Guide to crm for financial services


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Pivotal CRM for Financial Services offers comprehensive, integrated, industry-specific capabilities that increase insight into operational performance, streamline processes across the firm, and improve responsiveness to client demands

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Guide to crm for financial services

  1. 1. The CIO’s Definitive Guide: DeliveringResults with CRM for Financial ServicesHow to keep your system integrity, budget, resources and sanityintact through CRM.Financial services is a tough, highly-competitive industry that faces Abstractchallenges from every corner. Government regulation and deregulation. Your firm’s CRM usersConsolidation. Customer churn. And a pace of change that makes your demand a system thathead spin. And then there are those volatile markets. Despite all of increases their productivity.that, you’ve still got to come up with the goods and provide solutions But, you must consider issuesthat will make a real, measurable difference to the bottom line. And like regulatory compliance.those measurable differences start by finding ways to achieve internal In this guide, we outlineefficiencies that will help your financial institution deal more effectively the system characteristics,with customers. integration strategies andThis is often when companies look towards CRM. And when that change management practicesjourney begins, your job as CIO is to deliver a unique CRM system that position you for CRMwhile protecting current systems, maintaining productivity and thinking success.long-term. With minimal cost or disruption. Some would say that’s a tallorder. At Pivotal CRM, we believe it can be done—sensibly, predictablyand safely. We believe the deliverables and requirements of every CIOembarking on this journey point to one fundamental goal: Select a CRMsystem that’s a good corporate citizen. About the Author Jason Rushforth is President of Front Office Solutions–overseeing sales and marketing for CDC Software’s CRM and complaint management solutions. He is known for his keynote speaking engagements for such events as the Wealth Management Forum and webcasts with Wall Street & Technology and TowerGroup, and he frequently contributes to industry articles in publications such as CRM Magazine.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 1
  2. 2. Here’s a Familiar Scenario The majority of your CRM investment in license fees,You want customers to enjoy seamless interactions configuration, customization, and training occur wellwith your institution. They need to feel that your before the software shows evidence of businessfinancial institution will offer them the opportunity to results.make or save money with you. Because of this, the price tag attached to a CRMAnd those customers need to feel that you’ve taken implementation can seem very high.the time to learn and respond to their specific needs. Early in the buying process, ask prospective vendorsAnd that’s where customer relationship management to show you exactly how they approach and buildcan really help. Particularly if you understand that CRM to reduce risk, resource issues, and cost.CRM is a journey, not a destination. By adopting a forward-thinking strategy to accountWhen that journey begins, your job as CIO is to for costs in the areas of customization, integration,deliver a unique CRM system. At the same time you scalability and deployability, you can significantlyhave to protect current systems, maintain productivity reduce the TCO of your CRM system.and think long-term. In all of these areas, the lowest total cost is a functionOh, and you’ve got to do all that with minimal cost and of the CRM platform and architecture.disruption. Delivering on internal business objectives whileSome would say that’s a tall order, but it can be done intelligently responding to customer and marketsensibly, predictably, and safely. opportunities is 100% dependent on the technology foundation, or the architecture, of a CRM system.The deliverables and requirements of many CIOs in afinancial services organization point to a fundamental TCO and the Need for ChangeCRM goal: Within the complex environment of today’s financialSelect a CRM system that’s with good corporate services firms, effective CRM architecture needs tocitizen. That’s 100% designed to fit sensibly to what span multiple databases, applications, and businessyour company needs. functions.In the end, what you need is CRM that makes it easy In order to stay relevant to rapidly changing corporatefor your company to change and respond quickly. objectives and market flux, it must facilitate evolution. To facilitate evolution, application functionality must beBecause you’ll need to do just that. supported by the right architecture. Or the applicationThe New Accountability becomes brittle over time and always feels like itWhen it comes to CRM, today’s financial services needs to be ‘shoe horned’ into doing what you want itCIO is squarely focused on risk mitigation, resource to and cost predictability. Many of today’s CRM systems take the wrongThis new focus results in many new criteria. approach. They tightly couple the customer data, business processes, and transactions associated withHow easy is this CRM system to buy? marketing, selling, and servicing customers.Can we deploy in a predictable timeframe? This tight coupling may seem to provide a head-startWill it fit with our current and future business IT in automating business processes, but ultimatelystrategies? inflates the total cost of ownership.All these criteria play a role in the greater theme of It creates a system that is rigid to change, causingbuying CRM today: measuring the lowest possible significant disruption to the business during updatestotal cost of ownership, and the greatest business and upgrades.value.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 2
  3. 3. The informed CIO must take a balanced approach to Clearly, customization enhancements are not limited evaluating both the application and the architecture to just the initial implementation, but rather require when considering TCO. ongoing adjustment. Ultimately, it is the CRM application’s flexibility, A customizable CRM application supports changes in scalability, and deployability that will determine TCO both underlying data definitions and business process as your organization adapts to the changing financial rules without requiring alteration of source code, services marketplace. binaries, or runtime environments. Flexibility: Does the architecture facilitate the How you handle your business rules can provide configuration, customization and integration of the significant competitive advantage, because adapting CRM application, both at the outset and over time as business rules faster than competitors—in response to your business needs evolve? market pressures or customer demand allows you to Scalability: Does the architecture let you scale and sell your financial services products faster and better improve application performance cost-effectively? than your competitors. Deployability: Does the architecture let you easily Flexible CRM possesses three essential deploy, upgrade, and maintain the CRM application characteristics: breadth (not depth), a highly over time? customizable architecture and a strong integration framework. Flexibility = Quick Response To Change Breadth, Not Depth First, CRM should provide a sensible set of commonly A flexible CRM application is one that is both easy to needed features out-of-the-box—but without the customize and easy to integrate with intra- and extra- excessive depth that makes many other CRM enterprise applications and data sources. applications inflexible. And in the financial services world, there are a great Excessive functionality increases an application’s many such data sources. complexity and reduces the usability of the application Architectural flexibility is about making the CRM for the end-user, resulting in increased end-user software, and thus CRM processes, work in the way training costs and risk of end-user rejection. you see fit— not how the CRM vendor thinks it should The only remedy for an application that is too work. functionality-rich is to remove the excessive Many CRM architectures are inherently rigid, making functionality during the implementation phase. But this the associated applications very difficult to customize. approach to customization can be very risky—and This raises TCO by forcing financial services firms to very time-consuming. abandon proven business processes and start anew, Chances are that your CEO isn’t overly keen on either because customization cannot be done, or anything that will extend the time it will take to because it is simply too expensive. get your CRM application live and contributing to The true measure of an application’s flexibility improving customer satisfaction, improved profitability is based on the cost to perform customization and increased customer yield. enhancements. These costs can include increases Massive CRM applications with almost limitless in deployment time, decreases in application functionality depth are built upon a much more performance, the cost of acquiring the skills to perform complex web of intra-dependencies than their leaner the enhancement, and future costs associated with counterparts. whether the enhancement can be used (or must be In order not to compromise the integrity of the discarded) during application upgrades. application, customizers must pay extra attention when removing or ‘unplugging’ excessive functionality.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 3
  4. 4. This results in longer implementation times and In a financial services environment, there can be adifficult post-deployment change, and requires the multiplicity of such databases—dealing with corporate,hiring of expensive teams of technical specialists, institutional and retail clients on everything fromsignificantly raising the TCO of the CRM system. current accounts to mortgages, business loans,In a financial services environment, this task must and investment portfolios. And each of these, ofalso be undertaken with a particular view to remaining course, can carry with it a specific set of regulatoryin compliance with all relevant local, national, and financial services regulations. To be effective, the CRM vendor must supply anDatabase complexity is a good indicator of the overall integration framework that spans multiple datacomplexity of a CRM system. For instance, Pivotal stores, applications, and business processes acrossCRM’s underlying data structure has less than 200 departmental and even enterprise boundaries.tables, yet it supplies the majority of the functionality Financial services companies often grow quickly,required by most companies. By comparison, massive expanding through acquisitions that can result in aCRM systems, in order to support a huge depth of single organization trying to support many disparatethousands of features, require a data model with 10 to systems and clients. Ensuring data consistency,20 times as many tables. accuracy, and timeliness between calendars, taskThis model is not only inflexible, but is often simply lists and contact information from both connected andtoo complex to understand. This necessitates a great disconnected users on multiple client systems can bedeal of reliance on specialized, vendor-supplied a complex challenge.customizers, raising TCO. A cost-effective integration framework should leverage and complement existing systems. It should facilitateEase of Customization seamless, bi-directional exchange of information toThe second characteristic of a highly flexible CRM both EAI and B2Bi via industry-standard middleware,system is an architecture that facilitates change. Look third-party adapters, and Web services.for a 3-tier, metadata-driven architecture, intuitive Also, watch for an integration solution that iscustomization tools that allow you to quickly customize standards-based. You want to ensure that youyour CRM solution to match evolving business can quickly adapt and extend your CRM systemprocesses. dynamically as business systems and partnersFew CRM vendors separate business data from change. This is of particular concern in the financialmetadata (how the business data is organized and services sector, where changes wrought by a dynamicused). When a CRM vendor makes it possible to business environment and increasing numbers ofupgrade just the metadata, as Pivotal CRM does, mergers are common.all changes to the presentation services, businessservices, or data services tiers are managed in Scalability and Performanceone central location. Execution and development For financial services firms, scalability is above allenvironments are kept separate and only about creating high performance CRM from the usersynchronized when appropriate. perspective.Therefore, the application can tolerate a high level of Unfortunately, there is currently no hard data on usercustomization without a significant impact on existing expectations of enterprise applications such as CRM.applications. However, it’s clear that power users—users who are connected most of the time to the CRM system, suchStrong Integration Framework as contact center employees and support specialistsIn order to derive maximum value from your CRM —have the greatest need for high-performanceinvestment, ensure it can be integrated with existing CRM and will tolerate less system latency than theback-end systems and databases.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 4
  5. 5. occasional or disconnected user. Atypical, ad hoc Also, make sure that your CRM system can supportusers will have different performance requirements. fine-tuning and adapting of the application andIt’s critical that both the CRM application and the network-level infrastructure. This will ensure consistentnetwork-level infrastructure be tunable to perform performance within infrastructure and bandwidthwithin existing network infrastructure and bandwidth constraints, optimizing the user experience.constraints. In any case, you should strive to take the safe, smartThe combination of highly scalable server approach to server architecture based on modulartechnologies and 3-tier CRM applications is raising building blocks, such as that provided by Microsoftthe bar for high performance architectures that can and Intel.enhance competitive performance. Financial services Technology foundations like this support your CRMinstitutions are moving away from isolated, vertical initiatives while driving low TCO by letting you ‘scaleislands of proprietary data toward a more open and right’ to address business needs. You should be ablebroadly deployable computing model. to scale up to handle more users and more data byToday’s financial services company requires a high- adding resources to existing servers, or scale out toperformance server infrastructure that scales and increase performance in the face of additional users,adapts to every area of the end-to-end enterprise: workload, volume, and functionality.front office, back office, and wherever business goals Whatever the business-level objectives are, choosingdemand the highest possible levels of application the right deployment model (the right mix of scale-outperformance. and scale-up) allows businesses to dial-in exactly howHowever, the rallying cry for today’s IT group much scalability, availability, and agility they need atimplementing CRM is no longer simply ‘scalability’ the most affordable price.or CRM at any cost. With so many financial services Deployment On Demandbusinesses experiencing intensified cost cutting, A deployable CRM application should be cost-effectiveespecially in their IT organizations, it’s important that to install, maintain and upgrade, no matter whetherCRM application and platform vendors respond with the organization is a multi-national financial servicesflexible, sensible CRM solutions. company with hundreds of regional offices, or a smallThe first step in any scalability strategy is to assess bank or trading house with multiple requirements. Anyone deploying CRM Deployability is a major factor in lowering theneeds to balance an assessment of the business TCO of a system, as there are enormous costsrequirements of a CRM system with its impact to the associated with deploying applications to a large—andcurrent—and planned —IT infrastructure. distributed—end user base, then supporting theseFor example, uninterrupted up-time might be critical users as the application changes over maximizing customer loyalty and partner and We believe that highly deployable CRM must possessemployee productivity. This would certainly be two characteristics: 3-tier architecture design and athe case in banking or trading environments. In a modular deployment method.commercial lending environment, the more pressingissue may be adding capacity to the CRM database 3-Tier Architecture Designmanagement system to handle a greater number A 3-tier architecture is essential for high deployability.of concurrent users or a greater number of ad hoc It separates the system into three main layers: thequeries. presentation layer, which controls what your usersIn considering the long-term scalability of CRM, see and how they access the system; the applicationensure your chosen system can support access layer, where your business rules and your corefor not only full-time users, but large populations of applications reside; and the data layer, which containsoccasional and external users as well. your customer, product and business data.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 5
  6. 6. A 3-tier system makes it possible to utilize a In this Financial Services Guide, you’ve learned thebrowser-based, zero-client install, zero footprint single overall requirement to keep in mind for yourclient that simplifies deployment and ongoing financial services firm: select a CRM system that’s aadministration. Application customization, upgrades, good corporate citizen.and maintenance are carried out exclusively at the When you choose CRM that is 100% designed tomiddle tier, and broadcast to all users and satellites fit sensibly to what your financial services institutionvia synchronization, allowing client-side updates to needs, it is easier for it to change and respondbe seamlessly communicated to users around the with no additional requirement for client-side Remember the three pillars of TCO: Flexibility,maintenance. Scalability and Deployability.Modular Deployment Method Across these three pillars, the CRM you chooseA modular deployment method allows applications should facilitate change as your business needsfrom across a CRM suite (sales, marketing, evolve over time.service, partner management, etc.) to be rolled outseparately, reducing the cost-to-results ratio. This Pivotal CRM for Financial Servicesmeans, for instance, that a financial services firm Pivotal CRM for Financial Services offerscould deploy a contact center solution, and later comprehensive, integrated, industry-specificdeploy a sales force automation system, followed capabilities that increase insight into operationalby a marketing automation solution as requirements performance, streamline processes across the firm,and budgets allow. Plugging additional modules into and improve responsiveness to client demands.the system should be seamless, and there should With discrete CRM offerings for institutional assetbe no additional infrastructure costs associated with management, mutual fund wholesaling, capitalintegrating multiple modules. markets, private banking/wealth management, and commercial banking, Pivotal CRM for FinancialSummary Services puts critical relationships at the core ofDeliver a unique CRM system. Requirements: Protect organizational strategy in a way that fits the uniquecurrent systems. Maintain productivity. business processes of financial services firms.Think long-term. Minimal cost and disruption.Predictable, safe timelines and budgets. Want to learn more? Resource Library Reach Out Email: CDC Pivotal CRM Global Office Locations See How We Fit Your Industry Stay Connected With CDC Software © CDC Software 2011. All rights reserved. The CDC Software logo is a registered trademark of CDC Software.CDC Software | The Customer-Driven Company™ CRM White Paper | 6