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Finance on Windows Spring 2009
 

Finance on Windows Spring 2009

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The latest copy of Finance on Windows, check out the article on branch office protection.

The latest copy of Finance on Windows, check out the article on branch office protection.

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    Finance on Windows Spring 2009 Finance on Windows Spring 2009 Document Transcript

    • FINANCE ON WINDOWS FINANCE ON WINDOWS SPRING 2009 MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY BRANCH BANKING GOVERNANCE, RISK MANAGEMENT AND COMPLIANCE FROM BRICKS ISSUE 32 SPRING 2009 TO CLICKS How CIBER UK helped Endsleigh Insurance Services embrace a digitally focused business model with Dynamics CRM Visit onwindows.com for news and views in financial services Find out the latest news on how Microsoft and its “Newer, proven software technologies make it possible to reliably and partners are helping to address the unique cost-effectively backup branch offices at the central data centre.” challenges faced by London Market insurers. Page 8 Ian Masters, UK Sales and Marketing Director, Double-Take Software
    • SPRING 2009 FOREWORD In tough times, the tough survive – and these are certainly tough times for financial firms. As banks and customers alike continue to rein in their budgets, those that are well prepared will be best placed to ride out the economic crisis. Often in challenging conditions, success depends on being in the right place at the right time, and today’s technologies play a key role in enabling banks to do just that. In our cover story on page 16, we find out how working with CIBER UK to upgrade to Dynamics CRM 4.0 helped Endsleigh Insurance adopt a new, digitally focused business model and develop client relationships. As many banks have found out, customers demand a branch presence. But increasingly, they will also use channels such as the Internet, making branch profitability a challenge. Our feature on page 20 looks at how banks can make their branches attractive and relevant to the demands of today’s customers. Particularly in the current economic environment, customers are attracted to reputation as well as service. By the same token, financial firms need to know they can build their business while minimising risk. On page 26, we look at how banks can improve risk analysis and reporting, arguably the foundation on which business success and customer trust are built. You’ll also find our usual selection of incisive commentary and news from the industry. Don’t forget to visit us at www.onwindows.com/finance for the latest news updates across the region. Enjoy the issue. Anders Abrahamsson Managing Director, EMEA Financial Services Microsoft FINANCE ON WINDOWS EDITORIAL MICROSOFT EDITORIAL COMMERCIAL ADVISORY BOARD Editor Advertising Jacqui Griffiths Anders Abrahamsson Claire Brown jacqui.griffiths@tudor-rose.co.uk Managing Director EMEA Financial Services claire.brown@tudor-rose.co.uk Christian Jones Andreas Drescher Assistant Editors christian.jones@tudor-rose.co.uk James Dodd EMEA Partner Manager Ryan Kenward james.dodd@tudor-rose.co.uk Gordon Ejsmond-Frey ryan.kenward@tudor-rose.co.uk Lindsay James EMEA Industry Director, Insurance Ben Mayer lindsay.james@tudor-rose.co.uk Andrew Longstaff ben.mayer@tudor-rose.co.uk Rebecca Lambert Industry Marketing Manager Marcus Miola rebecca.lambert@tudor-rose.co.uk Tony Emerson marcus.miola@tudor-rose.co.uk Group Editor EMEA Industry Director, Banking Ricky Popat Adam Lawrence ricky.popat@tudor-rose.co.uk Ian Warford adam.lawrence@tudor-rose.co.uk Amandip Singh EMEA Industry Director, Capital Markets Editorial Contributors amandip.singh@tudor-rose.co.uk Mike Amato, Barclays PRODUCTION Partner Director Anthony Baron, Dimension Data Paul Simpson Creative Director Michael Bush, Business Control Solutions paul.simpson@tudor-rose.co.uk Leigh Trowbridge David Edison, Moore Stephens Consulting Subscriptions Designers Tony Emerson, Microsoft Ewan Campbell Bruce Graham Claude Goudreault, VM6 ewan.campbell@tudor-rose.co.uk Kelvin Jones Brian Henry, CIBER UK Paul Robinson Peter Leahy, Endsleigh Insurance Reprints Nigel Lee, Financial Architects Stuart Fairbrother Web Site Manager – onwindows.com Adrian Maconick, Finsbury Solutions stuart.fairbrother@tudor-rose.co.uk Dan Dore Dermot McCauley, Singularity Business Manager COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Ian Masters, Double-Take Software Richard Pepperman Alexander Millington, Formicary Rohan Van Twest Publisher Chris Moxon, Methodware www.rohanvantwest.com Paul Simpson Jeff Napper, Bank of America Dawie Olivier, Sasfin Bank Sai Sireesh Pachava, Microsoft Justin Parks, visionapp Brian Scott, Microsoft Nick Sears, FaceTime Communications Rebecca Smith, Endsleigh Insurance Todd Stone, ProcessUnity Howard Travers, Formicary Nigel Walder, Business Control Solutions Ian Warford, Microsoft Green IT Advisor Dr Bernd Kosch, Fujitsu Siemens Computers 3
    • SPRING 2009 CONTENTS 16 26 20 08 46 50 COVER STORY COMMENTARY PROFILED FROM BRICKS TO CLICKS 16 OUT ON A LIMB 34 HBOS 50 How CIBER UK helped Endsleigh Insurance Services New technologies can cut the cost of When HBOS moved from three IT services embrace a new business model branch data protection partners to one, it chose Fujitsu Siemens Computers MAKING THE BEST OF UNCERTAINTY 36 FEATURES How key technology trends can help FORUM BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE 20 banks rise to new economic challenges DON’T LOOK BACK 52 In a challenging business environment, BUILDING SUCCESS FOR SUPERBANKS 38 bank branches must adapt to survive How forecasting can steer Why transparency is vital for merged banks insurance firms through challenging times KNOW YOUR RISK 26 SEE WHAT YOU SAY 40 Accurate analysis is key to managing risk How companies can ensure regulatory compliance for Group Chat MARKETWATCH IT STRATEGIES CONQUER THE CRUNCH 42 NEWS DIGEST 8 IT suppliers can support The latest news from technology improved service at reduced cost providers across the region CAN UC THE DANGERS? 44 GOVERNANCE, RISK MANAGEMENT Unified communications can deliver AND COMPLIANCE great benefits if the risks are mitigated TAKING STOCK 32 FAST ROUTE TO EFFICIENCY 46 A year of challenges has seen governments Rapid process reengineering taking a more prominent role in financial services can enable quick efficiencies MODELLING YOUR MATURITY 48 Assessing IT infrastructure maturity helps ensure benefits when deploying Microsoft technologies 5
    • SPRING 2009 PUBLISHING PARTNERS Finance on Windows is produced as a partnership www.ciber.co.uk between Microsoft and selected CIBER UK is Microsoft’s leading partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (licence revenues key organisations from the 2008). A certified Gold Partner with accreditations in seven competencies, we help our financial services technology customers derive maximum advantage from individual Microsoft technologies, and sector. These partners are from their effective integration with each other. CIBER UK works closely with some of responsible for the editorial the country’s leading financial companies. direction of Finance on Windows, and collaborate to provide you with content that covers the key issues facing financial services executives, www.dimensiondata.com and technology solutions that Dimension Data is a specialist IT solution provider that helps clients plan, build, support can address these issues. and manage their IT infrastructures. Dimension Data combines its expertise in networking, IP convergence, security, operating environments, storage and contact centre technologies with its unique skills in consulting, integration and managed services, to create customised client solutions. www.facetime.com FaceTime Communications enables the safe and productive use of instant messaging, Web usage and Unified Communications platforms. Ranked number one by IDC in IM management for five consecutive years, FaceTime's award-winning solutions are used by more than 1,000 customers for security, management and compliance of real-time communications. www.fujitsu-siemens.com Fujitsu Siemens Computers − a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner − is the leading European IT infrastructure provider. By delivering infrastructure products, solutions and services as well as Managed Infrastructure or a combination of these offerings, our customers have the freedom to choose whatever IT infrastructure fits best to their specific needs. Fujitsu Siemens Computers is one of the pioneers in offering a complete range of environmentally conscious products and in using environmentally friendly technologies and processes throughout the entire lifecycle of a product. FINANCE ON WINDOWS Published by Tudor Rose Active Directory, BizTalk, Microsoft, Outlook, Tudor House SharePoint, Visual Studio and Windows are either 6 Friar Lane, Leicester registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft LE1 5RA, England in the US and/or other countries. The names of Tel: +44 116 222 9900 actual companies and products mentioned herein Fax: +44 116 222 9901 may be the trademarks of their respective owners. info@tudor-rose.co.uk www.tudor-rose.co.uk Views expressed in this magazine are not Managing Director: Jon Ingleton necessarily those of Microsoft or the publishers. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply ISSN 1473-2173 official endorsement of the products or services Finance on Windows is published quarterly and is concerned. While every care has been taken to available via subscription. Please visit: ensure accuracy of content, no responsibility can www.onwindows.com/subscribe for more information. be taken for any errors and/or omissions. Readers should take appropriate professional advice before Printed in Great Britain by The Manson Group. acting on any issue raised herein. The Microsoft vision is to enable every business © 2009 Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. All rights The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject enterprise to use the Internet to build richer reserved. No part of this publication may be stored advertising material and editorial contributions. customer experiences. Microsoft sees e-business as or transmitted or reproduced in any form or by The publisher assumes no liability for the return or any means, including whether by photocopying, safety of unsolicited art, photography or more than just transactions over the Web, it is a scanning, downloading onto computer or manuscripts. means for establishing a closer relationship with otherwise without the prior written permission customers and trading partners and Microsoft .NET from Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd. is the evolutionary strategy behind this vision. www.microsoft.com 7
    • M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S IN THIS ISSUE MICROSOFT .NET 10, 12, 14 Dynamics CRM 8 Group Chat 13 HPC Server 2008 14 London Market Network 8 Office Communications Server 13 REPORT by Jacqui Griffiths SharePoint 8 SURE SUCCESS FOR LONDON SQL Server 8, 10, 13 Surface 12 Visual Studio 10 MARKET NETWORK PARTNERS Windows 10 MICROSOFT PARTNER INITIATIVE DELIVERS BUSINESS VALUE TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS Acette Technologies 14 Asysco 10 SEQUEL DELIVERS PHASE ONE FOR FARADAY Business Control Solutions 10 Faraday and Sequel Business Solutions have Together, we undertook an enormous Cadis 10 completed the first phase of Faraday’s amount of planning and preparation, which Compassoft 14 strategic, end-to-end underwriting system, gives me confidence that the programme Crystal Software 14 on time and on budget. will continue to run to schedule. We now Derdack 14 Lloyd’s and London Market focus with confidence on the final insurer/reinsurer Faraday signed a contract deliverable – live rollout to all users across FinArch 10, 13 for the implementation of Sequel’s Eclipse Faraday’s London Market operation in Finsbury Solutions 8, 14 Underwriting software solution in April summer 2009.” Fiserv 14 2008, following an extensive selection “Faraday is taking a forward-looking but Focus Solutions Group 12 process and a three-month ‘model office’ lower risk approach to software replacement Formicary 13 project which determined the size, shape by partnering with Sequel,” said Sequel and cost of the full implementation. director Michael Graham, who believes more IE Group 12 “We chose Eclipse Underwriting as we companies should follow Faraday’s strategy Intel 14 needed a modern, flexible system which of replacing core processing systems. “We K2 8 would not only integrate seamlessly with all are leading insurance software specialists, MBA Systems 14 our other business systems, but would also and our Microsoft-based systems are being Program Framework 12 place us in the best possible position to used by world-class carriers and brokers in Sequel Business Solutions 8 trade and connect electronically with our the London Market. We deliver proven and external counterparties,” said John Connors, well designed software solutions through Sun Microsystems 14 head of operations at Faraday. “Sequel has collaboration with our clients.” SunGard 14 an excellent reputation for delivery and has Total Information Management 10 demonstrated this quality in its recent www.faraday.com Trillium Software 12 completion of the first of two phases. www.sequel.com Xenomorph 13 THE NETWORK DELIVERS PRE-INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF LONDON MARKET INSURERS FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDERS ondon Market Network system from Sequel Business Solutions Finsbury’s Spreadsheet Workbench, L Aberdeen Asset Management 10 partners Finsbury Solutions is key to enabling data flow to other combined with its use of SharePoint, Bank of Ireland Life 12 and Sequel Business Solutions systems – such as Dynamics CRM, delivers the high levels operational WILLIS SPEEDS UP STP WITH SEQUEL Banque Chaabi du Maroc 13 have announced major new projects. SharePoint and K2 Workflow – to work control that insurance firms require.” Launched by Microsoft in February together and access information, while Global insurance broker Willis Group ambitious plans are announced in the Barclays 12 2008, the London Market Network is a the market leading capabilities of Holdings has speeded up its transactional market place, but the great implementations Faraday 9 group of software and service providers processing with the implementation of that really work are rare and worthy of Fidelity National Information Services 10 that offer pre-integrated industry Sequel’s Eclipse broking software solution. celebration. The Eclipse application is a HBOS 10 software solutions based on a common Willis chose Sequel to support its ‘Shaping cornerstone of our London-based business FINSBURY WORKS MAGIC AT HERITAGE Heritage Managing Agency 8 Microsoft technology platform. It brings our Future – London’ modernisation and positions us well for future together a set of complementary Insurance underwriting firm Heritage “Heritage is a recognised leader in the strategy. Sequel worked in close cooperation developments in London Market Reform.” Hoodless Brennan 14 solutions to address the unique Managing Agency has implemented London insurance market and for with Willis to deliver the new system in less “Our implementation was all about HSBC 10 business and technology challenges Finsbury Solutions’ Spreadsheet Spreadsheet Workbench to be selected is than six months, and more than 1,000 Willis people,” said Sequel CEO David Smith. “The Oman Arab bank 14 facing companies in the London Workbench to improve control and a great endorsement of our products associates worldwide now use the teams from both companies have worked Piraeus Bank 14 Market. compliance of its business critical capabilities and appeal.” application for straight-through processing impressively together and delivered against The Motley Fool 14 “We are delighted that the Microsoft spreadsheets. Heritage was introduced to Spreadsheet Workbench is based on of placements, claims and accounting an aggressive timescale. We are incredibly London Market Network is delivering Willis Group Holdings 9 Finsbury Solutions via the Microsoft the latest Microsoft technologies transactions in the UK and other countries. proud of our achievements so far, and we significant business value to our London Market Network, which it co- including SQL Server 2005 and Rollout to additional business units is look forward to a successful ongoing clients,” said Bruce McKee, insurance founded a year ago. SharePoint 2007. planned for 2009. partnership with Willis.” ANALYSTS AND ASSOCIATIONS industry manager at Microsoft. “Sequel “We welcome Heritage as our latest “This major implementation has been an Datamonitor 10 and Finsbury Solutions are both client,” said Jeremy Wood, director and www.finsburysolutions.com outstanding success,” said Grahame www.sequel.com Financial Services Authority 12 founding members of the network, and co-founder of Finsbury Solutions. www.heritage-plc.com Millwater, group president of Willis. “Many www.willis.com Javelin Strategy & Research 10 play important roles in our industry solution. The Eclipse Underwriting www.onwindows.com 9
    • M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S IN BRIEF Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) and Microsoft have signed a groundbreaking agreement to make up- to-date financial news from MSN Money available on client Web sites. The agreement is the first of its kind between Aberdeen implements Cadis EDM Microsoft and a financial services technology provider. It enables client financial institutions using FIS Web hosting Aberdeen Asset Management has global trading platform and data services to subscribe to four MSN Money implemented the Cadis EDM Suite to warehouse environments and allows us to authors, providing their customers with enable greater control over data, improve maintain control over our data, which is current financial news, commentary and efficiencies and lower operational costs. sourced from a variety of vendors and advice. Cadis specialises in enterprise data third-party administrators. After a rigorous www.fidelityinfoservices.com management (EDM) solutions using a best-of-breed search and selection process, multi-tier, distributed architecture based on Cadis clearly emerged as a highly effective A report by Datamonitor, From Microsoft .NET and SQL Server. solution that would enable us to achieve compliance to improved business Aberdeen selected Cadis after a rigorous our goal of a global data hub, allowing us performance through operational risk selection process, due to the solution’s to source, consolidate, validate and management, has found that financial firms ability to provide a data control layer distribute our investment management are recognising the operational between the company and its market data data worldwide.” performance benefits being unlocked by vendors and outsourced back office “Aberdeen’s decision is testament to the leveraging operational risk controls and providers. The company will also be able to strengths of our solution in helping firms reporting data, rather than seeing quickly integrate multiple data sources and fully integrate their global operating operational risk purely as compliance and use the information in its front-office environments and ultimately get the most reporting function. It predicts that IT will systems. out of their data and their technology,” said play a key role in facilitating operational “Cadis provides us with an enterprise- Daniel Simpson, CEO of Cadis. risk management through process wide data management platform,” said monitoring and the automation of Richard Large, global head of front-office reporting. www.cadisedm.com technology at Aberdeen. “It feeds our single www.datamonitor.com www.aberdeenasset.com Business Control Solutions (BCS) has signed a contract with HSBC to supply BCS Knowledge bank Agent Reconciliation Control (Arc), which CLUB 18-30 enables the centralisation of agent bank fee data. By acting as a single source of 74 per cent of 18-30-year-olds go online to view their bank data, the application will enable HSBC to account balances, with 70 per cent using Web channels to pay bills. validate costs accurately each month and assess the most efficient fee models in Source: Javelin Strategy & Research order to save money and accurately apportion fees against trading desks. www.bcsplc.com www.hsbc.com EastWest Bank goes live The Unified Communications Expo takes place on 11-12 March 2009 in with Financial Studio London, UK. The event showcases next- generation business communications EastWest Bank has gone live with its efficiency of the accounting division. solutions and allows visitors to see for FinArch Financial Studio ledger system, “The Financial Studio ledger solution is themselves the benefits of real-time marking the first milestone in its financial pivotal to the bank’s aim of consolidating integration across communications transformation programme in the its financial management efforts,” said platforms. More than 500 unified Philippines. Antonio Moncupa, president of EastWest communications will be showcased and The bank worked with FinArch and its Bank. “Giving bank management ready around 60 seminars will take place over the local partner Total Information access to financial information from a course of the two days. Management (TIM) to implement the single version perspective puts the bank in www.ucexpo.co.uk solution in just seven months. a more competitive position in realising its Financial Studio provides the bank with strategies. The bank is truly glad to have UK bank HBOS has completed a timely, granular and more accurate internal partnered with FinArch and TIM, who mainframe migration project, converting its reporting. EastWest Bank also runs shared our objective of achieving financial previous Unisys environment to Asysco Financial Studio’s event-based accounting transformation.” Migration Technology Visual Studio (AMT- engine to generate the accounting entries The next phase of the programme will VS). The first phase of the project began in from transactions which existing systems entail the implementation of regulatory 2004, with HBOS using Asysco’s AMT-Lion do not provide, and to execute balance reports (BSP and FRP), MIS, and internal to migrate applications and data onto a sheet transfers for the dynamic reporting and external risk reporting (Basel II and Windows-based platform. Phase two then requirements of bank management and Anti-money Laundering). saw the conversion of the environment into regulators. C# code. The solution is expected to reduce www.hbosplc.com www.finarch.com manual entries and reconciliation effort www.asysco.com www.timcorp.net while improving the workflow and www.eastwestbanker.com www.onwindows.com
    • M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S IN BRIEF IN BRIEF Program Framework has achieved Xenomorph and Microsoft have Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status. completed a benchmark project to ensure The achievement puts the company in that IT directors, risk managers and trading the top one per cent of all Microsoft staff have access to high-performance tick partners worldwide, acknowledging its and time-series analysis within a high level of competence and expertise standards-based architecture. Barclays banks on Surface Banque Chaabi with Microsoft technologies. “This Xenomorph’s specialist time-series provides a great boost for the company technology will be able to run within chooses FinArch and represents external recognition of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – resulting in the increasing breadth and depth of our easier database management and capabilities,” said Paul Major, CEO of administration while allowing IT Banque Chaabi du Maroc, a key secret of its ambitions in Europe, with Program Framework. developers to build on existing skills in SQL institution of the Moroccan financial over 40 branches scheduled to open. It www.programframework.com and Microsoft reporting tools. services holding Groupe Banques wanted to equip its European branches www.xenomorph.com Populaires, has selected FinArch with a banking software suite that can The Financial Services Authority has Financial Studio as the regulatory handle both the technological issued a consultation paper urging UK Formicary has released the FastTrack reporting system across its European development of the initial architecture banks to spend almost £900 million on implementation solution and the latest branches. and the evolution of regulatory new IT systems to speed up the version of its ChatSeer enterprise chat Following a rigorous competitive bid, requirements across selected payment of compensation to savers if monitoring and compliance tool. Both FinArch was chosen to equip Banque geographies. they collapse. The paper advises that releases are built for the Group Chat Chaabi’s branches in Spain, the “FinArch’s main strengths are its local banks must ensure they hold up-to-date feature of Microsoft Office Netherlands, the UK and Belgium with presence across Europe’s main financial information to allow fast processing of Communications Server 2007 R2. Financial Studio, its best-in-class hubs, highly qualified support, training claims. In order to achieve this, it “FastTrack is a cost and time-effective integrated platform for finance and risk. and implementation teams, proven proposes that banks set up new IT solution for both implementation for first BARCLAYS IS PIONEERING SURFACE TECHNOLOGY IN ITS PICADILLY CIRCUS BRANCH FinArch will initially serve a large knowledge of banking business lines systems for quick claims processing, at time clients and migration of existing Barclays has become the first bank to Piccadilly is the first Barclays branch to number of users to automate and and activities, and a state-of-the-art an estimated cost of £891.8 million over MindAlign (predecessor of Group Chat) pilot Microsoft Surface technology in its have totally open cashier counters with manage their daily activities around technology base,” said Mohamed five years. clients,” said Philip Miller, intelligent new flagship branch at Piccadilly Circus no glass screens, while an innovative regulatory reporting requirements. The Allouch, general manager of Banque www.fsa.gov.uk messaging director at Formicary. in London. curved queue rail softens the waiting system achieves significant increases in Chaabi’s European network. www.formicary.net Described as the first ‘brand concept’ area. Handheld PCs will allow floor- productivity and allows a high degree of Trillium Software, a Harte-Hanks bank branch in the UK, the branch has walking staff to help customers with automation and compliance. business, has delivered its Data www.finarch.com 8,000 square feet of retail space over queries without the need to wait, while a Banque Chaabi du Maroc has made no Intelligence and Governance (DIG) www.gbp.ma three floors, and makes extensive use of large self-service area includes a foreign solution specifically for the financial new technology and design. ATM dispensing dollars and Euros, and services, insurance and compliance The Surface technology will allow deposit machines for cash, cheques and markets. DIG is a combination of data users to grab digital content with their coins. “This is the first time that a bank analysis, data quality and reporting hands and navigate information with has opened a store such as this,” said software technology based on the simple gestures and touches. A major Mike Amato, chief distribution and Trillium Software System, with targeted, feature of the branch is Being:London, an product officer for Barclays. “We have packaged financial and governance interactive and evolving installation taken inspiration from retailers and consulting services provided by the representing the interests, conversation developed a space that attracts and company. It includes built-in intelligence and activities of people in London. engages individuals while conveying for and about the financial services Outside opening hours, the front of what the Barclays brand represents.” industry to improve data validation, the branch will be transformed into the Barclays is refurbishing its entire 1,733 rules compliance, and business ‘Night Life’ screen, which picks up the branch network in the UK after extensive processes germane to the financial and image of passers using face recognition staff and customer consultation. insurance industries. technology and cameras and displays www.trilliumsoftware.com moving silhouettes with thought bubbles www.barclays.com containing random messages. The High Tech Forecasting and www.microsoft.com/surface Planning Summit takes place on 22-23 April 2009 at Le Meridien in San Francisco, USA. This IE Group-organised Focus signs up Bank of Ireland Life summit brings business leaders together to shape revolutionary ideas and spark Focus Solutions Group is to implement bancassurance sector with the innovation in forecasting and planning its focus:360° solution at Bank of Ireland acquisition of its first focus:360° within the high-tech industry. Around Life. customer,” said Richard Stevenson, chief 200 high level executives are expected The company has signed the first executive of Focus Solutions Group. “We to attend, with guest speakers including phase of a five-year contract, under which firmly believe that we are in a unique the chief technology strategist at it will configure the solution to meet position to provide Bank of Ireland Life Microsoft; the vice president of Bank of Irelands Life’s specific business with a compelling, high quality solution technology and strategy at Nokia; the and technical requirements. that will enhance the customer vice president of strategy and planning Based on Microsoft .NET technology, experience, improve adviser productivity at Cisco; and the director of planning focus:360° has been designed to operate and increase sales revenues for the and innovation at Panasonic. both online and offline, and will support business. This contract further www.09.ie-grp.com/high- a number of distribution channels going underlines our expansion into the Irish tech/overview.html forward. market.” “Focus continues to build upon its extensive experience of delivering multi- www.focus-solutions.co.uk channel point-of-sale systems within the www.bankofirelandlife.ie www.onwindows.com
    • M A R K E T WATC H | N E W S IN BRIEF Finsbury Solutions has strengthened its product coverage with the acquisition of US governance, risk and compliance software vendor Compassoft. The move will see Finsbury further supporting and developing Compassoft’s End User SunGard adds HPC Computing (EUC) products, which will be integrated with its own Spreadsheet to hosted iWorks Prophet Workbench solution to produce an advanced product suite for the management of spreadsheets and end SunGard has added more than 500 cores industry director, Microsoft EMEA. user databases. to a grid computing cluster set up to host “Windows HPC Server 2008 delivers the www.finsburysolutions.com its iWorks Prophet actuarial solution, the ability to spread calculations across a large www.compassoft.com enterprise risk management application in number of computers using industry the iWorks solution suite. standard tools that are well understood Oman Arab Bank has achieved significant The grid uses Sun Microsystems’ Sun and easily integrated into the IT efficiencies in customer service and Blade X6250 server modules, Intel’s Quad- environments of SunGard and other opened up new revenue streams by Core Xeon processors, and software from members of the insurance industry. As adopting an SMS-based mobile banking Microsoft to achieve high-performance demands increase for faster, more flexible service. The Tawasul service, which uses computing (HPC) capacity that facilitates and robust risk modelling solutions, Banksmart implemented by Acette the development, execution and support of SunGard is investing in delivering Technologies and is powered by actuarial models. The use of network- enterprise-class modelling with iWorks Derdack’s message master XSP, allows the distributed parallel processing clusters, Prophet, which will help insurers to bank to offer its customers a range of which can be integrated into any Microsoft- improve their modelling and reporting options that can be accessed using SMS, based platform, will help improve capabilities.” including account transfers, utility processing times for real-time risk “Increasing the capacity of iWorks payments, smartcard top-ups and real- management. SunGard plans to expand Prophet will help reduce our customers’ time payments to mobile operators. this environment to accommodate a model runtime, so that actuaries can focus www.derdack.com services offering, whereby users may lease on the development of sound risk www.acette.com cores when needed. management practices rather than worry www.omanab.com “Advanced technology is playing an about their organisation’s IT infrastructure,” increasingly prominent role in the added Marc Fakkel, head of operations for Stockbroker Hoodless Brennan has won insurance industry,” said Rick Echevarria, SunGard’s iWorks Prophet business unit. several key awards following vice president of Intel’s sales and marketing “The team effort between Microsoft, Intel, enhancements to its Internet Broker group and general manager of its enterprise Sun Microsystems and SunGard proves our software, supplied by MBA Systems. solution sales. “That is why we are proud commitment to improve the reliability, During the same week, the company won that SunGard has chosen Intel Xeon quad- scalability and power of the iWorks Prophet the 2008 Daily Telegraph Award for Best core processors, with their performance- enterprise framework.” Online Service and six further accolades per-watt strengths, to form the hardware from the 2008 Financial Times and platform for iWorks Prophet.” Investors Chronicle Investment Awards, www.sungard.com “Microsoft is pleased to be working with including Best Execution Only Stockbroker, www.sun.com SunGard in the development of its next- Best Online Stockbroker and Stockbroker www.intel.com generation actuarial modelling solution,” of the Year 2008. said Gordon Ejsmond-Frey, insurance www.mbasys.co.uk www.hoodlessbrennan.com Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s leading Crystal puts Momentum into Fool financial institutions, has gone live on the Fiserv Universal Banking solution at its The Motley Fool has selected Crystal’s implement a custom solution within two Cyprus operations, following an eight- Momentum software system for the new months, which was crucial to our month implementation. The offering is financial services division of its UK Web business.” Fiserv CBS Worldwide’s integrated real- site Fool.co.uk. Built using the latest Microsoft .NET time solution for retail, trade and treasury Use of the software has helped the site technology, Momentum has over 7,000 markets. It incorporates the Microsoft- to start up its mortgage business more users, including Halifax, Bank of Scotland, based Fiserv Aperio customer interaction rapidly than previously anticipated. The L&G, Paymentshield and Assurant. management solution, Fiserv CBS Teller, system has provided an integrated “Fool.co.uk is a fantastic client for us Communicator, ICBS core, CBS Data channel solution for the advised sale of to win and will help us strengthen our Warehouse, Fiserv Treasury, mortgage and insurance products functionality in Web site-led call centre AquaGlobal/E2Gen for international through the Fool.co.uk sales team, with environments, which is a growth area of payments, and Fiserv Trade Finance. leads coming from its site. our marketplace,” said Patrick Shuker, www.piraeusbank.gr “We wanted one integrated solution director at Crystal. “It’s great to hear a www.fiservcbs.com that would cover our CRM, point of sale, success story in a difficult market place compliance and back-office needs,” said and it has been a great pleasure to work Paul Warburton, senior product manager with such an innovative, entrepreneurial at Fool.co.uk. “After an extensive company.” evaluation of a number of providers, we selected Crystal because of its ability to www.crystalss.co.uk adapt to our needs and to supply and www.fool.co.uk www.onwindows.com
    • COVER STORY: ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE SERVICES FROM BRICKS TO CLICKS WHEN ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE SERVICES ADOPTED A NEW BUSINESS MODEL, IT CALLED ON CIBER UK TO HELP IT IMPROVE THE PRODUCTIVITY, PERFORMANCE, REPORTING AND PROFITABILITY OF ITS MARKETING ENVIRONMENT ndsleigh Insurance Services has rapidly develop client relationships in the face of changing E grown to become one of the UK insurance regulations. In particular, it wanted to offer better industry’s most respected household service to trading partners including travel agents, names. With around 800 employees and which were regulated to sell travel insurance by the 30 relationship managers in the field, the company has Financial Services Authority for the first time from an excellent market reputation. January 2009. But reputation is not the sole guarantor of Although Endsleigh has a substantial in-house IT continuing success. With 85 per cent of new sales department, its technicians were working on several originating from the Web, Endsleigh wanted to adopt ongoing projects and wanted to avoid tackling any a new business model, making its business more large new development. They required a solution that digitally focused using multimedia touch points with a was multi-company, and which would integrate with major target on students and recent graduates. Microsoft Dynamics GP for financial management and “As a result, we will no longer operate as a branch- other business management systems, including its based business with bricks and mortar and leases to existing investment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 pay for 119 offices across the country,” says Peter customer relationship management (CRM) software. Leahy, head of IT at Endsleigh. “We want to use these The company uses an in-house CRM system for “By automating commission efficiency savings to support our relationship business-to-consumer clients that is integrated with its managers working from home or remote locations, in-house policy administration system. Dynamics CRM payments through Microsoft with new tools and faster access to our core business is used for business-to-business operations and systems.” integrates with Dynamics GP. Dynamics CRM, we have Endsleigh had used Voice over IP telephony to In its search for a solution, Endsleigh worked with network its branch offices, but with the company’s Microsoft Gold Certified Partner CIBER UK to upgrade increased one segment of planned transition to two geographically based service its existing Microsoft CRM software to Dynamics CRM centres, this was no longer cost effective as a 4.0, integrating with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 business tenfold without needing communications channel. The company’s data was communication technology. At the same time, the being stored in various fragmented systems with no company opted for a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement extra accounts people to manage uniform way of identifying lead conversion rates for for low-cost volume licences to provide a low total cost the marketing team. Endsleigh had to spend excessive of ownership. the business processes” time and cost on setting up agents on various systems, “We wanted to time the upgrade to correspond with the number of which also impacted security across the the changes in our business model, with the Peter Leahy, enterprise. introduction of a cost-effective infrastructure for Head of IT, Endsleigh Insurance Services In addition, Endsleigh needed better features to help unified communications by investing in Microsoft www.onwindows.com 17
    • COVER STORY: ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE SERVICES Office Communications Server 2007,” explains Leahy. solution is also designed to operate with the different communication channels to help its partners an incident occurs, our employees now have the ability “This was especially opportune in view of the company’s existing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server adapt to new markets. Previously, the business team to access their Office SharePoint Server 2007, e-mail integration we could achieve between Exchange Server 2007 collaboration technology as well as other responsible for affiliated services did not have a reliable and telephone, as well as our Dynamics CRM system. 2007 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Previously, we Microsoft technologies and services. communication tool that let it engage with agents – This has led to better offline working, making us more had relied on local area network connections with The new implementation also enables each team to Leahy says it had “hit a brick wall” in terms of taking responsive and effective as a business.” variable reliability – in future, our people will always be benefit from the seamless integration of Dynamics on new prospects and simply could not manage any “Overall, the transition has been relatively seamless,” connected to our core business systems.” CRM and SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services. This more customers. concludes Rebecca Smith, business project manager at Before Dynamics CRM 3.0, Endsleigh had error- provides interactive personalised business reports, “We’ve improved the efficiency and accuracy of our Endsleigh. “As business project managers we’ve been prone manual processes for managing contracts which improve the productivity of staff and, in turn, frontline sales staff,” says Paul Nicholas, business involved in implementing a number of third-party between partners and making their commission help them take on a new wave of sales prospects. project manager at Endsleigh. “When they’re dealing solutions written by external software houses, such as payments. It lacked a central repository to manage Dynamics CRM 4.0 includes several new features, with customers, we have a full record of the history. We a letting agency system and a tenant reference system. partners and prospects. Having started with Dynamics such as simplified workflow and up-to-the-minute deal with them in a more prompt and quality-driven But Dynamics CRM has proved that with easy-to- CRM 3.0, these improvements have been consolidated reporting, as well as multi-language and currency way and we have a single source of information for all understand technology and a committed business and further refined. capabilities. Dynamics CRM can be shaped to support our customer activities.” partner such as CIBER UK, implementation is a hassle-free process.” F Now, Dynamics CRM 4.0 helps each sales team at the business and provide a robust environment for “At a time of rapid business change, Endsleigh has Endsleigh to view information relevant to its division future growth. The product comes complete with sales, continued to invest in Microsoft Dynamics CRM without having to search an entire database. The marketing and customer services modules. because it is based on an environment that is upgrade provides a suite of powerful marketing, sales When the credit crunch forced most insurance understood, not just by us, but universally,” says Brian DYNAMIC IMPLEMENTATION and service features, all with a familiar and consistent companies to re-evaluate their businesses, Endsleigh Henry, head of sales for financial services at CIBER UK. experience based on Microsoft Office and Microsoft was strongly placed to change its model due to its “The seamless integration of Microsoft products is a Office Outlook 2007 for the client device. investment in Microsoft technologies. Its move into critical factor in our future growth strategy. The similar Endsleigh Insurance needed a new Due to the integration with Exchange Server 2007, digital marketing has been fully supported by the look and feel of Microsoft products means that not business management system to help staff will be able to receive push e-mails, an always-on upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, which has only is integration simple, but fast adoption is also adapt to changing market conditions. service in which users receive messages to their client helped automate many more processes and integrated guaranteed. Together with SQL Server 2005, Dynamics CIBER UK worked with Endsleigh to update device as if they were in an office environment. easily with the company’s new unified GP and the Active Directory service for identity its Microsoft system, implementing Furthermore, Dynamics CRM acts as a powerful and communications strategy. “This investment will help management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 will Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and a related intuitive business intelligence system because it us to drive bigger, better, and more targeted marketing improve group-wide efficiency and help Endsleigh suite of Microsoft technologies. integrates information from multiple sources. The campaigns using new skills to attract business from employees convert prospects into valuable clients.” The new technology was quickly our customer base,” comments Leahy. “Upgrading to the latest version of Dynamics CRM, adopted across the company, enabling The CRM software is helping sales executives clearly shows that we have faith in both the Microsoft Endsleigh to work through different ENDSLEIGH HAS 800 EMPLOYEES AND 30 RELATIONSHIP MANAGERS IN THE FIELD increase digital marketing successes in line with the solution and CIBER UK as our implementation communication channels and help its company’s new approach to customers. Yet, at the partner,” adds Leahy. “The scalability of the solution, partners adapt to new markets. same time, it adds no extra costs to the business or supported by the fact that we’ve used previous The company can now access burdensome work for technicians. According to Leahy, versions, reinforces our decision to select this product.” interactive, personalised business reports, this is all the more important now that Endsleigh plans A further benefit of the implementation is that it which improve productivity and help staff to rely in future on more mobile sales employees enables Endsleigh to support flexible working for staff. to take on a new wave of sales prospects. backed up by two communications centres. “With the “The killer benefit for me, as well as the organisation, is Endsleigh is also able to support mobile previous systems, we had lost faith in the manual improved business continuity with greater flexibility of working, enabling better offline working processes and did not feel confident in managing leads working,” says Leahy. “With unified communications, and making the business more responsive. and opportunities,” he says. “By automating Endsleigh employees can easily transpose their commission payments through Microsoft Dynamics working environment for their home environment. If CRM, we have increased one segment of business tenfold without needing extra accounts people to PAUL NICHOLAS, REBECCA SMITH AND PETER LEAHY OF ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE SERVICES manage the business processes.” The integration features in Dynamics CRM 4.0 have helped Endsleigh prepare itself to work through ENDSLEIGH AT A GLANCE As a leading UK specialist in insurance and financial services products for career people, Endsleigh prides itself on its status as an independent intermediary: – Founded in 1965 by the National Union of Students – Quickly expanded into offering financial services to graduates and career people – Ranked one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses in 2003 – 85 per cent of new sales originate from the Web. www.onwindows.com 19
    • BRANCH BANKING BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE BANK BRANCHES HAVE BEEN ON THE HIGH STREET FOR SUCH A LONG TIME THAT MANY OF US TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED. BUT WITH AN INCREASING NUMBER OF BUSY CUSTOMERS PREFERRING MORE MODERN CHANNELS, BRANCHES MUST ADAPT IN ORDER TO SURVIVE. JAMES DODD TAKES A LOOK he pressure that branches face in today’s Furthermore, findings suggest that Millennials go T market comes from multiple directions. online for most basic transactions with their banks, Protecting the bottom line is currently a such as viewing an account balance (74 per cent) or massive priority, but at the same time a paying bills (70 per cent). But crucially, when it competitive edge must be maintained so as not to lose comes to complex transactions – such as opening a ground to competitors. While the obvious rival comes new account (57 per cent) and applying for a loan in the form of high-tech, multi-channel banking, (52 per cent) – they prefer to do it in person. So while pressure also comes, less directly, from the retail the trend certainly leans towards high-tech channels, industry. the humble branch clearly still has hope. “The expectations banking customers have for the In addition, while branches can certainly learn kind of service that they get in the branch has been from other channels of banking, it is also important influenced by the service that they have experienced that they maximise their own strengths by providing in retail establishments,” says Tony Emerson, banking a more rounded and tangible customer experience. industry director, EMEA for Microsoft. “To a certain Staff need to be better prepared and trained, while degree, banks are starting to compare themselves advanced technology can be used in-branch to entice more with retailers than they are with other financial customers and smooth transactions. institutions.” The widespread implication is that So how are branches attempting to deal with the branches need to make a major shift towards a more numerous customer-centric directions that they are customer-centric attitude and mode of operation. being drawn in? A current major trend is to tailor There is also much that branches can learn from branches to geographical area. “Banks are increasingly online banking and its multi-channel, hi-tech stratifying branches, setting them up according to the brethren. The expectations of the online generation kind of market they are in,” says Emerson. “Branches are explored in the survey Millennials in Banking are specifically designed for the new urban Survey 2008, which was conducted by Javelin Strategy environment or the small rural environment, for & Research on behalf of Microsoft. The survey example – with each having a very different set of suggests that to engage with customers of the features and functions.” The banking industry has ‘Millennial’ generation – people between the ages of realised that different geographic communities want 18 and 30 – banks must embrace a higher-tech, multi- and require different services. Providing a more focused channel approach. service is also manifesting in less obvious ways. www.onwindows.com 21
    • BRANCH BANKING Doing more with fewer staff at branches may at Clearly the focus in this example is on achieving a customer experience. Perhaps most notable in this first seem like a cost-reduction measure, but actually customer-centric branch through advanced vein is virtualisation. VIRTUAL REALITY it can produce a more impressive, efficient and technology such as Surface. However, it’s not just the “With branch offices we have seen increased specified customer experience. Primarily, it is bleeding edge that Microsoft is involved in, but also autonomy in a decentralised environment with Claude Goudreault, chief operating officer of transactional operations that slow the branch more vanilla enterprise implementations. overall cost containment a priority,” says Claude VM6 explains Microsoft’s contribution to the experience and automating these represents one way For example, American bank Wells Fargo uses Goudreault, chief operating officer of VM6, a world of branch virtualisation. that brick-and-mortar can catch up with online Silverlight, a Web-based subset of Windows professional services and software development “Microsoft technologies, namely Microsoft banking in terms of speed and efficiency. Presentation Foundation, to stream full motion video company dedicated to IT infrastructure virtualisation. Windows server 2008, contribute in many ways “Cashless branches are becoming popular, to its ATM screens. “Most ATMs have the dullest “We used this as the groundwork for the to successful branch strategies, including: especially in northern Europe,” says Emerson. “They screen interfaces you’ve ever seen,” says Emerson. development of our VMex 2008 software product. It – Security (network access, authentication and have automated currency counting, recycling and “And yet if you go online you’ll find a much richer, brings virtualisation high availability to branch offices audit) replenishment all built into advanced ATM machines interactive environment. Customers are saying: the at an economical price point.” Virtualisation’s back – Reliability (high availability, file security, data – which means a quicker and more effective customer Web technology is so good, why am I not seeing that office credentials are impeccable – it can make replication) experience. In addition, there’s no longer any need in the branch?” branches more efficient and independent and thus – Manageability (resource management, remote for a till, or a vault. This reduces cost and improves In another example of Microsoft’s presence, the more cost-effective. But how does this permeate management) flexibility, allowing a branch to open in a much Bank of Montreal uses the Virtual Earth platform as through to the customer experience? – Cost reduction (server consolidation with shorter timeframe and focus more of its staff on its branch locator. Users can establish their nearest Virtualisation can improve system availability and Hyper-V) selling and advice.” The trend of doing more with less branch and view it at street level, as well as access a performance, as well as data security and integrity, – Business continuity (high availability, disaster can be furthered with the use of advanced technology wealth of other information including the services it both of which are a high priority for the customer. It recovery) to engage and enable the customer. offers, what advisors it has and whether they are free, also enables multi-channel access to banking services – Desktop management (desktop imaging and “A major UK clearing bank is using Microsoft’s and even what languages are spoken there. This is a – which is a crucial part of the customer experience. deployment). Unified Communications to speak remotely with video major customer tool for banks but, crucially, it “Customers expect the branch experience to be to a mortgage specialist,” says Emerson. “Clearly, if you combines the branch with the online channel. This exactly the same as the head office one,” explains Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualisation technology tell me that I can speak with a relevant expert I’m fusion is the crux for successful branch operation; as Goudreault. “From a technology point of view, it combined with VM6’s VMex 2008 software the Millennials in Banking Survey 2008 indicates, much more likely to come into the branch, sit down translates into all data applications being available at (which runs on Microsoft’s Windows platform) is and talk to you than if you just offer me a generic multi-channel is the direction for the future. the branch level at all times. The branch should be the ultimate game changer for ROBO. This branch advisor. If you can improve the customer While improving the customer experience at the able to access all relevant customer data to ensure combination brings virtualisation to the branch experience you’re going to differentiate yourself over front end is undoubtedly important, changes to the that the service level is seamless between the branch level at a lower cost than other such other banks, which grows your relative market share. back office can also have a positive effect on the and the head office.” technologies. It also brings all the benefits of The market itself is pretty much fixed – it’s your share virtualisation to the branches such as decreased of it that makes the big difference.” downtime, lower maintenance costs and easier Improving the customer experience through upgrades.” technology is where Microsoft’s contribution comes into play. Its expertise in the user interface is the area in which it can most help branches deal with customers. A prominent example is Barclays’ pilot implementation of Microsoft Surface technology in its new flagship branch at Piccadilly Circus, London. The technology allows users to grab digital content with their hands and navigate information about Barclays’ Premier banking offering with simple gestures and touches. Commenting on the opening of the flagship store Mike Amato, chief distribution and product officer for Barclays, said: “This is the first time that a bank has opened a store such as this. We have taken inspiration from retailers and developed a space that attracts and engages individuals whilst conveying what the Barclays brand represents. “Our plan for Piccadilly has been to build not only a branch of the future but a branch befitting the iconic setting. We have embraced innovative technology and design which we expect to attract the interest of the Piccadilly community in an innovative and generous way and of course enable our customers to be able to interact with us in the way that suits them and in surroundings that are comfortable and accessible for all.” www.onwindows.com
    • BRANCH BANKING “The expectations banking Virtualisation seems to focus somewhat on the technical and operational customers have for the kind enablement of the branch – but what of the humble advisor? Will of service that they get in the the future see this role slowly but surely diminish? The branch have been influenced consensus seems to be that the advisor will always have a by the service that they have role alongside, and indeed complemented by, improved experienced in retail technology and systems. “Today’s branch advisor needs establishments” to have all the tools available at all times,” says Goudreault. “Technology needs to ensure this occurs for Tony Emerson, the advisor to be successful. As well, Banking Industry Director, EMEA, Microsoft technology must be dynamic to respond to the changing business environment and customer.” Though fewer employees may be Emerson hints at this balance in his vision for the part of a more streamlined branch, it seems the future: “The development of the branch is linked combination of high-tech tools and well-trained, intrinsically with the development of the technology well-informed staff is the real recipe for success. it adopts. I see them becoming more highly automated and less people intense, but at the same time friendlier, coffee-house type environments, where you’re encouraged to come in and loiter.” Such GREEN BRANCHES an environment is practically inconceivable without some human presence to provide a welcoming atmosphere and guidance with regard to the Banking organisation UniCredit Group wanted technology available. The key here is a multi-channel to overhaul its Italian branch office servers, with approach – not just in the sense of technology, but in an equal emphasis on increased efficiency and the sense of an entire ideology. Banks must consider reduced environmental impact. every avenue of approach to the branch and all of its The company sought to streamline its intrinsic traits. An all-embracing attitude is necessary software and hardware management, as well as because that is how today’s generation – today’s scale performance to meet growing needs. At potential customers – operate. the same time UniCredit wanted an “The reality is that the generation entering the implementation that met its corporate social workforce at the moment has less differentiation responsibility guidelines, which included keeping between work-time and fun-time,” Emerson power consumption to a minimum and continues. “If we can’t make going into a branch even improving working conditions for branch office a little bit fun, online banking may well take over employees. completely.” Thus a successful branch must combine At UniCredit space is at a premium, with it many ingredients from virtualisation and customer being necessary for servers to be housed in the engagement to branch stratification. Ultimately same office space as employees. This is one of branches have no need, or hope, of defeating the the reasons the organisation ultimately selected other channels available in banking. Rather, they a Primergy TX120 server offering from Fujitsu must find their niche in the rich ecosystem of the Siemens Computers (FSC) as the most connected customer experience. appropriate for its needs. This range of servers “Banks have a choice to make – to either retrench has a compact design, low operational noise and or drive growth by attracting new customers,” so is barely noticeable in an office space – to concludes Emerson. “How do banks do this? We employees or customers. They also have what believe it’s by providing what we call a ‘connected FSC calls a ‘green design’, which focuses on experience’. We all know that customers have many energy efficiency to reduce both cost and effect ways in which they choose to interact with their on the environment. banks, whether it’s via the phone, Web or branch. The new servers are expected to produce Couple this with the emergence of new digital and savings of 230,000 kW/h, or more than 300,000 consumer technologies and you have the clear over their estimated useful life. In addition, emergence of a consumer-centric, experience-based UniCredit will be able to improve the availability market. This ultimately requires banks to engage of its business applications and improve capacity them in a consistent way across all touch points. to accommodate future business growth. “Microsoft is unique in that we have technology Branches will be quieter and cooler for across the consumer and enterprise space. We’re employees and customers alike, improving the uniquely able to help banks connect these consumer overall surrounds and hopefully business as well. and business technologies together to better build relationships and loyalty with customers.” F www.onwindows.com
    • RISK ANALYTICS AND REPORTING KNOW YOUR RISK RISK ANALYSIS IS FUNDAMENTAL TO EFFECTIVE RISK MANAGEMENT. JACQUI GRIFFITHS ASKS HOW FINANCIAL FIRMS CAN ENSURE THEY GET IT RIGHT FROM THE START inancial organisations face a paradoxical ‘reward’ in spite of the associated risks. Controls F situation when it comes to risk – they need applied in recent years have not been effective, and to minimise it, but they can’t grow without some banks have focused more on controlling small it. In today’s economic climate, it is more fraud exposures than managing advanced credit important than ever to identify, measure and minimise instruments or systemic institutional issues. Clearly, risk in order to reap its attendant rewards. Alexander this needs to change.” Millington, head of risk management software at That change is on the horizon, according to Adrian Formicary, explains: “Financial organisations thrive on Maconick, director of Finsbury Solutions: “We are in taking risk, but understanding and giving clarity to the middle of the biggest banking crisis in my lifetime,” that risk is more important than ever in a complex he says. “This will trigger a complete re-evaluation of trading environment.” risk management which will cover the regulators, the However, banks face many challenges in accurately role of government, the role and status of risk assessing the risks they face, and there is consensus management in the organisation, the measurement of among the experts that risk analysis methods have risk and the systems used to provide risk management previously fallen short. “How you value the risk is information.” obviously key to determining the size of the reward,” “For many firms the number one issue right now is says Michael Bush, head of product management at basic survival and recovery from their direct Business Control Solutions. “But how do you value risk participation in or exposure to the credit crisis in all its that only has a ‘potential’ to take place?” forms, especially as it relates to the underlying “Margin pressure in core business has driven many securities risk,” comments Todd Stone, chief executive organisations to seek greater return in the capital officer of ProcessUnity. “After that, managing and markets, fundamentally carrying a greater risk to their controlling both existing and new financial products business,” says Nigel Lee, chief commercial officer at and services is critical to all financial firms.” Financial Architects (FinArch). “A failure to correctly Moxon agrees: “The two most significant issues assess risk and risk-adjust business performance has facing banks in this context are institutionalising a risk exposed these organisations, their customers and their management culture and obtaining a true enterprise shareholders.” view of risk,” he says. “Most financial managers and “Financial organisations are still searching for the executives have never faced a business environment appropriate balance,” adds Chris Moxon, chief this challenging in their professional lifetimes. They executive officer of Methodware. “The herd mentality need to increase awareness of proactive risk prevalent in many large financial organisations, driven management practices and the discipline across the by pressure to maximise profits, has produced a bias to organisation. In conjunction with this, financial firms www.onwindows.com 27
    • RISK ANALYTICS AND REPORTING “Most financial managers and need the ability to take risks out of their individual overreact. Large, complicated, enterprise-wide risk exist, it is relatively easy to extract data from these business unit silos and understand the collective management approaches will cause more harm than and use them to feed risk management systems,” executives have never faced a impact on the entire organisation.” good. They delay the benefits of effective internal adds Maconick. “The hardest problem is to find and “At Formicary, we’ve found that making consistent control, end up increasing risk, and cost a fortune at a extract data from the myriad of informal systems on business environment this information, particularly market information, available time when financial services firms need to spend spreadsheets and PC databases. Some people have across the institution is a top priority now for firms,” wisely.” suggested that all spreadsheets should be migrated challenging in their says Millington. “The ability to provide coherent Warford concurs: “Customers know that additional to formal systems, but this is just wishful thinking – pricing and risk analysis rapidly, across systems, from regulation will be coming towards them – it always our work shows end user computing applications professional lifetimes” audited information sources, is critical in providing a does after a period of financial turmoil. But they’re not growing at around ten per cent per annum in most level of confidence that the information on which looking to replace their systems – they’re trying to use organisations. When a new product area emerges business decisions are made is accurate, across the what they have to address the processing problem Chris Moxon, they have to act fast and rely on spreadsheets to board. But accurate information is nothing without the around risk.” CEO, Methodware process. The best way to deal with the problem is to ability to report and analyse it. Providing embrace spreadsheets and other end-user straightforward, easy access to a flexible reporting PERFECT MATCH applications, but make them acceptable by providing framework enables business decisions to be based on The good news is that the key to solving the risk “Most importantly, people need to be at the centre the right tools to manage and control them.” timely data in a way that is relevant to the business.” analysis conundrum may lie in a simple, if well- of risk management,” says Warford. “They need to “Risk analysis has a significant dependency on the Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that thought-out, shift of focus that tallies exactly with the have the tools to manage risk themselves. For underlying data and the analyst’s ability to access and even in these straitened times, analysts are predicting ethos of using existing technologies – the technologies example, instead of having a business intelligence aggregate it,” says Moxon. “The use of robust database that risk management and compliance will be the area that end users are already familiar with. group somewhere embedded in the IT department, technology and browser-based delivery channels where most money is spent. “As we talk to our A major obstacle for banks has been their historical everybody should be able to use business allows easier access, and the flexibility of the risk customers, the area where we consistently see reliance on algorithmic techniques for risk analysis. As intelligence tools.” analysis tool allows the best possible solution fit. spending is risk management and controls,” says Ian Lee explains: “The calculation of risk is difficult, and “There’s no need to re-invent the wheel here,” adds Methodware’s flagship risk management solution, Warford, EMEA industry director for capital markets at unfortunately not a science. Reliance on statistical Stone. “Most of the information is readily available. The ERA, leverages Microsoft technology to provide a Microsoft. models and the algorithmic exploitation of historic trick is to establish the right relationships between this central, integrated repository that clients can configure “Firms will now begin to increase investment in data has detached many organisations from sound information and make it easily and widely accessible. according to their specific needs.” effective internal control and risk management on one judgement.” People across the enterprise can give There is more detail of course, but there is often more Lee expands the point: “For a tool to be effective it hand, and meeting regulatory requirements on the valuable context to that data. Indeed, by returning value in improving basic management visibility and has to be easy to use and familiar,” he says. “Microsoft other,” says Stone. “But they should take care not to their focus to their people, banks can efficiently transparency than in abstract risk engines.” provides the most prolific tool in the risk and finance nurture a context-rich, enterprise-wide risk culture. “Where formal transaction processing systems function – Excel – and some of its partners have built A SOUND VISION BANK OF AMERICA Microsoft’s future-state vision of risk analytics and reporting is based on four key principles: Bank of America needed a robust and scalable – People are at the centre of risk management way to meet the compliance challenge of the with ‘do it yourself’ tools Basel II Accord, which mandates an entirely new – Results are presented in a simple, visual, easy- approach to measuring, monitoring, reviewing to-understand interface and reporting operational risk. – Analytics and risk reports are delivered in real After considering off-the-shelf solutions, the time bank decided to build its own system using tools – The right information is delivered in the right and an environment that would be familiar to format, at the right time, to the right people. developers and users. Within four months it designed, developed and deployed a portal “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is at the solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint heart of our risk processes and workflow control Server 2007 with a data-input mechanism based solution,” says Ian Warford. “It allows on the Office InfoPath information-gathering organisations to embed workflows around program, part of Microsoft Office Enterprise documents. For Excel spreadsheets, SharePoint 2007. To help ensure that only fully authorised enables full control of versioning, so firms can users could access sensitive data, developers identify who did what, when. created highly customised views and controls “Microsoft’s high-performance computing based on the native security features in (HPC) offering – Windows HPC Server 2008 – SharePoint Server 2007. enables faster computing and modelling so that “Because we based the solution on a banks can make faster decisions about risk. In development and deployment environment as addition, Microsoft PerformancePoint Server can efficient as Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 and enable visualisation of complex risk data and a SharePoint Server 2007, the bank is well single view of structured and unstructured data. It positioned to effectively manage operational can sit on top of SQL Server, which pulls together and compliance risk, now and well into the various data sources from around the future,” says Jeff Napper, senior vice president of organisation which can then be served up for enterprise operational risk management at Bank PerformancePoint to do business analytics.” of America. www.onwindows.com
    • RISK ANALYTICS AND REPORTING risk and finance solutions that rely heavily on Microsoft. biggest issue they face is making sure there are The Financial Studio product from Financial Architects mechanisms available to accurately search and identify is exactly this kind of platform. It is based on the finance unauthorised conversations and information. This is resource planning concept, and has been developed by why Formicary introduced ChatSeer, which is used by bankers for bankers. Financial Studio exploits Excel via several tier-one investment banks to natively search Microsoft Reporting Services to provide information for instant messaging and Group Chat communications both internal and external use in an environment which and help them ensure they are analysing the right is both familiar and easy to use.” information.” “Two main capabilities are particularly relevant It seems that in order to achieve a more accurate here,” adds Maconick. “Cataloguing, controlling and view of the risk/reward balance, banks must also strike incorporating all types of data into the risk a balance between people and technology; between the management systems is relatively easy in formal subjective context and insight that staff can offer, and systems, as most are based on modern database the objective data that runs through their systems. systems such as Microsoft SQL Server. For end-user Using familiar technologies not only helps put people systems, an end-user computing control system such at the centre of the risk culture, but can also create as Finsbury’s Spreadsheet Workbench is required. efficiencies in terms of resources, organisation and Once identified as providing business-critical cost. “When it comes to cost, many people already information, the spreadsheets can be analysed and key have licences for SQL Server, PerformancePoint, and cell data extracted for input into risk management even HPC Server,” concludes Warford. “If financial systems. The second key capability is computing firms deploy these technologies they can save a power – most risk management calculations require tremendous amount of money as opposed to buying large numbers of scenarios to be calculated. This is an new licences. Many firms are realising that they can inherently parallel process, so technology such as high- save money by deploying the licences they already performance computing (HPC) is of significant value.” have. They’re trying to use what they have to address Howard Travers, director of sales at Formicary, the processing problem around risk, and because the stresses the importance of including all methods of toolset is familiar to everybody who uses Microsoft Office, it’s a very compelling opportunity for them.” F communication in risk analysis. “With the introduction of Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) R2 2007, firms are recognising the huge benefits derived from VoIP, presence and unified SASFIN BANK communications,” he says. “Firms continue to look for methods to streamline communication and retain knowledge, and recent additions to OCS such as South Africa’s Sasfin Bank serves commercial Group Chat are going to make a huge difference. The customers, with a focus on entrepreneurs. Siloed information gathering and management made it difficult for employees to access a unified view of the customer, and Sasfin also faced challenges in addressing the reporting requirements of Basel II regulations. Sasfin executives joined the Microsoft Office 2007 Rapid Deployment Technology Adoption Program to deploy a single, consolidated content management solution and Web portal. Structured information-gathering capabilities now enable employees to capture data in a repeatable and easily validated manner, while XML capabilities mean forms data can be uploaded automatically to customer data systems. The solution delivers greater process efficiency and more comprehensive information for Sasfin staff, enabling stronger decision-making capabilities. New data analysis capabilities offered through the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 spreadsheet software, as well as the enhanced reporting capabilities of Office SharePoint Server 2007, give users greater insight into customer interactions and sales opportunities. “We expect help-desk calls relating to the Office products to be considerably lower than after prior deployments,” says Dawie Olivier, IT project manager at Sasfin Bank. www.onwindows.com
    • GOVERNANCE, RISK MANAGEMENT AND COMPLIANCE SERIES disparate in others, does show signs of an A key strength of this approach lies in the familiarity orchestrated effort. of end users across the organisation with Microsoft But as governments around the world continue tools and capabilities, which are ubiquitous in many their efforts to bolster financial firms’ defences against organisations as well as in users’ homes. In enabling risk, there are also lessons to be learned from the users to embrace and use information technology that current situation, in order to guard against the need to aligns with a company’s business process, this resort to such measures again. Because of the sheer minimises training needs and helps to build an magnitude and ubiquity of government interventions integrated risk management and compliance culture and bailout funding, many people see the situation as across the organisation. tantamount to nationalisation. However, the free In these difficult times, our efforts at Microsoft are market economies are fully aware of the economic focused first and foremost on helping our customers distortions and allocation inefficiencies involved, and maximise the existing investments they have made their objective is not to widen the sphere of the state in with us. The latest guidance around IT compliance financial markets (as in nationalisation), but simply to management is a good example of these efforts. We provide temporary support to sustain the market are also starting work on a Future State of Risk mechanism by throwing a lifeline. The function of this Management global study and will be releasing this in the middle of this year. F sovereign funding is to act as a safeguard against market failure – what must be taken into account, though, is that it has serious implications and Sai Sireesh Pachava is the worldwide director for risk consequences for risk management. management and compliance industry solutions at There are several potential effects to consider. First, Microsoft. He also serves as the co-regional director for the regulatory burden may increase because, having the Professional Risk Managers’ International channelled tax revenues to address the problem, Association (PRMIA) Seattle chapter governments will want banks to show tax payers, and to justify to the wider world, how that money is being used. In addition to this, the natural tendency of regulatory regimes to expand their footprint will be boosted. Further, risk-taking by banks may be more MICROSOFT RELEASES guided by the perceptions and preferences of IT COMPLIANCE GUIDE government policies than by portfolio considerations. There is also an attendant risk of over-regulation, as governments seek to compensate for a diminished Microsoft has released the IT Compliance trust in bank management by implementing detailed Management Guide, a free, authoritative Microsoft transaction-oriented examinations. Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 companion guide The current situation raises an additional based on the Regulatory Compliance Planning dimension for chief risk officers to deal with, if their Guide. institution is subject to government risk management The guide aims to help financial firms address activities. The lessons learned from government risk their governance, risk management and compliance management will also feed into a heavier touch from (GRC) needs using existing technologies. It offers a TAKING STOCK regulators in industry risk management. In addition, range of resources to help organisations shift their the knowledge that governments around the world GRC efforts from people to technology, including gain from their experience of rescuing ‘too big to fail’ configuration guidance to help efficiently address firms will have an impact on the future viability and GRC objectives. This acts as an accelerator to help ambitions of ‘financial supermarts’ around the world. businesses better understand how an IT process SAI SIREESH PACHAVA TAKES STOCK OF THE RISK AND COMPLIANCE SITUATION AFTER A YEAR OF CHALLENGES Finally, this government risk management effort will framework can help them implement GRC controls THAT HAVE SEEN GOVERNMENTS TAKING A MORE PROMINENT ROLE IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY have far-reaching impacts on the risk management role within their Microsoft infrastructure. A workbook, IT Compliance Management of governments in the future and, implicitly, the role of Resources, accompanies the guide, providing an risk management in society. For years, financial institutions have faced the extensive inventory of GRC-related configuration he financial services industry is for legendary institutions that disappeared overnight, ongoing challenge of meeting new levels of risk and management guidance organised by Microsoft T continuously evolving at a rapid pace. and the demise of these organisations will be spoken management and greater demands for compliance. As product. Besides the challenges posed by emerging about for decades to come in terms of the crunching in previous times of crisis, that challenge is now By viewing compliance obligations through a technologies, expanded business strategies, global impact and associated lessons. intensifying alongside the global economic situation. ‘lens’ of eight authority documents, including redefined business processes, new financial In the US, about US$650 billion of sub-prime As the role of governments continues to intensify and Sarbanes-Oxley and ISO 27002, the guide helps to instruments and regulatory frameworks, 2008 has bonds were outstanding in March 2008, about 75 per transform these challenges, it is perhaps more reduce the complexity often associated with GRC. It thrown up the additional trials of the global credit cent of which were rated ‘triple A’ at issuance, and important than ever for financial firms to take a provides guidance to consolidate and address GRC crisis and government interventions that have across the world, banks raised around US$600 billion holistic approach to risk and compliance, based on a requirements from multiple authority documents increased the scale, scope and interconnectivity of in 2008 worldwide in order to survive. This global strong and flexible IT infrastructure. such as regulations, publications and agreements. financial institutions. Correspondingly, enterprise development has broad, long-term implications for the The guide has been well received by reviewers, risk management across multiple business units risk management role and the function of RISING TO THE CHALLENGE with auditing firm Grant Thornton commenting: within increasingly complex organisations is under governments and sovereign wealth funds. Microsoft works with leading partners that deliver “The Microsoft Operations Framework referenced in increasing scrutiny, and rightfully so given what is at With government bailouts for banks across Europe solutions to address the spectrum of risk the guide is both a reasonable and extensible stake to investors, creditors and clients, and more and the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s management and compliance needs. These framework by which an organisation may manage broadly, to the global economies and financial recent suggestion of using an aggregator bank, there is solutions take advantage of Microsoft’s focus on GRC requirements and solutions.” markets. a fascinating convergence of free markets and the role strong infrastructure and reusable business The past year has been humbling and disruptive for of governments as risk managers of last resort. This components, while using enterprise-ready products The IT Compliance Management Guide is free to the financial sector – perhaps especially for the large complements an ongoing global risk management and technologies and taking advantage of the tight download at www.microsoft.com/solutionaccelerators investment banks, but also for the risk management effort that, although coordinated in some parts of the connection of the back end to Microsoft’s leadership profession as a whole. Many epitaphs will be written world (for example G7 and the European Union) and in client devices. www.onwindows.com 33
    • COMMENTARY OUT ON A LIMB “Newer, proven software probably have to allow about one hour per branch for weekly technical maintenance and verification technologies make it possible and with 34 branches, the support would equate to NEW TECHNOLOGIES CAN REDUCE THE COST OF BRANCH OFFICE DATA PROTECTION roughly the cost of a full-time employee. to reliably and cost-effectively WITH REAL-TIME DATA REPLICATION AND CENTRALISED STORAGE, SAYS IAN MASTERS By implementing a solution that replicates and transports byte-level changes only, the bank could backup branch offices at the move data to a central location. By eliminating the need for backup, technical maintenance and central data centre” assistance, you could save around £33,000 annually. Plus there is no recurring hardware maintenance cost and no loss of employee time in supervising the backup process. continue to rely on tape backup to protect their “With no user intervention and no ost organisations understand the importance of With no user intervention and no additional branch offices. The tape backup and recovery M deploying the right resources, processes and bandwidth required between the branch offices processes are complex, labour intensive and prone additional bandwidth required technology to protect key information and and the central data centre, real-time data to errors – especially when untrained branch minimise downtime at their main headquarters. But too replication gives a backup and recovery solution employees are asked to execute them. In short, tape between the branch offices and the many companies don’t have the adequate resources or without bottlenecks, allowing operations to backup for branches is a costly and risky data technology in place for protecting invaluable data in continue unimpeded. The result: cost-effective protection strategy. New solutions that use real- central data centre, real-time data branch or remote offices. Their data protection strategies quality service, up-to-the-minute data protection time data replication software to automatically do not encompass the fact that branch offices now contain and economical use of existing bandwidth. backup branch office data to a central server replication gives a backup and customer databases, e-mail servers or financial information Summing up, therefore, it would appear that provide a simpler, more reliable and cost-effective way to protect your branch offices. F that are critical to the company’s day-to-day operations. continuous access to key business information is a recovery solution without The traditional approach – relying on tape backup for critical requirement for both corporate branch office data protection – is both costly and risky. In headquarters and branch locations. But many Ian Masters is UK sales and marketing director at bottlenecks, allowing operations to addition to the initial tape backup hardware, software and companies have not adjusted to this reality, and Double-Take Software: www.doubletake.com installation costs for each branch, there are the continual continue unimpeded” costs of tape media, maintenance and off-site transport and storage. Most companies can’t afford to have IT staff in branch offices, so they incur traditional IT support costs for the weekly maintenance and verification of branch distances. With real-time data replication, file changes on backups. Even with weekly support, central IT ends up branch office servers are automatically copied and finding out about gaps in the branch data backup after transferred to a target server at a central location – using important information has already been lost. your existing network bandwidth. The replication occurs Often, untrained non-technical staff in the branches have automatically, relieving branch office staff from their duties to be responsible for consistent, reliable backup – but given as backup administrators and giving IT staff confidence the wide variety of things that could go wrong, this is an that reliable backups are occurring in the branches – unrealistic responsibility. Backup fails without the branch without a lot of branch support calls and headaches. And staff even noticing. Shortcuts taken to save time because the replication is occurring constantly, the window unwittingly sabotage the process. Improperly labelling, of data loss is dramatically smaller compared to once-a-day rotating and removing tapes, results in lost data and slow tape backup. recovery. Since the branch employees have never tested the Imagine a bank with 34 offices, with each branch having recovery process, they aren’t familiar with how to execute to spend £4,500-£6,500 for backup hardware and software, the recovery when a disruption occurs. So the branch is in addition to set-up time. In addition to this, there would down for hours, or even days, and often requires the be the ongoing costs of media, maintenance, assistance of the central IT staff. communications, transport and storage. Even with all this capital outlay the system would fail to guarantee the ANOTHER WAY protection of all records because tape backup is not What is surprising is that few companies realise that there constant, since it occurs just once daily. If a failure should are alternatives to this costly and risky approach to branch occur, the gap between the last backup and the failure office data protection. Newer, proven software technologies would result in the irretrievable loss of transactions and make it possible to reliably and cost-effectively backup records. branch offices at the central data centre. In the past, Without trained IT staff at each branch the bank would centrally backing up remote locations was not feasible for be dependent on non-technical staff for tape management. most businesses because the solutions available were hard People trained to serve customers would be inexpertly to manage and required costly WAN bandwidth. changing tapes. As the IT manager you should be asking New remote backup solutions that use data replication yourself: did they make the tape change? Did they do it software are dramatically easier to manage and work correctly? Did they install new tape or erase data? effectively over low bandwidth connections and long Whilst relying on tape backup alone, you would www.onwindows.com 35
    • COMMENTARY MAKING THE BEST OF UNCERTAINTY AS BANKS FACE A NEW SET OF ECONOMIC CHALLENGES, KEY TECHNOLOGY TRENDS CAN HELP THEM THROUGH, SAYS BRIAN SCOTT “There is no doubt that s instability continues to ripple through the global A economy, it’s clear that no one is immune to the companies and individuals now effects of tighter credit and slower consumer and business spending. But while it’s impossible to predict the face a new set of economic duration of this uncertainty or its final impact on jobs and growth, I am optimistic about long-term economic prospects challenges. But at the same around the world. The trends that have made the last decade so dynamic for time, key technology trends are businesses haven’t changed – technology continues to improve, productivity continues to rise, and new business converging in ways that will opportunities continue to emerge. At the same time, there’s no doubt that thoughtful business leaders must carefully assess revolutionise the role how best to use their resources in these uncertain times. IT can play an important role in helping financial firms of computing plays in our lives” every size to respond to this difficult and rapidly changing economic environment. In the near term, many organisations will focus on cutting costs and reducing risk, and a number of technologies are helping companies to implementing a new disaster recovery site. I-Score also lower expenses and improve effectiveness and efficiency. expects to reduce energy consumption and cooling costs. One example is virtualisation. By making it possible to While cutting costs is important in responding to current run more than one operating system on a single computer, economic challenges, it’s also possible to see some of these virtualisation reduces costs and lowers energy consumption, challenges as opportunities. Many new technologies are enabling organisations to use more of the computing power enabling forward-looking financial firms to build systems they already own. Another example is unified that are more cost-effective while enabling people to communications technologies that bring together voice, e- understand and respond to changing business conditions mail and instant messaging, allowing organisations to with greater insight and speed than ever before. replace traditional phone systems with integrated software This focus on people is critical. In any economy, solutions that reduce hardware and maintenance costs. innovation is the foundation for creating opportunity and Today’s video conferencing and collaboration tools are success – and innovation is built on the ability of people to making virtual meetings much more like face-to-face transform new ideas into products that deliver value to interaction, enabling people to share and collaborate more customers. The danger is that as the global economy slows, effectively while reducing travel costs, and companies are companies will shift focus to controlling expenses rather finding that reducing computer energy usage is one of the than investment in innovation. But companies that continue most effective ways to lower costs without hampering to pursue innovation will position themselves better to organisational capabilities. weather difficult economic times and create the conditions At Microsoft, our internal IT department saved more than for more rapid growth when the economic climate improves. US$10 million by moving 25 per cent of its servers into a There is no doubt that companies and individuals now virtualised environment during 2007. Now, it takes just four face a new set of economic challenges. But at the same time, people to manage the group’s 3,500 servers, and after key technology trends are converging in ways that will implementing a unified messaging system we are saving revolutionise the role computing plays in our lives. Financial US$5 million each year in hardware and maintenance costs. institutions that take advantage of these trends to transform Large companies are not the only ones benefiting from their businesses and deliver new innovations to customers software that can help reduce expense. For example, will have an important competitive advantage, today and in the future. F deploying Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V has helped Egypt’s first credit bureau I-Score, which has 50 employees, to consolidate hardware and reduce the cost of Brian Scott is vice president, worldwide industry at Microsoft www.onwindows.com
    • COMMENTARY BUILDING SUCCESS FOR SUPERBANKS TRANSPARENCY IS VITAL IF MERGED BANKS ARE TO ACHIEVE TRUE SUPERBANK STATUS, SAYS NIGEL WALDER hile many firms and individuals have suffered huge especially in large firms. W financial pain over recent months, some have So, what is needed to monitor the risk within these prospered and bought fire-sale assets that lift them operational units? The answer is transparency, which can overnight into the new ‘superbank’ category. However, where only come about via effective communication between there is reward there is risk, and these superbanks face senior management and people in the line functions. Given USE THIS JPEG RATHER THAN PDF significant integration challenges. There are several key aspects the size and reach of superbanks this can’t be done verbally. superbanks need to consider in order to build success. It has to be systemised. Operational risk needs to be For example, in a merger between two large banks, what embedded in the fabric of an organisation – its people, who should the new entity be called? Should both brands be kept can provide the context that numbers might lack. because each has brand value? If so, how can the bank create Tightly coupled to operational risk is governance over the a unified institution-wide culture? balance sheet. Superbanks have millions of accounts that are In addition, the movement of many firms towards a ‘one subject to millions of transactions daily. During integration bank’ mentality by leveraging shared infrastructure often this is amplified when aggregated financial management and results in hybrid operating models whereby the business reporting is required across multiple platforms, with finance line with most power ends up with the better service, departments having to temporally bridge the gap. In order creating pressure for poorer performing businesses. It is for firms to sign off comfortably on their balance sheet, total crucial that all factors are taken into account and that transparency is needed. This should be capable of showing integration is swift. problematic accounts and identifying patterns, so when Since most banks align themselves by product, difficulties aggregated up, the warning bells proactively go off to senior can arise when trying to service customers with multi- management. It should also provide an opportunity for product needs when the products are spread out across the management to attribute a relative risk weighting over the two entities. Superbanks face an internal battle over who accounts. owns the client relationship, which can take precedence over Operational risk is an art not a science, and it needs to be the best interests of the client. treated as such. The next two to three years will see intensive Superbanks also need to reaffirm the confidence of activity within the newly-created superbanks as they battle regulators and shareholders by taking a holistic view of risk to extract costs while keeping key employees and clients. that is easy to understand and to act upon. While easy to Speed of execution and total transparency of risk will be vital if they are to succeed. F accept as a concept, this is more challenging to implement. Market and credit risk methodologies are relatively mature, but operational risk is still developing and is often the Nigel Walder is CEO of Business Control Solutions: www.bcsplc.com bucket in which other risks are put. Many banks have also focused their efforts on minimising the cost of regulations, rather than embracing the spirit of what’s intended. I’m not suggesting that the current crisis was caused by operational risk. However, as operational risk departments tend to be pretty isolated from units such as finance and operations, there is often a lack of understanding as to where problems occur, who should follow them up and how they should be reported, www.onwindows.com
    • COMMENTARY SEE WHAT YOU SAY WHEN IT COMES TO IM AND GROUP CHAT THERE ARE MANY IMPORTANT ISSUES TO CONSIDER, ESPECIALLY IN REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE RISK. LUCKILY, HELP IS AT HAND, SAYS HOWARD TRAVERS “Traders were attracted because he use of instant messaging (IM) is growing at an T exponential rate and with the recent release of they could create different ‘rooms’ Microsoft’s Unified Communications (UC) suite, Office Communications Server (OCS) R2 2007, this is set to for each market and conduct continue. While IM technologies have simplified and replaced e-mail for one-to-one conversations, chat is the virtual meetings without leaving natural extension for the replacement of group meetings, and a major new feature in OCS R2 2007 Group Chat. their desks” Internet relay chat has been around for years, but the breakthrough came when innovative organisations like UBS extended that protocol to develop a persistent group chat product, resulting in a separate company called Parlano and becomes complex when you have a chat room with the MindAlign product. Microsoft acquired MindAlign in hundreds or thousands of users. Converting Group Chat 2007, and its adoption by many of the world’s largest into e-mail can only be achieved by putting the recipients financial institutions has shaped the functionality of into the body of the text. That makes reconstruction and Microsoft’s Group Chat, as many of those companies now interpretation of Group Chat conversations almost plan to move to the UC platform. impossible and highly time consuming. When I was sales manager of Parlano in Europe, CXOs In line with the recent launch of Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 often questioned why they would need persistent group Group Chat, Formicary released the latest version of chat when they had e-mail, phones and portals. But once ChatSeer. Unlike other compliance solutions, ChatSeer the penny dropped (often after a successful pilot) those identifies and indexes all IM communication, including same CXOs rapidly championed the concept and adopted attachments in their native format, enabling simple, quick it across the enterprise. Traders were attracted because they and precise response to discovery and litigation requests. It could create different ‘rooms’ for each market and conduct was built based on two top-tier global investment banks’ virtual meetings without leaving their desks. Group Chat demand for a powerful compliance solution that would offers a means of managing far-flung project teams and enable secure archiving and deliver fast, accurate response to enabling faster, more informed investment decision- all discovery requests while allowing users to communicate making. both internally and externally through all available channels There are, however, important issues to consider around improving collaboration, business relationships and IM and Group Chat, especially concerning regulatory and information flow. compliance risk. IM, including persistent group chat, is Some organisations may already have an archiving subject to the same stringent compliance regulations as e- solution and require only a solution to store IM and Group mail. Many organisations are required to record and archive Chat data in the same place. Others just don’t need e- all communication data for differing retention periods in discovery tools beyond the basic ones that they have. For secure, tamper-proof storage facilities. They must also be these companies, ChatSeer Lite logs all message traffic on IM able to readily retrieve the data when required for audit, and persistent group chat, and supports the native compliance or e-discovery purposes, or face hefty fines for integration of EIM message traffic, access and permission non-compliance. controls. Existing compliance solutions archive IM communications The launch of OCS R2 2007 and Group Chat spells a new in e-mail format, which is not 100 per cent compatible with and exciting phase in the development of UC. The right the persistent group chat feature. Group Chat data does not approach can help financial firms to rise to the challenges translate easily into e-mail format, so there is a possibility of presented by these new technologies, and make the most of the opportunities they offer. F data being lost, manipulated or corrupted before it reaches the secure data storage unit. Compliance officers need to know who spoke to whom and when, and the retrieval of Howard Travers is business development manager of Formicary: data for e-discovery and audit purpose breaks down and www.formicary.net/microsoft www.onwindows.com
    • COMMENTARY IT STRATEGIES CONQUER THE CRUNCH AS THE CHALLENGES IN CREDIT MARKETS CONTINUE TO AFFECT BANKS AND OTHER BUSINESSES, IT SUPPLIERS CAN SUPPORT IMPROVED SERVICE AT REDUCED COSTS, SAYS JUSTIN PARKS ince late 2007, the credit markets have been in a are directly impacted, with IT suppliers being squeezed to S downward spiral, which is having a domino effect on enable more performance at a lower cost. As a result, IT businesses. The state of the credit markets has had a suppliers are being forced to rethink their approach to detrimental effect on the financial services sector, which has funding initiatives for improved service and IT projects, and then impacted all other sectors due to the reluctance and, to consider changes to products used in the architecture. sometimes, the inability of banks to open the credit doors. And At visionapp we promote shared ‘risk and reward’ service if companies are not able to extend their loans or take out new contracts with an emphasis on fewer, more skilled IT staff. loans from the banks, then this position prevents the banks When IT suppliers diversify into all areas of managed from executing one of their key objectives – to make money service, there is a tendency to dilute the quality and skills of from lending money. the resource supporting the service by taking on TUPE’d As a result, many banks have less money available to staff, with no active training strategy or programme to spend on growing and improving their businesses. Capital displace redundant staff. Raising the standard of all aspects investment has to be channelled into those areas of the of the service will allow the IT supplier, in a close working business which keep the bank operating, often inhibiting relationship with the bank, to actually realise the service spend on other areas such as IT. Although the banks rely benefits. The improved service should then lead to heavily on IT and usually set the benchmark for IT strategy, measurable cost savings or cost avoidance, and this is often the area where capital investment is frozen. IT subsequently to an improved profit for the bank – and it is projects, outsourcing contracts and service improvements this more profitable position that is shared. With a greatly reduced budget, the internal IT organisation will no longer be able to fund all IT projects, so the onus falls on the suppliers to build the business case and develop the funding model for the project. In this respect, the supplier plays a trusted advisor role and shares with the bank its experiences from previous commitments. Service and operational improvements can also be achieved by strategic thinking around the desktop and infrastructure components. Business applications and data accessible to users from any location with an Internet connection brokers more flexible working while significantly reducing costs. A thin client desktop model is less costly to support providing it is the rule and not the exception. Forward thinking IT suppliers are building on these principals while mapping the infrastructure solutions to cloud computing models. This brings shared services onto the horizon of some CIOs where it was previously discounted as a business strategy. During 2009, we will see an increase in the acceptance and deployment of these models as a way to shed high IT operating costs and to ensure alignment with future proofed technologies. Until the credit markets recover and the financial services sector can again support the other sectors, IT spend will continue to fall. Suppliers need to rally on new technologies that support improved service at greatly reduced costs if they are to survive the coming year. F Justin Parks is director at visionapp: www.visionapp.co.uk www.onwindows.com
    • COMMENTARY CAN UC THE DANGERS? “UC platforms are changing the hey presto, they receive a copy of the infection within seconds. way people, groups and If UC-related communications are running UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS PROMISES GREAT BENEFITS, without monitoring in place, confidential organisations work in many BUT ONLY IF THE RISKS ARE MITIGATED, SAYS NICK SEARS information can easily leave the company. In a survey conducted in August 2008 sponsored by different ways. At the click of a FaceTime, over a third of people admitted to sending an instant message to the wrong person. button they can turn ‘chat’ into Although only five per cent of respondents had sent highly confidential information to the wrong voice and share their desktop person, one such error resulted in the company’s telephony and Internet access being used by or application in order to he reasons for implementing unified commun- increased by 70 per cent. While not every company will someone else at the organisation’s expense. Nearly T ications (UC) are now so strong and the cost necessarily achieve these kinds of returns, at a time when 16 per cent of respondents said they had clicked on explain a situation more clearly” savings so wide-reaching that in the present, tough, everyone is looking to do more with less, implementing UC an attachment or a link within an IM that had economic climate it would be difficult not to look at makes sense. turned out to be malware, and 42 per cent of those implementing a system. Until recently, concerns over Even though many organisations are looking to reduce said their current anti-virus protection did not catch security and compliance have been blamed for the slow headcount and costs, there is still a need to provide technology to scan, security-check and confirm that it. uptake to date. However, as financial pressures force incentives to encourage productive employees to stay, a the content being sent in and out over e-mail is as Obviously, now is a great time for organisations to organisations to move towards maximising every penny of difficult task when budgets are being cut and a pay increase safe as they can make it. start implementing UC. But just as no one would budget and IT infrastructure, there may now be a temptation is not always available. Working from home is seen as a Unified communications is no different to e-mail. consider rolling out e-mail without properly for businesses to skip some of the best practice guidelines – major perk – not only does it improve the work-life balance, It is more immediate, more instant than e-mail, but it considering security, management and compliance, and that may be to their chagrin in the medium term. it also adds a few much-needed pounds in the pocket saved should be treated in exactly the same way. If a so must these three vital areas be addressed with As more companies start to embrace UC, other less from the reduced commute. With UC, employees can still company bans Web mail access, then it should do UC. A rush to save costs and neglecting to mitigate obvious benefits start to materialise and it is these, not just operate as if they were in the office, and often more the same with all variants of publicly available IM the dangers will only result in businesses spending more money clearing up the resulting issues. F the reduced telephony and outsourced conferencing costs, productively. clients – and it shouldn’t rely on its firewall or URL which are really creating the buzz around implementing UC. Interestingly, ill employees, who perhaps when office- filter to achieve this. Public IM applications are That said, the saving from telephony costs alone is liable to based might call in sick, nine times out of ten will drag astoundingly good at circumventing company Nick Sears is vice president, EMEA at FaceTime crack a smile on the financial director’s face. themselves to a home office and work through bouts of defences. Talk to any network administrator who Communications: www.facetime.com No longer constrained by technology and costs, UC sickness that would have seen them unavailable if they’d has tried to stop them using only traditional security enables collaboration to become far more widespread within had to travel to the office. It could also be said that this tools, and the conversation begins with a long sigh. organisations. Presence – the ability to see at a glance who is improves productivity massively during this season of The IM networks can’t be blamed; after all it is available – has also helped to strengthen this trend. Now coughs, colds and the inevitable ‘man-flu’, since it eliminates their business model to allow customers to virtual meetings can be created on the fly, without the lead the spreading of germs in an office. communicate from anywhere. Therefore they’ve times associated with checking who’s available, booking a Such great benefits do come with inherent risks. But they designed their products to be able to jump from port conference call and notifying everyone for the dial-in. The are no different to those risks that have been managed to port and even tunnel through the firewall if end result is faster turnaround of projects or problem effectively in the e-mail world for years. Since the days of the required. As soon as one port is blocked, it just looks solving, and not just within the company, but with suppliers, ‘I love you’ virus, every enterprise has had some form of e- for another. If not properly controlled, this can open partners and customers too. mail security – from anti-virus to malware checking and even a backdoor into the network, bringing spyware, UC platforms are changing the way people, groups and content filtering. As Exchange and other e-mail services Trojans and other malware or an exit for corporate organisations work in many different ways. At the click of a provide a degree of control, organisations still use additional information. button they can turn ‘chat’ into voice and share their Social engineering tactics are just as desktop or application in order to explain a situation more commonplace in real-time communications as they clearly. Previously this was achieved through a mixture of are in e-mail. However, users are still far more likely BEST PRACTICE TIPS chat programs, such as Messenger, the telephone, and Web to click on a link in a chat message without a second FOR UC IMPLEMENTATION conferencing programs, three disparate mediums that often thought, than they are in an email. This is because made life more confusing for the uninitiated. they truly believe that if the message comes from The increase in virtual meetings often results in fewer face- “Nick Sears” then it is Nick Sears that has sent the 1. Monitor and analyse usage of real-time tools to-face meetings, which in turn means lower travelling costs. link, it rarely occurs to anyone to ask Nick if he sent 2. Formulate a strategy and usage policies – to One CEO remarked at a recent conference that since it. Consequently malware is often rife in incorporate publicly available tools installing UC his travelling has dropped by 20,000 miles organisations that have no visibility or control of the 3. Standardise on a single messaging client each year! But the benefits don’t just stop at savings on fuel, real-time communications on their network. where possible transportation tickets, hotel, subsistence and car hire. Less One of the more recent trends that the FaceTime 4. Ensure that all unsanctioned traffic is travel means that an employee’s availability increases, which Security Labs have seen is malware coming into the specifically denied in turn boosts productivity levels. network over one IM network, identifying other IM – 5. Treat all IM and UC traffic in the same way It has been reported that since one company installed and even UC – clients installed, and then hopping that you do e-mail. Microsoft Office Communications Server it achieved over. It is very similar to the early days of e-mail dramatic headcount reduction, while its sales volumes viruses – a quick scan of the victim’s contacts, and www.onwindows.com 45
    • COMMENTARY FAST ROUTE TO EFFICIENCY “By the end of the 1990s the what is often called the ‘waterfall’ sequence of vision setting, analysis, design, testing, and finally, after reengineering wave had itself months have elapsed, implementation – is simply RAPID PROCESS REENGINEERING CAN PROVIDE A WAY FOR FINANCIAL unacceptable today. Continual, fast iteration lies at crashed. In its wake lay a trail of FIRMS TO QUICKLY ACHIEVE EFFICIENCIES, SAYS DERMOT MCCAULEY the heart of the new rapid reengineering approach. Ironically, some aspects of this fast-iterating failed initiatives and, among approach were being developed in the 1990s, in the IT world under the auspices of a group called the the wreckage, a wealth of Agile Coalition, while the Hammer-born reengineering wave was at its height. Now, the best lessons to be learned” elements of these ‘agile methods’ are being adapted to the task of rehabilitating process reengineering he downturn in the global economy has gathered 1990s reengineering approach mean that it cannot be taken for today’s quick-moving world. T pace and businesses everywhere must achieve unchanged off the shelf for reuse. A new approach is needed on the principles above, to become more agile, efficiencies quickly while still serving clients and that takes advantage of the best practice of 1990s Drive innovation through internal competition – quickly. ASAP packages the best practices of otherwise ‘getting the job done’. Companies are looking to reengineering, adds some new best practice learned since Consensus and collaboration have been cornerstone reengineering and agile methodologies and equips create efficiencies, and rapid process reengineering could then, and provides a way that works today. principles of almost every change initiative in the our clients to fuel innovation by unleashing the provide a practical way to achieve this. But can you justify a Let’s review the principles that underlie a new, rapid past 20 years. Now it’s time to add a dose of positive forces of internal competition. It also uses rapid process reengineering project when headcount reengineering approach that is already proven to work in 2009: competition – not to undermine the virtues of business process management technology as a reduction may seem the only available fast-payback consensus building and collaborative working, but delivery platform, to enable early visualisation of approach? A look at the principles and practicalities of rapid Business value quickly – Whatever phrase you use to describe to spark more innovative thinking, to undermine the result, support rapid implementation and add process reengineering will answer this question. the cost/benefit comparison – return on investment (ROI), ‘lowest common denominator’ thinking, and to agility to processes. This approach is not just a new business value capture, investment payback – the push the pace of change. theory of how to make beneficial change achievable DIDN’T WE TRY THAT ALREADY? cost/benefit of reengineering must be understood before the quickly for businesses – it’s practical and is proven to work today. F Reengineering is not a new topic. In the 1990s the western initiative begins. But this is nothing new – it was also true of ASAP – A PROVEN APPROACH world was swept by a wave of reengineering projects that old-style reengineering. What is new in rapid reengineering Singularity is in business to populate the world with promised to remake major corporations from the ground up. is that the ROI timeframe must be short. A period of months agile companies. Our clients use our rapid Dermot McCauley is director for banking and capital In July 1990, the Harvard Business Review published a now is too long to wait for value to emerge. Weeks, and preferably reengineering approach, branded ASAP and based markets at Singularity: www.singularity.co.uk famous (some say infamous) article by reengineering guru days, is the payback period that matters today. To Michael Hammer, entitled Reengineering work: don’t paraphrase an executive to whom I spoke recently: “I’m not automate, obliterate. sure what I need, but I need it now!” This executive is not Hammer’s thesis, widely accepted in corporate board stupid – he’s just under pressure to show results quickly and rooms at the time, was that small improvements in working doesn’t have the luxury of months to analyse his issues. practices were simply not enough to meet the business challenges of the early 1990s. A wave of economic troubles Early visualisation of result – Start prototyping immediately was bearing down on the corporate world and the only and move rapidly toward implementing the most beneficial option was major change. Tinkering at the edges of business solution your prototyping identifies. Develop an early processes would fall short of achieving the change needed – visualisation of the result (within three days) and then build incremental business process improvement was out, and it ‘for real’ in a few short weeks (preferably days). Don’t major business process reengineering was in. spend weeks analysing your current processes or defining But the promise of reengineering, though delivered in new ones. Adopt the ‘show me, don’t tell me’ rule – insist on some cases, was frequently unrealised. While a growing seeing now how your future business will work and don’t church of reengineering evangelists ministered to the needs rely solely on requirements documents, process analysis and ambitions of executives, the disappointing truth reports or graphical models to understand how your future emerged – reengineering often fell short. Reengineering business will work. programmes were frequently too big; their ambitions too grand; their results too meagre; their expense too great. By Agility of result – Implement business processes in a way that the end of the 1990s the reengineering wave had itself equips you to quickly change them when you need to. The crashed. In its wake lay a trail of failed initiatives and, among processes you implement now must be open to rapid the wreckage, a wealth of lessons to be learned. change; after all, your business faces market-driven change every day and if your processes are not agile you cannot A WAY THAT WORKS TODAY respond effectively. Fast-forward to 2009 and business processes are again centre stage. The scale of today’s challenges is greater and, critically, Agility of approach – Rapid reengineering does not assume the challenges are even more urgent. Executives recognise the that processes must be designed first and then criticality of efficient and effective business processes to implemented. Rather, it accepts that processes should be company success and know also that processes must quickly redesigned while they are being implemented. The change to meet new realities. Yet the shortcomings of the traditional reengineering approach to change – typified by www.onwindows.com 47
    • COMMENTARY MODELLING YOUR MATURITY BY ASSESSING THE MATURITY OF THEIR IT INFRASTRUCTURE, BANKS CAN BE CONFIDENT OF REWARD WHEN DEPLOYING TECHNOLOGIES ON THE MICROSOFT PLATFORM. ANTHONY BARON EXPLAINS “As you move up the levels of n challenging times, business confidence can take I a battering – something that banks know all too maturity in the model, your well in today’s economic conditions. But a strong technology base can deliver the support that financial firms capabilities are increasing. You can need. Increasingly, financial organisations are realising that the do more, and do it for less money” Microsoft technology platform offers a cost-effective, flexible and efficient way to support operations across the organisation. Any executive who wants to grow his business constantly asks: ‘How can we complete any given process centre, with application backlogs and low productivity. more efficiently?’ The question applies to every part of the At the Standardised stage, an organisation has standards- financial business: sales, marketing, product development – based, flexible business applications. Companies begin to and especially IT. In many cases, it can be tempting to reflect adopt XML and other industry standards more broadly on your successes, but in today’s business environment no across departments and with trusted trading partners. IT company can afford to rest on its laurels, and it’s now more has deployed data warehouses so that it can deliver important than ever for banks to determine what they can business intelligence reports and business analytics, improve. automatically combining information from multiple To help organisations tackle this challenge, Microsoft has internal departments for broader insight. At this level, the IT worked with Gartner to devise an infrastructure model department is still a cost centre, but is moving toward comprised of four levels of maturity. Here we talk about the becoming a business enabler that can build and deploy characteristics of each level and what financial institutions applications faster. can expect as they move forward. The Advanced level is where the IT department has The purpose of the Infrastructure optimisation (IO) optimised infrastructure and applications and, as a result, model is two-pronged: first, it enables institutions to can manage the technology environment well. A company’s determine whether their IT infrastructure can deliver the core business processes are mature, which helps provide capabilities their business requires. Second, it helps them to clear insight into performance. For instance, if you have a into the Basic, Standardised, Advanced or Dynamic aspects of data – where is it, what applications it systematically improve their infrastructure in order to contract that requires delivering supplies within a certain category, businesses should start by taking the relates to, and who is authorised to use it. Once achieve their goals. period of time, the scanning of those supplies at their online assessment test. The assessment has 32 you’ve assessed your data management capabilities, As you become more mature in anything, you get better at destination automatically updates your customer’s database questions, eight for each level. you may see that your data is strewn all over the it, and the model that Microsoft is offering is common sense and yours, so that there is a record of the completed “Depending on your answers, you’ll be placed in organisation rather than being consolidated in – a maturity path that says: ‘If you’re at this level, these are transaction. At this stage, IT is a true business partner, and it one of the four categories, and you’ll get a better Microsoft SharePoint or on other servers. your best practices.’ can quickly build applications that take advantage of new picture of your infrastructure and your practices,” You might think the process will get harder as The IO model encompasses Basic, Standardised, business opportunities or cope with competitive threats. says David Beauparlant, senior product manager for you move through the stages, but the truth is just Advanced and Dynamic levels of maturity. The Basic stage is The optimum level is the Dynamic stage. By deploying a application platform and development marketing at the opposite – the hard part comes first. As you characterised by disconnected applications and platforms. flexible, adaptive architecture based on Web services, Microsoft. The test rates not only the technology or move up the levels of maturity in the model, your A business at this level might find that its processes are companies at this stage can seamlessly integrate data for best practices you have employed, but also the way capabilities are increasing. You can do more, and do it for less money. F poorly defined. It frequently lacks the ability to exchange employees, customers and partners. Highly automated you use them. “You might be at Basic level in one information among departments and teams, or to processes help align IT with business needs and control area, but Advanced level in another,” explains collaborate efficiently. A new employee, for instance, will costs. In this scenario, an executive could follow a product’s Beauparlant. Anthony Baron is global vice president for solution need a computer and a desk. Ideally, a new entry in the progress from its beginning as a collection of components at When it comes to progressing between levels, architecture and strategy at Dimension Data: human resources system would automatically generate a a factory in one location through its shipment overseas to a there are two steps to follow. First, organisations www.dimensiondata.com request to facilities and a computer request based on the different location, its distribution to wholesale and retail must understand where they currently are in the IO new employee’s responsibilities. The IT department, locations, and even its sales figures. IT understands how model, and then they need to determine how to This commentary is based on an article published at: however, lacks insight into the overall health of applications additional incremental investments in technology can yield arrive at their desired state. Let’s take data www.microsoft.com/midsizebusiness/businessvalue/m and services due to insufficient tools and resources. Because specific, measurable business benefits. management as an example: during your easure_platform.mspx the IT environment is hard to manage, IT remains a cost In order to determine whether their infrastructure falls assessment, you will discern all the pertinent www.onwindows.com 49
    • PROFILED “We needed to drive down IT service costs across our operations. But we knew that if we moved to one partner from three, the partner we chose must have impeccable credentials. We found that in Fujitsu Siemens Computers” HBOS www.hbosplc.com “Fujitsu Siemens Computers ith 65,000 seats across its UK HBOS. “But we knew that if we moved to remote services team works closely with practical approaches to drive up service makes a compelling business case that W operations, Halifax Bank of one partner from three, the partner we the HBOS ComputerCall operation, and quality. Fujitsu Siemens Computers has justifies the selection of the company as our delivers what it promises, Scotland (HBOS) decided in chose must have impeccable credentials. together they have improved everyday delivered transparent cost accounting, strategic support provider for desktop and distributed server support services.” F 2007 to move from three suppliers to a We found that in Fujitsu Siemens procedures, with a resulting improvement improved the services to HBOS desktop while at the same time single partner for distributed Computers.” in ComputerCall’s first time fix rate. HBOS and server users across all divisions, and provisioning of its IT services. It wanted The contract, which is based on the has also seen a reduction in the volume of significantly reduced server costs. reducing costs on an to reduce support costs through a support of desktop PCs and servers in disruptive incidents, with improved This includes an improved first-time fix transparent pricing model, and the office locations, campus sites, headquarters availability and end-user productivity. rate and better management of service annual basis” successful partner would also have to and branch offices throughout the UK, Fujitsu Siemens Computers operates a delivery across all operations. The Office of maintain existing service level offered a saving of £6 million in the first warehousing and commissioning centre Continuous Improvement and Innovation agreements (SLAs) while providing a year, with increased savings over with a purpose-built, state-of-the-art build delivers continuous progression in all areas OVERVIEW vehicle to drive a continuous service subsequent years. It took just four months Workshops with HBOS employees centre dedicated to HBOS. This enables and drives the improvement culture that improvement culture. to transfer 180 employees to Fujitsu demonstrated how Fujitsu Siemens dedicated production of desktop and underpins the Fujitsu Siemens delivery Solution: Distributed provisioning of IT Siemens Computers under existing TUPE Computers’ cost base is made up, as well laptop products to be built to the HBOS model. services In January 2007, HBOS chose Fujitsu regulations. Industry standard SLAs were as the drivers that affect the outcome of specification. This high performance has been Benefits: Reduced costs; improved fix Siemens Computers as its preferred implemented, and the bank’s day-to-day any charges. This gave staff clarity over A dedicated team manages the projects consistently delivered by campus and rate; increased user productivity partner. The choice was based on the operation was unaffected by the change. costs and demonstrated the effectiveness services, delivering to HBOS requirements mobile engineers delivering services that company’s multi-skilled engineers and The Fujitsu Siemens Computers User of the model. and using a flexible resource model that are specific, measurable and improving on Technologies: Management of servers proven ability to manage large-scale Access Management desk was up and A business continuity test timetable was can adapt to the changing workload. a monthly basis. and desktops transitions of staff and equipment across running at the start of the contract, and has also set up to ensure readiness to respond Projects are quoted against an agreed rate “Fujitsu Siemens Computers delivers Partner: Fujitsu Siemens Computers. multiple locations in very short timescales since increased the amount of requests it to any business outages. This has twice card that has been actively managed to what it promises, while at the same time within the Managed Office service offering. handles by 50 per cent, while the been used in earnest, and on both provide HBOS with the most competitive reducing costs on an annual basis,” “We needed to drive down IT service company’s Software Certification and occasions it worked smoothly to prevent options on a range of skill sets. concludes Bob Smith, head of colleague IT www.fujitsu-siemens.com costs across our operations,” says Jonathan Packaging team has delivered service levels any loss of business to the bank. In In just 12 months, HBOS has been able services at HBOS. “The combination of high Ward, head of relationship management at consistently above target. addition, the Fujitsu Siemens Computers to reduce costs and introduce innovative, levels of service and transparent accounting www.onwindows.com 51
    • FORUM - INSURANCE DON’T LOOK BACK DAVID EDISON SAYS THAT FORECASTING IS KEY TO HELPING INSURANCE FIRMS SURVIVE TOUGH TIMES “By implementing and he global economy has entered the rough patch, and to position ourselves T some truly stormy waters, and it to maximise performance when the tides using proven forecasting may be some time before things turn.” finally settle down. It is not easy to see While the Internet and new technologies techniques and exactly where things will end, nor when, aren’t crystal balls, the amount of and nor indeed what further jolts there may information available is phenomenal. We integrating them with be along the way. But there are certainly have achieved almost limitless levels of data ways to help ride the storm and reap the capture and storage, and our ability to appropriate technologies, rewards during calmer weather to come. interrogate and analyse this data using “As individual enterprises, there is little business intelligence (BI) tools such as we will be able to better we can do to influence either the economy ProClarity has enabled us to understand or the overall global environment in which our business and what drives it, leading us steer our way through we operate, and predicting the likely state to faster, smarter decisions. Data mining of the economy, even in the very short tools go a step further than conventional BI the rough patch” term, is far from an easy exercise,” says tools, enabling businesses to use David Edison, head of actuarial services at unimaginably clever programs and Moore Stephens Consulting. “However, by algorithms to hunt out patterns and implementing and using proven relationships in the data, sometimes hidden data and business on an ongoing basis will forecasting techniques and integrating so deep within such masses of data that you lead them to better understand and manage them with appropriate technologies, we couldn’t hope to discover it manually other their business and opportunities. will be able to better steer our way through than by chance. The results of such analysis “As individual items BI, CRM and can change the way in which a business forecasting tools each perform their own thinks or markets itself. Microsoft’s functions in helping organisations prove customer relationship management (CRM) their solvency and other requirements to software allows us, having developed a the regulators,” says Edison. “Regular, marketing campaign strategy, to implement structured use of these tools will also and monitor that campaign, and to ensure enable firms to be increasingly conversant its efficient running. with their business data, and adding While BI enables companies to monitor Microsoft’s data mining tool will add an business performance, it is essentially a entirely new dimension to their record of the past. Forecasting enables understanding and interpretation of key businesses to look forward and make business drivers. However, it is only when educated decisions. Forecasting requires a these different tools are brought together plethora of mathematical, statistical, into a unified environment, where data is actuarial and scientific techniques and automatically sourced on a regular basis DAVID EDISON technologies. Take all this data, analyse it, from them, that the system starts to Head of Actuarial Services, Moore and then use such objective analysis, in become truly integrated.” Stephens Consulting conjunction with expert and experienced The results of projections from the subjectivity, to project patterns and trends. forecasting system (be they actuarial After graduating in Actuarial Science These projections can be used to learn chain ladder claims projections at any in 1993, David began his insurance which way individual business lines are level of granularity, or any constituent career at a Lloyd's Syndicate before headed, and how we can better control output of a holistic stochastic capital joining the non-life actuarial services them and maximise their performance. adequacy/solvency model) are brought division of Moore Stephens' insurance In recent years, the Financial Services back into the warehouse and, therefore, group. Moore Stephens Consulting Authority (FSA), along with other national back into the BI and dashboards. This was established in 2002, and David is and international regulators, has creates a circular management system via responsible for the company's implemented a number of requirements for the monitoring, comparison and actuarial and statistical solutions regulated firms, from ensuring that interrogation of actual, expected and globally, as well as for data customers are being treated fairly through to previously forecast results. Such a system warehousing and designing content ensuring solvency and capital adequacy. But becomes far more embedded in the and functionality of forecast cubes. its motives for requiring firms to perform business psyche and strategy than any such analyses are not only so that the FSA series of disparate tools – an approach www.moorestephens.com will have peace of mind. Encouraging firms that will allow both you and the FSA to sleep better at night. F to analyse, investigate and forecast their own www.onwindows.com
    • HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR BROKERS? Landscape.CRM is a comprehensive CRM solution for insurers to manage and communicate with their brokers more dynamically and effectively Based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Landscape.CRM from RDT incorporates sales, marketing and customer service modules to deliver a solution that enables insurers to improve and strengthen relationships with their broker community and deliver higher levels of profitability for both parties. Landscape.CRM allows insurers to capture and manage broker information from all areas of the business in one central repository, offering instant access to up-to-date broker contact and contract information, a full history of insurer- broker interactions and incoming requests and leads. Visual dashboards based on key performance indicators also provide insurers with real-time information about the performance of their brokers. This enables insurers to build a clear and accurate picture of their top performing brokers and identify opportunities to increase volumes of business with them. Landscape.CRM helps insurers build lasting profitable relationships with their broker networks: • Increasing broker satisfaction and effectiveness • Achieving better response rates to marketing through improved communications and more campaigns through more effective targeted responsive, consistent service marketing to the broker community • Growing revenue streams by identifying and • Improving broker management by delivering acting on opportunities to increase indirect greater visibility and control of the broker channel volumes of business To find out more, call us today on 01732 220010 or email: info @ rdt.co.uk www.rdt.co.uk