Focus Management Group

IT Financial Solutions

Financial Services Company

Company:

A financial services company provided a variety of insurance products to leading banking institutions in North America.

Situation:

Due to regulatory requirements and economic conditions, the Company was faced with enormous pressure to drop product pricing on an annual basis. As a result, the Company needed to significantly reduce costs, increase customer acceptance rates and introduce new products into the financial sales channel in order to maintain current profit levels.

At the time, the Company’s IT function was 15% over budget. Their 20-year-old operational support system (OSS) crashed daily, which caused major interruptions in service and had no ability to process payments. Therefore, introducing new products and taking individual payments, as opposed to monthly settlements from customers, could not be completed. Additionally, its headquarters was based in an old building, which was not conducive to facilitating a quality technology environment. Voice and data access to the outside world could only be provided by a single low-quality network provider, and the IT team lacked the skills and tools to support growth.

Focus Scope:

A Focus Professional was engaged to perform a complete revitalization of the Company’s technology systems.

Tasks Performed:

Our Professional used Focus Management Group’s Technology Success Strategy to implement impactful cost containment w ith innovation across all aspects of the Company's IT systems.

  • The IT department underwent a complete restructuring with the introduction of a new network, data-center, voice systems and applications to facilitate cost reductions and processes needed for making sound financial decisions.
  • Testing, support and maintenance roles were introduced, reducing the average salary and contract rates by 15% while improving performance.
  • An analytics platform was implemented that empowered loan officers to fine tune their sales activities with real-time data. As a result, loan officers raised their CAR (Customer Acceptance Rate) from 10% to nearly 30%.
  • Applications were re-written to accommodate for new business needs. Off-the-shelf solutions were researched and integrated into the custom solution to keep costs low and delivery fast.
  • The data-center, supported by a new, secure network, was moved from an inadequate facility to a state-of-the-art facility with better infrastructure and the ability to abide by all compliance frameworks.
  • Hardware and operating systems used a virtualization strategy to reduce costs for personnel, power, space and licensing.
  • Storage was centralized using a Storage-Area-Network (SAN) to provide speed, scale and security for accessing information and robust disaster recovery.
  • Desktop computers were virtualized, which greatly improved security and decreased costs.

Results:

  • The Company’s IT functions finished the year 10% under budget.
  • New products were successfully introduced into the sales channel.
  • While loan volumes crashed 70% around the country, revenues were maintained.
  • New sales channels were provided with improved payment systems and analytics.
  • All new compliance requirements were met.
  • The new system has maintained 100% up-time since its new implementation.
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