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First Open Sourced CRM system for Capital Markets.

In the spring of 2011 Nykredit Markets starts a range of initiatives to improve customer-servicing, which includes introducing a CRM system. Nykredit Market’s Business Support team quickly finds that their existing CRM tools cannot be brought together into a common platform, and therefore they launch an analysis of the various systems available in the market. This doesn’t succeed in finding a standard CRM system that satisfies the specific requirements of a Capital Market/ trading operation- at least not without costly modifications.

In the midst of this problem, Business Support finds the open source CRM software Vtiger. Its strengths are that the source code is available and the technology is based on Internet standards, PHP and MySQL, but the prerequisite to making use of this is that the system has to be effectively modified in close dialogue with users.

Chief Analyst Jens Woeste, Nykredit Market’s Business Support:
“We had found the ideal platform for our future CRM system. Now we also needed to find a partner who understood our business, which could collect and formulate our requirements and could configure and further develop the software, where the existing functionality was not sufficient . Finally we still faced a migration task importing data from a number of internal and external systems. After an initial dialogue with Capital Market Partners, we felt that we had found the right partner to meet these challenges.”

CMP analysis
Capital Market Partners’ first task was to establish requirements for the future CRM system. In an iterative process with management the scope for version 1 was determined. During the process of configuration a variety of options were tested. The intention was to minimize the need for developing new modules and to ensure a shared and informed commitment to the final scope, with business expectations fully aligned with fit for purpose and feasible system requirements As part of the scoping phase various data sources were analysed to identify what each could contribute towards creating a comprehensive picture of each customer’s relationships with Nykredit Markets. The result is a model for how data from different systems can be combined simultaneously while maintaining data quality

Value Creation
The starting point for all of CMP’s missions is the objective to deliver value to the client. The scoping phase at Nykredit Markets showed a need for a holistic CRM solution across products and customer groups. At the same time, different prototypes built during the scoping phase validated that the system contains many powerful features and a sufficiently high degree of flexibility, making it possible for Vtiger to provide this solution.

A large part of the value creation was in converting Vtiger, which is primarily built towards long sales cycle, marketing, sales, support and inventory management uses: it needed to become a CRM solution that supports the sales functions at Nykredit Markets. It needed to additionally handle a wide range of specific customer information and it needed access to all historical records of Nykredit’s activities with the customer. This is because it is important for Nykredit that all employees in each Sales team has access to complete information so that when a given employee is absent and their customer calls, any one of their colleagues can with a few clicks create a complete overview of contact data, product interests, activities, trades and issues the customer has discussed with his regular contact person in Nykredit Markets.

The benefits of importing transactions are also that this allows an overview across clients and instruments. This means that the user can quickly see which clients have traded specific securities, or in the case of a bond close to maturity, the CRM will quickly supply a list of contacts likely to have reinvestment needs.

Business case
A brief survey of Capital Market trading operations in the Nordic countries shows that CRM system implementations costs of multiple millions of Euros are not uncommon. And at the same time these participants recognize that, often despite several years of effort, they are still not yet satisfied with their CRM system.

By way of contrast, Nykredit Markets has in less than a year, and a fraction of of the cost paid by similar Capital Market departments, developed a customized CRM system.

Task execution
Capital Market Partners has from the start of the task followed its Standard Delivery Model. First we assessed and ensured that the task could be solved and that the CMP could contribute to value creation. Then a scope document was produced in close collaboration with Nykredit Market participants, where focus was on the “need to have” requirements.

To display what the system was capable of “rapid prototyping” was used during the writing of the scope document. Where possible, parts of the desired functionality were configured in the test environment. It gave employees the opportunity to assess both the usability and to make suggestions for improvements. Simultaneously, expectation management could be conducted in relation to the stakeholder’s requirements.

Once the basic functionality was in place data was imported and merged with data from other legacy systems. In this context, a substantial investment was made to ensuring the quality of data. Before go-live, all users were invited to an introduction of the system, where the users was explicitly asked to be critical.

The rollout was then performed successively in the individual teams in order to quickly identify and eliminate teething problems without having to involve each user with every issue and solution. In line with the increased number of users and the intensification of use, additional adaptations were implemented along with “nice-to-haves”.

Robert Spliid, Head of Market Relations:
“Capital Market Partners has a business acumen that has made our discussions about the content and functionality efficient. The defined requirements have been rapidly translated into functionality and have been improved in close dialogue with users. We made it clear from the outset that we wanted an iterative process with a focus on short time-boxes and delivery of functionality. Capital Market Partners has shown a high degree of flexibility that has been necessary in a business-driven project like ours. “

Completion and handover
An important part of any CMP project is transferring the result of our work to the client organization. CMP’s primary objective is to solve problems for clients, but also to conclude them and “get out”. We firmly believe that we can best contribute if we deliver sustainable solutions and transfer these to the clients own organisation, freeing us to being invited back again to solve new and exciting tasks.