IT managers in the Swiss financial sector shed a light on the latest IT developments in the sectors of banking and insurance at the SAP Financial Services Briefing in Rüschlikon. After some external keynote speeches and client presentations on digital implementation projects, there was plenty time for collegial exchange. Reinsurance company SwissRe presented its major ongoing finance sector project with Q_PERIOR.
In his welcome address, Stefan Inderbitzin (SAP Switzerland) broached the subject of change in the finance sector and linked this to the market’s changed attitude towards Cloud solutions among other things. He stated that while the response of the finance sector was reticent initially, a clear change in acceptance is now becoming noticeable.
Following this, Karin Frick’s keynote speech (GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute) broached societal trends impacting the financial sector with participants. In her opinion it is not enough here to adapt channels and structures to the changed lifestyles of clients (buzzwords ‘mobile first’ or ‘on-demand’). She went on to say that instead the finance sector needs to change its products too if past target groups start to diminish in their traditional segmentation.
Thomas Wright, Finance Re Transformation IT Lead at SwissRe, and Karsten Höppner, CEO Q_PERIOR, who held one of the first specialist lectures of the afternoon, reported on the transformation of the reinsurance company. In 2014, SwissRe opted to reorganize its finance division with the help of the solutions SAP HANA and S/4HANA Finance. All relevant finance data are now stored centrally in the in-memory database in order to simplify, integrate and automate all finance processes.
Wright’s interim conclusion on the project which runs up to 2018 was largely positive: He maintained that, if done properly, the switch to HANA would constitute a competitive advantage for his company: “It works, it’s stable, and it’s fast!”. He went on to say that the innovation rate is very high.