Integration: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

March 25, 2019
Gregg Early

It’s one thing to shop for a new fintech platform. It’s another to actually buy one.

Then it’s entirely another to integrate that platform into your current operations. This is the culmination of all that planning, researching, negotiating and spending.

It can be a very harrowing experience. Or, it can be a dynamic experience with a new and valuable client.

“We know that we’re the first impression that a new client gets of our service platform,” says Geezeo’s Senior Vice-President of Operations Sheri Dreitlein, “and we’ve built our integration protocols to make sure it’s a very positive one.”

“The new client has put a lot on the line and the sales and management teams have moved the ball down the field; it’s our job to take it across the line.”

Anyone who has been involved in the integration process knows that whatever else has been said or done matters little when it comes to pulling together with a new company and launching a new integrated platform.

Planning and Strategy Is Where It's At

The biggest consideration in making implementations successful is doing proper planning before starting. Working smart gets you a lot closer to your goal a lot faster than throwing bodies at the challenge. This is no time for brute force.

Implementation, while the tangible aspect of partnering with a fintech or core provider, is a bit more complex than plugging in a few cables and flipping a couple of switches. It takes a good initial strategy, a strong team to implement the strategy and a lot of smart people on both ends to get that rubber rolling down the road.

“We built our team from scratch many years ago, and now we have a team that not only provides every aspect of implementation, project management, end-user support, and channel partner management, but we do it so that our core team is now able to scale up quickly,” says Dreitlein.

Being able to run light and scale quickly is advantageous to new clients because it means they get faster implementations. That’s crucial because it means the new clients don’t waste time getting the new platform operational.

End-User Buy-In Matters

End-user support is also crucial. As is reaching out to channel partners to make sure that best practices are established for their integration from the start. That way, when you finally flip the switch everyone is up and running as expected.

“Because we took the time build smart from the outset, it has really paid off as we have grown our client base,” observes Dreitlein. “For example, between 2017 and 2018 we experienced as 446% increase in client implementations, yet we did it hardly any increase in staff headcount. We designed the departmental and workflow structure for this kind of scalability.”

“What we’re also seeing is that because we designed strong implementation protocols from the outset, we’re seeing fewer support tickets on the back end. That’s a sign we’re asking the right questions and working well with our clients – the system is working. And that’s a really good thing at this point since we now have more than 500 clients.”

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