Promontory Interfinancial Network’s innovative financial deposit products require fully automated solutions due to complex calculations and high volume. Their financial solutions business was built on a technology infrastructure that supplied 100% of the functionality to provide service to their customers. Which worked great … until it didn’t.
Defining the Vision
“We were looking for a diligent and careful vendor that understood the role of technology. Ultimately, because Promontory’s business is software-based, we were looking for a partner to support our business initiatives. It was very important to me that our technology partner used business decisions to drive the technology, not the other way around. We needed a partner to enable us, not shape us,” explained Promontory Interfinancial Network Vice President for Business Operations, Robert Hyland.
Promontory contacted Fusionapps, initially, for help building a portal for an existing transaction system built by a third party. Once completed, the majority of the project work became nothing more than creating work around solutions for the third party built faltering application. The existing system was struggling under the strain of immense growth in use. It couldn’t keep up when demand quickly grew to over $25 billion worth of managed funds. Promontory’s own and clients’ needs were not being met. They had to have a better solution.
Our Thought Leaders conducted an intensive Visioning Session with Promontory’s leadership. What we saw was a problem larger than a series of bugs.
“Our business needs to be efficient, reliable, and of a consistently high quality, just like any other business. A small mistake can mean millions in lost revenue. There’s a huge amount of risk in not doing things correctly,” said Hyland.
Promontory faced a common problem. Their software solutions weren’t meeting present expectations and couldn’t scale fast enough. The unique value of a Fusionapps custom product is that it can stem the bleed while simultaneously building a new solution that will work better, faster, and more efficiently.
The vision we created was twofold. It entailed keeping a failing system running — to ensure no service disruption — while completely scoping a new system to handle the existing business needs and scale for the future, a future that was growing as fast as technology itself.
A custom solution is much more about the needs of the business, their customers, and their employees than it is about using the latest technology. Those needs heavily inform the development trajectory of the final product. The Fusionapps team saw a number of workarounds being employed to make up for the existing platform’s shortcomings.
Workarounds are a telltale sign that the system isn’t working properly and is running inefficiently. They’re also a common problem with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems.
A true solution would necessitate a close relationship with the Promontory team to ensure that the new system would have none of the failings of the existing system.
Building the Solution
We set to working with Promontory to build the new system we envisioned.
The implementation process involved key Promontory staff working on-site at Fusionapps with their dedicated team to deconstruct their existing programs and map out feature enhancements.
“It came to the point that Fusionapps developers were indistinguishable from our own employees. Their style of collaboration has been very effective for Promontory,” said Hyland.
“The financial space is particularly complicated, and our technology and infrastructure needs are total. It’s scary to outsource this integral part of our business to a vendor who wants to essentially control, manage, and direct the core component of our business, offsite. Instead, the relationship that Fusionapps offered was very much that of a partner. Our solutions have to work, all the time, otherwise there is no business. And that’s why the Fusionapps relationship worked so well for us. Fusionapps is part of our family.”
Lessons and Iteration
“[Fusionapps] was able to keep our systems running while being a true partner in developing a new solution that ensured that our business could continue to provide the same high-level of service for our clients now and into the future. The solution they delivered was on time, on budget, and exceeded every expectation,” said Hyland.
We continue to maintain and monitor the performance of the Promontory custom solution. In particular, this includes having the dedicated Promontory team measuring performance daily against benchmarks that were established throughout the development and production processes. The Fusionapps process enables us to tweak system processes as needed to meet changing or emerging needs, which are made evident by performance against these benchmarks.
The Fusionapps Vision > Build > Learn methodology put us in a unique position to identify Promontory’s system pain points and see what exactly was needed to maximize their business potential.