COMPUTER BUSINESS REVIEW

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Issue Date: October 2006

Nedbank selects SAS

1 October 2006

When it came to moving Nedbank from ageing ­banking methods and ­mechanisms into the fast-paced, highly agile bank of the South African future, only one BI solution was considered up to the ­challenge.
Nedbank, a forward-thinking banking organisation has recognised the trends and wanted to prepare for tomorrow's model of forming partnerships with customers today. With its many years of experience in the financial sector of SA, it has seen the industry move from a hierarchical structure focused on products and transaction processing technology, through the retail and channel focused model where the organisation was distributed into business unit cycles based on management information systems data. To the current customer-focused scenario based on a flat organisational structure, streamlined processes and integrated ERP and back-office systems.
Says Simon Marland, CIO at Nedbank Retail: "Nedbank has recognised that tomorrow the successful business will need to be based on a customer partnership model, by building a BI educated model based on fully BI enabled processes and technology built around ideal BI execution."
Transitioning the fourth largest bank in the country, with headline earning of US$580m, 458 branches nationwide and over 21 000 employees is, at best, a daunting task.
The company chose SAS to provide the solution it needed after evaluating its options, ultimately deciding that the SAS platform had long since evolved from the traditional BI model of providing a data repository, ad hoc querying facility, and reporting tools for its customers to capitalise on.
"We realised that to build a platform to facilitate this momentous business transition, we needed a BI system which integrates as much filtered data as possible from our existing solutions. One which provides not only metrics but enables us to put emphasis on putting our existing information to work through quick and decisive action," adds Marland.
This enterprise-wide approach to BI, believes Marland, will allow it to go beyond the point in the value journey that SA financial experts, Accenture, sees other banks - both locally and abroad - cease. Said a recent Accenture report on the subject: "Most banks have invested heavily in improving the customer experience, however the full value of their customers is still left on the table."
Nedbank will leverage the SAS BI suite to go beyond insight obtainment into the realm of insight application. By using the directions obtained from running BI routines on the full range of raw data collected, it can drive up the efficiency of its marketing by more effectively targeting customers based on a detailed customer lifetime value analysis.
And from here the organisation intends taking the final step towards becoming a wholly client-centred business model, in which the whole organisation is aligned to one single strategy moving forward and based on a perfectly judged mix of products and services with the agility to modify these as the customer demands it.
"The implementation of SAS completes Nedbank's 'Closed Loop' BI strategy. This model begins with customer information, which we can then use to efficiently segregate our customer base as well as business strategies. The second part of the loop is made up of customer contact, analysis of the results of this contact and finally obtaining and implementing the valuable feedback on which future operations may be based for a more satisfied customer experience," adds Marland.
In following this technology strategy, Nedbank aims to achieve what it has termed its E Cubed standpoint. This model hinges around BI for the Education, Enablement and Execution components supporting its overall business objectives. It is the synopsis of the organisational transition powered by SAS BI solutions that moves beyond basing business decisions on either hindsight or insight, but rather on the foresight of what the future is about to bring.
In this incredibly, intensely competitive sector this forward-looking approach to BI, and the similarly future-focused SAS BI suite itself, will provide Nedbank with the massive advantages of enterprise agility, flexibility to capitalise on trends, and a growing atmosphere of constant change and therefore creativity flowing within the organisation.
With SAS BI on the job, Nedbank will be resting assured that although a highly complex operation, its mission-critical data on which the more detailed BI analyses can be conducted is entirely reliable and readily available for extracting additional customer value.
For more information contact Michelle Chettoa, +27 (0) 11 713 3400, michelle.chettoa@zaf.sas.com


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