gi-Geldinstitute Expert Talk: How banks keep track of IT vulnerabilities

An article by Stefanie Walter, Editor | 01.03.2022 – translated with DeepL.com – Original in German available HERE

Expert Panel: Christian Meusel, Berliner Volksbank – Gerrit von der Hardt, Targobank – Thorsten Demski, Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh – Andreas Meyer, Union IT Services DZ Bank Group – Jochen Werne, Prosegur – Marion Gratenberg, Targobank

The rapidly advancing technological transformation in the banking sector also brings problems. Instead of leading to increased security, labour savings and customer friendliness, different applications can also bring performance problems and even failures.

This must be recognised and averted in good time. Application performance management, performance engineering, software intelligence, overservability or process mining are the new buzzwords here. A holistic overview of all applications is helpful in resolving weaknesses and freeing up capacities for innovations in the business. In the gi-Geldinstitute roundtable discussion, this topic will be examined by experts.

Meusel: As a bank, we must first and foremost provide services for our clients. They are our main drivers. We in the operational organisation are therefore currently investing intensively in usability and direct availability in particular.

Demski: We want to avoid media discontinuities and streamline and improve process transitions in individual departments. The work on process improvement has accelerated a bit due to the pandemic. But it is a fundamental issue that we are dealing with in the context of digitalisation. Our last project focused on the speed of the credit processes. Our goal is not only to bring about decisions quickly, but also to ensure that they are as error-free as possible.

Gratenberg: We are concerned with making processes faster, but also more efficient from the customer’s point of view. In the last two years, we have invested a lot of time and analysis in the automation and optimisation of existing customer processes. An agile squad was also founded for this purpose. In the squad, we analyse where there is further potential to optimise and automate processes.

Werne: The goal of our process automation is to be as customer-friendly as possible. In Germany, we provide about 50 per cent of the total cash logistics. We thus guarantee the cash supply of the population and secure the liquidity cycle of companies, credit institutions and municipalities. In our cooperation with the banks, we want to drive the transformation. In our group, we are driving the optimisation of the IT outsourcing processes of the entire cash management and projects such as crypto custody. With Prosegur Crypto, we have launched a solution for the custody and management of digital assets that works automatically without an internet connection to achieve maximum protection against cyber attacks.

Meyer: Union Investment has two good reasons to optimise processes today – increasing process cost efficiency and regulatory law. As part of regulatory audits, we are required as one of the leading German asset managers to produce a business process map as part of the written order. I like the result: by using modern process intelligence tools, we recognise process weaknesses that need to be optimised. At the same time, we produce process models required by banking supervisory law. The auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed an availability of 99 percent (2021) for the 170 applications used in the investment process. As part of the Genossenschaftliche FinanzGruppe (Cooperative Financial Network), we are the expert for the asset management of 4.8 million private and institutional investors with more than 400 billion euros in assets under management. We thus provide the IT required for this to more than 1,100 internal Union users with high availability.

Diener: In my role at Atruvia, the digitalisation partner of the Genossenschaftliche FinanzGruppe, I am responsible for measuring and analysing performance data for around 820 affiliated Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken. Basically, you have to distinguish between two topics in process optimisation: the business management part and the technical part.

When I think back to the early days of my working life in the early 80s, you would enter a short code into the old IBM terminals to support your work and be happy to receive an answer milliseconds later. Over the decades, many things have changed massively here. Business and technical performance moved closer together. IT has become a central core of everyday work and an essential part of overall process optimisation. In addition to dealing with speed, response times or simply checking whether systems are available, more emphasis is now placed on user experience and user behaviour. How is the customer, what are they doing, where are they having problems getting on in the application?

Von der Hardt: Challenges arise above all with very long process routes via different interfaces with channel breaks. Then you have to assemble information from the most diverse systems, databases or process areas. Because it is difficult to optimise something with a sixty percent view without knowing what the one hundred percent end-to-end customer view looks like. The goal is not to think in small puzzle pieces, but to have the entire customer journey in mind.

Werne: In the pandemic, our process management faces the additional challenge that, for example, retailers or bank branches that we supply with cash close here today and reopen somewhere else tomorrow. Against the backdrop of our current modernisation programme, we are also moving everything to the cloud. Since we operate globally, coordination between the different countries and standardisation play an additional role.

Von der Hardt: Challenges arise especially with very long process paths via different interfaces with channel breaks. Then you have to bring together information from the most diverse systems, databases or process areas. Because it is difficult to optimise something with a sixty percent view without knowing what the one hundred percent end-to-end customer view looks like. The goal is not to think in small puzzle pieces, but to have the entire customer journey in mind.

Werne: In the pandemic, our process management faces the additional challenge that, for example, retailers or bank branches that we supply with cash close here today and reopen somewhere else tomorrow. Against the backdrop of our current modernisation programme, we are also moving everything to the cloud. Since we operate globally, coordination between the different countries and standardisation play an additional role.

Meusel: The back office is an extreme driver of efficiency potential. With consistent optimisations and consolidations, we have been able to significantly reduce the resources tied up in recent years, not only through Atruvia’s solutions, but also through the broad use of technical innovations from other partners in the area of automation. Nevertheless, we still see topics with great potential, for example in the passive market succession, keyword probate, garnishment processing and other payment transaction services. As is well known, the active back office is currently experiencing high growth in the lending business. At the same time, the margins are melting away. We must therefore continue to look very intensively at how the balancing act of resource optimisation and business growth can be made possible, for example by means of process management. Here, of course, we use the analysis possibilities of Atruvia at our process times and try to achieve the necessary benchmarks through continuous process development.

Demski: We have also started in the back office. In the new year, we will take another look at customer service in the process analysis. This is where we can make the most profit. The procedure is first of all a precise recording of the processes and their interfaces. Based on this, we then evaluate which optimisation and/or automation steps make sense. Examples of automation for us are the processing of estates and processes related to online banking.

Von der Hardt: Targobank belongs to the cooperative Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale Group from France. We are a retail and commercial bank with a focus on financing. Our process optimisation relates to these core processes. With Targo Dienstleistung we have a high-performance customer centre in Duisburg, which emerged from an industrialisation initiative at the end of the 1990s. Targobank has more than 20 years of expertise in digitalisation and process automation. It benefits from a large IT service provider and sees itself well equipped for the future in the highly competitive financial services market.

Gratenberg: In existing customer management, for example, we have automated large parts of the account closure process. This has been working very well for us for over a year now.

Werne: With regard to cash, the banking world has been in a transformation process for quite some time. Various credit institutions are already completely outsourcing their cash management for process optimisation and cost reasons. With smart machines, which Prosegur installs at its customers’ premises, cash can be disposed of directly and credited on the same day. The smart infrastructure, including dynamic monitoring and forecasting, optimises cash logistics and reduces costs.

Meyer: We already very successfully implemented a group-wide digitalisation initiative in the period from 2007 to 2010. Together with the central institutions of the DZ

Bank Group, more than 18 custodian banks and almost 90 securities trading houses, we were able to achieve a dark processing rate of 95 percent for transaction management and accounting across all countries and locations – both areas where the factors of mass and standard processing matched. Challenging in this context was the unification of message standards in the networks for financial transactions such as SWIFT and FIX and the first use of machine learning-based applications for the processing of still paper-based bookings. Today, the focus is on examining the use of AI in the context of feasibility and profitability considerations and thus realising further efficiency potential.

Diener: Processes are organised very differently at banks. We see our task in providing tools with which our customers can map, optimise and monitor the processes. It is no longer enough to look at individual use cases, from the click to the information expected by the customer on the screen. Business processes are viewed as a whole. The question is, what can be automated? Of course, this always takes into account the regulatory framework. A lot has happened in recent years in terms of technical performance. New technologies such as virtualisation, containerisation, self-healing systems – systems that manage themselves – have taken hold. The processing of a request in the data centre has become more complex and dynamic. It is important to make these new possibilities tangible for the customer and to support him in process optimisation.

Von der Hardt: There are cross-departmental and cross-bank teams/squads both in operational process management and in process optimisation initiatives. Especially in the case of RPA automation, departments and IT work together across the board.

Demski: We now have a fixed, very broad-based team. Among them are colleagues from organisational development who have always been involved in process management. We recruited the RPA team from this group and supplemented it with colleagues from IT and technology. They are then joined by experts from the specialist departments of the processes concerned. Together, they take a close look at the process side, analyse what can be automated and then enter into the development. The procedure is rather iterative in the sense of agility. A first version of an automated process does not necessarily have to cover 100 per cent of all cases. The best way for the developers to determine the greatest benefit is to work together with the departments.

Meusel: It’s always about giving a voice to as many people as possible who are ultimately users of process flows and results. It is important for us to find the right degree of participation so that we don’t get lost in too broad a grassroots democratic process in the further development. It is clearly about quality, about the return of investment, how much time I have to invest to improve the processes and what the actual effect is. For example, we have defined clear guard rails with the automation team for RPA and OCR solutions. In addition, there is always a comparison with the strategic goals. Often we have to fulfil various parameters with scarce human resources. In addition to involving the right people, we want to make the whole process as transparent as possible in order to make decisions understandable. We work very collaboratively, instead of putting every evaluation on the table and saying this is how we do it now.

Meyer: We have always carried out major changes as part of a project portfolio in cooperation between IT and the business department. We always look at the expenditure plus follow-up costs/benefits over five years. Based on this, we have a ranking and allocate resources to the projects accordingly. We don’t tackle every sub-process that could be automated because it simply doesn’t pay off.

Meusel: We always have evaluation options for our essential applications. What is challenging, however, is the networking and visualisation of the individual systems and analyses. The right degree of considered systems and subsystems plays an important role here. There are certainly promising offers on the market here. Since process mining is an important field for us, we are already in contact with service providers. But our discussions so far have also shown that good advice is expensive.

Werne: Despite several analysis tools that we use, it is sometimes not so easy to manage performance engineering in connection with different systems so that they are scalable and comparable. We haven’t yet found the egg-laughing lizard, where you just click and then know exactly what brings what performance. I doubt that it will ever exist in the level of detail that the theory implies. Do we have an overall view? The answer is, of course, yes. It’s not just banks that need to have it, but all companies with critical infrastructures. And not just because the regulator expects it. With new processes being introduced almost daily, the biggest challenge is to integrate them perfectly in order to continue to perform as usual.

Meyer: The use of such tools with regard to the IT infrastructure is carried out by our IT providers. At Union Investment itself, we successfully use such tools to analyse business processes. We can now load the data required for the analysis from the underlying applications into a process intelligence tool and systematically identify throughput times and routes, quantity structures, manual processing steps and their process effort. Because today almost every processing step leaves a digital footprint in the databases – and the tool generates the entire process model almost independently.

Diener: We have initiated many things in recent years: On the one hand, from a pure tool perspective, but also organisationally. System and application monitoring were to be merged, the entire monitoring process was to be put on a new footing. In particular, we invested in a comprehensive solution from Dynatrace. Their software intelligence platform uses a proprietary form of artificial intelligence to clearly visualise and monitor applications, microservices, container orchestration platforms and IT infrastructures, and offers automated problem detection. Analyses under a highly dynamic platform, such as Openshift, can only be performed in an automated way.

We want one hundred per cent visibility across all 50,000 systems we currently have in use in order to detect faults in advance. With the dynamics of communication between the technologies, it is no longer possible to say exactly which components are used for an individual communication. That’s why it’s so important to have this monitored via AI and to have it signal us when there are deviations from the norm that we need to take action or use automatisms from the outset to heal it accordingly.

Von der Hardt: Our process team has to identify very precisely where the weak points are in the overall process. We don’t yet use any special analysis tools from process mining for this. Personally, I think we first need a general streamlining of some processes. We are so busy changing processes that we no longer have time to optimise them significantly. We are constantly complicating them with new regulatory requirements.

Gratenberg: We can say that we have significantly fewer complaints and improved customer ratings with processes that are very standardised and automated. There are different degrees of automation. Partly, employees are involved in the processes if they are very complex. After reading out customer letters, for example, very different types of processing can become necessary, some of which still require human intervention. In addition to reducing the workload and making it error-free, there are of course still challenges with automation that are just a little different than before. If systems fail, a robot cannot work. An employee can still use a workaround. But there are always solutions. The processing by the robot could be postponed, depending on the urgency. It may also be possible to use a replacement robot, with the help of another licence.

How can performance engineering help to increase safety?

Diener: When customers report faults, we have to identify very quickly whether it is an isolated incident or a large-scale problem. Furthermore, in the past it was often difficult to recognise whether a system was the cause of a malfunction or was only suffering from a malfunction of a different origin. However, the central goal is to detect malfunctions or weaknesses preventively. In 2018, we had over 60 monitoring tools. With the Dynatrace platform, we now have a holistic performance data warehouse as a central component of our monitoring strategy. The number of tools has been reduced through consolidation. When a malfunction is reported, we can thus quickly determine which groups of users and exact functions it affects. We are able to quickly narrow down possible causes in order to fix the problem permanently. Incidents are specifically forwarded to the person who can solve them.

Meyer: Around 500 servers are operated for us in the data centres of our IT provider Atruvia for about 170 applications. These are permanently monitored using more than 20,000 measuring points. If a fan fails somewhere and a server gets too warm, expected data transfers do not take place and the like, the responsible application managers or the Atruvia control centre are informed immediately. Our service-oriented organisation has regulated standard processes for this. In such cases, incident or problem management is immediately active. Depending on the type of fault, either at Atruvia and/or at Union IT Service.

Meusel: The smaller or more individual a bank is, the more challenging it is to have its own process engineering. We are grateful that we work closely with Atruvia on this. When it comes to regulatory requirements, innovations, availability and performance monitoring, we can handle the complexity much better together with our central service providers. Often, our internal control centre can be quickly provided with centralised information and focus on communication with customers and employees. The central lever of Performance Engineering is the reduction of own applications and their monitoring.

Demski: We largely rely on Atruvia for the IT infrastructure and thus naturally benefit directly or indirectly from their monitoring systems. At the same time, we also operate our own monitoring for critical parameters of the decentralised or self-operated systems. In addition to the short-term disruptions already mentioned, the measured values are of course also indications of the utilisation and performance of systems and possible problems, for example, the runtimes for data backups or loading processes in the nightly maintenance windows provide information.

Do you have a concrete example from practice for vulnerability management?

Von der Hardt: Sometimes we first hear from the customer that we have a problem. If there is one, the customer looks for a way. Then you realise how many contact channels you have, some of which were not intended for this purpose. IT problems can usually be found and solved quickly. It becomes more difficult with failures of other companies. External business failures during the Corona period or the insolvency of a travel provider are examples here, where many customers with personal and financial concerns contact you via several channels and payment processes have to be checked at short notice. Then speed and good networking of the information channels within the company as well as to other third-party service providers is crucial. We still have homework to do here. We have to ensure the flow of information around the customer in such a way that we can give him satisfactory feedback at short notice.

Meyer: One example was the critical vulnerability called Log4Shell in the widely used Java logging library Log4j, which became known at the beginning of December. Through this vulnerability, attackers were able to execute arbitrary code. Together with our IT provider, we deployed crisis teams, used vulnerability scanning tools immediately and effectively, and where necessary, applied the appropriate security patches within a very short time.

Sustainability-POC-Report. World‘s first 100%-electric armoured e-truck in action with Prosegur

July 6,2021

Original published in German in “TRUCKERS WORLD powered by MAN“ – translation by Deepl.com

CLEAN and SAFE.

Cash transport with the MAN eTGE

The world’s first armoured electric money transporter is now in use at the security service provider Prosegur. Since the armouring was realised in lightweight construction, the electrically powered MAN eTGE has enough payload and range for city traffic. On tour with the environmentally friendly cash messengers in Potsdam.

For safety reasons, Prosegur’s cash messengers always travel in pairs or sometimes even in threes – a well-rehearsed team. Today Uwe E. is driving the yellow money carrier through Potsdam. His colleague Andreas H. watches the surroundings from the passenger seat. He mainly looks for hedges, backyards and other possible hiding places. Because “the others” could be lurking there in ambush. That’s what H. calls criminals who are after money and valuables transported in the vehicle, doubly protected by the armoured outer skin and the armoured inner cabin. The course of each tour, each of which covers several banks, ATMs or shops, is planned in detail to minimise the risk of robbery. At Prosegur’s Potsdam branch, a security guard watches on a monitor as the GPS signal of the MAN eTGE moves through the city and keeps in touch with the two cash messengers by radio. Driver and co-driver are highly concentrated while the electrically driven van glides almost silently through the streets. “This silence while driving is great,” says money messenger Andreas H. with satisfaction. “Without noise, I can focus even better and am less exhausted at the end of the working day.”

However, the advantage of the noiseless drive is not the main reason why Prosegur uses the world’s first armoured electric money carrier. The company wants to prove to itself and the entire security industry that electric mobility is not only suitable for normal delivery traffic, but also for the special requirements of cash-in-transit. Despite the additional weight of the armour, which reduces the payload of the vehicle and the already limited range of the electric battery.

Lightweight construction for armouring
Since Prosegur has already had good experience with the conventional MAN TGE panel vans in its fleet, its battery-electric variant, a MAN TGE 3.140 E, was chosen as the test vehicle. The STOOF company provided it with armouring and dispensed with steel in order to save weight. Instead, aramid was used, a lightweight high-performance fabric that is also used by the military for armoured vehicles and protective clothing. In this way, it was possible to realise the cash transporter with a tare weight of 3,150 kilograms, including the armour. “Its battery charge allows for about 120 to 130 kilometres of range. That is absolutely sufficient for our tours in the urban area” tells Alexander Lange, who manages Prosegur’s fleet. “Our electric money transporter travels 70 to 90 kilometres per day. There is still enough range left over as a safety reserve.”

Prosegur has been using the MAN eTGE since September 2020. It has since been integrated into normal operations. The test phase has been successfully completed. The proof is in: environmentally friendly transport of valuables without local emissions is feasible. The electric version has proven itself very well. “As a company with a large fleet of vehicles, we want to make an important contribution to climate protection, so there is no way around electric cash-in-transit vehicles,” announces Jochen Werne. The Chief Development Officer of Prosegur in Germany estimates: “A large part of our tours – especially in urban areas – can be realised with battery-electric vehicles.” For supra-regional shuttle transports, according to the current state of the art, another drive solution with a higher range is still required.

At Prosegur, the changeover to electric mobility will take place in carefully coordinated steps. Jochen Werne emphasises that in addition to the purchase costs of the vehicles – the fleet comprises 900 cash-in-transit vehicles and 300 service vehicles – additional costs must be calculated for setting up the charging infrastructure. Until now, the MAN eTGE has been charged overnight at a simple 230-volt socket. After around eight hours, the battery is full again. “In order to fully exploit the advantages of electric mobility, high-performance charging stations are of course indispensable,” Werne explains. Despite the necessary investments, the head of development at Prosegur also sees a great economic opportunity in electromobility: “In a long-term total cost consideration, this technology can even save money.”

A sign for climate protection
In Potsdam, Prosegur is setting a clearly visible example for climate protection with the MAN eTGE.

In contrast, the money messengers Uwe E. and Andreas H. want to attract as little attention as possible to their risky job. For each customer, they park as close as possible to the entrance. Uwe E. quickly slips into the shelter of the building and soon after back into the vehicle. For the short distance, he carries the valuable cargo in a special transport security device. After completing their rounds, the money messengers drive their “e-tank” through a security gate back to Prosegur’s premises. Safe and clean.

Expert roundtable discussion: PROCESS MINING

28 February 2021
published in the current issue of the magazine gi Geldinstitute

For the trade magazine gi Geldinstitute, leading experts answered Stefanie Walter’s questions on the topic of “Process Mining at Banks”. Jochen Werne – Prosegur Germany, Gerrit von der Hardt – TARGO Dienstleistungs, Sebastian Hennerici – Aareal Bank AG, Gerrit Meier – Hanseatic Bank GmbH & Co KG, Thorsten Briest – PSD Bank Braunschweig eG, Christian Meusel – Berliner Volksbank eG, André H. Burger – Synpulse Management Consulting

Professional know-how and the right feeling for changing customer needs are essential factors in being able to innovatively develop needs-based solutions for our customers.

The entire roundtable talk in the current print edition or soon online at www.Geldinstitute.de

Publication: For the good of all – Why standards are so important

gi-Geldinstitute published „For the good of all – Why standards are so important“, A plea for future-oriented minimum standards in the CIT industry, underlining Prosegur‘s frontrunner role as resilient infrastructure provider in the security and cash management industry.

Find Original in German HERE. Translation generated with deepL.com

A plea for future-oriented minimum standards in the CIT industry. The neighbouring banking industry (and often the customers of CIT companies) is already protected by standards such as MaRisk and BAIT. However, cash-in-transit companies that work closely with their customers (banks) have less high standards in IT, whereby the industry is becoming increasingly digitalised. Prosegur argues for higher standards across the CIT industry.

Emeritus professor of literature Hans-Dieter Gelfert, who has spent many years researching German, British and American mentalities, expressed in an interview with Deutsche Welle that the orderly society of modern Germany has a long genesis. “Order is one of the sacred words in Germany, and that has something to do with the German emphasis on security as opposed to freedom,” he said. “For the last thousand years, security has always been the supreme value and order is a mainstay of security.” Part of Germany’s success is built on norms. It is not without reason that the encyclopaedia “Brands of the Century” lists more than 200 German brands such as Hipp or Tempo as examples of entire product categories. The entire title is: “German Standards – Brands of the Century”. Aha, standards then – a coincidence?

Without rules, norms or minimum standards, a modern society would be almost inconceivable. They structure, make things comparable and act as a control mechanism. Cultural imprints and regional differences come into play in their design. For example, many an EU citizen groans about the General Data Protection Regulation when a form has to be filled out for consent to the use of personal data. On the other side of the Atlantic, people certainly pay respect to the GDPR for the standards it sets. Standards that reflect the values of an enlightened Europe.

Own rules in the business world

Beyond social norms and local legislation, there are other rules in the business world. There is hardly an industry that has not already given itself a catalogue of minimum standards. This is an advantage for many, because the complexity on the supply side is often reduced for those asking. But the question must be allowed whether minimum standards are sufficient and whether they all focus on the well-being of customers and society. Too often the focus is on the providers. Yet there are standards that need to be established today in order to prepare for future challenges.

Prosegur is committed to more than minimum standards to position the entire industry for the future and to ensure society’s trust in this system-critical industry. An industry that does nothing less than ensure the unrestricted supply of central bank money to the population and the safe return of several million euros of cash income daily to the accounts of businesses to ensure their liquidity.

A look at the customer environment reveals that the related banking industry is leading the way: with MaRisk (Minimum Requirements for Risk Management) or BAIT (Bank Supervisory Requirements for IT), credit institutions have positioned themselves for the future. Since banks usually cooperate with a cash-in-transit company, it is only logical for Prosegur to apply these already existing requirements in an identical manner to its own business operations today and consequently to demand rapid implementation from all providers of cash and valuables transport.

All players operating in such an important part of our economic life must keep their eyes on the future and never cling to the status quo. Today, topics such as digitalisation and environmental protection naturally belong in the programmes of sustainably oriented companies. Every organisation needs courage, creativity and a willingness to invest in finding a digital language for analogue solutions. This fact is of particular importance in the Corona pandemic, because it acts as an accelerator for the global digital transformation.

Politicians underlined that they have recognised this on 9 December 2020 with the BMI’s draft bill for a second law to increase the security of information technology systems. But even before the draft becomes law, the following applies to Prosegur: the further development of current standards, investment in sustainable technologies and personnel as well as in the certification of processes and models must absolutely be in the interest of every serious money and value service provider already today.

Resilience through standards and digitalisation

It is essential to arm oneself against all kinds of threat scenarios – known and new, present and future – and to become resilient against external shocks. To be resilient so that, as a critical infrastructure, citizens can access money even in crises or exceptional situations. And to offer support to other critical infrastructures to also become resilient in order to avert supply bottlenecks for the population in cooperation. Prosegur consistently pursues this maxim, among other things with the smart cash procedure, in which cash receipts, for example in the supermarket or pharmacy, are deposited in a smart safe, where they can be credited to the business account via Early Value. Independent of the physical collection of the money, the company can use it to do business. A lack of liquidity does not become a showstopper for supermarkets and pharmacies in times of crisis. They remain open and the supply of goods and medicines is maintained. In the impulse paper “Resilient pioneers from business and society” of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), Prosegur Smart Cash was presented in December 2020 as a resilient concept for success.

Standards create resilience. So what standards should the cash and cash-in-transit industry additionally orient itself to? In Prosegur’s opinion, the standards of the credit institutions with which the cash and valuables transport industry cooperates on a daily basis. Not only in terms of their own resilience, but also in order to be a true partner for customers with their very own challenges in the low and negative interest rate environment, in the digital transformation and in the climate crisis. Then the players in this industry not only transport, process and store values, they also embody them and prepare to take on even greater responsibility in the “cash cycle” value chain.

PODCAST: Poledify host Felix Gehm is discussing Business Transformation with Jochen Werne

HOT OFF THE TAPE: Business Transformation in the Digital Age – Insight into Practice from an Expert’s Perspective

It was a great pleasure being invited as guest to the brand new podcast format POLEDIFY. With Poledify, Felix Gehm offers insights into the routines, mindsets and habits of experts and thought leaders from a wide range of disciplines.

Find the POLEDIFY podcast HERE

POLEDIFY EPISODE #3 – DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Listen to the Interview HERE

CONTENT & LINKS (posted by Poledify)

Jochen Werne is Chief Development Officer and Chief Visionary Officer of Prosegur Germany. Prosegur Group is one of the leading security service providers worldwide with over 175,000 employees on five continents. Jochen Werne is, among other things, a member of the Learning Systems Platform, which advises the German government on artificial intelligence, and of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House, one of the most important think tanks in the world. Jochen was listed as one of the AI experts in Germany by Focus magazine. He is also an author, keynote speaker, internationally awarded NGO founder and specialist in business development and transformation, and international diplomacy. In 2020, the Tyto Tech Power List named him one of the 50 most influential people in the tech scene in Germany.

Topics of this episode:

What does digital transformation mean for “traditional” business sectors?
How Prosegur plans to master digital transformation
How not to be deterred by big challenges
The most important characteristics of a leader in the face of such challenges

Links and other things from the episode:
The interview between Bill Gates and Warren Buffet: shorturl.at/mGPYZ
Books:
Utopias for Realists by Rutger Bregman
Mordern Monopolies by Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson
Here you can find Jochen Werne and everything about Prosegur:
Jochen Werne LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jochenwerne/
Jochen Werne Website: http://jochenwerne.com/
Prosegur LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/prosegur/
Prosegur website: https://www.prosegur.com/en/jobs
Platform Learning Systems: https://www.plattform-lernende-systeme.de/home-en.html

Questions, criticism, suggestions or anything else? Write to me!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/poledify/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThisIsFelixGehm
or simply send an email to poledify@gmail.com
Where does the fine music (intro & outro) come from?
The fine music in the intro and outro is produced by pads. Behind the artist name is Patrick, who has finally decided to record all his little songs. You can find it all here:
YouTube: bit.ly/33TOFcN
Instagram: https://bit.ly/2XWFDIm
Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3oYQA8k

INTERVIEW. After the lockdown: gastronomy and retail will reopen with more efficient processes

Interview with Jochen Werne, CDO/CVO Prosegur Germany, on more efficient processes after the lockdown

In his expert interview, Jochen Werne sheds light on central aspects from the perspective of gastronomy and retail for more efficient processes after the lockdown.

Read original interview by Prosegur Germany: LINK HERE. Translation by DeepL.com

Mr Werne, what are your personal observations regarding the economy and society after a year of crisis?

Of course, every crisis first of all brings suffering and a pandemic naturally brings suffering for the individual and his or her relatives when the fate of the disease triggered by the virus befalls him or her. Everything else is like a chain reaction. Starting with the state, which has the sovereign task of protecting its citizens and, in the case of a pandemic, also enforces this by shutting down social life. This, in turn, results in drastic losses of income for closed companies while costs continue. If liquidity is insufficient, this then leads to insolvencies, job losses and, in the worst case, an economic crisis. Historically, however, every crisis – and this one is no exception – has also led to the economy becoming more efficient and technological trends experiencing an acceleration.

At the moment – in this situation that is so difficult for many – I observe an incredible and inspiring creativity. It starts with small and medium-sized enterprises, which are trying to adapt agilely to what feels like a new situation every day, to improve, to optimise costs and to position themselves optimally for the time after the crisis. This gives us hope for the time after the crisis and it is a great motivation to be able to contribute with a fantastic team.

Every crisis demands a certain resilience from companies. The National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) presented an impulse paper entitled “Resilient Pioneers” at the German government’s digital summit in November. In it, Prosegur with its digital smart cash solution is named as a best practice example for a future-oriented and cost-optimised cash management for retail and gastronomy. How does Prosegur Smart Cash work?

Link to the acatech-paper


With Prosegur Smart Cash, restaurateurs, retailers or wholesalers can insert cash directly into the Smart Cash device for safekeeping. The special feature – in contrast to a simple safe – is that once inserted, the device automatically takes over the daily counting and accounting of the cash. The time and thus cost savings in our customers’ internal processes are sometimes considerable. The device has a communication protocol that allows the value of the collection to be transferred to the client’s bank account within 24 hours. Once the money is in the device, the responsibility and management lies with Prosegur Cash’s specialised team, which is responsible for transporting and holding the money to the bank branch. This also eliminates the sometimes daily and not harmless trip to the bank branch.

What are the advantages of Prosegur Smart Cash?

In summary, it saves our customers time and money and creates more transparency and security. Prosegur Smart Cash customers can store their cash quickly and securely, reducing unknown losses. Prosegur Smart Cash enables time savings by automating the counting process and in the daily settlement of cash. In addition, thanks to Prosegur Smart Cash, the customer does not have to go to the bank to deposit the cash, as Prosegur provides security in managing and handing over all the cash to the bank, which avoids dangerous situations for the customer and helps them save time so they can devote themselves fully to their business. In addition, a Smart Cash solution reduces the frequent and expensive phenomenon of the so-called “unknown loss”.

What is “unknown loss”?

This is the loss of inventory or other business resources due to a variety of factors, such as internal and external theft, administrative failure, fraud or cash flow errors. This situation is often a key problem for restaurateurs and retailers.

What do you observe, in terms of their customers and how they prepare for the time after the lockdown?

There is an unbelievable longing to finally be able to get in touch with their customers again, to be able to passionately offer them their own services again. Many small and medium-sized companies, not to mention the big ones, have invested massively in hygiene concepts and tried to use the time to optimise their own processes in terms of costs.

We ourselves have never had so many consultations regarding smart cash solutions as we do today. This has increased even more after clear statements and studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bundesbank pointed out that the hygienic cleanliness of cash is at least equal to that of card payments and that the risk of infection in relation to our daily payment methods is minimal in both cases.

Interestingly enough, we have also noticed a high demand for efficiency lifting among companies with small cash volumes and have used the time to be the first company in Germany to develop a corresponding very cost-effective digital solution for this group as well. A crisis always forces everyone to become more efficient and, in my opinion, there is nothing better than doing this together. This is the only way to emerge stronger from a crisis.

Virtual MeetUp: DOES MARKETING MAKE SENSE DURING THE CORONA CRISIS?

Thank you very much Stefanie Milcke for the friendly invitation to this inspiring marketing meetup in the age of Corona!

It’s all about when and in what form marketing makes sense in such extraordinary times, and possibly even makes companies emerge stronger from the crisis. Certainly, as in any crisis, transparent communication to the outside world, but above all internally, is the ultimate discipline.

Message from the organizer

Virtual Meetup: Macht Marketing während der Corona Krise Sinn?

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2020, 5:00 PM

Online event
,

8 Mitglieder Attending

Die Corona Krise trifft uns alle unvorbereitet. Gerade im Marketing herrscht derzeit viel Ahnungslosigkeit, wie mit der Situation umzugehen ist, weshalb die meisten Unternehmen unisono “wir sind da” kommunizieren und kaum einer Indiviualität zeigt. Deshalb widme ich dieses virtuelles Meetup dem Thema “Macht Marketing in der Corona Krise überhaupt S…

Check out this Meetup →

Hiermit lade ich euch alle ganz herzlich zu meinem (ersten) virtuellen Meetup in meiner neuen Gruppe Munich Marketing Roundtable ein. Das Thema: Macht Marketing während der Corona Krise Sinn?

Details

Die Corona Krise trifft uns alle unvorbereitet. Gerade im Marketing herrscht derzeit viel Ahnungslosigkeit, wie mit der Situation umzugehen ist, weshalb die meisten Unternehmen unisono “wir sind da” kommunizieren und kaum einer Indiviualität zeigt.

Deshalb widme ich dieses virtuelles Meetup dem Thema “Macht Marketing in der Corona Krise überhaupt Sinn?” Dafür habe ich ein Experten Round Table organisiert und lade euch hiermit gerne als Zuhörer und “Mit-Diskutierer” ein.

Jeder meiner Experten wird zu Beginn kurz (10 Minuten) seine Erfahrungen insbesondere kommunikativer Natur mit der Krise schildern und dann für die offene Q&A mit euch zur Verfügung stehen.

Dafür habe ich mir ein paar tolle Experten eingeladen:

  • Slavisa Gasic (mein Co-Host, Founder ServicePro, Marketing Allrounder, Experte für Leadgenerierung und CRM)
  • Jochen Werne (CDO Prosegur Germany, Digitalisierungsexperte, ehemals CDO, COO, CMO in Banken)
  • Susanne Schmitz (Founder Agentur wildefreunde, Marketing Allrounder, Experte für Brands)
  • Martin Endara Estrella (Coach, Berater und Trainer, Experte für Social Media und Storytelling)
  • Joey Grit Winkler (Moderatorin Welt der Wunder, Fintech Konferenz Host, Expertin für Bewegtbild Content)

Ich freue mich auf euch!

Handelsblatt Guest Column: Europe is more.

Preparing for the second half of digitisation.

A plea from Johannes Winter & Jochen Werne

1st published in the German newspaper Handelsblatt on January 8, 2020 – translated by DeepL.com. Photos: Pixabay

Looking at the world sometimes gives the impression that things seem to be much better outside Europe. Examples? The world’s largest airport, Beijing-Daxing, goes into operation after four years of construction, while at BER, construction continues after 13 years. The coffee house chain Luckin Coffee, valued at $4.5 billion, will replace Starbucks as No. 1 in the Chinese market by the end of the year, two years after its foundation. Digital platform companies such as Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Tencent & Co. have left the traditional commodity and industrial groups behind in terms of value.

What made these American and Asian companies so big? Absolute willingness to implement at high speed, massive state and private investments, sometimes industrial policy intervention, huge, scalable domestic markets and a just-do-it mentality favour economic and technological development alongside a number of other factors.

Is Europe, on the other hand, in a downward spiral? Is the continent now losing the much-discussed second half of digitisation, which is mainly about the digitisation of industry, now that the B2C race seems to be lost?

The recent history can also be told in a different way. The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has shown how valuable Europe’s and especially Germany’s strong industrial core is. A highly specialised, excellent SME sector and the leading groups from mechanical, plant and vehicle engineering to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries are anchors of stability. With Industry 4.0, the vision for the future of value creation comes from Germany, and there is a worldwide competition for its widespread introduction.

The strength lies in product innovation, especially in complex products such as machine tools, medical devices, vehicles or building services engineering. Germany also has world market leaders in engineering and in production and automation technology. Despite all the negative predictions, Germany has further expanded its strength in networked physical platforms with the integration of IoT, data and services in industrial environments and has secured a very good starting position. The German research landscape also holds an internationally good position in areas critical to success such as semantic technologies, machine learning and the digital modelling of products and users. And let’s not forget that the companies in the country have produced outstanding software products for the fast, reliable and scalable processing of big data and the integration of business processes.

While Germany wants to consolidate its pioneering position as the world’s supplier, the USA is relying on its expertise as a global networker and China is relying on short decision-making paths, capital intensity and a large domestic market in which it can scale quickly. In this situation, it is important that we concentrate on our strengths and resolutely tackle the digitization of industry and SMEs. However, this requires a much faster entry into the emerging B2B platform markets.

In Europe, we stand for a liberal value system, both economically and politically, which, as in the past, has proven to be the decisive differentiating factor in the medium and long term. The debate on the use of data is conducted in Europe in good tradition at an extremely high level and this in the good understanding that digitisation is not coming over us, but is made by people and is intended to serve them.

It is therefore the right moment to take a decisive step towards the future and to open up Europe’s path. To do this, we need a large, homogeneous domestic market that will make us almost competitive with the USA and China. We also need substantial investment in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity, as well as training and further education. Both competitive regions currently have the power to set standards in digitization as well. The goal of the European Union to create a single digital internal market is laudable, but final implementation is still pending. This implementation, however, is the important and very concrete next step in order to be able to achieve the competition-relevant scaling effects and to be able to play a competitive role in data-based business model innovations.

The second half is running and nothing is lost.

About the authors

Jochen Werne (48) is a member of the Executive Board and Chief Development Officer of Prosegur Cash Services GmbH, as well as a member of the Artificial Intelligence Learning Systems Platform and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jochen-werne-2292507a/
Twitter: @WerneJochen
E-mail: jw@JochenWerne.com

Dr. Johannes Winter (42) heads the office of the Learning Systems Platform and the technology department at the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johannes-winter-13048629/
Twitter: @jw4null
e-mail: winter@acatech.de

„All things are ready, if our minds be so.“ Shakespeare and the 3rd ICT International Payment Summit

It was greatly stimulating discussing innovation and the impacts of modern technology on our business and society with international experts from South America, Europe and Asia at the 3rd Annual International Payment Summit, organised by ICT. All in the context of Coined Liberty 2.0

Find highlights here

Natalie Turner & Jochen Werne discussing business transformation at the TechWeek Frankfurt

Natalie Turner, Host of disruptive LIVE and Jochen Werne, CDO/CVO of Prosegur Cash Services, Germany in a lively discussion about the different aspects of change in companies and society. The interview touches aspects of fear and consciousness by giving examples reaching from Shakespeare to the Age of Enlightenment and our modern times of exponential technologies and artificial intelligence.

Find the full interview on DisruptiveLIVE, HERE