4 great ways to get ahead in 2017…. Inject best practice

Andreas Estermann
Andreas Estermann
December 16, 2016


2017 will be the year that financial institutions delegate IT system design and implementation to external experts

Financial services firms (and the regulators too) have never been more focused on client centricity. You have to be, to ensure customer satisfaction, comply with regulations, and ultimately to secure long term business growth.

Increasingly, financial services firms are acknowledging that IT is not their core competency, and are adapting their organization structures and procurement decisions to reflect this.

In a widely reported WatersTechnology interview with John Shea, CIO at Eaton Vance, he recalled a meeting with his tech team when he joined the firm ten years ago. He said: “Listen, you want to be developer? Go work for Google. This is an asset manager.”

With this in mind, how can you inject best practice into your IT implementation projects?

  1. Seek out experience
  • Choose a trusted supplier wisely. Research thoroughly, to ensure that your chosen suppliers have the expertise, know-how and track record to deliver robust and risk-free results. Our customers are highly focused on successful outcomes. They say: “help us to ensure compliance across all of our digital channels”; or “identify fraudulent behavior online”; or even “ensure that the online behavior of our employees is accurate and appropriate”.We have seen customers shift towards a much less prescriptive approach to deployment. They prefer Qumram to take the lead, based on our domain expertise and many years of experience. Because our team works on digital compliance and analytics projects every day, they bring with them vast best practice experience into every project.
  • Ensure that your project team’s experience is specific and relevant. When buying a Maserati, you go to a specialist dealership, not a general vehicle auction. Financial services is no different. If you are an investment management firm wanting to ensure digital compliance, you need a supplier experienced in MIFID-II, SEC17a-4 or FFSA record-keeping requirements; if you are conversing with customers via social media, you need a supplier that understands compliance anomalies between WhatsApp, WeChat and LinkedIn. If you are a global business, you will be best served by a supplier experienced in deploying enterprise-wide solutions.If your supplier’s portfolio is too broad and diverse, it can be difficult to secure implementation resources with the depth of experience to ensure effective, on time, and on budget deployment.
  • Make life easier for yourself. Choose a proven solution that is easy to buy, quick to implement, and cost-effective to maintain. And above all, choose a team that is easy to work with, as you pass from needs analysis to contracts, and from proof of concept to full deployment.
  1. Independent validation
  • Customer testimonials. Don’t take a supplier’s word for it. Look out for announcements of new deal wins, and ask them to provide evidence of best practice implementations. Happy customers will provide testimonials. Just ask to speak with them, and judge for yourself.Using Qumram as an example, you could ask UBS how we helped them to achieve 100% MIFID-II, FINMA and Fidleg compliance, or how we have fully automated the process of recording all access and interactions, relating to client identifiable data. Alternatively, ask Russell Investments how we managed implementation of a solution that records and retains all digital interactions on the corporate website in real-time, in accordance with global regulatory requirements.
  • Consult the analysts. Digital compliance and RegTech are hot topics, regularly reviewed by industry analysts. A variety of analysts have an informed view on Qumram, most notably Forrester, Gartner, AITE Group, CEB, Frost & Sullivan, and Adox Research. While some reports require a paid subscription, many reviews are in the public domain.
  • Monitor award wins. FinTech awards are a great indicator of innovation and popularity (we know, we have won or ranked highly in most of them). However, the awards that provide most credibility to a supplier are those that are judged by your financial services peers – fellow bankers, financial sector practitioners, and compliance professionals. Awards like Private Banker International: Outstanding Front-end Digital Solution, or the BNP Paribas Incubator Award for the solution most complementary to their business – both won by Qumram in 2016.
  1. Try before you buy

Ask for a proof of concept (POC). You should expect to pay a nominal, cost-covering fee, but this is a small price to pay for the reassurance that the solution will work for your firm. Also look out for the most committed and confident vendors, who deliver live demonstrations in front of many thousands of people (view our 7-minute Finovate WhatsApp demo here).

With every implementation of Qumram I see the depth of our team’s experience grow. We have many implementations planned for 2017, and I look forward to delivering successful outcomes for all customers. Could you be one of them?

For more information on running a POC with Qumram, please contact us.

Andreas Estermann on LinkedIn


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