MKB Bank is a prominent, universal financial institution in the Hungarian banking sector. It is a leader in all customer segments for the completeness of the product portfolio, the standards of services and the intensity of customer relations. It is traditionally strong in the corporate and organizational market and project financing. At the same time, there is a growing presence in the public and SMB segments and in financial and capital market services. The main owner, BayernLB Group (headquartered in Munich) has assigned MKB Bank the role of a bridgehead in implementing its strategy in certain countries of the Central and Eastern European region. As part of that role, MKB Bank also acts as the owner of MKB Unionbank in Bulgaria and that of MKB Romexterra Bank in Romania. The share capital amounts to HUF 14.094 billion.
In line with its strategy, MKB Bank has implemented an operational CRM and front-end solution, using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 platform, to provide a standard view of customers and integrated access to all channels of the sales campaigns. Therefore the solution boosts the efficiency of more than 1000 people in the entire sales network, also supporting management in measuring and motivating performance.
|MKB Bank had committed to the implementation of the operational CRM and front-end system, so the project received special attention even from the top-level management.|
Managing Director and Project Sponsor MKB Bank
MKB Bank has been implementing CRM development projects to support its business strategy since 2003. During these years, a strong analytic CRM background
has been established with not only a repository but also data-mining models required for customer segmentation. By 2007, the management had clearly identified what level the Bank intended to attain in terms of the operational CRM and front-end systems.
“The background support provided by the analytic CRM plus a mature strategy for the operational CRM and the front-end systems are essential for the success of such a project,” said András Sebők, managing director at MKB Bank and project sponsor. “With these requirements granted, the Bank has also grown a campaign culture to serve direct sales support. It allows a sales strategy and a tailored account management approach where the member of the sales team manages entire customer portfolios as each customer has the support of a dedicated account manager.”
“These efforts had been supported by RWP (Retail-Wholesale Portal) on a ‘temporary’ basis on the front-end side,” continued Krisztina Schay, director of the CRM department at MKB Bank. “However, the core banking systems used by the -employees in the background mostly functioned as silos, resulting in the lack of feedback on the entire process of how the customers were served. The customer feedback received in a given campaign could not really be recycled into future campaigns.”
That situation has apparently resulted in difficulties in applying a standard approach and practices in sales support as in this scenario it was up to the salesperson what information was collected from the disparate systems; while this process can be much more standardised in a CRM system. Consequently, the Bank had to rethink, in line with the strategy, what application it intended to use in the future in the operational CRM and front-end areas and what solution it needed to implement to ensure integration also in the long run.
The multi-channel sales campaigns of MKB Bank, which have also been supported by analytic CRM tools, primarily rely on phone calls and mail. So in the selection of the future CRM solution, it was a high priority that the solution should include the branch and call center campaigns and also the electronic channels in the sales process, and enable a standard approach to the use of these means.
|All three stages in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM were completed on schedule and within the budget. In my opinion it is a great result that the plans approved by the management of the Bank for operational CRM and front-end support one and a half years ago have been successfully completed and on schedule. |
The Bank has established a thoroughly detailed set of requirements for both the business and the IT sides to evaluate the incoming proposals from the vendors. The requirements were based on the Bank’s CRM strategy which includes the operational objective of increased efficiency of the bank employees. “Accordingly, the Call for Tenders set out the implementation of an operational CRM and front-end solution and indicated two functional areas; the mapping of banking processes in the front-end system, and the standardisation of the existing operational CRM functionality and its integration into the new solution,” explained László Király, head of Electronic Channels and CRM Development at MKB Bank. “We were seeking a technical implementation to recycle the existing IT infrastructure, including back-end systems, communications and sales ch
annels. Beside integration with the IT environment, performance was considered equally important. The system is to provide consistently reliable operation for approximately 1,200 users and also allow further scalability. As the operational CRM and front-end system supports all sales channels, including the call center, it is to comply with even 24/7 availability requirements with regards to stable and secure operation.”
Ten proposals were received in response to the call for tenders by MKB Bank; three of them were shortlisted in line with the above requirements and further commercial considerations. The range of the proposed solutions included fully custom-developed systems to packaged products. In terms of business and technology, both approaches carry risks, so the Bank considered the direction for the implementation of the strategy very thoroughly.
“The middle-of-the-road between these two extremes was identified as a solution to provide core functionality as a packaged product while offering efficient customisation of the system to our needs,” said László Király. “That balance is offered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which amalgamates the benefits of both worlds.”
“When evaluating the proposals, we came to the conclusion that out of the proposed solutions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM would provide the best support to the implementation of the Bank’s CRM strategy in practice,” added Andrea Balogh, project manager for MKB Bank. “The rationale is that a CRM system would only fulfil its role if it is not simply the subject of a tools implementation but provides a solution fitting the identified strategy of the organisation.”
MKB Bank set out the objective that the operational CRM and front-end system should provide the level of functionality to allow users to start exploring the new solution at a stage as early in the implementation as possible. To this end, the management decided to implement the project in three stages.
“The intention was to come up with tangible results at an early stage as the implementation was projected to last for one and a half years from the beginning,” said Andrea Balogh. “The first stage of the effort established the interface to access a single customer view, so users started to get an understanding of the underlying logic, the structure and the operation of the system. The second stage implemented the campaign functionality, which assumed active use and data entry at that point. In the third step, we established the front-end functionality to play a role in customer service, in the daily efforts of the bank staff, in product sales, in making the related contracts and in service amendments. The IT side of the project team first implemented the IT infrastructure and architecture to provide integration with the back-end systems. The second stage implemented the existing operational CRM features of the Bank into the packaged functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. The third stage mapped the banking business processes into the custom-developed front-end interface.
“The idea was to touch the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system as little as possible, and to represent the packaged functionality even in the front-end interface developed by us,” said László Király. “This integration effort characterized the customization tasks in the first stage. Even the second stage only saw the top layer, the user interface reworked, with several options created internally; however, we have not attempted to change the system logic. In this case customisation aimed at having only those features present in the interface which are used by the employees.” The other direction for customisation efforts was determined by requirements for -employee performance tracking. In the second stage of the effort, the project team created reports to support business management.
“The packaged functionality was adjusted to our needs using the options available within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, while the custom interfaces were created in the Microsoft .NET development environment,” explained László Király. “Dynamics CRM offers some very well-defined points of entry to fit in-house developed components into the system. The tailoring was implemented half by relying on the options, half through in-house development.
The first stage of implementation concluded in September 2008. At that point our colleagues were not forced to use the single customer view interface in their daily efforts, they were rather exploring it.
|Experts of Microsoft Consulting Services worked with business and IT professionals of the Bank at the team level. This efficient communication also contributed to establishing such a good system which is also accepted by the user side.|
|Krisztina Schay Director of the CRM department, MKB Bank |
“The development for the second stage was handed over in March 2009 and from then on colleagues were urged to use the campaign and sales support functionality,” said Krisztina Schay. “The system covers the entire sales process and also serves as the basis of settlement in the incentive system. Following the launch of the front-end system in June 2009, some of the back-end systems used by the –employees are only accessible through this interface. So users did not have to face the new solution from one day to the next but were rather guided all through the three-staged implementation, from the initial learning of the system through operational work to support and settlement of sales.”
From the first project stage, all colleagues involved in sales have been using the operational CRM and front-end system in the entire MKB Bank network. That means almost 90 branches and more than a thousand employees, including residential and business sales, call center staff and different levels of management in these fields.
“All three stages in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM were completed on schedule and within the budget,” highlighted Andrea Balogh. “These are always key aspects in assessing the success of a project. In my opinion it is a great result that the plans approved by the management of the Bank for operational CRM and front-end support one and a half years ago have been successfully completed and on schedule.”
“Compliance with the deadlines and the delivery of the entire requested functionality are the two key measures of the success of this project,” added Zsigmond Kővári, project manager for Microsoft Consulting Services. “In this project we have again relied on the proven Microsoft MSF methodology for a seamless effort. MSF is an operational and process model enabling clear-cut definitions for roles and responsibilities, resulting in more efficient co-operation of project members and also easier and more transparent project tracking. The weekly and monthly status reports allowed both parties to make a concentrated and steady effort.”
That is due to the fact that MKB Bank had based a properly planned project on a well thought-out CRM strategy, all the parties affected by the implementation were involved in the team activities, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided a technology platform and the functionality for the project team to work effectively.
“Having well-prepared, competent professionals on board in the project both from the Bank’s side and that of Microsoft and its partners was a key success factor,” added Andrea Balogh. “The Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation was a key project for the Bank, with the management attention that comes with this status, so when decisions were required on the go, they were made quickly and supported us in our further efforts.” “Experts of Microsoft Consulting Services worked with business and IT professionals of the Bank at the team level,” said Krisztina Schay. “Project tasks were also assigned at the team level, while co-operation within the teams was so close that you could not distinguish internal and external staff. This efficient communication also contributed to establishing such a good system which is also accepted by the user side.”
Experts of the Scale group were responsible for the design of business functionality for the operational CRM and front-end solution, the creation of the related Software Requirement Specifications (SRS), abridging ideas and concepts of business professionals and managers in the Bank and the Microsoft technical experts’ experience and systems skills. After the design stage, Scale advisors also participated in the customisation of packaged Dynamics CRM functionality, in the business testing of components, in creating the user documentation and in user training.
“The Microsoft implementation methodology provides very practical assistance to project efforts and makes the current status transparent,” added partner Péter Bacsek of Scale Group. “We could always see exactly where we were, what tasks we had ahead of us and who were responsible for them. We could experience how effective progress a project team that thinks and works together with no conflicting interests can make, the fair and supportive attitude shown by Microsoft towards us as partners, contributing a great deal to our progress.”
|We chose a solution to provide core functionality as a packaged product while offering efficient customisation of the system to our needs. That balance is offered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which amalgamates the benefits of both worlds.|
Head of Electronic Channels and CRM Development
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 released at the project launch, and the Bank’s management had made the key decision that we should take up this version,” pointed out László Király. “This decision has been clearly vindicated over the course of the project. Dynamics CRM 4.0 adds a great deal to the functionality of the earlier version, while it is a mature, stable system; serving as a solid base for the progress of the implementation. Our IT infrastructure is also built on the Microsoft platform, and over the course of the project we could again clearly see that the professionals at Microsoft are truly excellent in this technology. We received prompt and competent responses to all of our questions, with the entire knowledge base of the subsidiary and that of the parent company available to us. We could experience that Microsoft gave the same high priority to this Dynamics CRM implementation as the Bank’s management.”
“When MKB Bank vouched for the newly released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 at the beginning of the project, we were glad but also faced a huge challenge as the new version had novelties even for our expert team,” highlighted Péter Renfer, account manager for the financial industry at Microsoft. “However, we could always rely on support from our colleagues in Redmond as the parent company also accorded high priority to this project which was considered one of the largest Dynamics CRM implementations at that time.” From the technology point of view, a further benefit of version 4.0 is that MKB Bank can use Microsoft Hyper-V virtualisation technology to establish test environments. This option boosts development potential as the different user scenarios required for testing the applications can be very easily and flexibly established through virtualisation.
“From the operational point of view, stability and reliability are the top expectations as the system was scaled to a large user base and a high number of transactions so that it could cope with demand for three to five years,” said László Király. “The infrastructure of the system implemented is streamlined; the colleagues responsible for its operation could easily get a clear idea of it and accepted the system for live operation. Their efforts are also assisted by the systems administration tools we could hand over to them back in stage I of the project. These tools have been monitoring the operation of the system from the very beginning, and that is also proof of what a solid basis Microsoft technologies provided for the implementation. The operational CRM and front-end system runs on a Microsoft infrastructure; its operation requires Microsoft competences, while another team in the IT department is responsible for integration with the back-end systems. The clear-cut roles also facilitate the resolution of rarely emerging issues.”
The head of the IT department thinks that the business side devoted a great deal of time and effort to promote the operational CRM and front-end system within the Bank, which inspired IT people to provide a truly great user experience.
“We were always present with users in the course of the different implementation stages occurring approximately every half year,” said Krisztina Schay. “A monthly e-mail newsletter provided information on the planned new features; we also created and published the related policies, and organised face-to-face training sessions at implementation time, also supported by videos. In this manner the operational CRM application could organically integrate with the daily activities, relying on the existing company culture. The custom font-end interface created also provides the work environment widely known from Microsoft applications, which also facilitated taking ownership of the system.”
“The three-staged implementation of the operational CRM and front-end system allowed users to assist the team’s effort with feedback from the early project stages,” added Andrea Balogh. “That’s another key success factor and it played a great role in succeeding in implementing a system, powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which can be put to good use in the branches and actually supports the sales process.”
“MKB Bank had committed to the implementation of the operational CRM and front-end system, so the project received special attention even from the top-level management,” said András Sebők. “We are happy to see that the new system allows our employees to do their job more efficiently, and they are sending very positive feedback with regard to the development project completed.”
Plans for the Future
Now MKB Bank intends to integrate as many banking processes into the functionality of the operational CRM and front-end functionality as possible, so that the entire sales process from the application to contract-making could be supported by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM-based solution.
The Bank expects the time required for sales-related processes to be cut as a result of the implementation, and efficiency increased. Quantifiable performance tracking will be also available when employees are able to use the new system proficiently. The scalability of the solution implemented also allows MKB Bank to extend the Microsoft Dynamics CRM-powered operational CRM and front-end system in the mid-term to the affiliate banks.
Microsoft Dynamics Microsoft
Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:
For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
For more information about Scale Solutions Kft. products and services, visit the Web site at:
For more information about MKB Bank Zrt. products and services, visit the Web site at: