Musings on BAI 2013

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19 November 2013
Daniel Latimore
I’ve had a little time now to reflect on the latest BAI conference, held earlier this month in Denver. I have five observations:
  1. Trite as it sounds, there is still no substitute for face-to-face interaction. The Celent banking team was booked from dawn to dusk, meeting with banks and service providers to discuss current views on the market. For us it was certainly time well spent.
  2. Of the FinTech 100 that BAI announced (together with Bank Technology News and American Banker), only 27 had booths at the show. Of the Enterprise 25, only 8 were present. There seems to be opportunity here to increase FinTech representation, but it also raises question about why roughly 70% of top vendors chose not to participate. Some proportion clearly thinks that there are better ways to spend their business development dollars.
  3. The buzz around core replacement is increasing. Zions’ formal announcement of its project with TCS sparked many discussions about whether this was the first crack in the dam. The lag between talk and execution is well known, but the talk is certainly growing louder.
  4. Mobile continues on its torrid pace as today’s hottest topic. And omni-channel (of which mobile is a critical component) isn’t far behind. More and smaller banks are wondering how best to tackle these issues and are looking for help from partners.
  5. Panel discussions are a very challenging format for conferences, not just at BAI, but at any large gathering. Engaging panelists in a way that moves beyond serial presentations or monologues takes real skill and preparation on the part of the moderator and participants.
We’re in the midst of planning our conference coverage for 2014 and welcome your views on the highest value shows.

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