BAI Beacon 2017: Where the Financial Services Industry Came Together

Look back at the highlights from two action-packed days in Atlanta!

BAI Beacon 2017 took place October 4-5 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It featured a powerful agenda and stellar speaker lineup that focused on talent, innovation and customer centricity; out-of-industry thought leadership on those topics from three engaging featured speakers; the news-making release of Salesforce's latest Financial Services Cloud platform; and new and exclusive research from Digital Banking Report on artificial intelligence's future in the banking industry.

BAI Beacon 2017 Innovation Zone

At the heart of BAI Beacon's one-of-a-kind, ultra-interactive open campus was the Innovation Zone, a lively showcase of the innovations revolutionizing the financial services industry.

Rapid Fire Demos at BAI Beacon

Among the Innovation Zone's most compelling happenings were Rapid-Fire Demos, overseen by Digital Banking Report publisher Jim Marous, that put a spotlight on innovative solutions providers who shared their new retail banking innovation, technology solution, or business idea.


Three sponsored stages featured lively sessions discussions on innovations like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, talent development through sales incentives and company culture, and customer focus shown through new payments technology, social media and design thinking, which Reality Interactive's Douglas Hampton-Dowson (pictured above) spoke on.

BAI Beacon 2017 A.I. spotlight session

Spotlight sessions presented a more intimate setting for exploring topics that included, among many others, customer experience, channel optimization, and content marketing. The format allowed for expert speakers to have a discussion with the decision-makers and key influencers that attended the conference in an engaging and interactive environment.

BAI Beacon 2017 Group Huddle

On an even smaller scale were huddle sessions that allowed speakers and attendees to take deep dives into topics like mobile banking, branch transformation and tackling employee turnover; hash out ideas for innovation and progress; and share success stories.

Jim Marous of Digital Banking Report

Digital Banking Report Publisher Jim Marous, BAI President and Chief Executive Officer Debbie Bianucci, and Deluxe Data Scientist Kesna Lawrence oversaw the launch of brand new data from Digital Banking Report that showed the gap between the excitement over A.I. in the banking industry and its actual level of adoption.

B2BPay-HDFC-PKO-Finnovating-Taqanu-Debbie Bianucci

The first day of BAI Beacon 2017 wrapped with the BAI Global Innovation Awards, during which the industry's top innovators from around the globe were honored for their efforts to move financial services forward.

BAI Beacon Attendees

Whether it was at a sponsored stage, spotlight area, or huddle, every BAI Beacon session featured time for discussion, when audience members could ask and answer questions, follow up on speakers' points of emphasis, and inject their opinions and experience into the conversation.

BAI Emerging Leaders Scholarship Winners

BAI President and Chief Executive Officer Debbie Bianucci (far left) and Chairman of the Board Christopher McComish (far right) pose with our four Emerging Leaders Scholarship winners, (left to right) Ben Lemke, Peri Ozdemir, Audra Turner and Yury Nabokov.

Notable Quotables
David Robertson

“Too often we think about innovation in the banking industry as a product. But new services, new ways of connecting with our customers, new processes—those count.”
- David Robertson, best-selling author and senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management

Anthony Morris of Salesforce

“It’s not necessarily about breaking down silos but looking through windows. We have to stop thinking about products and put customers at the center of everything. We have to redefine trust, simplicity and value.”
- Anthony Morris, Global Head of Retail Banking at Salesforce

Conny Dorrestijn of Shiraz Partners

“Banks are now finally focusing on delivering a relevant experience at that moment in time in that particular context. Everyone is a user and a client and collaboration is key for success. ‘Gadgets and gimmicks’ are on the way out.”
- Conny Dorrestijn, CEO of Shiraz Partners and BAI Global Innovation Awards Judge

Suvo Sarkar of Emirates NBD

“The future, as we all know, belongs to those who dare to dream. And all of us in this room are dreamers.”
- Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head at Emirates NBD, winner of the BAI Global Innovation Award for Most Innovative Organization of the Year

Patty McCord

“We need to start thinking about all the things we do around managing people and say, ‘Do we have a reason for doing this?’ If we can be crystal clear about what winning means, then we’ll know how to win. High performance and results are all that matter.”
- Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix

Anthony Morris of Salesforce

“Pick something small enough to execute, but big enough that it matters.”
- Mariano J. Maluf, Director of Disruptive Innovations and Platforms at NCR Corporation, on getting started with A.I.

Crystal Washington

“Big data helps us get to the real answers.”
- Crystal Washington, Author and Technology Strategist

Tommy Marshall

“Involvement with FinTechs is moving from episodic to a more integral part of how the financial institution operates.”
- Tommy Marshall, FinTech Lead, North America, at Accenture

Rocky Scopelliti

“Millennials are not tomorrow's opportunity, but today's opportunity.”
- Rocky Scopelliti, Global Industry Executive at Telstra

#BAIBeacon Tweets That Tell the Story