Don Simpson, Managing Director in charge of Operations and Technology at MUSI, comments: âWe were experiencing vast growth in product and at the same time like most major organisations, we have large numbers of business-critical spreadsheets throughout the entire enterprise. It is vital for our business to keep our spreadsheets but facilitate use in a controlled manner. We wanted to reduce the time we spent trying to manage and maintain them without locking them down or reducing their effectiveness. ClusterSeven provided the catalyst for us to consolidate our spreadsheets and manage them properly just like any other business application.â
Following an enquiry to Microsoft in the USA, MUSI was directed toward ClusterSevenâs technology for its unique non-invasive capability to offer effective change control of spreadsheets. The investment bank piloted the software on spreadsheets used for structured trade pricing within the product control of the finance department. The deployment was rapid. After 20 days of consultation to identify the critical spreadsheets, it took just five weeks and a team of two to actually implement the solution, which went live in October 2006.
ClusterSevenâs fully auditable and systematic approach delivers a practical solution to managing millions of daily cell changes and removes the need for manual, time-consuming checks. As a result, the investment bank can swiftly approve changes to maintain the integrity of its spreadsheets. The technology passively monitors every nominated spreadsheet in the enterprise, delivering a full audit trail on every cell, so MUSI can promote internal best practices in spreadsheet management and thereby reduce operational risk.
By tracking every amendment, ClusterSeven enables MUSI to meet the most stringent interpretations of regulatory initiatives on spreadsheet compliance such as SOX and Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations efficiently without stalling business flexibility. Validated spreadsheet data is now available for use by other central systems without the need for further manual processes.
ClusterSeven functionality also clearly separates the roles of the business users and risk managers, a key requirement for most compliance legislations.
Simpson adds: âWe are impressed with the positive effects of ClusterSevenâs technology on our operations and our culture. We now have a fully-automated and systematic set of business controls and processes that encourage our spirit of innovation while ensuring best practice in terms of operational risk and FSA compliance. Important business spreadsheets can be identified, managed and then prioritised for migration into our central applications.â
Future plans involve rolling out ClusterSevenâs technology in other areas of the company such as risk and regulation reporting, operations and the front-office in other international locations including Japan.
Steve Semenzato, founder and CEO ClusterSeven, says: "We are proud that Mitsubishi joins the raft of tier one investment banks that share our vision in bringing the spreadsheet issue on the agenda. ClusterSevenâs technology is becoming the industryâs standard in offering painless compliance and risk reduction.â
Established in 2003, ClusterSeven has offices in London and New York and its award winning technology (Securities Tech50 and Windows in Financial Services award) addresses the operational risk, control and compliance impact issues of major investment banks such as Dresdner Kleinwort.