A major customer relationship management (CRM) platform replacement was needed to help Brisbane-based financial investment company, FIIG Securities, offer more targeted financial services to clients.
"The vision was to create a single, centralised platform to try and reduce the number of tools our staff had to use," FIIG Securities CIO, Adrian Dixon, told CIO. "We also wanted a platform that was more powerful and could be expanded in the future.
"Data underpins everything in business today, so defining and maintaining a suitable data model to enable business intelligence and provide workers and clients with timely, accurate and relevant information is crucial."
The company switched on Microsoft Dynamics CRM in September 2012. Dixon flagged the platform's enterprise-grade capabilities and versatility across a range of services as key considerations.
"This was attractive for us because it meant we could have a customer-centric platform at the core of our system," he said.
One of the first innovations the company made was added trading functionality so all of its fixed income dealers can enter trade ticket information directly into the CRM system.
"The CRM replacement has allowed us to segment the client base so we can deliver tailored services for each tier," Dixon explained. "The way we would interact with a client managed through a financial adviser is quite different from a client that deals directly with us."
According to Dixon, the CRM replacement took one year to complete with the help of an IT consultancy firm. CRM development has been running internally since April 2013.
"It was more cost-effective for us to maintain that platform internally because we have enough skills to support the CRM system," he said. "However, if we were looking to do a Dynamics upgrade we would bring in an [IT] partner who has that experience."
Any business trying to do a platform transformation, and that maintains a small IT department, needs to consider how they outsource to a third-party and who they get to do that work, he said. "Using an IT service firm worked very well for FIIG Securities because we hit the dates and targets that were set out," he said.
Dynamics CRM isn't the only Microsoft product used by the company with its PC based estimated at 10 per cent Windows 8, 80 per cent Windows 7 and the remaining 10 per cent still on XP.
Once the CRM platform went live, Dixon turned to his next project: Developing a new online portal for clients. This involved rewriting its website into Microsoft .Net code and launching a range of self-service tools.
As a result, clients can now access their personal financial reports every month. "We can show clients a range of information about their holdings and portfolio, including cash flow information. The client's relationship manager has the same view of that information online," Dixon said.
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