5th afb Market and Innovation Event 2018: Digital technologies enable new business models on the way to a networked ecosystem


Munich, 23 May 2018 - The path to a networked ecosystem was energetically and intensively discussed at the 5th afb Market and Innovation Event on 17 May 2018 in Munich. More than 100 experts and executives from financial and other service providers, manufacturers and retailers agreed that the Big Four, i.e. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, will be profoundly changing entire industries in just a few years. The question as to what extent new digital technologies or new business models in response to customer needs are the cause of the success of digital platforms was critically examined. There was agreement that the influence of the Big Four resulted from their access to many customers. Thanks to fully digital business processes, a very large number of customers could be gained in a relatively short time.

'The vast majority of the participants at our event believe that their company needs to invest more in customer acquisition, technology and solutions to become more successful in the era of ecosystems. At the same time, however, only about half are of the view that the process of customer onboarding in their company is to be evaluated as better than 'mediocre',' says Gerolf Dienhold, member of the Management Board of afb, and adds: 'That's why there is such a big interest in our software solutions that deliver best-in-class services, ranging from individual product presentations to digital application procedures through to contract conclusion.'

Many questions were raised by the audience attending the four keynote speeches. In his keynote address, the scientist Prof. Elgar Fleisch, professor at the University of St.Gallen and the ETH Zurich, provided numerous examples of what the Internet of Things does to us and our economy. Great attention was paid to the success of intelligent chatbots in caring for customers.
Axel Nordieker, Managing Director of Toyota Kreditbank GmbH, explained the organisational challenges for a successful digital transformation in practice. It is important to motivate all employees: both long-serving employees, who are skeptical about change, and digital natives, who regard proven systems as ballast.

Enrico Moritz and Philipp Oberleitner, responsible for Business Development and Sales at afb Application Services AG, presented solutions for the necessary restructuring of IT architectures. They advocated a 'hybrid' approach that combines proven, monolithic applications with new platforms and gradually enables the necessary change. Axel Apfelbacher, CEO of niiio finance Group AG, talked about the promises that blockchain technology has made and what changes are yet to be expected. He was convinced that in about ten years many financial transactions will be realised through a blockchain.

The technology themes of the Speed Innovation Market led to lively interaction within small groups in six expert sessions. The attending experts and executives discussed digital customer onboarding, identity providing and artificial intelligence with the speakers just as intensively as business process modelling and the digital account check during credit checks.

'The digital technologies that companies can use to adapt their business models to the new world of ecosystems are in place and have been tested. The customer's wishes and requirements should be at the forefront whenever digital transformations are considered. With afb's solutions, customer onboarding can be completely digitised so that companies can offer first-class service to every interested party from the first contact to the conclusion of the contract. The discussions at the afb Market and Innovation Event have shown that companies have a great need to gain competitive advantages and to serve their customers' expectations,' says Philipp Oberleitner, Sales Manager at afb Application Services AG.

Figure 1: Gerolf Dienhold, member of the Management Board of afb Application Services AG, (center) and other participants are using the interactive sessions at the afb Market and Innovation Event to inform themselves about the digitisation of customer onboarding. (Source: afb Application Services AG)

afb Application Services AG
Dietmar Koethner
Professional Marketing
Phone: +49 (89) 78 000-351