like Neil, Redspire is driven by delivering organisational business change to our clients, alongside building the best IT talent in the sector. Collaborating with Neil in the coming twelve months support our key business goals for the year ahead and will allow us to achieve ambitious growth plans in terms of talent acquisition and project delivery.”

Parkhurst says: “There’s real synergy between Redspire’s commercial goals and mine and I’m pleased to be partnering with them in this year ahead.”

Redspire is a CRM Consultancy, specialising exclusively in Dynamics 365. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we help UK businesses solve organisational challenges and help our clients achieve long term strategic goals, via bespoke CRM solutions that revolutionise how they do business.

As part of the Microsoft account managed teams, Redspire work collaboratively to drive digital transformation, improve processes and help businesses understand and engage with teams, customers, clients, citizens and members like never before. With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, Government and the Media, our client base includes the Money Advice Service (now trading as the Money and Pensions Service), Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG), Golden Charter, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and GroupM.