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Praca Bydgoszcz : PR News

February 13, 2008

Amica Mutual to Offer Discounted Rates

Filed under: Tech — Karol @ 8:05 pm

Amica Mutual to Offer Discounted Rates
and More Coverage Options in Massachusetts
LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND – Amica Mutual Insurance Company announced today that it has filed new, discounted rates with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. The company also announced that it will offer more coverage options for insurance consumers.

Some of the provisions of Amica’s filing that benefit consumers include:

Excellent rates for safe drivers;
A 10% multi-car discount;
A multi-line discount of 2-10% (varies by number of lines);
A 10% good student discount; and
A loyalty discount for current insureds of 3-7% (varies by years insured)
Amica will also introduce new coverages, such as Roadside Assistance, New Car Replacement coverage, and Auto Loan/Lease coverage. Amica will also offer additional deductible options for Comprehensive, Collision and Limited Collision.

The company plans to begin offering these discounts and coverages on new and renewal business beginning April 1, 2008.

“Amica is committed to rewarding good drivers with lower rates and has offered discounted rates to Massachusetts drivers since 1999,” said Robert A. DiMuccio, Amica’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the advent of managed competition, Amica will continue to create opportunities and flexibility for Massachusetts consumers seeking to meet their individual insurance needs at the best possible value.”

J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Amica Mutual “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Auto Insurers” for eight consecutive years, and “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Homeowner Insurers” for six years in a row.*

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, a direct writer and the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company has insured Massachusetts drivers since 1922, and currently insures over 81,000 households in the state. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, Rhode Island, is a national writer of automobile, homeowner, boat, yacht and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. For more information, call us at 1-800-242-6422 or visit www.amica.com.
* Amica received the highest numerical scores in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2000-2007 National Auto Insurance Satisfaction StudiesSM. 2007 Study based on 16,012 responses from policyholders of 26 insurance carriers, who were surveyed from March-April 2007 about their experiences and perceptions. Amica received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2002-2007 Homeowners Insurance StudiesSM. 2007 Study based on 10,903 responses from policyholders of 23 insurance carriers, who were surveyed from April-June 2007 about their experiences and perceptions. jdpower.com

Amica Mutual Applauds Move to Managed Auto Competition in Massachusetts

Filed under: Tech — Karol @ 8:05 pm

Amica Mutual Applauds Move to Managed Auto Competition in Massachusetts
Amica Mutual Insurance Company, a prominent insurer in the Massachusetts automobile market since 1922, fully supports Commissioner Burnes’ decision calling for managed competition in the Massachusetts market. In a competitive environment, Amica will create opportunities and flexibility for Massachusetts consumers seeking to meet their individual insurance needs at the best possible value.

“Amica has been diligently working for reform in the Massachusetts automobile market for many years, and is excited about the move to managed competition,” said Robert A. DiMuccio, President and CEO of Amica Mutual Insurance Company. “Amica will continue to work hard for consumers in the new environment to provide Massachusetts drivers with the best product and coverage options possible to meet their personal insurance needs.”

Amica is committed to rewarding good drivers and has offered discounted rates to Massachusetts drivers since 1999. Currently Amica offers a 15% multi-car credit for vehicles assigned a driver qualifying for the Excellent Driver Discount Plus classification of the Safe Driver Plan. This discount means eligible drivers realize a substantial savings off of the current state-set rates.

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, a direct writer and the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company has insured Massachusetts drivers since 1922, and currently insures over 81,000 households in the Commonwealth. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, Rhode Island is a national writer of automobile, homeowner, boat, yacht, and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. For more information, please call us at 1 800-242-6422

Amica Mutual Achieves I-CAR Gold Class Professionals Business Designation

Filed under: Tech — Karol @ 8:04 pm

Amica Mutual Achieves I-CAR Gold Class Professionals Business Designation
I-CAR announced that Amica Mutual Insurance Company has earned the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation in locations throughout the United States. All Amica Mutual Insurance Staff Appraisers and APD Supervisors have completed the required I-CAR training to achieve the Gold Class Professionals business designation for Amica Mutual Insurance. A majority of Amica employees have also achieved their Platinum Individual designation.

“It was essential for Amica to fulfill its mission to complete I-CAR training and reach Gold Class status,” states Scott M. Wendel, Amica Mutual Insurance Company APD Manager. “I-CAR training is highly regarded in the industry; the training achieved will not only enhance employee job performance while positioning Amica as an insurance company that values inter-industry training, but also benefit our customers by dealing with highly trained professionals. It’s also an added benefit for our employees to have completed 10 tested points of training each to complete their I-CAR Platinum Individual status.”

“I-CAR and Amica Mutual Insurance worked together to reach this goal,” states Jeff Peevy I-CAR Field Operations Manager. “I-CAR is proud of their achievement and would like to congratulate them at this time for achieving the highest standard of collision repair training recognized by the industry.”

The Gold Class Professionals program requires 5 points of tested training per employee to initially qualify, which equates to 20 hours of training per employee.

Amica Celebrates 100 Years on March 1

Filed under: Tech — Karol @ 8:04 pm

Amica Celebrates 100 Years on March 1
Amica Mutual Insurance Company celebrates 100 years of business on March 1, 2007. Founded a century ago in Providence, Rhode Island, Amica is the oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in the nation.

With 3,000 employees in 40 offices across the country, including 1,300 employees in Rhode Island, Amica provides insurance to more than 700,000 households. In addition to automobile insurance, Amica also writes homeowners coverage, personal umbrella liability, and marine insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary.

Throughout the years, Amica has always been known for providing exceptional service to policyholders. In 2006, J.D. Power and Associates ranked Amica “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Auto Insurers, Seven Years in a Row” and “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Homeowner Insurers, Five Years in a Row.”*

For many years, Amica was also known as a company where new insureds needed to be referred to the company. While this is no longer the case, the practice reinforced the company’s reputation for quality.

“Amica is a special place, and we want to move the company forward and prepare for the next 100 years,” said Robert A. DiMuccio, President and Chief Executive Officer, reflecting on Amica’s 100 years of history. “What very much sets Amica apart is our level of service, which comes from deep within our culture. This conveys a strong sense of loyalty to our policyholders.”

Amica has always maintained its Home Office in Rhode Island. In the 1990s Amica moved from Providence to an 87-acre office park in Lincoln, RI.
*Amica received the highest numerical scores in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2000-2006 National Auto Insurance Satisfaction StudiesSM,. 2006 Study based on 14,066 responses from policyholders of 24 insurance carriers, who were surveyed from April-May 2006 about their experiences and perceptions. Amica received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2002-2006 Homeowners Insurance StudiesSM,. 2006 Study based on 9,045 responses from policyholders of more than 18 insurance carriers, who were surveyed from May-June 2006 about their experiences and perceptions. Visit jdpower.com

February 12, 2008

Doing well by doing good: IBM Study says Businesses Seeking Growth through Social Responsibility

Filed under: Hi Tech — Karol @ 10:28 pm

Doing well by doing good: IBM Study says Businesses Seeking Growth through Social Responsibility

ARMONK, NY - 12 Feb 2008: Companies believe that when they are more open with stakeholders and place social responsibility at the core of their business strategy they will be more competitive, attract and retain the best talent, and gain access to new business opportunities, says a global study released today by IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Many companies now see corporate social responsibility as a growth opportunity rather than just a regulatory compliance or philanthropic effort, with 68 percent of those surveyed focused on generating revenue through CSR activities. In addition, 54 percent believe CSR initiatives contribute to giving their corporations a competitive advantage.
Driving these beliefs is the rising influence of customers who, thanks to their ability to research and share information on the Internet, have become highly sensitized to a broad range of issues — everything from concerns about climate change, to product safety issues, to labor practices, to corporate financial accountability, to questions about whether corporations are returning enough of their profits to the community.

While customers are becoming the chief driver of this increased focus on CSR, 76 percent of businesses surveyed admit they don’t truly understand their customers’ CSR concerns. In fact, even businesses that feel they are knowledgeable and prepared to deal with CSR issues may not be. Nearly two-thirds of companies surveyed believe they have sufficient information about the sources behind their products and services to satisfy customer concerns, but half of those admit they don’t understand their customers CSR expectations well.

Fueling the customer focus on CSR, three-quarters of businesses report that the number of advocacy groups collecting and reporting information on them has increased in the last three years as has the amount of information businesses are providing about the sourcing, composition and impact of their products, services and operations.

“The more information these stakeholders get, the more they want to know. This increased visibility of corporate behavior is driving consumers’ decisions on what to buy and whom to buy from, whom to work for, whom to partner with, where to invest,” said George Pohle, VP and Global Leader of IBM’s Business Strategy Consulting Practice. “It’s not only critical for businesses to keep up with the emerging demands of their stakeholders, but to build CSR into the core of their business strategy. That way CSR is not viewed as a discretionary cost but an investment that will bring financial returns. And since customers are changing buying behavior as a result of CSR, the financial impact can be dramatic.”

The survey results are part of a new report released today by IBM Institute for Business Value, titled, “Attaining Sustainable Growth Through Corporate Social Responsibility.” The full study, available at www.ibm.com/gbs/csrstudy, evaluates how well companies understand and manage CSR expectations, as well as outlines steps along the “value curve” that companies can follow to strategically align their CSR objectives to its core business strategy. According to the report, maximum benefit from the CSR opportunity takes place when all activities on the value curve — legal and compliance, strategic philanthropy, values-based self-regulation, efficiency and growth — become integrated into a cohesive strategy with leadership driven as much from employees, customers and business partners as from the CEO and senior executives.

IBM Survey Methodology

IBM surveyed senior executives and directors of strategy at 250 companies across the banking, chemicals and petroleum, consumer goods, electronics, energy and utilities, retail and automotive industries. Of the participants, 30 percent are located in North America, 30 percent in Asia Pacific, 20 percent in Western Europe, seven percent in Eastern Europe, six percent in Latin America, and four percent in the Middle East and Africa.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com

Amdocs and IBM to Help Service Providers Enhance Customer Experience with Master Data Management

Filed under: Hi Tech — Karol @ 10:28 pm

Amdocs and IBM to Help Service Providers Enhance Customer Experience with Master Data Management

BARCELONA, Spain - 12 Feb 2008: Today at the Mobile World Congress 2008, Amdocs (NYSE: DOX) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that they will expand their global relationship to help service providers deliver a dramatically improved customer experience. A cornerstone of the recently announced Amdocs CES (Customer Experience Systems) portfolio, the Amdocs Service Provider Information Management solutions will now incorporate several IBM Information on Demand middleware products to create new integrated solutions for the wireline, mobile, cable and satellite services industries.

IBM and Amdocs have teamed up to help solve a vexing problem for service providers — the need for a better customer experience. Service providers’ focus on the customer experience stems from unrelenting competition and consolidation in the wireline, mobile, cable and satellite services industries. These companies cannot rely on cost reductions, technological innovation, or value pricing alone to win in the marketplace. Now, they are honing in on customer experience as the factor that makes the difference. To that end, Amdocs and IBM have joined forces to help service providers to create a single view of customer and product data that can be used to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.

Amdocs’ industry-leading portfolio of Customer Experience Systems helps service providers manage core business operations including customer service, billing, ordering, digital commerce, advertising, and service and resource management. Now Amdocs is pre-integrating and deeply-embedding two IBM Information Management Products into its Customer Experience Systems portfolio. Specifically, the companies have integrated Amdocs’ Enterprise Product Catalog and Enterprise Customer Hub with the IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server and the IBM Information Server.

Based on industry standards, these integrated offerings apply an industry- specific data model for customer and product information and use the best tools available for solving the crucial problem of information management for service providers. The solutions also span the Amdocs CES portfolio as well as legacy and third party applications. In addition, the solutions reduce the integration challenges between Business Support Systems (BSS) and Operational Support Systems (OSS) applications.
Amdocs and IBM combine deep industry experience with an unrivalled track record of deploying successful industry and technology solutions,” said Guy Dubois, executive vice president at Amdocs. As Amdocs continues to deliver on our Customer Experience Systems Blueprint to guide service providers through transformation to deliver the digital lifestyle, this expanded relationship with IBM delivers superior information management solutions to reduce costs, accelerate growth, and enhance the customer experience.”

Through the new Amdocs Service Provider Information Management solutions, service providers will be able to access a single view of real-time transactional information from multiple systems and use customer information to offer customized products and services to businesses and consumers at a shorter time-to-market and lower cost. From a small pilot implementation to a full-scale data transformation initiative, the companies can deliver a single point of accountability for all solution components, and provide packaged implementation services to assure the rapid delivery of bottom-line benefits.

“Helping clients unlock the value of key business data is what IBM’s Information on Demand strategy is all about,” said Rob Thomas, vice president, Information Management. “Together with Amdocs, we plan to help telecommunications service providers to become more competitive by helping them use their core business data to create a superior consumer experience.”

About the Amdocs Customer Experience Systems (CES) Blueprint

The Amdocs CES Blueprint is the first visionary outline of the operating environment service providers need to establish in order to transform from providers of utility voice, data and video services into purveyors of the digital lifestyle. The blueprint allows providers to deliver a seamless customer experience-personalized, participatory and timely across any service, location and device. The Amdocs CES Blueprint leverages Amdocs comprehensive business process best practices based on real-world scenarios, and transcends traditional business support systems, operations support systems, and service delivery platforms to encompass all current and emerging customer experience business processes. For more information, go to http://www.amdocs.com/Site/Vision/ces.htm.

About Amdocs

Amdocs is the market leader in customer experience systems innovation, enabling world-leading service providers to deliver an integrated, innovative and intentional customer experience(TM) at every point of service. Amdocs provides solutions that deliver customer experience excellence, combining the software, service and expertise to help its customers execute their strategies and achieve service, operational and financial excellence. A global company with revenue of $2.84 billion in fiscal 2007, Amdocs has more than 16,000 employees and serves customers in more than 50 countries around the world. For more information, visit Amdocs at http://www.amdocs.com.

About IBM

For more information about IBM’s Information Platform and Solutions, please http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/ips/.

IBM Introduces Next Generation Storage Offerings

Filed under: Hi Tech — Karol @ 10:26 pm

IBM Introduces Next Generation Storage Offerings
First to Market Innovations, Enhancements and New Products Enable Businesses to Simplify and Maximize Resources

ARMONK, NY - 12 Feb 2008: IBM today announced new first-to-market information infrastructure platform offerings and enhancements across a broad range of its disk and tape storage portfolio. Targeting clients that range from small and medium businesses (SMB) to large enterprises, the new solutions allow customers to implement a more efficient tiered storage infrastructure and achieve improved cost savings, integrated data security, and enhanced archival solutions to meet compliance requirements and have an infrastructure that delivers information on demand.

“IBM’s goal is to provide the leading technologies and solutions for storage, servers, software and services – to address the challenges and realities IT customers are facing,” said Barry Rudolph, Vice President, Storage Stack Solutions, IBM. “The new storage offerings and enhancements we announced today will enable customers of all sizes to maintain highly resilient, high-performance, next generation network infrastructures.”

Next Generation N series for Large Enterprises
IBM announced the next generation of the N7000 series as both an appliance and gateway. The new N7700 and N7900 models will allow for improved scalability for large scale data center operations as well as storage consolidation for large open system enterprises and mid-market clients. The new systems offer massive scalability with support up to 1,176 Terabytes of raw capacity for large data center storage needs. The N7000 series enables customers to consolidate SAN and NAS storage needs to a single system that can provide support for primary, near-line, regulatory compliant data retention and archival storage all in single platform.

Further enhancements for N series include:

For the SMB N series client, the N3300 and N3600 can now support SATA or SAS drives in the controller, giving midrange clients more flexibility and options;
The N3300 has the increased scalability of 68TB and the N3600 to 104TB, allowing small and medium businesses to scale along with their growth;
Additional capacity has been added to the N5300 (from 168 to 336 TB), N5600 (from 252 to 504 TB), N7600 (from 420 to 840 TB) and the N7800 (from 504 to 1008 TB); and
SnapManager for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is now available on all N series systems, providing SMB and large enterprises a comprehensive unmatched industry solution for data management.
Next Generation Data Center Director
The IBM System Storage SAN768B establishes a platform for evolutionary growth with high performance computing and future Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) technologies. It is the first director-class product to support 8 Gigabit per second (Gbps) data transfer rates over Fibre Channel (FC) links, which enables a 100 percent improvement in data transfer speed over the previous generation. The SAN768B is the first product in the industry to support true interoperability between b-type (Brocade) and m-type (McDATA) directors in an 8 and 10 Gbps global enterprise FC SAN infrastructure. For m-type and other large enterprise clients that run mainframes with FICON channels, this interoperability provides a roadmap for growth of their existing FICON fabrics. This new technology platform reduces complexity, risk and power consumption with featured scalability of up to 768 ports across two domains.

Enhanced Archive and Data Retention Systems
IBM System Storage continues to invest in the information retention space with the next generation IBM System Storage DR550 v4.5. By leveraging System Storage Archive Manager (SSAM) for policy-based information retention, the DR550 enables the transparent and automated movement of archived data between storage tiers for cost savings without compromising the security of archived data. The award winning system is now available as a single machine for enhanced for ease of customer setup and use, leveraging IBM Director as the unified management system. Clients who are looking to protect business critical information for long term security as well as manage information growth and compliance can choose from two models of the DR550 v4.5: DR1 and DR2. The DR1 is a 25U tall rack, pre-integrated and ideal for mid-market clients. The DR2 is built for large enterprises, packaged in a bigger 36U tall rack and offering single or dual-node configuration options for higher availability and scalability.

Disk Systems Maximized for SMB Telco
IBM announced the new NEBS compliant IBM System Storage DS3300 DC power model 32T which is designed with no single point of failure for high availability and hot swappable redundant components for high reliability in the SMB telecommunications industry. The new features enable telecommunications service providers to deliver everything from basic voice telephony to Internet Protocol television (IPTV), video on demand (VoD), IP multimedia subsystems (IMS) and security.

The DS3300 DC easily integrates into existing IP networks with no distance limitations through iSCSI connectivity, including a dual iSCSI controller enclosure with 12 disk drive bays. The DS3300 has dual redundant DC power supplies and can go virtually anywhere beyond the corporate data center including remote locations. To meet the growing demand for storage capacity and scalability, three EXP3000 units are also available for support of up to 48 SAS and or SATA disks.

New Drives for Linear Tape-Open
IBM introduced the latest generation of the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape drive in a half height factor for the IBM System Storage TS3100 and TS3200 Tape Library Express Models, offering savings for cost and space conscious businesses.

The drives are optimal for handling backup, saving, restoring and archiving data in the SMB environments, and provide higher levels of security against physical cartridge loss and theft. Both are designed to offer high capacity, enhanced performance and technology for the midrange open system environment.

IBM is the first company in the storage industry to offer Ultrium 4 Half-High SAS half-high tape drives in entry automation, enhancing tape performance over the previous generation. SMB customers can encrypt and manage data with the industry leading IBM Encryption Key Manager, without the need for additional appliances.

Pricing and Availability
The new N7700 and the N7900 will be generally available (GA) worldwide on April 18, 2008. The N7700 is available with a starting configuration price of $125,000. The new N7900 has a starting configuration price of $190,000. Additional pricing on the N series enhancements can be found at http://www.ibm.com/storage.

The enhanced DR550 DR1 will be generally available on February 29, 2008 with a starting configuration price of $26,000. The DR550 DR2 will be generally available on February 29, 2008 with a starting configuration price of $73,000.

The IBM System Storage DS3300 DC will be generally available on February 29, 2008 with a starting configuration price of $9,495.

The IBM System Storage TS3100 Tape Library Express Model and the IBM System Storage TS3200 Tape Library Express Model will be generally available on March 14, 2008 with a starting configuration price of $8,300.

The IBM System Storage SAN768B will be generally available on February 22, 2008 with an entry configuration price of $390,000

All offerings announced today are available either direct from IBM or through IBM Business Partners.

IBM Global Financing (IGF), the lending and leasing business segment of IBM can provide competitive rates to qualified applicants to access these new offerings. For more information, payment calculators and information about the benefits of financing visit the IGF website, www.ibm.com/financing.

For more information about IBM and IBM System Storage, visit http://www.ibm.com/storage.

IBM Delivers Telco Innovations to Improve Consumer Experience

Filed under: Hi Tech — Karol @ 10:25 pm

IBM Delivers Telco Innovations to Improve Consumer Experience
New IBM Technologies Mobilize Social Networks, Enable Roaming Health Records

BARCELONA, SPAIN - 11 Feb 2008: At Mobile World Congress, IBM (NYSE: IBM) debuted mobile services of today and the future – from social networking to the built-in security and service quality that telecom customers expect in a digital world.

As consumers increasingly demand convenience, control, flexibility and choice, creating a consistent and innovative customer experience across devices and networks has become a top focus for communications service providers. In a recent IBM survey of more than 250 telecom executives, 60 percent of respondents said they believe they can grow by improving the customer experience across all channels, including online and retail operations.
“Our service provider clients tell us they believe growth in the next five years will stem from converged content services like television and video,” said Mike Hill, general manager, Telecommunications Industry, IBM. “Yet factors like ease of use, simplicity, security and quality—all of which comprise the total experience—are essential to drive these new service revenues. Consumers expect the same carrier-grade service quality for new mobile services as they get from providers today.”

IBM demonstrated some of the ways it is differentiating the next generation mobile experience at Mobile World Congress:

SOCIAL NETWORKS GO MOBILE

IBM collaborated with its client, leading global service provider Vodafone, to extend social networks to any mobile device by taking advantage of communication enablers such as IBM WebSphere Presence Server. Demonstrated for the first time at Mobile World Congress, consumers can communicate with their social network friends regardless of where they are with voice and SMS from either a PC or a mobile phone.

“Working together with IBM, Vodafone developed ‘BuddyComm,’ an integrated communication service for social network users,” said Mike Walker, director of Vodafone Group Research & Development. “This project was a unique opportunity for Vodafone and IBM to bring together research and innovation capability from both sides to achieve goals which neither company could reach by itself, providing real benefit to customers who are active on social networks.”

PRESENCE MEETS THE “GOOD SAMARITAN”

IBM Research demonstrated how mobile phones and “presence” technology combined with health records can provide a potential “good samaritan” with information on how to aid people in critical medical situations. This combination of IBM Research capabilities and IBM WebSphere Presence Server exemplifies IBM’s ability to create enhanced mobile applications for everyday life.

IP SERVICE QUALITY

IBM unveiled new software for communications service providers to monitor, manage and measure the quality of their Internet Protocol television (IPTV), Internet Protocol virtual private networks (IPVPN) and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The three new software offerings are “commercial off the shelf” versions of IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager, each geared toward a specific service – IPTV, IPVPN and VoIP. IBM also announced the upcoming availability of commercial off the shelf versions for short messaging service (SMS) text message and voicemail services.

SECURITY FOR THE MOBILE WORLD

On display for the first time, the new IBM Telecom Integrated Security Solution is an integrated software, hardware and services framework for communications service providers to deliver in-the-cloud services, or “clean pipes” free of malicious traffic, to both businesses and consumers.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE REVEALED

IBM demonstrated new software that will help bring proactive management of each individual customer’s experience. The Customer Experience Management solution will be available in conjunction to the release of the new version of IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager – both scheduled to be released next quarter.

For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/telecom.

Banks Feel Pressure to Globalize and Offer New Services for Consumers

Filed under: Hi Tech — Karol @ 10:25 pm

Press room > Press releases >

Banks Feel Pressure to Globalize and Offer New Services for Consumers
Competition Driving Industry to Specialize and Collaborate to Capture New Markets

ARMONK, NY - 11 Feb 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the results of a global research report that reveals the banking industry is counting on new market expansion, particularly in emerging markets, to fuel growth and efficiency opportunities over the next five years, yet banks say they are not prepared to seize these opportunities.

The report, “No Bank is an Island: Get Global Before Globalization Gets You,” indicates 69 percent of banking executives acknowledge their organization is not operating in a globally integrated fashion. As a result, few banks are positioned to effectively operate outside their domestic markets or compete in key emerging markets such as China, South Korea, India, Ireland, and Turkey where demand for new banking products and services is set for rapid growth.

“The worldwide financial system is expected to quadruple to (US) $1,300 trillion by 2025,” said Shanker Ramamurthy, global industry leader, banking and financial markets, IBM Global Business Services. “Banks of all sizes are feeling the effects of globalization as rising cross-border banking M&A and the proliferation of non-bank, online and mobile banking providers increases competition for customers. The question is: what role will traditional banks play in a globally integrated industry? And will they be able to adapt their business models to take advantage of globalization? We believe banks that specialize and collaborate with other players both within and outside the industry to meet specific consumer needs in various markets will be best positioned for growth.”

The global survey, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, includes responses from more than 640 industry executives across 89 countries to determine the impact of globalization on the banking industry. Key findings include:

1) Seventy five percent of banking executives believe universal banks are best prepared for globalization, but said specialists have an edge in critical growth areas of the industry. When asked who has the advantage on creating future shareholder value, banking executives chose specialists on four out of the top six categories including organizational flexibility, knowledge of client needs, consistent service excellence and superior execution — all capabilities that allow specialists to better understand their clients and go to market quickly. Universals were viewed to have the advantage on risk management and capital/financing capabilities.

2) Collaboration will enable banks to build the strategic capabilities they need to target growth and efficiency opportunities. More than half of respondents indicated they are seeking to establish strategic relationships with service providers and vendors outside of the banking industry over the next five years. Unexpectedly, over 40 percent of respondents said they will seek to collaborate more closely with their traditional rivals (other banks). Of the top capabilities banks said they would seek through these relationships, a surprisingly large number plans to augment their strategic front office and corporate effectiveness by partnering for sales (38 percent), strategy and planning (32 percent) and risk management (28 percent) capabilities.

3) Banks are struggling to match their delivery priorities with consumer demands and specialization can help close the disconnect. Industry research shows banking consumers consider consistent service, advice and convenience essential to quality service. However, this study reveals banks continue to divorce convenience from advice and service, with 65 percent of bank executives putting a premium on delivering consistent service, but only 19 percent stating that increasing convenience was among their top delivery priorities. As a result, consumers are finding new ways to access banking convenience and advice through online and mobile specialists. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of respondents said they view online and mobile specialists as a threat to their business.

Taking Action

Study analysis reveals banks can take specific actions to better capitalize on the opportunities of globalization:

– Break away from the herd - Executives recognize the need to measure the risk and reward trade-offs, and fear world-wide windows of opportunity may be closing. Understanding their own strengths against the changing nature of financial sector sophistication in different parts of the world allows bankers to choose the right strategy for their bank. For example, banks that can effectively identify and analyze the potential impact of industry interdependence across the financial services sector (as evidenced by the global credit crisis that began in 2007) will be better positioned to mitigate risk and uncover new growth opportunities as compared to the competition.

– Specialize to gain advantage - Specialist banks, with their targeted strategies and specific expertise, seem to own the advantage in understanding customer needs. New entrants with an ability to empower key customer segments are targeting the base of the innovation S-curve to win the hearts and minds of their customers. Banks must focus and strengthen their key capabilities to be able to compete with these innovators or risk being left behind.

– Globally integrate your capabilities - Banks are struggling to operate in a more agile and global fashion. Fifty-one percent of universal banks rank their global integration capabilities as moderate to poor. The shift toward more fluid, globally integrated enterprises will enable banks to capture opportunities whenever and wherever they exist on the revenue and cost sides.

– Win minds - Executives realize that organizational culture is both the top enabler of global integration and a formidable barrier. Banks must actively win minds and address the cultural cues — both with customers and internally — to better manage for success.

To view a copy of this study and for more information on IBM banking solutions, visit http://www.ibm.com/gbs/globalbanking.

Research Methodology:

IBM surveyed 644 business leaders from 89 countries and 320 firms. We conducted qualitative interviews of 184 executives and surveyed 460 executives in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit. Our respondents were based around the world: 30 percent in the Americas, 32 percent in Asia-Pacific and 38 percent across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Analysis of the research focused on gaining insights from selected banking industry participants including universal banks, national/regional banks, community banks/savings & loans/cooperative banks and building societies, specialist and boutique banks, industry vendors and service providers, non-governmental organizations, academics and regulators.

Study authors:

Cormac Petit, Joint Global Banking Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value

John White, Joint Global Banking Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value

Wendy Feller, Global Financial Services Sector Head, IBM Institute for Business Value

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