Case Study – CPM – Financial
B-Source is the Swiss market leader in the sourcing of bank back office and IT services to banks in private banking and wealth management. B-Source also offers ITO services to insurance companies and other financial institutions.
Combined, they have over 7500 employees worldwide, using B-Source systems and services on a 24 hours and 7 days per week basis. Figures document an impressive daily workload: 3000000 technical transactions, managed through 350 Unix servers, 900 Intel servers, 2500 MIPS mainframe, 4 AS/400 servers, more than 100 TB on storage area network, 2 international wide area networks, 50 local area networks, 3 metropolitan area networks, 1200 network components, 30 DMZ, 5 neutral zones, 12000 network access ports, 35 firewalls, 120 routers, 350 switches and more.
Overcome the limitations of Excel
Excel could no longer guarantee their ability to report on and analyse data obtained from SAP and they needed a tool that could interact quickly with their data, in an intelligent manner, and manage the growing volume of information generated by the business”.
At the selection stage, SAP BW was a principal alternative, but the implementation costs and a rigidity detected during prototyping suggested they needed a more flexible solution. A tool that did not require heavy investment or long lead-times before producing the operational information they needed.
From an IT standpoint, choosing BOARD assured them of many important advantages: in fact, the adoption of BOARD has enabled them to overcome the limitations of Excel in terms of volume, security, the centralisation of data, and the ability to simulate and report. At the same time, they found the tool easy to install and configure, allowing the multidimensional database to be managed in a totally intuitive manner.
Reporting, management control and profitability analysis
Starting with a data structure inherited from SAP and managed in a DWH SQL, BOARD was used to generate a multidimensional view of profitability considering three principal dimensions: customer, service and organisation (BU).
In addition, BOARD allowed them to add levels of detail not managed by SAP and to reallocate costs and revenues from profit centres to projects, or from divisions to departments, using a series of predefined drivers.
A second project involved the invoicing of back-office services: commencing from a transaction-based system, they use BOARD to monitor and measure a series of quantities, such as the number of calls, the number of payments handled and the number of pages printed, that enable them to price the services provided and invoice the customer accordingly.
The panorama of solutions developed using BOARD also included an application that allows them to consolidate the operating results of all group companies.
The breadth of the information managed using these applications lays a solid foundation for their reporting processes which, thanks to BOARD, benefit from a modern, easy to use and highly interactive interface.”
BOARD: simulations, ease of use, latest front-end
“In my view”, commented Marco Lusa, IT manager, “the value added by BOARD is our new ability to run simulations: we have moved from viewing data AS-IS to a more advanced scenario, where we can analyse the impact of likely future events.
For example, in our next implementation of the budgeting process, we want to take a dynamic rather than static approach to the available data. Simply by changing certain parameters, we should be able to make projections and forecasts to year end that build on the partial data available for the period,” continued Marco Lusa. “Clearly, to achieve this, we will need an in-depth knowledge of the tool in order to benefit in full from the opportunities it makes available.”
“In terms of our daily work”, explained Andrea Bionda, Internal IT Manager, “the upgrade from version 6 to version 7 of BOARD has brought enormous benefits. Administration is now much easier at the installation and configuration stage and, more importantly, when it comes to the various data management activities required: from back-ups to the construction and maintenance of databases, each operation has become easier and more effective.”
“From my standpoint, as an advanced end user,” concluded Luca Mainini, Head of Finance, “the greatest advantage offered by BOARD is undoubtedly its practicality: the front-end has an innovative graphics interface that combines ease of use with a powerful ability to display, analyse and interact with data.”