Luc Barnaud (École Polytechnique, 89 – Telecom ParisTech, 94), Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Natixis, and Pierre Leger (ENSICAEN, 2014), Expert Leader at 89C3R Innovation LAB, take us behind the scenes at Natixis’ digital transformation.
Just how do you manage digital transformation at Natixis?
L. B. : The whole point of digital technology is to improve the customer experience by making our services simpler, more immediate and more personalized, and this applies across payment, claims management, savings and financing. This requires sound knowledge of technology as well as the development of so-called self-care solutions – chatbots and other robo advisors – but also major changes in our corporate cultural to make data a real source of augmented intelligence to better serve our clients.
So we decided to take the bold step of bringing together our IT, digital and data staff in the same team to deliver on this digital promise, creating a set-up that aligns all our expertise to serve the same goal and enhance our agility.
|Pierre tells us about Natixis’ digital factory 89C3R
“89C3R pools together several areas of cross-business expertise i.e. user experience, data, technologies, digital transformation, etc. Our role is not to monopolize digital projects but rather we seek to organize communities, build shared foundations, and provide our business lines with solutions to help them to swiftly implement their own projects and step up our digitalization.”
What areas are you working on?
L. B. : We’re working on data of course, but we’re also looking at robotics, machine learning, chatbots, APIs, UX/UI, digital marketing, the spread of agile practices, etc. Getting a grip on these new technologies is vital, but what’s even more important is learning to work in a multi-disciplinary team. Success really materializes when skills are pooled and shared within a project or product team.
Where do young talents come into it?
P. L. : I worked on a student placement at Natixis during my studies, and then joined 89C3R to develop the group’s Chatbot platform. My managers put their trust in me right from the start and I was fortunate enough to take part in the Apple conference in the US two years in a row and meet the best developers in the world. I was also given real freedom in my job: for example we’re testing concepts on virtual and augmented reality at the minute.
L. B. : Our aim is for half of our new hires to be under 30 across all our entities in France (150 recruitments planned this year), London, Hong Kong, New York and Porto. At Natixis, every employee is encouraged to develop his/her leadership and grow. Our younger staff can very quickly take on high-impact roles, like Pierre who is now an Expert Leader.
What message do you have for young graduates?
L. B. : Try out the banking sector! Banks were admittedly not born with digital technologies, but the revolution under way is real, speedy and exciting. Here at Natixis, we decided to allocate a budget of €450m to digital out to 2020. You will quickly be immersed in new technologies and get involved in a company that operates very much on a human scale, with a strong history, immense trust from its clients and a leadership culture that focuses resolutely on collective intelligence and promoting skills.
So we’re looking forward to seeing younger talents support our transformation, shake up our business and bring fresh momentum.
P. L. : Banking is not necessarily seen as a modern business, but it’s actually a highly technological environment where you can get involved in a whole range of issues. The great diversity of businesses and cultures is a real asset, and there is also strong team spirit.
You can impress Natixis too
Whether as part of its Business analytics and future banking chair set up with HEC Paris and Polytechnique, or via its partnership with the Web School Factory, Natixis is also keen to meet and challenge young people. “We are impressed by how quickly they understand our challenges and take a comprehensive view and they have amazing strength of conviction. Their work is very professional and really adds substance to our explorations and initiatives.”