Day 2 of the SAP North American Financial Services (FS) Forum was all about enabling transformation. Breakout sessions focused on cloud computing, IT platforms and analytics, and mobility provided attendees with direction and insight on these key topics in the FS industry.
Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services Industries at SAP kicked off the day by talking about Transformation Without Disruption. He said FS institutions are coming together on the global stage and executive boards are looking for them to change the way they do business. They need to address a new type of client with new demands in a highly disruptive marketplace.
Ross shared a great story about Compartamos Banco, based in Mexico. Founded in 1990 as a NGO, the bank began by providing micro-loans to underprivileged women entrepreneurs. It operated with no branches. Instead, agents went to rural towns and built relationships with women who wanted to open a business and improve their life. Compartamos Banco now offers credit products for working capital, as well as savings and life insurance products, to over 2.5 million customers.
Tim Minahan, CMO Cloud at SAP, led a great session on Delivering Innovation and Agility to the Financial Services Sector with SAP Cloud. Tim didn’t talk technology; he focused on how to win customers and drive profitability. Leading FS companies are rapidly adopting cloud computing, not only to reduce TCO, but to drive innovation and agility to stay ahead of competition.
Deutsche Bank, for example, uses the Ariba Supplier Network to drive continuous improvement, explained Tim. With Ariba they have automated 90% of their invoice processing, simplified complex VAT requirements across geographies, and reduced the cost of processing AP invoices by 30%.
Jessica Kane, VP, Global Business Architecture, Successfactors, an SAP Company, Rachel Spassor, CMO of Ariba, an SAP Company, and Scott Feldman, Global Head of SAP HANA Customer Communities, joined Tim on stage to talk about how companies are leveraging the cloud across all facets of business – people, suppliers, customers, and finance – and leveraging the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to get business processes up and running quickly.
Keith Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Bank of America, spoke next about The Power of Business Networks. Keith described how BofA optimized procurement process throughout the company using Ariba. In the 2000’s BofA grew significantly via mergers and acquisitions. Transaction volume ballooned and procurement invoicing tripled to 36 million invoices per year. In 2010 they deployed ERP and expanded Ariba globally. Contracting was deployed in more than 50 countries and purchasing in 18 countries. Today BofA continues to drive procurement optimization using a hybrid solution model both on-premise and in the cloud. Benefits include better regulatory management, spend compliance, cost control, and application management.
The FS Forum concluded with an excellent panel titled, Behind the Scenes in Transformation, moderated by Don Free, Vice President at Gartner. Atul Verma, SVP Core Systems at KeyBank; Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services at SAP; Brian Smith, GM, Banking and Capital Markets at CSC; Mark Arel, VP Architecture at PNC; and Mark Pearson, SVP, Enterprise Execution Services at SunTrust Banks, Inc., had an engaging discussion about business and IT transformation best practices. Implementing new IT enabled business solutions in large, complex FS organizations is not easy and there is no silver bullet. But there was unanimous consensus across the panel that both the business and IT sides of the house need to be completely on board, engaged, and committed from the very top of the org chart to the bottom. It doesn’t really matter who fires up the engine – what matters is that everyone gets on the bus and stays on it until it reaches the final destination.
Check out my summary of Day 1 at the North America Financial Services Forum here
If you couldn’t attend the SAP Financial Services Forum in-person, we have made replay videos from September 18 available. [Register here to access the on-demand videos].