DBS bank to deploy IBM Watson to deliver better customer experience

Nurdianah Md Nur

DBS Bank, a bank headquartered and listed in Singapore, will be deploying IBM Watson cognitive computing solution in the second half of this year to deliver a better customer experience.  

Customers in future will want banking services on-the-fly, and no longer need brick-and-mortar branches, said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta in a media briefing yesterday. The move to deploy IBM Watson is thus a part of the bank's efforts to prepare itself to meet the evolving customers' needs.

IBM Watson will be first deployed across DBS' wealth management business to enable its relationship managers to provide better advice to its customers. Gupta explained that the system will analyse large volumes of complex unstructured and structured data, identify connections between customers' needs and its growing corpus of investment knowledge, and help relationship managers weigh various financial options available to customers. Customers can thus be assured of a "quality and personalised experience."

To further augment the power of IBM Watson, DBS will also leverage other IBM solutions including business consulting, advanced analytics, hardware and IBM Research.

"Data and business strategy are absolutely intertwined, and there is no business strategy now that doesn't take into account data and data analytics," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Service at the briefing. "This partnership will allow DBS to anticipate and respond to market shifts, and transform its relationship with its customers by combining the deep analytics provided by IBM Watson with business consulting."

The IBM Watson Group
In hopes that Watson will contribute significantly to IBM's future growth, IBM will establish a new Watson division called the IBM Watson Group, said van Kralingen.  

The group, which will consist of around 2,000 professionals, will develop and run cloud-based cognitive applications and services that transform industries and professions. Michael Rhodin, who most recently served as senior vice president for the IBM Software Solutions group, will lead the IBM Watson Group. 

IBM will invest more than US$1 billion into the Watson Group, of which US$100 million will be available for venture investments to support startups that are developing apps that run on the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.