With Y2K, the Euro and decimal conversion all behind them, many asset managers have had their fill of IT investments. Unfortunately, that may leave them behind when it comes to CRM strategies, and none too prepared for the move to T+1.
For these reasons, Encompys-established by Accenture, Advent, Compaq, Microsoft and Bank of New York to provide asset managers with a fully integrated, Web-based straight-through-processing solution-has added a fully loaded front end from Onyx Software to its new outsourcing solution to help asset managers mine data, track sales and put them on the road to straight-through processing.
"Asset managers just spent money on a whole host of non-revenue producing industry obligations, just to stay in business," said Michael Lane, chief marketing officer at Encompys. "If you look at most of these shops, they're not using CRM systems, or they're using a contact management type system, which puts data in an electronic format, but doesn't help you target your customers and enhance relationships."
In choosing a CRM provider, Encompys recognized the need for a particularly robust solution. "When you're going to run an outsource solution, you have to have very deep functionality, because you gain your efficiencies by running one instance of the application and having multiple clients on it," Lane explained. "As soon as you get into heavy customizations and you're running multiple versions of the application, you lose that efficiency."
With more than 80 CRM clients in financial services, Onyx-a provider of customer-centric enterprise applications-had the rich vertical depth Encompys was looking for. The two plan to work together to strengthen the offering even further.
The Onyx software will allow asset managers to track leads through the sales process, from initial contact to trade confirmation, including any problems with the trade or issues that the client has, according to Eben Frankenberg, executive vice president at Onyx. "Asset managers will use the system to generate leads and make sure they close." From there, they'll be able to mine data to create new products and campaigns, as well as cross-sell and up-sell products.
The Encompys solution, built entirely around a Microsoft platform using its new .NET framework, will take advantage of Onyx's purely Web-based architecture, using a thin client for the front end that connects to the XML-based Onyx Enterprise Application Server. The front end will connect with Encompys' other custom applications, giving the end user access to all their CRM data, as well as legacy systems and market data.
An Internet-based portal, customizable to meet the needs of the individual user, provides access to the system, including market data from Reuters that can also be customized with specific news feeds and pricing information. The portal is slated to roll out in August with Encompys' first client, Pimco, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based fund manager. The second release, to be available by year-end, will provide linkages to the Bank of New York for middleware and back office processing.