Onlangs liep ik Matteo Rizzi, Hoofd Community Channels S.W.I.F.T. SCRL, tegen het lijf en heb met hem gesproken over zijn initiatief Swiftcommunity.net. Dit is een goed voorbeeld van een B2B community voor de financiële sector. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is een organisatie die niet erg bekend is buiten de financiële dienstverlening, maar vervult een sleutelrol in het internationale betalingsverkeer. Ik heb Matteo geïnterviewd over het doel en het succes van Swiftcommunity.net en zijn toekomstplannen. Het interview is in het Engels.
Can you introduce yourself, your job and the SWIFT organisation?
I am the e-channels manager for SWIFT, and the founder of Swiftcommunity.net, the community platform that SWIFT launched end of 2007 to build the collaborative space around the SWIFT eco-system. SWIFT is an industry-owned cooperative connecting over 8600 financial institutions in 209 countries, providing secure, reliable and standardised messaging services for the financial industry.
How come SWIFT has decided to start an online community ? How did you convince the powers that be to start an online community?
SWIFT’s foundation has three pillars: platform, standards, and community. For the latter, apart from Sibos, the biggest financial industry event in the world organized by SWIFT, and a few other business conferences and forums, we did not really have a space where the SWIFT community could meet permanently and collaborate. I was the trigger of the idea, but our CEO, Làzaro Campos, endorsed it immediately and made it happen.
What’s Swiftcommunity.net’s target user group? What’s the purpose of Swiftcommunity.net for them and for you?
The purpose of Swiftcommunity.net is advancing critical dialogue in a collaborative way. The portal is organized in communities, some of them public and others upon invitation only. Each community has its own purpose, language, target, and it may touch upon SWIFT related subjects or industry projects, regulatory subjects or business streams. We also have a personal blog area where industry experts share their insights with the community.
How do you measure the succes of Swiftcommunity.net? Can you share some of its KPI’s? How active is your userbase?
After a bit more than a year, we have now 10,000 users, and one third of them connected in the past 15 days. Swiftcommunity.net is not measured by numbers, but by participation and interaction, which is difficult to evaluate. What we know already is the very clear message from our largest customers and the SWIFT user groups in the different countries: swiftcommunity.net is helping them to get in touch with SWIFT in an easier and straightforward way, as well as – for the first time – to get closer with other SWIFT customers and share experiences with them.
What purpose/role do you see for virtual communities (in general) in the financial services industry? How do you see the difference between B2B and B2C financial services communities?
Gartner Group stated that by 2012, 75% of the financial industry bodies will use RIA (Rich Internet Applications) to get in touch with their customers. I endorse it fully. Also, there is a component of the “native digital” population who by nature use collaborative technologies more and more. Banks started to apply it in the retail business, and now realize that B2B is impacted as well. SWIFT wants to facilitate the dialogue, the positioning and the thinking around collaborative technologies in the financial industry, and swiftcommunity.net is a tangible part of this initiative.
What are your future plans for Swiftcommunity.net?
Swiftcommunity.net will continue to grow, and – as mentioned before – serve as one of the instruments of the dialogue within the financial industry. This year we will launch what we call the “white labelled” version of Swiftcommunity.net, allowing our customers to brand, shape and market their own community portal using the Swiftcommunity.net engine behind it.
Anything else you would like to share?
The name of the Council SWIFT will launch this year, where we will bring together the highest innovative expertise within the financial industry and discuss (Web 2.0) collaboration opportunities: the C³ Council. C³ stands for Connect, Collaborate, Co-create.