As seen on Economic Times
Cloud implementation is one of the biggest changes businesses go through. Migrating to the cloud provides an opportunity to businesses to become more agile, improve their flexibility, reduce costs in the long run and focus on their core competencies. As important it is for organisations to embark on their cloud journeys, it is equally important to plan and strategize it properly.
Infocepts, data and analytics solutions and services providers while thinking to adopt cloud took a backward approach to decide whether it needed Cloud or not. It thought of an alternative to cloud.
“The alternative to the cloud is that you maintain your own servers, you have a team, you invest in that, you do CAPEX, and then you have your own backups etc. But if you are on cloud, you skip all this. Now when we are working on the cloud which is all hosted somewhere south of London where I don’t have to worry about it. I know, I have a very trusted partner who is taking care of all this for me. So, I don’t have to have my own IT team to maintain all of that. Being on cloud reduces my anxiety on the maintenance part” said Rajendra V. Jodhpurkar, Global Vice President, Head of Global IT, Head of Business Planning & Strategic Initiatives at Infocepts.
“The second reason was that any software has a new patch release every month or quarter. If it is hosted on-prem and I have the software on my server, it means that I have to undergo and upgrade it myself. On the cloud, however, this all will happen every quarter without our teams being involved as much,” he added.
The company started thinking about the cloud at the beginning of 2019 March. It did its Competency Maturity Analysis (CMA) to see what gaps exist and how they can make sure that we are up to industry’s standards. Infocepts hired a consultant to analyze the practices and processes the company had back then and compared with what industry followed.
Infocepts is on a journey to become a 100 million company by 2023 and it needs robust processes and systems to go ahead. This triggered the need for cloud, as the company thought it would be a major part of this growth process.
“From then on we floated the RFP, we got multiple vendors. We did a lot of pros and cons between each of the ERPs in terms of strength and weaknesses. The next step was of demos and workshops. We evaluated products from a lot of vendors but since people felt comfortable with Oracle, we decided our technology partner to be Oracle and went ahead with Oracle ERP and HCM Cloud,” he said.
Then came the time to decide on an implementation partner. Once again RFP was made and after careful evaluation, Infocepts chose KPMG as its implementation partner.
Jodhpurkar believes it is very important to make sure that one has the right implementation partner who understands the journey properly.
“And then there was a big kickoff where we invited all people to embark on the journey. We iterated multiple times why this journey is important to us and how it is going to help us and our people in our career path. We did the pilots and wrote all the requirements. We had a meeting every month to see what is going and how it is going and how to correct something if the need be,” he said.
Explaining the benefits and the business value added through these solutions, he said, “For the Board of Directors and for the leaders, one of the important things is MIS reports (Management Information Systems) where we have all the numbers. Earlier it used to come out on the 15th of every month and now we have it on the 9th of every month. So we are saving almost 6-7 days. The other thing is that earlier the confidence on the accuracy of data was low. People used to say that the data could be 50-70% correct but now we know it is 100% accurate.”
Infocepts works with a lot of vendors who demand quick payments. Earlier it used to take 7 days to process and complete the payment which now just takes a day or two.
Jodhpurkar believes that these solutions have drastically reduced processing time, thereby improving the overall experience.
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The banking and financial services industry is challenged to stay profitable despite frequently changing economic, regulatory, and technological changes across the globe, using big data and analytics to understand consumer behavior, train predictive models, counter fraud, and find new business possibilities every day.
The Basics of Banking
Banking is the cornerstone of any economy’s financial well-being. Banks allow consumers and businesses to make secure financial transactions and investments, obtain lines of credit, and save and grow their money. In the 20 years, technology has advanced traditional banking from strictly brick and mortar branches, and into the hands of consumers through online banking and mobile apps. However, the basics of this ancient system remain intact: the need for standardization of procedures that govern loans, set interest rates, and guarantees behind currencies.
The banking industry, as it currently exists can be divided into two categories: commercial banking and investment banking. Commercial banking represents consumer and business banking including commercial banks, foreign banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, thrifts, and other savings banks. Investment banking and brokerages include managing portfolios of financial assets, trading in securities, fixed income, commodity and currency, corporate advisory services for mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and debt and equity underwriting.
Banking Industry Trends
The banking industry is ever attempting to catch up with advancements in its consumers’ preferred way of doing business. Technology, fintechs, and non-banks are all challenging traditional banking institutions to keep up with consumer demand in new ways. However, given the risks involved with potential data breaches and loss of funds, the financial services sector has been slow to invest in this strategic change.
Ultimately though, consumer demand is forcing online banking, mobile phone applications, banking services from non-banking companies, cashless purchases, and increasing consumer debt levels. However, the fundamental challenge of the banking industry remains the same, how to provide services while making a profit. There are several strategies that banks can employ to deal with these challenges.
Analytics is the answer
When it comes down to it, each of the 4 strategies, encompass analytics at its core. Reason being that financial services cater to millions of customers and when you market to large segments, using analytics you can see tangible impacts and high ROI solutions that can be delivered. Breaking it down further, customer analytics for the financial industry, can be categorized into 6 broad categories:
It is said that it is more profitable to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new customer in the present day. Banks are constantly at risk of losing customers and to control this, they may offer their best customers better rates, waive annual fees, or prioritize treatments. However, such retention strategies have associated costs, and financial institutions cannot afford to make these offers to every customer. The success and practicality of these customer retention strategies are dependent on identifying the right action for the right customer. Using customer analytics in the above 6 broad categories, banks are able to better understand their customers and ultimately better serve the market and overcome their challenges.
Case Study: Global Financial Institution
A global financial institution’s client coverage group needed an efficient, automated system to use to view, onboard, and manage their clients and all related data. We developed an award-winning one-stop portal for the customers that enables managers to monitor key performance indicators, instead of relying on Excel-based reporting from multiple sources.
How We Helped:
We worked closely with our customer to understand the company’s core needs and to develop a relationship manager portal that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of thousands of commercial banking relationship managers and the management team.
The portal provides integrated functionality in three distinct areas:
- Social: blending all social channels information in one place, allowing RMs to discuss client opportunities and share ideas.
- Client Reporting: Featuring customized performance reporting and client-specific reporting on KPIs
- Tasks: RMs can submit, manage, and track service requests, allowing for better management of existing and new clients