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Lessons From Peer Industries for the Banking Solution Vendor

The banking IT solution providers can definitely learn a lesson or two from the trends that are emerging from peer industries. An evaluation of the interesting developments in some of these industries, though unrelated, is food for thought and a source of innovative ideas.

Manufacturing (Prototyping) – Bouncing back from the slumber induced by the Great Recession, manufacturing companies are gearing up to reinforce their market share with new approaches. One such is the packaging and positioning of offerings as “solutions” and not “products” to map end customer requirements. Adoption of rapid prototyping techniques enable players to efficiently conceptualize and design prototypes meeting specific customer requirements.

Pharmaceuticals (Collaboration) The biggest lesson from the pharmaceuticals industry is the one on collaboration. Industry heavyweights cement the partner ecosystem by collaborating with health insurers or health care providers to promote their products. In a concerted effort to facilitate connectivity with doctors and (smart) patients anytime and anywhere, pharma companies are promoting apps, kiosks, online tools etc.

Hospitality (User Experience) – Personalization of the customer experience with amenities a-la-carte, face-lift of the hotel ambience with robots at the reception, capitalization of social media and leveraging the potential of different channels to create unified interaction, are some of the developments shifting the industry’s outlook.

Advertising (Communication) – The advertising world is undergoing a paradigm shift as it wriggles out of the clutches of traditional media to communicate with target customers through new, innovative interactions. Advertisers are continuously reviewing the positioning of their solutions to ensure that they are perceived correctly by customers.

The dynamics in each of the industries mentioned above are fast changing. The trends visible today might pave the way for more innovative ones tomorrow. It would be in the best interest of banking solution vendors to track these developments and learn from them, where possible.


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 March, 2013, 09:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Another lesson the solutions providers could learn is openness, especially in the provision of useful decision support material. I want to see a thorough narrative and detailed technical description of the product and, where appropriate, log in and try a demo, or download and install an evaluation copy, before I even consider talking to a salesman. And don't bother telling me why that approach won't work. I've heard it before, and it wasn't true then either. Proprietary software vendors in vertical markets, such as banking solutions, are the last bastion of treating the customer as an idiot. Customers will always favour vendors who are open with information – in comparison, more guarded suppliers look like they have something to hide.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 15 March, 2013, 09:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Apart from perhaps the last point about Advertising / Communication, I'd argue that banking solutions vendors - at least the one I used to work for - have been doing the other three things for ages. To take Manufacturing / Prototyping as an example, I can't remember winning a single deal without doing a prospect-specific demo, or what we'd call  "scripted demo". As for evaluation copy, it takes a lot of time and energy to enter prospect-specific sample data, set up process flows and provide rudimentary training in the software. All this costs the vendor a lot of money but I know many vendors who would be happy to support an evaluation phase if the prospective customer is willing to pay for the PoC. Unfortunately, most prospects expect all this for free, which is where part of the problem lies. Let alone something as extensive as a banking solution, I'm currently evaluating a much smaller SaaS-based website visitor tracking solution. Nearly a month after signing up for the free evaluation version of the software, I can't say that I've managed to understand the software completely. Neither can I blame the vendor for not providing the required handholding support.