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Danske Bank taps into the cognitive capabilities of IBM Watson

Danish bank is using IBM Watson as part of a major IT outsourcing deal

Danish financial services giant Danske Bank has signed a 10-year infrastructure services contract with IBM, and as part of the deal it will use a Watson-powered services platform to automate processes and develop new services.

“Our motivation for making this decision is simple – as a bank, we want to ensure our customers can count on our online banking solutions being available 24/7,” said Bo Svejstrup, head of IT operations at Danske Bank. “We will utilise cognitive technology to solve complex IT cases and problems related to our IT environment even faster, which will improve the overall 24/7 customer experience across our online banking services.”

IBM said the new IBM Services Platform with Watson taps into Watson’s cognitive capabilities to predict potential problems in IT operations and proactively take action to improve quality and reduce business disruptions. The platform, built on the IBM cloud, will also provide IT staff with data-based information and real-time visibility of their IT environment.

Danske Bank said it plans to use the platform to develop and implement a “first of a kind” cognitive delivery system, which will enable it to integrate existing systems and develop new financial services. The bank hopes the platform will help to minimise incidents that affect business-critical applications and end-users.

The banking group said it has already seen a significant drop in server incidents while testing IBM’s cognitive monitoring system, which is part of the new platform.

“At its core, cognitive technology enables us to understand and correlate complex data related to IT incidents across our IT infrastructure and predict where we may see issues next,” said Svejstrup. “We can then resolve these issues before they impact our customers and therefore avoid poor customer experience.”

Under the agreement, Danske Bank will focus on more operational activities, while IBM will provides its mainframe infrastructure-as-a-service and cognitive services for mainframe, distribution and network.

Read more about Danske Bank IT

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In 2014, Denmark’s Danske Bank announced plans for its own captive centre in Bangalore and it is now finalising the move to in-house IT delivery.

The move is part of Danske Bank’s strategy to modernise its IT infrastructure and make it more cloud-based in the coming years. Currently, the banking group employs more than 19,000 people in 15 countries and is looking to expand its IT capabilities.

“As a consequence of our decision, we are currently hiring IT resources in Denmark, Lithuania and India to ensure we can drive the modernisation efforts as planned across our IT platform,” said Svejstrup.

In addition to IBM Watson, Danske Bank is investigating how artificial intelligence (AI) could improve IT support for its own employees.

“Cognitive technologies can be an important lever to pull to improve customer experience in the financial industry, provided that companies carefully scan solutions on the market to find providers that offer mature products and a solid delivery model,” said Svejstrup.

AI and cognitive computing are spreading rapidly across the financial services industry. Rival Nordic bank Nordea is using AI software to speed up its customer service and in the UK’s Natwest is trialling AI technology to monitor advice given to its customers.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics

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