Transforming Experiences with Digital
Delivering superior customer experience is no longer a matter of choice. And, accelerating digital is key to transforming customer experience!
Watch this panel discussion from our virtual event, NewgenConnect 2021, where we interacted, brainstormed, and engaged with industry leaders, analysts, and our customers to dive deep into the importance of transforming experiences with digital.
- A glimpse into important technologies that are critical for accelerating digital, empowering employees, and thriving in the new normal
- Success stories of global enterprises that are leveraging Newgen’s technologies to transform experiences
Hemant: Hey, welcome to Newgen Connect 2021. We are here, a virtual environment. We have esteemed panelists with us, and the topic of today’s discussion is Transforming Experiences with Digital. And indeed, we are all digital today. I know everyone is dialing in and staying safe at our homes and offices, wherever we are today. And I hope all those who are watching us, you are also staying in and keeping safe distance, and wearing your masks and all of that.
So I’m going get started. My name is Hemant [inaudible 00:00:45]. Let me introduce myself. I’m going be your moderator. And I head the marketing team here in Newgen Software. And along with me, I have three panelists. So I’m going to, one by one, invite them and ask them to introduce themselves. So let’s start with Kent.
Kent Black: My name’s Kent Black I’m CIO of enterprise applications at Tokyo Marine HCC. A top five specialty insurance company underneath the Tokyo Marine umbrella. My focus is on enterprise work, enterprise applications that we can invest once, use many across our federated business units. Thank you for joining.
Hemant: Thank you, Kent. And thank you for joining us here. Next we have Jana. Jana from Ingram.
Jana Vondran: Yes. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Jana Vondran. I’m the SVP of global business services for Ingram Micro, which is basically the shared service arm of Ingram Micro. We are technology solutions distributor and provider. And so a lot of, I mean, digital is at the heart of what we do. I’m responsible for the selected shared services arm. So we do a lot of our customer and sales support, purchasing, partner management, as well as our finance activities that are running through our centers. About 3000 associates that, again, focus on the business operations, running everything smoothly in the organization. I’m very happy to be here with you.
Hemant: Thank you. Thank you for being here Jana. And last but not the least, Greg.
Greg Sullins: Hi everyone. Welcome. Greg Sullins here. I am the executive vice president for Wilson Bank and Trust. I lead our strategy quality productivity initiatives across the bank. We’re in middle Tennessee. $3.5 billion in asset community bank. And we’re excited to be a part of this conference. Thank you.
Hemant: Great. And what a wonderful panelists we have. Now, digital means different things, but one of the important aspects of becoming a lot more digitally transformed is, are you able to transform the experiences of your customers. Whether these customers are internal or external. So today we are going to talk to all these esteemed panel members about their experiences and their plans, and how they’re solving for this. So let’s get started. So I’m going to take, since Kent introduced him as first, so why don’t we start with Kent. Kent, what does transforming experiences mean to you, and what role do you see digital playing in this?
Kent Black: Thanks Hemant, it’s an interesting concept, an interesting delivery. And I think I’ve mentioned before, the industry that I’m in is specialty insurance. Within that, we look at insurance as digital insurance. What is digital insurance? We look at both internal customers and consumers. So we hit the gamut. And what we look at first is automation. Can we scale? Can we grow? Does digital insurance for one agency, which sometimes lags behind the financial industry, may be as simple as automating some of their buying processes, or automating some of their document generation. However, when you look at something more on the consumer side, we’re definitely competing against other high volume, low premium types of insurance. Where we’re more focused on a UXUI, the digital experience for that consumer. We always use the word millennial, but it’s the same for all of us. I believe you want to be able to have an omni channel experience.
You want to be able to intuitively do something. You want to be able to look at, without reading instructions and go step 1, 2, 3, and have a quote. No different than when you may do commercial within Geico or Progressive. You go to their websites and you expect a certain experience. So our digital insurance is all of that. And it’s definitely started with, maybe the simplicity of automation, that automation looking at, where we’ve lagged behind before and how we can scale and grow to new products and alignments. It goes into UXUI, and then it’s actually getting into the configuration where we can offer new product lines, jump into new businesses, maybe even take opportunities quicker, faster, better without a deployment for software and those types of things. So that’s what transforming experience it is to me, and what we’ve been focusing on at Tokyo Marine.
Hemant: Excellent. So you are looking at delivering this experience at the same time by changing and making offers on your product portfolio, which is in line with what the current generation and the future generation expects. Wonderful. How about Jana and Ingram Micro?
Jana Vondran: Sure. No, thanks Hemant. Yeah, very similar to actually what Kent described. Let’s be honest, I mean the B2B customer experience, or what we expect, has fundamentally shifted and the beyond the B2B space. But if you think about, we all are still humans and we all have that experience outside in our personal lives as consumers. From online shopping, booking travels and searching for products, and just kind of making ourselves more educated in terms of what we are buying. And that kind of expectations is of course also moving into the B2B space, because no one leaves their experience outside when they come into the office. And so it’s really, we all know what good looks like. And so the expectation in the B2B space is also very high in transforming or providing the experience to the buyers, B2B buyers, that’s the same as in the B2C market.
And in fact, actually I read some research, 80% of the B2B buyers are actually expecting the same as when they are at home, now in the confine. So really with that, it’s all about thinking about, what is that journey? What is that customer journey looking like? And we, unfortunately, if you think about the B2B space, for many years it’s been not very straightforward. It’s usually more complex because we have, there are more, sometimes it’s historic, just the historic systems that we are utilizing and other things. So that it’s very complicated. And so really has a lot of loops. And so for us, it’s really making, understanding, what does this cycle, what does that journey look like from a customer perspective? How do we make it more comfortable, as Kent said, omnichannel as well?
Understanding that also generation shifts have happened. And the way we want to interact with something, what’s our preference, is not the same for everyone. And so really taking all of this into account, making sure that, as I said, the experience is really paramount and is in focus. And that actually goes, not only for the customer, I know I talked about the customer, but it’s your employees the same way. My average age in my particular organization is 26, 27. So very young people. They do not want to come suddenly into their workplace and deal with outdated systems. They’re expecting a lot of that as well. And so really thinking about, what is the experience both from a customer employee side, how do we deal with our processes, and how do we make digital, is just becomes part of that network, that interface that we are working with, it needs to be at the top of everything that we think about.
Hemant: Very true. And you mentioned something which was very interesting, like the customer’s expectations, especially from the consumer’s world. And I was just looking at a formula that if you have experience on the top and expectations, experience divided by expectations, gives you the business value. So as expectations keep increasing, the experience has to improve so that the business value continues. Greg, what do you think about this? Something very relevant to you and from your banking perspective as well?
Greg Sullins: Well this, you’ve heard the common denominator here is all about the customers that we’re serving. And that’s at the key of transforming experiences around the customer. And true here at the bank. We’re working as hard on the customer experience as we also are on that employee experience. How can we create a wow experience? And in doing so, in transforming, a lot of what we have to do here at the bank, whether it’s around digital account opening, or some more in our lending process, it’s wiring together all of the disparate systems. Whether it’s other vendors that are just critical in the process that we have to execute and perform. And so bringing all of that information together with that laser focus on the customer experience, to make it better, faster, more affordable each and every day.
Hemant: That’s absolutely one very clear way of defining it. Thank you for that. Which are the key technologies that you think would be critical in your organization for exhibiting digital, and delivering that experience that you talked about?
Kent Black: And I think we mentioned this Hemant, before, and I think Greg had mentioned it as well as Jana, is that we’re not going technology for technology’s sake. However, when we look at what we’re doing with the cloud, and some of the cloud native capabilities, they fit directly with what my customers are asking for and what my stakeholders are asking for. We need to be local. We need to have performant capabilities. We need all of the scalability, reliability, availabilities that bring on 24/7, as well as that personalization. Or even getting into microservices where I’m able to really perform at a level that I hadn’t previously. So the cloud native technologies we find we’re driving towards. And again, not because it’s cool, but because we’re needing it to keep up with the competition.
Hemant: That completely makes sense. And I’m just going to ask one follow up question, which was not this way. But as a CIO, I’m assuming that you are already at the C table and you’re making business decisions, not just IT decisions. And something that is in hand with everything that is as an organization where you want to be. And as you said, the technology is, by the way, is a means to achieve that result. Is that how you see it as well?
Kent Black: Absolutely. I think you can go, at the worst case I look at it and say, “Okay, I’ve got legacy systems I can’t support.” Big deal. You’re going to move into a newer platform. But that’s not our point really at all. It’s how do we compete better in the market? And I mentioned it earlier, two areas there, one is scalability of being able to grow our business and be able to manage that scale and that automation. The second piece really is, and I really look at it as two goals and the first one being speed to market. And that’s broad in capabilities. It could be configuration, or it could be new product line. It could be eCommerce and that UXUI quickly. But any way, it’s how do I seize a moment in time when perhaps my competitors have failed, and I need to jump in because somebody just got a lower credit rating? Or how can I just try a new product and fail fast and just move on?
So it’s that speed to market. And technology’s the only way you’re going to get that because we want to get more of the low code, no code capabilities. We’re looking at options for that. We’re doing more low code, no code. So that we’re saying, “How are we great at what want to be good at as an insurance company, not a technology company? And how can we leverage these different technologies?”
So low code and no code has started to rear its head as well. And like I said lastly, is performance availability, reliability in those things. That when they go wrong, you look at it and say, why are we running this AS400, for instance, as an example. So that’s the technologies and the reasons for it. And they come from the C-suite. And if you’re not getting that investment, you’re kind of beating your head against the wall sometimes. But when you’re in a business and in a environment where you are investing in technology, and it’s focused on a business outcome, man, that’s really fun for CIOs. And it’s really fun to look back and see the journey that you mapped out and that you brought to fruition to see that success.
Hemant: That is so true. Thank you, Kent. Greg, what’s your take on this technologies?
Greg Sullins: Well it’s the way forward. And for us, the digital account opening part is key. But the only way that, that’s capable is really through the APIs, the application programing interfaces. So critical to have the right partners, providers, allowing systems to talk and share information back and forth. So those have been key. Things like this video conferencing we’re doing right now, is pretty important, right?
It’s become so much more important the past 12, 16 months. And for us also on payment processing side, solutions like Zelle and Venmo have been game changers as well for our customers. But I would add the cloud computing. We’re moving as fast as we can, more and more of our capabilities to the cloud that will allow us to go faster, and focus on what we need to focus on. And the people that have the infrastructure and partners that have that infrastructure, let them take care of that. And then finally, electronic signatures and capabilities. Just trying to tie that whole end to end process and experience. Those are just a handful of some of the key technologies out there as we’re really focused on accelerating our digital here at Wilson Bank and Trust.
Hemant: Very well-rounded answer, Greg. Thank you for that. Jana, what’s your take on it?
Jana Vondran: Sure. So I’d like to talk about it like in two parts. So on the one hand being Ingram Micro, being a technology solutions provider, of course we see a lot. And Greg and Kent just kind of confirm some of the trends that we are seeing. For example, providing, enabling really that cloud ecosystem. Providers, the marketplace and so on. But also from a technology solutions perspective, much more demand and just the thrive in cybersecurity, IOT. And then really all around automation. And if I take that automation piece now and say like, okay, for me as a business operations leader within an enterprise, so to speak, as a consumer, as a user of all of those technologies, things that we are seeing, and again, that goes back to my earlier point of also our employees.
If you think about it, they are similarly sophisticated consumers. They don’t want to deal with legacy systems that we are maybe built 30 years ago. So areas that we are investing in, and key technologies that we are driving is, for example, process mining. Process mining technology to really making sure we have, as an organization, full transparency of our enterprise business processes. And make more educated and truly fact based decision when it comes to changing operations, to changing processes. Then something, again going back to, so Greg said, Greg said like, enter it only once. We really need to focus on, or we are focusing very much on eliminating the swivel chair by driving digital workflow, OCR and process automation like RPA. Things in there. But then also enhancing that tool landscape through AI and machine learning. So that also further the experience is enhanced both from our employees perspective, from the learning that the tools are doing. From eliminating a lot of that exception handling that’s otherwise still in there.
So really, overall, I would say it’s, again, it’s very important that it’s an end to end integration. That all of those technologies work really as one holistic landscape in that. And it’s really driving this. But I also want to, one last point to make there is we’ve also seen changes in the way that we interact with our employees. So yes, a traditional surveys and they’re all digital these days, are still a great tool to elicit feedback. But we are also seeing more and more things like we are crowdsourcing solutions find more interest as well. Because our associates want to have a true voice. Want to give their opinions and be part of that solutioning. And so that’s what we are seeing there as well.
Hemant: [inaudible 00:19:28]. Yeah, go ahead.
Kent Black: If I may Hemant, just to accentuate on that. I think Greg had a good point, APIs. When I talk about the modularization of what we’re doing, the connecting with different technologies, APIs is, we’re not only doing that within our own self, but aggregating external to integrate with a broader, again, the word omnichannel system out there. But lastly is also our work with data. Data lakes such as the concepts of snowflake and what that’s doing with us, in order to allow for more data analytics, predictive analytics, that really come back into your front end underwriting, but also help with your claims processing. So we’ve invested in a lot of that new technology out there on allowing us to data mine as well. I wouldn’t say we’re really in the AI business, but definitely looking at a lot more third party data, how we can bring third party data in. Putting that into a larger data lake and then having that data in order to quickly react, quickly understand. In the insurance business quickly understand when you see something on the news, what’s our impact, right?
How many people did we have that were actually in that space that we might be impacted with? So good discussion there. And I think just worth kind of putting a button around it is everyone talks about APIs now, and definitely having that interoperability is huge.
Hemant: All three of your clarity and focus. This question was one of the most animated responses that I’ve seen from each of you. So, wonderful. Thank you so much. I love this. So as Newgen customers, you have used, you’ve been planning to, have just about launched and have used it for years, Newgen technologies. So would love to see how it has helped you over the years, or is something that, how you are intending to use it in your organization. Maybe we’ll start with Jana.
Jana Vondran: Sure. So, yeah, so we’ve been using the Newgen technology in the area of workflow. So we’ve using it for our accounts payable processes, and other exhilarating processes around there. And what we’ve seen, I mean, again, lots of volume business. So we do have millions of invoices a year that are otherwise handled in a manual way. So what we’ve really seen, or what we needed, was a solution that increases the speed, the accuracy, and just the automation. The less handling of people, the less touches of our associates. And what we’ve seen with this is productivity improvements of around 35%. So again, it’s really helped us to absorb the volume increases that we’ve seen over the last couple of years, in terms of driving those productivities, and not having increased staff or things, but we could handle with existing staff levels the increases in volume that we’ve seen. And really helped us enormously in driving that.
Hemant: Awesome. That’s a good validation of technology. And thank you for that. How about you, Greg? I know that you are in the process of implementing.
Greg Sullins: Well, we have multiple areas we’re working with Newgen on. I’ll just say the ones that we have implemented relate to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. We were able to leverage the Newton’s platform implement in a matter of about five days, and be a differentiator to be able to support our small business customers here at Wilson Bank and Trust. So that’s just one quick example.
Now we’re working extensively across the businesses to deploy Newgen’s digital account opening, also known as online account opening. We’ll be doing that both to really transform the experience for our customers, both consumer and business customers. But then we will take that later this year into our branch environment for our 28 offices we have here in middle Tennessee. Simultaneously, we are working through deploying Newgen’s small business loan origination system. As well as the commercial loan origination system. Those are extensive undertakings. We are also using Newgen’s lead management and opportunity management solution. We’ll deploy that initially later this year for commercial lending. And look to span that further. We’re also using Newgen’s service request management capabilities for things as simple as a change of address. So we’re pretty much all in. We got tons of integrations that we have to make it all talk and collaborate, but that’s the beauty of bringing together, looking end to end, accelerating our digital.
Hemant: Yes. And I’ve seen your plan in one chart that you showed us once, and that was really impressive. Very clear in approach. And you also have your priorities set there. So thank you for that, Greg. Kent?
Kent Black: Yes. Thanks Hemant. I think it builds on a lot of what we’ve already said. And as I was listening to my colleagues speak here, it was kind of resonated with me on back to the themes that we’ve been talking about. So we’ve used Newgen back to that theme of speed to market. Speed to market meaning get some of these changes in development, the old school things, out of developer’s hands and make a business analyst, or even a stakeholder use it. We’ve used a lot of the communications module, change module, where insurance business you build a policy, you may want to go to a new state. The template models that Newgen build within, and Newgen is built within. Their document generation process is allowing us then to not have development releases and be able to templatize our policies so that if we are going into a new state, if we have a new regulatory compliance issue, or something like that, it’s not a development effort.
And then secondly, we used Newgen largely around that omnichannel customer experience. And being able to deliver policies that were through email, how HTML, marketing intertwined with it. So that you had an experience of, if you were traveling to Costa Rica you want to get something in the mail that says, congratulations, I’m going to Costa Rica and look, here’s the monkeys and all this stuff you can see. So adding that into the template and modernizing that template. Where as many of you know, you get a policy and it’s just black and white. Many, many pages of something. So those are two ways that we, and rounding it out, the conversation even with the panel, it was looking at how do we utilize modules within my architecture and framework to have that speed to market? And yet also have a better customer experience. Newgen’s been great with us on those areas. And I think there’s probably more, and just learning from this panel in Hemant, in general, that there may be more technologies I want to look at that are within the Newgen space.
Hemant: And we will have lot of that opportunity during this conference, the conference that you’ll be part of. But I really, when I look at your responses, even though you represent three different industries, and come from different point of view and different angles, but when it comes to digital transformation, when it comes to customer experience, there’s so much of overlap between the three of your views. Which indicates that no matter which organization you are from, or what role you are having, when it comes to self-service, it comes to omnichannel. I love that thing where you said earlier, fail fast, but do it fast. Like come back and reiterate, and then look, use local capabilities. Love the fact that you all said about APIs and integrate it. How important that integration is. To deliver that experience to the customer, as an organization there are some basic things that one has to do, and that’s absolutely there. And then cloud comes right there and as a list.
Love the fact that you talked about personalization. Pretty much all of you talked about that. And how it was important for the organization. And keeping the employees informed and making sure that you have data to back that decision that we are participating in. And as a result, your goals are very clear, your digital transformation journey can be coming from different point of view, but you all experience benefits for your organization. So some is part of your automation that you did, or some part of speak to market and productivity.
So really appreciate all of you today on the panel. I think that’s all the time we have. But thank you very much for being here, for sharing your thoughts and experiences around this topic.