GSG’s client, a major financial institution, was approached by the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of Currency) with a consent order and MRA’s (Matters Requiring Attention) regarding pricing and valuation. Should the client neglect to remediate the MRA’s by the due date, it would result in the client being heavily fined.
GSG deployed a Program Manager with specific subject and functional expertise as part of a larger team of FTEs and consultants to address the MRA’s which resulted in successful remediation by the due date. A project summary deck was created for the OCC that was completed through collaboration with each accountable leader involved in the initiative, providing an overview of how each MRA was successfully remediated, and communicating how accountability and compliance would be maintained going forward.
GSG’s client, a global financial services company, sought to make a strategic leap beyond their competitors to reinvent their approach and execution of technology enabled change across the enterprise to support the implementation and increase the maturity of their product operating model.
GSG deployed an expert Transformation & Executive Coach with a deep background in Agility & Product-Operating Models, plus various other product SMEs. The GSG team performed Agility Maturity Assessments, drove improved Agile Ways of Working, coached teams towards the new Product Operating Model, and helped optimize their approach for Objectives & Key Results (OKR) creation & measurement. GSG developed an iterative transformation delivery plan that prioritized work based on quick wins, incremental improvements, and strategic transformations.
Teams were aligned to this new TOM & were able to utilize new OKRs and Agile Ways of Working at a much more efficient pace. This engagement impacted dozens of teams across the organization – setting a precedent for lasting change, and most importantly, readiness for further change. Shifting the focus from output to outcomes.
LIBOR, one of the World’s most common benchmark interest rates, has been used for decades in financial products like business loans and adjustable-rate mortgages. GSG’s client, one of the largest banking institutions in the United States joined a worldwide transition that was underway to replace it with rate alternatives. This transition would impact some existing contracts that use LIBOR as a benchmark rate, and for new contracts, regulators have made it clear that LIBOR shouldn’t be used. GSG’s client planned extensively to be well-positioned to make this a smooth transition for customers impacted by the change. Their top priority was keeping custodians and clients informed on industry developments and transition efforts as they work collaboratively to update LIBOR contracts.
Due to the nature of the change on the accounts, the legal recommendation was to get clients acceptance and to facilitate this change technologically. GSG deployed a team of experts who successfully created and maintained a DocuSign workflow working closely with regulatory & compliance teams to facilitate a signature process prior to the LIBOR replacement rate. Completing and creating an analysis, requirements and templates that could be leveraged as a repeatable model. Due to the success rate of this project, it showed the client a pathway that this technological approach should be more comprehensively accepted, and these workflows could be successfully utilized within other business lines i.e., New account opening etc.
Granite Solutions Groupe’s client, a large bank specializing in personal, private, and business banking solutions was looking to standardize their Treasury Management’s product management artifact library. Treasury Management at the bank maintained a total of 34 Products that contained over 300 documents and were located on 2 different Intranet sites. The product documents across the Intranet sites lacked a consistent style guide or consistent branding for new and existing product launches. There was a lack of consistency in where and how the product artifacts were organized in the Intranet library. The business opportunity was to create consistent presentation of messaging and synergy across product artifacts to enhance product description and future product definitions.
GSG deployed a highly skilled Product Content Consultant to develop and manage client-facing and internal training content for existing and new products. Our consultant partnered with the Product team to produce a consistent, repeatable content framework to support business readiness for new product launches.
- A detailed analysis on products documentation library. Provided a cohesive and streamlined framework.
- Created a single repository of workflows, recommendations, reusable templates, and training decks. This could be used for future product launches and enhancements.
- Created one site with the primary products.
- Created a presentation on best practices for product delivery and training including a guideline.
- Created a mailbox for the change management review process.
- GSG provided content development and organization to ensure product artifacts were standardized for consistency and business readiness.
GSG’s client, a large private banking institution, was looking to update their fee information disclosure manual process into an automated system within the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID RULE) timeframe of 3 days without impacting the workflow. Manual processes hindered growth and resulted in a tremendous cost to the business.
The GSG team of experts successfully delivered an automated workflow that systematically delivers fee disclosures within the required 3-day timeframe through a DaaS rule service with no manual intervention. Fees are updated and processed through the system providing operational improvement and overall costs improving SLAs. Eliminating process inefficiencies and delivering a customized and repeatable model that the client can leverage built within a DaaS rule/service.
GSG’s client, a large global financial services company’s Taxonomy team sought GSG’s consultant expertise to provide a solution to the lack of process, requirements, and data understanding that hindered the availability of accurate and timely operational dashboards, reports, and documentation needs of various business groups across multiple LOBs. The Taxonomy team is a critical support group for business and technology stakeholders. The data quality team plays a huge role with respect to existing platforms and data applications within the organization. Existing reporting and data platforms act as bridges between upstream and downstream applications to provide necessary attributes for reports creation, management, and document storage.
GSG worked with the bank to provide a solution that resulted in accurate and timely operational dashboards, as well as prescheduled and real-time reports for multiple lines of business. Results:
- Requirements documentation – Business, Technical & Data Requirements, Traceability Matrices.
- Ease in report creation, data extraction, and report validation.
- Data remediation in several applications to fix anomalies and enhance data quality.
- KPIs to control data anomalies, data set validation, and reports accuracy.
- Dashboards and drill down reports for business stakeholders.
The digital age of marketing has become the leading factor in developing digital capabilities for businesses across the financial industry. “Marketing Personalization” was primarily product-centric and did not focus on fulfilling the customer journey end-to-end with a personalized experience. GSG’s client, a major financial institution, approached GSG as their digital marketing campaigns lacked focus on the digital experience for their customer. They wanted to transform their marketing practices by implementing an enterprise-wide digital transformation initiative.
GSG deployed a team of subject matter experts versed in marketing personalization in support of the initiative to create and design a product centered around the customer’s digital journey and experience. Our team executed a detailed agile project and provided leadership oversight throughout the transformation. This resulted in improved operational efficiency for the marketing funnel and improved marketing engine and digital presence. The team redesigned marketing consistency to provide experiences across channels and platforms for customers who want to see products relevant to their personal needs. Ensuring all digital marketing systems worked together and updated operations to break up silos to provide a holistic view for customer base.
GSG’s client, a subsidiary of one of the largest Global Wealth Management firms, was subjected to an extensive risk & regulatory initiative mandated by the non-US parent company. The US Securities and Exchange Commission determined that there had been a breach of the anti-money laundering component of the Bank Secrecy Act. The foreign parent company decided to institute global policies that were to be interpreted throughout all global operations with corresponding procedures to be applied locally in each market. Part of the response was to implement a global KYC recertification process.
GSG organized and formed a team of 80 experienced consultants to support the BSA/AML compliance program for success. GSG worked with the bank to create a manual process that provided the foundation for developing detailed business requirements for the longer-term technology projects to build automated capabilities. This project met the objectives of the parent company and allowed the US subsidiary to move on with their normal business operations while continuing to support the needs of the global parent. The US subsidiary was on a solid regulatory footing, maintaining compliance with global standards and had the capability to prevent future incidents that could be interpreted by regulatory entities as contributing to money laundering activities.
Granite Solutions Groupe’s Trust Accounting Platform practice has a proven track record of helping clients upgrade and implement new systems effectively and efficiently.
In our experience we have supported implementations, upgrades and migration projects across business, operations and technology for multiple clients bringing our subject matter expertise in Trust3000, SEI-SWP, and Charles River IMS. Our expert consultants have been deployed from the discovery/strategy stage through execution and delivery and all the way to Go Live. Supporting the front, middle and back office teams our consultants focus within specific business units and drive the completion of individual workstreams. This case study will present some of the best practices we have learned along the way that are critical to success.
Understand the key pillars that will set your project up for success:
Before your project gets underway, invest some time in building the foundation. All of the following factors have played a role in the success of platform implementation projects we have been a part of:
- A desire to make change
- Executive leadership sponsorship
- Project leadership structures in place
- Change management
- A comprehensive communication plan
- Awareness of key deliverables and milestones
- Understanding of key principals/factors for making the change
- Stakeholder management and involvement
Conduct a Gap Analysis to understand the current state and visualize a path to the future state.
The analysis will assess the performance of current technologies and resources that are in play as well as make you aware of how highly configured and customized current platform is today. This will be critical to informing the level of difficulty in to disconnecting, recoding, and reconnecting to new technology. It will also identify internal and 3rd party vendor surrounding applications that will be affected by the implementation.
Have a fully developed Program and Project Plan that sets out short-term and long-term courses of action and outcomes.
The plan will allow you to track your progress throughout the implementation, monitoring how and when you deliver your outcomes, if they are delivered within specified time periods, within quality parameters and on budget. It will also outline processes to manages risks and resolve issues that may arise.
Set clear expectations around vendor responsibilities and your organizations responsibilities.
Bear in mind that different parts of the implementation will require different levels of support from your vendor and your organizations resources. Ensuring that all parties involved in the project have a clear understanding of their responsibilities will facilitate a smoother implementation. Clearly communicate timelines, trial periods, Go Live dates and respective accountabilities.
Familiarize yourself with all the resources at your disposal and how they can work together most effectively.
A very common misconception by organizations is when they think their full-time employees will handle the bulk of the implementation work. While this is true in a lot of areas, they still have full time roles within the company as well. You need to know what your business model for a successful implementation is and what resources are at your disposal - full-time employees, consultants, and your temporary labor pool. Understand what resources your technology partner brings to the table, who their preferred consulting partners. Leverage them to make your project a success.
Execution and Delivery
This stage is the longest process in an implementation, upgrade or migration. With multiple projects being done across the business, operations, and technology teams communication and transparency is crucial. Having an dedicated methodology within the project management space allows the following key areas of execution to be monitored, tracked, and deadlines met:
- Building, testing, configuring, validating the new business model
- Data staging, data mapping, data migration
- System Integration, Technical Infrastructure
- Training, Learning and Development in place
- Business, Technical, and User readiness
As you the Go Live date approaches, preparation is key.
The height of any implementation project is the moment when the new system or application is brought online. A carefully orchestrated and well-practiced Cutover plan will ensure that steps that could potentially result in project setbacks are not missed in the anticipation.
Post Go Live is crucial to operational effectiveness.
In this case study we look at how a major financial institution moves its marketing platform from a server-based to a cloud-based product. In particular, we focus on how this change impacted productivity and marketing costs.
The marketing operations group at our client was faced with the challenge of software that was on its way to becoming obsolete. The marketing platform the firm had used for over ten years to monitor risk and legal compliance for over 2,000 marketing campaigns per year was no longer fully supported by its vendor.
User experience was less than ideal. Each time a version came out, an IT team had to manually upgrade it. These factors increased cost and reduced efficiency.
Newer, cloud-based solutions offered opportunities for enhanced functionality, greater productivity, and cost savings. The project was high-stakes. Execution needed to be seamless or risk affecting productivity for over 2,000 team members.
On the surface, the solution was relatively simple: Use this moment of change to select the best software available on the market and get it.
GSG interviewed and qualified a team of consultants with subject matter expertise in cloud technologies, marketing automation platforms, and security and risk. The lead consultant needed to have ample experience working with large teams and executive management.
GSG’s consultant took the following steps:
- Valuation exercise. In the context of solutioning, the first thing the team had to do was implement a valuation exercise. The proposed move to the cloud was a golden opportunity to look at the landscape and competition. This is an enterprise level platform with many users. During a four-month process, the team audited the existing product and received demos from multiple vendors.
- We did a huge body of work to determine the right vendor, narrowing the field to the incumbent plus four new contenders. After eliminating one contender and doing a deep dive on the remaining four, the team went with the incumbent’s cloud-based software.
- Negotiation. Once they confirmed that the software was appropriate, the team facilitated contract negotiations.
- Implementation planning. Leveraging a core team of 40 to 50 employees, the GSG consultant’s role was business lead. In addition to managing the team, the role involved solution architecture, strategic facilitation across IT, the vendor, internal leadership, and project managers. Central to implementation planning was overcoming roadblocks and ensuring effective communication and consensus among both senior leaders and middle managers.
- Building the team. GSG’s consultant organized the project into multiple workstreams, including:
Governance. A steering committee of five to 10 very senior executives was pulled together, and “rules of the road” were established, especially around escalation and decision-making approaches and meeting cadence. At each meeting, important questions were asked about barriers, necessary decisions, go/no go approvals, and strategic negotiations with the vendor.
Program office. To ensure smooth progress, workstreams were organized around a program office that included:
- Business analysis
- Business processes
- Change management
- Decommissioning post go-live
- Data cleanup and migration
Security. Moving to the cloud is exciting and provides a lot of opportunity while also posing serious security questions and challenges. GSG’s consultant ensured that information security and operational risk and control were properly addressed throughout the process, creating necessary security protocols.
Once the steering committee, governance, and work streams were in place, the team rolled up its sleeves. A software project is built on developing and end to end project plan that takes into account literally thousands of interdependencies. The project plan was a dynamic document that needed the ability to adapt to new information. It took six months to plan everything and create all the pieces and infrastructure that lead to flipping the switch. Implementation is a relatively brief part of the project.
Here’s a snapshot of the team’s timeline:
- Planning: one quarter
- Pre-launch implementation: two quarters
- Launch: one month
- Deployment: one day
- Stabilization and decommissioning: one quarter.
The cloud upgrade was a huge success. From the beginning, and important project goal was to avoid disrupting over the firms over 2,000 marketers. A successful migration meant that there would not be deterioration in productivity and performance. They wanted to make sure that, after going home on a Friday using the old software and coming back on a Monday to new software, that the end users were happy. The whole team was happy to learn that there was no increase in help tickets and users reported high satisfaction.