A sales manager of Institutional Equities, a business unit (BU) of Kotak Securities, that is a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank, doesn’t have to spend time on taking stock of day’s sales. Two years ago, the same activity would consume most of his day—a time when his BU did not use a sales management tool. Huge time saving is one of the several benefits that sales heads in Kotak’s Institutional Equities witness due to the rollout of Oracle CRM on demand, the public cloud version of CRM tool for sales management.
Need for sales management tool
Institutional Equities targets institutions that want to invest in India. Although highly dependent on IT for its core business processes, the BU didn’t have an automation tool for sales management. With the growth in business prospects it felt the need for a sales management tool, and this was how a CRM project was conceived in Q4 of 2009.
“Our sales function did not involve the use of any management tool. To communicate, the sales team relied on time-consuming methods. Using a sales management tool had therefore become a must,” recalls Paromita Joseph, functional program manager, CRM project at Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Why public cloud?
Kotak Mahindra Bank evaluated some of the leading CRM solutions but selected Oracle’s sales management tool, CRM on Demand due to its flexibility and process maturity. Being an independent BU, Institutional Equities was chosen for the pilot run of public cloud version of the sales management tool.
“The primary consideration before opting for public cloud was information security. We wanted to ensure that no financial or customer information was sent to the cloud. We reviewed the solution in detail as per our policy for third party hosting,” informs Aruna Rao, executive vice president & group CTO at Kotak Mahindra Bank. This was also why the public cloud model was not chosen for other BUs. The bank’s other businesses needed extensive service management due to their expansive business spread and large number of customers.
“The service management function would have entailed sending financial and customer data to the cloud,” explains Joseph. As a result, the public cloud option was confined to Institutional Equities where the sensitivity of business information was not high.
Sales management tool: Checks
Prior to the rollout, Kotak Bank examined the reputation and reliability of Oracle’s CRM on Demand. “We assessed Oracle’s response to a detailed questionnaire. It covered IT infrastructure security procedures, data privacy, segregation of duties, access authorization procedures, general security awareness, and disciplinary provisions in case of violation of terms, etc,” informs Agnelo D’souza, CISO at Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Kotak Bank took the following security measures.
- All enterprise laptops were loaded with 256-bit full disk encryption and a removable media blocker.
- The organization, as a policy, advised its employees to use only the company-provided computers for business.
- Rules were set about selective automated backup of critical information to central storage system.
On its part, Oracle offered separate secure virtual server with appropriate authorization provisions for bank’s data. Oracle also agreed for a 99.5% service uptime.
Benefits to the business
Though Kotak Bank hasn’t assessed the tangible benefits of the public cloud version of Oracle CRM tool for sales management, it has experienced several intangible benefits.
- Public cloud has ensured that the rollout of sales management tool was completed within a month.
- The tool has brought predictability to sales management.
- Lead management has become effective.
- Daily reporting and reviews have become fast.
- The tool has left no room for manipulation by sales or management staff.
- Collaboration between the sales and research teams has improved.
- Detailed lead history with background information is maintained.
Optimism about the public cloud
Although rolled out as a pilot project, the coverage of sales management tool on public cloud has expanded. From 30 salespersons initially, it is accessed by 60 salespersons today. Recently, the bank deployed Oracle CRM on Demand for its international business in Britain. Going forward, it plans to evaluate other public cloud-based applications.