On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road Partner Edition, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome MongoDB’s Alan Chhabra, EVP Worldwide Partners, Wells Fargo’s Nadeem Kayani, EVP/CIO of Consumer Lending and Capgemini’s Arindam Choudhury, VP, Banking & Capital Markets, Head of Global Insights & Data.
Their discussion covers:
- Insights into the innovations happening in the area of financial transactions
- What Wells Fargo is focusing on to bring new features to improve the customer experience, save costs and modernizing for the future
- How they’re prioritizing at the c-suite level where everything is important
- How Capgemini is working with its partners to help their customers modernize and innovate within Financial Services
- An overview of MongoDB’s announcement launching Atlas for Industries
You can watch the full video here:
You can listen to the conversation here:
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Patrick Moorhead: Hi, this is Pat Moorhead and The Six Five is on the road in New York City at MongoDB local 2023. As you can hear by the excitement and the noise, and all of this awesome stuff going on, we are in the middle of an event. Daniel, how you doing, my friend?
Daniel Newman: Yeah. It’s been a good day. You’d be remiss to not say that AI has been a focus.
Patrick Moorhead: That’s right.
Daniel Newman: And, you would also be crazy if you’re a tech company not to be talking about AI right now.
Patrick Moorhead: Exactly.
Daniel Newman: So, I came here, excited to hear the vision. Excited to hear about new technologies and products, and really bridge that gap between the boardroom, I call it the D-Suite, the developers, and the C-suite, in the boardroom. Because, really, we live our world crafted on apps, and MongoDB is really at the center of that. So Pat, we are in the right place to be right now.
Patrick Moorhead: And, we have an incredible smorgasbord of conversation with multiple companies. I mean, end users, an amazing consulting firm to pull everything together, and MongoDB. So gentlemen, thanks for coming on The Six five. I appreciate that.
So, Nadeem, Wells Fargo, make sure I get this right. Arindam from Capgemini and Alan from MongoDB. Thanks for coming on the show.
Nadeem Kayani: Glad to be here.
Daniel Newman: All right, Nadeem, I want to start with you. Pat, on The Six Five, we always talk about how excited we are when we get to see the customer and the customer comes on the show. And, as tech analysts that work a lot with the vendors we hear a lot from the vendors. We hear quite a bit from the SI’s that deploy the vendors, but you’re sort of the ground truth.
Patrick Moorhead: We have them surrounded too.
Nadeem Kayani: There you go.
Daniel Newman: You have pundits, right? And vendors.
Patrick Moorhead: Vendors and integrators-
Daniel Newman: Right here. But I mean, you’re listening to Dave on stage and then you listen to the product team, you’re hearing what they’re rolling out. You’re kind of then making determinations of, we’re going to try this, we’re going to wait on this. We’re all in on this one. And by the way, you recently got a Gold Stevie, clearly recognized within the industry of really putting resources behind technology. We all know that the financial services market is one that’s ripe for continuous disruption, but also everybody, all the consumers, all the businesses are looking for better experiences. I’d love for you just to give a little bit of your impression on what you heard today. Talk a little bit about your relationship with MongoDB and what you guys are doing with all this technology that we’re hearing about today, and of course the legacy of what you’ve been building on.
Nadeem Kayani: Absolutely. Look, it’s a great event to be in. Lots of AI. I’m counting how many times the word AI has been used-
Daniel Newman: Three more, now.
Nadeem Kayani: Three more, there you go. And, it’s almost as much as we use it in our meetings, in our discussions, it is the topic of the day, and I’m really glad to see the theme today has been about AI, but folks who’ve been in technology, this is not something new. We’ve known about it. We know what’s behind it. I don’t want to call it a hype cycle. I think it’s well above the hype cycle, but we have to start looking at the practical implementations of what this AI means to someone like us in Wells Fargo as a financial institute.
There’s the age-old thing. We said, we don’t want to be on the cutting edge because we don’t want to be the ones who discover the faults in something new, but we want to be able to take advantage when something has been matured, so our customers can take advantage of that as well. So, everything we’re hearing today, of course, in my mind, I’m thinking of how this could be implemented and when we can implement it to offer products to our customers. So, very relevant content, very relevant and super excited to be working with Mongo on all the things we’re working on.
Patrick Moorhead: You talked about practicality, and there’s one level of practicality that says you’re a financial institution and you have regulations everywhere, and if you make a mistake, bad things happen, right? There’s also the practicality of scale, which is just what a broad estate, how much data you must have in so many different areas. Can you talk a little bit about the scale of what you’re doing?
Nadeem Kayani: Oh, right off. Each time we talk about it’s both a little bit nerve wracking, but it’s also excitement because data is the gold mine. That’s the gold. What we can do, the personalized products we can offer our customers, is inherently built into the data we have on every transaction, every knowledge we have for our customers. So, the scale is- I come from Goldman Sachs before joining Wells Fargo. I thought that was large. We’re not just the tip of the ice for when it comes to Wells Fargo, large customer base, lots of trust. But, our data and how we use the data scale, we’re talking about the way the industry is shifting. It used to be when you used credit cards or loans, it used to be large dollar amounts. Now, you have subscriptions. Now, you have every 10 cents of transactions occurring on a credit card. All of that generates data.
Patrick Moorhead: All I know is my kids are hitting me up every other day with a request through my bank, that 10 bucks, 20 bucks, 30 bucks. So yeah, the rate of it just seems- it’s compounding.
Nadeem Kayani: Exactly. I mean, Candy Crush, the amount of times Candy Crush has hit my credit card bill, I can tell you it’s a lot. So, high volume, low dollar amounts, but high volume. And, it’s just exponentially getting bigger because of the subscription models for a lot of the offers and services we’re now inheriting. So, the data’s only getting bigger. And, this goes back to how do we collect it? How do we first be good custodians of it and then utilize it to offer a more personalized experience. And, of course digital experience, that’s where everything is headed.
Daniel Newman: So, with the whole onset of gen AI, there’s kind of these different schools of thought. There’s this school of efficiency, which is kind of how do we get as lean as possible and implement generative AI capabilities to, well, again, we’re in a year of austerity. Every company’s trying to run a little bit leaner. Can we automate these processes? Can we automate our call centers? What can we do? And then, there’s also the buildings part of this thing where it’s going to be about more, whether it’s more content and media, more applications to enable your customers to have those better experiences. Where are you focusing first? Where are you putting your first wave of effort as it comes to developing future apps and how do you see that evolving?
Nadeem Kayani: Well, I’ll answer that in two ways. So one, let’s talk about the developers. We believe this generative AI is going to enable developers to be the kind of developers they want it to be, right? Spending less time developing every single test case. Test cases can be generated, code can be generated for a commodity code. So, they can spend time in the differentiating components of the code. That’s what developers really want to do. Everything else, it’s kind of like going to a college university, you have your main course and you have all these electives you have to take.
That’s where we think it’s going to enable the developers to be able to focus on the right thing. So, I think similar to that, we look at this as an additive, initially. Again, speaking from a financial organization, we want to be cautious about where it gets implemented. But, we do think this will help accelerate the output that we want to get to. It will help us be that much more aware of our customers and offer that much more personalized services as opposed to eliminating certain things. Now along the way, will it help do things right now that are done by humans? Of course it will, but we are looking forward to taking those same humans and pushing them towards doing more and doing it more for our customers.
Patrick Moorhead: So, I’ve run a few corporate strategy groups a couple jobs ago, and I always like to say it’s easy to say yes, let’s focus on the things we’re not going to do, or let’s prioritize and have a cut line. I’m curious, at the C level, how are you making these tradeoffs? I mean, there’s the cost side, there’s customer experience, there’s short term revenue and profitability, there’s long term revenue and profitability. What’s the framework for how you make tradeoffs?
Nadeem Kayani: I think for each organization we have to know what they’re about. So, when you look at the organizations that I’ve been part of, especially in the financial space, trust is a big component. So, in order to be able to provide trust to our customers, operational risk is a big component. Security is a big component. So, those things are top of the line. We don’t prioritize or anything about-
Patrick Moorhead: No compromise.
Nadeem Kayani: No compromise when it comes to security and when it comes to earning that trust. Now beyond that, we also recognize the market’s changing. The way folks are interacting with financial transactions is changing, the storefronts are changing all of- so we have to continue to invest, to offer products where the customers want it to be. I mean, if you look at the financial transactions, it’s amazing. There’s two things that are becoming very inherent. Customers want optionality before purchase, at point of sale, as well as post. As well as, the customers want to be able to make the financial transaction to be the least relevant part of a transaction when they’re buying services, they want to experience the purchase, they want to experience that, but be able to tap and make the payments. So, when we make investments, we are keeping those things in mind. How do we prioritize operational risk and security above all and then invest in places where our customers want us to be.
Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, I love that you brought up the trust. I mean, we all got a big reminder on trust in the last six months, right?
Daniel Newman: Arindam, you’ve been listening to us talk to Nadeem for a bit here, and obviously Wells Fargo is doing some very interesting things and has some real challenges. I feel like with you, we can just back out just a little bit because you’re looking at the sector. And so, whether it’s with Wells Fargo, whether it’s with other banking customers of Capgemini, talk a little bit about how you’re seeing the industry, seeing the opportunity, seeing the disruption, the innovation, and of course dealing with the fact that while this is one of the most innovation thirsty industries, it’s also one of the most heavily regulated. So, how do you balance the regulation with the need-demand for these next generation experiences?
Arindam Choudhury: No, that’s a great question and great insights, Nadeem, that sets the context for the conversation. So, I think there is a tremendous space of innovation and data. Everybody kind of acknowledges that the value is locked in the data. And, we kind of thrive on solving the most complex business problems for our clients using data. But for that, you need a world-class platform. You need a platform that gives you trust, gives security, is cloud-agnostic. That’s becoming very important and it actually brings the data closer to the consumers, okay.
That’s absolutely key. You don’t want to invest in a data platform, which is going to lock up the data and make it hard to get access to. So, we have been partnering with Mongo for a long time now, and we have solved some of the most complex problems in the industry using their platform. So for example, for investment banks, we help them migrate a major portfolio of cards in like 50% of the time. And now, we are even venturing into more interesting use cases like hollowing out the core and building a new digital core around a data platform that’s more responsive. I think what Mongo folks have done here, they’ve created a great partner ecosystem. So, they’re great to work with, and yeah, appreciate that support.
Patrick Moorhead: That’s great. Alan, you’ve been very patient here-and the irony is like it’s your show. We’re like-
Daniel Newman: We’re back the other way.
Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, no, no. But, you made a big announcement here, essentially Atlas for industries. And, the first vertical is for financial services. And, first of all, as an industry analyst, I love to see that because with specialization means that you’re going to be able to better serve the needs of people in that vertical. But, what does it actually mean in practice? What are you looking at doing differently that you aren’t doing today? Because it looks like you have some of the most successful financial services institutions already out there.
Alan Chhabra: Yeah. Well, I mean, the joke about me not speaking is a good thing because when we have phenomenal customers like Wells Fargo and phenomenal partners like Capgemini, talking on our behalf, that’s what we want. That’s how MongoDB gets scaled to the masses. In regards to your question, developers in the banking industry are some of the savviest, smartest, driven, but also they have a lot of scrutiny when it comes to regulatory issues and security. So, the banking industry customers, the developers, especially at Wells, are looking for companies like MongoDB, partners, like Capgemini and the hyperscalers to come together and publish blueprints that they can then go use using our technologies and our people and know that the companies stand behind it. It’s been tested, it’s been certified, but it allows faster innovation. So, that’s what we announced today. One of our first competencies is in the financial services industry. We partner with all three of the hyperscalers, and I’m proud that Capgemini is with us because companies like Wells Fargo, they need the best solutions in the world, and we’re excited to have a chance to give them that.
Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, I love it. I love it.
Daniel Newman: You tied together a few really important threads. One of the things I took away from Dave’s keynote was speed. But, it’s not just about doing it fast, it’s about doing it well. And, I think in the AI era, you think about things like the ambition to ingest all your data really quickly, and then you think about an industry like financial, and you go, man, with all that PII data, the complexity even of a meeting, of the scratch on a piece of paper or a fully structured table of what’s PII, what’s risk, and how do we make sure we extract that in the very beginning?
And, that’s just one of many different gates along the way. But in the end, it’s about a customer being able to quickly buy a coffee or to be able to check their balances, safely transfer their money, know that their mortgage is up-to-date, whatever it is, and be able to do it in a really seamless way, even a proactive way, where data’s coming to you. I always say that, why do I have to call to find this out? And, I’m thinking a lot of the technology’s going to be about making it simpler. I could talk to you guys all day, I’ve really enjoyed this. I want to thank you all for joining The Six Five here. Let’s do it again sometime.
Alan Chhabra: Thank you. Thanks guys. Thank you both.
Nadeem Kayani: Appreciate that.
Patrick Moorhead: Thank you guys for coming.
Daniel Newman: All right, everyone, thanks for tuning in here. We are The Six Five. We’re on the road here at MongoDB local, New York City. Great event, great conversations, Pat. I hope you will hit that subscribe button. If you watched this one and you liked it, watch all the other ones.
Patrick Moorhead: Watch all of our shows. We appreciate you tuning in. Bye-bye now. Thanks.