Self-developed solutions for planning and collecting IT services as well as calculation and allocation of emerging costs grew in many companies historically, and are customized to the special needs of a company.
But these solutions often share one thing: They often cannot adapt quickly or be flexible enough to changing requests from the business. Also, many different tools have to be integrated into one another as data sources. This may cause crashes at the missing interfaces. Here, a decomposing of the different datasets is needed in order to optimize the traceability of accounting and allocating. Thereby, the IT needs a trustworthy database that unifies all the needed factors and makes all encompassing IT controls possible.
Today, reliable predictability of IT services is a factor the core business of many companies directly depends on. This holds especially for the financial sector. The VTB Bank (Germany) AG – the former Ost-West-Handelsbank AG – has successfully implemented a new IT performance management solution with nicetec that supports the planning and budgeting process in a traceable way.
This is because one has to know current and future IT requirements, in detail, to ensure that equipment and performance provide optimal service for the core business at any time.
As a reliable and competent partner, the VTB Bank from Frankfurt has consulted companies and banks in handling of deals in Russia and other countries in the CIS for more than 35 years. It is one of the leading financial institutions for consulting and handling of German-Russian trade relationships and possesses a continuously growing network of more than 450 correspondent banks in Russia and the CIS alone, which enables payments even in far-out areas of the CIS.
Due to increasing complexity, the recording, control and analysis of IT becomes more and more time-consuming with the given resources. Earlier, a proprietary budget database was used to record and categorize costs and categories at the VTB Bank. But contract management, as well as manual maintenance and processing of the data for report creation, was very difficult with this approach.
So, the task was to gain even more transparency of IT services and costs and to significantly simplify planning in the medium term. Thereby, the IT financial controlling module of the controlling platform netinsight by nicetec formed the new core part. Heiko Unverzagt, head of IT in the VTB Bank, commented: “Next to the functional covering of all relevant requirements and costs, easy handling was an important selection criterion for our new IT controlling system.“
This way in 2006 the VTB Bank found the right partner in the provider nicetec for the allocation of cost categories, processing of bills, annual budgeting and mid-term planning, reporting, and contracting, and to implement the new system. Unverzagt explains: “For us, the fact that the creation of bills and planning was simplified significantly by contract management was a special advantage of netinsight.”
Of course, special requirements of the VTB IT division influenced the integration of the systems with netinsight. Via the central database, the platform also is connected to the business intelligence tool “Oracle Discoverer,” so that the IT division of the VTB Bank can create reports on its own. In the first step, we have defined a new cost category schema together with our customer in which all IT costs were allocated – maintenance, investment, infrastructure, communication, and operating, as far as project costs are itemized for software, hardware, and external services. Afterward, all IT products were labeled with an accordant cost category label, so that detailed cost analysis became possible.
For Ralf Meyer, president of nicetec, close cooperation in all stages of the introduction of a new platform is important as a matter of course: “We set a high value to do improvements of IT projects jointly with our customers.”
Even if this paradigm might sound self-evident, in the project of nicetec and the VTB Bank, this worked very well, as Unverzagt affirms. He praises the high flexibility of nicetec as a software manufacturer and service provider, who took care of appearing difficulties and solved them immediately in a quick and professional manner. “The introduction phase did not take very much time and the live operation was virtually always warranted. We are not used to this with other providers.”
All suggestions for improvement and additional requirements of the VTB bank were realized by nicetec immediately. Unverzagt says: “For us, it was very important that we, as a customer, play an active role in the process of implementation. Thereby, we have developed the project further and optimized it jointly with nicetec.”
The IT organization achieved a large increase in efficiency by the significantly simplified and automated bill creation with seamless inclusion of the contract management. Since the data no longer is typed in manually, the IT division saves not only time and manpower but also money. The data quality was increased significantly as well, and possible error sources were eliminated as far as possible.
So, next to the increased transparency of IT costs and services another special advantage is the improved planning ability, which was not possible before.
The influence of the customer and user did not end with the introduction and implementation of the system. The VTB Bank and nicetec are still in touch to determine new potentials for optimization from practical application. In addition, further functions of netinsight will be applied by VTB. So IT manager Unverzagt resets internal processes with his division, to perform cost center calculations with netinsight in the future.
This is far from being the end of the potentials that netinsight provides. But from this cooperation, customer and service provider benefit to the same degree by identifying and realizing new potentials for optimization from the practical application.
The VTB Bank Germany AG implemented netinsight from nicetec as a new IT finance management solution, in order to carry out their planning and budgeting processes for the whole of their IT services using only one solution. One essential requirement in this project was to achieve greater transparency of IT services and costs as well as to make medium term planning significantly easier. You can read in the case study about which requirements were fulfilled and which project goals were achieved.