Vendor for system support and implementation of the year: Finastra

Asia Risk Technology Awards 2020

Steve Hawkes, Finastra

In today’s constantly evolving financial environment, banks have to be quick on their toes to respond to new business demands. Solutions that banks need typically lack standardisation, leading to large IT implementation projects often running over budget, and over time, delivering less value than anticipated.

Steve Hawkes, vice-president for global services for MEA & APAC at Finastra, says implementation projects have a few common pitfalls. These include misalignment with a customer’s requirements, which hinders their ability to achieve the expected business value; the risk of project delays, cost overruns, and disruption; and a lack of standardisation, which reduces the customer’s ability to adapt in the future and increases the ongoing total cost of ownership (TCO).

Finastra’s Fusion Adopt and Fusion Blueprints are designed to solve these challenges, with less invasive projects that minimise dependency on the client’s business and IT resources without compromising the business needs and project quality.

Finastra’s Fusion Adopt is a best practice and proven implementation and delivery approach that ensures smooth, successful, and faster implementations while minimising business disruption. Fusion Adopt is paired with Fusion Blueprints, ensuring projects are aligned to best practice and deployed quickly.

“Finastra’s tooling and automation further increases project efficiency by reducing resourcing requirements. We recognise that effective training is critical to the realisation of a return of investment on our software,” says Hawkes.

Finastra conducts business process alignment workshops, where its subject matter experts and professional services architects work closely with clients to establish a common view of the difference between Finastra’s standard functionality and the client’s specific requirements.

These workshops recently contributed to a successful project at Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Hong Kong. The Finastra team walked the bank through a full set of best practice business processes and the pre-configured application model solution.

Then, Fusion Blueprints provided the bank with a full set of best practice business processes and a project model that has been tested and rolled out globally. The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Hong Kong is live with Fusion Summit v6.2, which it has adopted as its front-to-back treasury manager for its entire global treasury business.

The straight-through processing in this Fusion Summit version enabled the bank to automate and optimise its business process framework, reduce risk and increase efficiency. The bank was migrating from a legacy system of Fusion Opics to Fusion Summit, where an automated data migration tool and reconciliation tools were used to migrate data quickly and smoothly.

Finastra also delivered a reusable regression testing methodology that will reduce the cost and minimise business disruptions in future upgrades.

The company is also continuing to develop Fusion Transform, an approach to delivery that puts client objectives at the core to deliver a solution optimised for cost and ownership quality. Hawkes says Finastra has incorporated this delivery approach within its Adopt service offering, which allows its clients to realise ongoing benefits after the solution is implemented.

It has also scaled its existing Fusion Blueprints IP to build best practice end-to-end solution workflows and embedded them within Fusion Transform. Hawkes says Finastra will continue augmenting these workflows across its product portfolio over the next 12 months.

“Coupled with this, we have invested in building implementation accelerators Fusion Transform utilizes, such as a standard integration framework, an automated testing framework and infrastructure templates to minimise time to value. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to further enhance these assets,” he adds.

Fusion Transform combines the principles of test-driven design with engineering and is underpinned by Finastra’s IP and a bespoke automation framework that ensures the delivery of high-quality deployments.

Finastra will extensively document each stage and produce key artefacts that create a safe mechanism of change once the solution transitions back to client operations.

“By leveraging Fusion Transform within our implementations, our clients will realise long-term value and significant benefits through reduced ongoing TCO, better overall operational experience, operational risk reduction and increased agility for future change,” says Hawkes.

Due to the speed at which the industry is transforming and changing customers’ demands, Hawkes says, partnering is necessary. Finastra’s mission is to develop the world’s most successful, dynamic and engaging partner ecosystem. “To continue our commitment to our ecosystem, we have refreshed the ways we engage, enable, go to market and ultimately how we succeed together with our partners. This revised approach reflects our “open banking” ethos and is focused on building successful new businesses that we couldn’t create without our partners,” he adds.

Finastra is changing how modern banking software is developed, deployed and consumed through, its open innovation platform. The platform’s strengths rely on more than 8,500 customers already using its solutions worldwide across all segments. “In a world of distributed knowledge and capabilities, financial institutions will benefit by innovating and collaborating with a wider financial ecosystem to bring personalised products and services to their customers at a pace that before was unimaginable,” he says.

An Asia Risk judge says Finastra’s relevance is “extremely” high due to the practicality of its solutions.

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