Exciting news! CBR is launching Blockchain Talk, an unique, weekly article that highlights discussions of blockchain technologies by publicly traded companies during earnings calls and conferences.
Who is discussing blockchain this week? EPAM, Amber Road, Western Union, Trend Micro, AEGON, Argo Group, Luxoft, and Citigroup.
Q4 Earnings Call, EPAM Systems (NYSE: EPAM)
So, obviously, we’re hearing a lot about blockchain automation, robotic process automation, AI. If you could just maybe comment as what you’re really seeing out there in the sense of a lot of your clients engaging with you with these new types of technologies…
Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO:
With blockchain, it’s still probably much more in the beginning, a lot of hopes, but initial experimentation on our view.
Q4 Earnings Call, Faurecia SA (EPA:EO)
Patrick Koller, CEO:
We are introducing in our program management blockchain technologies, and we do that through pilots with our customers. I think that this is very promising because we have significant numbers of people dedicated to our programs. The program teams became expensive in the last period of time. And I think that, through this technology, we will be able to reverse this.
Q4 Earnings Call, Amber Road (NYSE: AMBR)
James Preuninger, CEO:
In a recent perspective, Deloitte writes, a blockchain supply chain can help participants record price, date, location, quality, certification and other relevant information to more effectively manage the supply chain. The availability of this information within blockchain can increase traceability of material supply chain, lower losses from counterfeit and gray markets, improve visibility and compliance over outsourced contract manufacturing, and potentially enhance an organization’s position as a leader in responsible manufacturing.
Amber Road can add value to blockchains built for the supply chain market by implementing a digital model of the global supply chain and creating the accurate digital documents and messages that are needed to give the blockchain value. These are things that we do today for our customers.
To use an analogy, if a blockchain were a highway, Amber Road would supply the cars to make it useful. Overall, we believe blockchain will dramatically increase our reach to new customers and will lower the cost to rapidly implement our suite of global trade management solutions.
We welcome the entry of IBM and Maersk through a recently announced blockchain joint venture. They have said their goal is to provide an open platform enabling a rich ecosystem to seamlessly connect and securely exchange information and enable paperless trade by digitizing and automating document workflow. Amber Road is encouraged by the level of industry dialogue this JV is generating. We are now exploring our best path forward to work inside blockchains…
… just spent some time talking about blockchain and the role we can play there as the technology rolls out. That is very, very exciting to us.
Investor Conference, Western Union (NYSE: WU)
Hikmet Ersek, CEO:
In all in discussion, people are mixing that, that’s totally two different things. In blockchain, it really helps us, we are looking if they can help us on settlements on [indiscernible] and customer identification really moving as a back office information, that’s the partnership we have with Ripple using the Blockchain really moving information within our certain environment.
So far it’s a test, it’s good test, but we did not see the big change yet there, because our system is unique. Actually, it has a bit, I would say that we created the first cryptocurrency within that closed blockchain environment. The customer sends and the customer sends money, we give them a 10-digit number and this 10-digit number follows all the way in 130, 120 or whatever that is all the way in the settlement and during the anti-money laundering checks, during the compliance checks and goes all the way and we return that 10-digit number immediately with ordinary currency. That’s unique, that’s hard to replace, that – we do that 31 times every second for years. Now, we do it for our digital one and so the question is what is the blockchain’s advantage to replace that environment and we are looking at that. We didn’t find the silver bullet yet, but you know maybe you’ll be there, so we are investing there and innovating.
Q4 Earnings Call, Trend Micro (TYO:4704)
Eva Yi-Fen Chen, CEO:
The security is very hot topic, but security people is very hard to train. And therefore, there’s a huge problem going on which is the skillset shortage problem. And on the threat side, there’s just more and more attacks as you can see and I like to mention about the cryptocurrency vulnerability. A lot of people probably are curious about bitcoins or of this currency. Although the blockchain is a very good technology, however, utilizing that as the currency platform create a lot of vulnerability. And as you can see, when there’s more money exchanged in digital form, there will be more attacks on this infrastructure. And even the bitcoin, you can see the exchange center just disappear. And people can steal all those bitcoins. So I would say, the threat side, it become more and more infrastructure attack. So that’s what we see.
Q4 Earnings Call, AEGON (AMS:AGN, market cap: €14.8B)
Alexander Rijn Wynaendts, CEO:
As you may recall, in 2016, we were one of the five founding members of the B3i Blockchain Initiative. In September, B3i took a significant step forward by launching the market beta testing of its reinsurance blockchain prototype. This technology is expected to lead to significant productivity gains in the future.
Q4 Earnings Call, Argo Group International Holdings (NASDAQ: AGII)
Mark Waton III, CEO:
We’ve invested alongside some of our venture capital partners some of the leading funds in the world in artificial intelligence businesses that look to automate data entry that we can apply in our own business, tech-enabled brokerages with whom we can test our automatic pricing technology, and companies in emerging categories such as crypto and blockchain in order to stay close to these types of markets and technologies.
Our latest investment in a leading cryptocurrency payment processor allows us to potentially partner with the leader in the space, monitor how insurance and cryptocurrency continues to evolve that helps us assess opportunities to engage. This investment does not directly harness the risk of any individual cryptocurrency and has the potential to generate a strong return on invested capital on a standalone basis at the same time.
Q4 Earnings Call, Luxoft Holding (NYSE: LXFT)
Dmitry Loschinin, CEO:
We’re also building our expertise in cutting-edge platforms in the digital space such as cloud, Blockchain, and artificial intelligence. We believe this will strengthen our competitive positioning and add significant value to customers. We were chosen by Amazon Web Services as one of six IT and consulting services companies on their Blockchain advisory list. As a result, we will be collaborating with them to enable companies of their ecosystem to adopt Blockchain in distributed ledger technologies. This marks the second time since 2016 we’ve been collaborated with AWS for our work on Internet of Things solutions…
… Blockchain is now firmly established as one of the most dynamic and disruptive forces in the current technology landscape. Data and transactions can now be verified with certainty without the need for any centralized authority, giving the rise to many different use cases across the enterprise. At Luxoft, we have been investigating Blockchain as a means of solving some of the age-old problems that have traditionally plagued across industries. There are opportunities to streamline our client systems, particularly around data issues, including reconciliation and sharing across distributed systems on multiple locations. Not only does it offer clients the potential to gain efficiencies in terms of cost and resourcing, but it also open up new business opportunities.
We see growing interest from our clients and are getting involved in the earlier stage discussion and moving into deployment phase. We are an early adopter, have a strong position, and are well recognized leader in this space. Blockchain becoming the main topic among our clients, and it’s not just a buzzword, but represents real opportunity. We continue to enhance our differentiated position by increasing our end-to-end digital solutions and forming new partnerships, which allow our clients to create new product offerings and reduce operational cost.
Investor Conference, Citigroup (NYSE: C)
Globally, we have – we’re already live with blockchain applications. That includes our venture with NASDAQ, and we’ve got additional use cases in development around the world. So in short, we’re committed delivering the best of our global capabilities to our clients in Latin America. And we believe this gives us an enduring competitive advantage against local banks, as well as against the global peers who cover the region, let’s say, more opportunistically.
For more analysis of how companies are planning to use blockchain, check out our recent post.