The Collaborative Edge: Partnerships and People Drive Tech Innovation

MTC New York Event

by Jeff Schmidt, CEO

We’re still in the first half of 2024, but tech pundits are already describing the year as “breakthrough,” “game-changing,” and “transformative.” For those of us in the industry, it’s no surprise that the single most disruptive technology is Artificial Intelligence (AI). While 2023 was a year filled with experimentation, 2024 will see organizations everywhere — including the alternative financial firms we work with — embracing and implementing AI.

The potential of AI and the excitement around it is palpable. Earlier this year, we hosted an educational forum for our clients. The half-day session, “Harness the Power of AI, Securely and Efficiently,” was the best attended event in ECI’s history. And, for good reason.

Strategically leveraging AI, and doing so efficiently and effectively, will mean the difference between gaining a competitive advantage or being left behind. 

I’m not exaggerating.

For our clients, AI has the potential to streamline back-office functions, enhance the shareholder experience, forecast market trends, accelerate credit scoring and underwriting, automate regulatory reporting, improve efficiencies, and increase ROI. No wonder so many chose to attend the forum!

But, even the most transformative technology is not enough without two other all-important ingredients: Partnerships and People. Fostering collaborative relationships and empowering individuals are paramount to driving meaningful progress.

The power of partnerships cannot be overstated. Our world is interconnected by digital networks, and collaboration has become a cornerstone of success. That’s something we believe — and live — at ECI. By joining forces with like-minded organizations, we increase our capabilities, pool our resources, and amplify our impact. 

I’m enormously proud of our partnership with Microsoft.

Our affiliation with Microsoft, which recently beat out Apple as the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization, exemplifies the symbiotic relationship between tech companies, where mutual respect, shared goals, and a commitment to innovation drive us towards a common vision. 

For more than two decades, we’ve worked closely with Microsoft to empower our clients with a comprehensive suite of services integrating cloud infrastructure with modern workplace functionalities, bolstered by robust security measures. With a focus on enhancing collaboration and productivity, ECI helps clients leverage platforms like Microsoft 365, Power Apps, SharePoint, and Viva. And, today we’re particularly excited to offer all the AI-driven advantages of Microsoft 365 Copilot and ECI’s Large Language Application (ELLA). Through joint initiatives, like our recent forum, which was held at the Microsoft New York Tech Center and led by their experts as well as ours, we’re helping our clients leverage AI.

However, partnerships extend beyond corporate alliances — they encompass the individual relationships we foster with our clients, employees, communities, and stakeholders. By listening to their needs, understanding their challenges, and collaborating closely with them, we ensure that tech innovations are more than “cutting-edge”; they’re purposeful and impactful.

The thing is, at the heart of every tech breakthrough lies the ingenuity and creativity of people. From visionary leaders to passionate developers, the collective brilliance of people fuels innovation, propelling us towards a future limited only by our imagination. As a tech CEO, I firmly believe that investing in our most valuable asset — our people — is fundamental to unlocking the full potential of technology. That’s one reason we invest so heavily in ongoing learning and certification for our 800+ team members.

I mentioned at the beginning, this pivotal year is just getting started. As we look ahead to the rest of 2024, I encourage you to embrace the power of partnerships and people as catalysts for innovation. If we nurture a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and shared progress, advances like AI become more than the latest whiz-bang tech. They become tools for positive change and human advancement.

As leaders manage disruption, we have the opportunity — and a responsibility —  to shape a future where tech enriches lives, strengthens communities, and unlocks limitless possibilities. And, the key lies in connecting with humans, not machines, in empowering people and fostering meaningful partnerships.

The next stop on our AI Transformation Roadshow, Harnessing the Power of AI Transformation, stops in Chicago on May 8th, from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, at the Microsoft Tech Center. Consider this my personal invitation. Register here to reserve your spot. 


Microsoft 365 Copilot

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