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New solutions are constantly emerging in the leasing industry, shaping the digital services and bringing them to a whole new level. One of the catalysts for this change is Ailleron, which implemented an innovative Customer Portal at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions in 2020. The project called “Turn On Online Leasing” gained a lot of interest. We look at its details in an interview for the fintek.pl website, which, thanks to the conversation with Paweł Krasuski, Executive Sales Director at LeaseTech Ailleron, and Krzysztof Ziomek, COO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, shows the backstage of the implemented technology. Courtesy of fintek.pl, we provide the full content of the conversation on our website.
Krzysztof Ziomek is a COO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions. He is a manager with over 20 years of experience in the financial services market. He has skills in the field of operations, project and IT management. For years, he has been focused on process optimization for customer satisfaction with the use of advanced technologies.
Paweł Krasuski is Executive Sales Director at LeaseTech Ailleron. He is an experienced manager specializing in managing sales structures in a large financial organization and selling IT solutions for the financial sector (FinTech area). Currently, he is fully involved in the development and sale of IT platforms for companies from the leasing services industry.
Rafał Tomaszewski: What was the main reason why BNP Paribas LS decided to implement a Self-Service Platform for customers? What was the main goal, and what were the expectations for this investment?
Krzysztof Ziomek: In the modern business world, quick access to information is crucial. The Self-Service Platform created with Ailleron, which we dedicate to our clients, allows you to contact us from anywhere, at any time, using stationary or mobile tools. Our goal is to systematically develop the feature of this solution, so that in the near future it becomes the main platform for communication and processing of all customer issues. We are particularly focused on the development of self-service functionalities. Looking at how quickly the Portal has gained popularity among our clients, I am convinced that we are going in the right direction.
R.T.: How did you plan the preparations for the implementation of the Platform for your clients? How did you respond to their requirements relating to today’s extremely high UX/UI standards?
K.Z.: We did it in the only right way – we simply invited our clients to join this project, creating the so-called Friends & Family Group. From the very beginning, we were convinced that while implementing this project, we must, first, consider the needs, preferences and expectations of those who will use the application.
Creative workshops about building an appropriate Customer Experience, conducted together with Ailleron, also proved to be very valuable for the final shape of the solution – this really allowed us to boldly submit and implement the ideas that initially seemed impossible to be introduced.
The functional scope, ergonomics of the tool, intuitive operation and the final effect are the merits of our clients, whom I would like to thank once again on behalf of the entire Project Team.
R.T.: And how does Ailleron LeaseTech meet the need of constantly growing requirements regarding the UX/UI area and Customer Journey in general?
P.K.: Regardless of the type of service, customer satisfaction assessment is the most valuable information and an indicator of quality. Proper preparation of the UX / UI layer for our platforms is particularly important and difficult at the same time. Among the areas that we thoroughly analyze before starting the design work there are the navigation area and the number of steps in the process.
We must remember that users are easily discouraged by too many steps in the service processes and they like to know where they are. Another critical area concerns the visual qualities and interface standards. The right UX makes the process seem transparent and friendly.
A frequent practice used to ensure an appropriate UI/UX quality is the use of Design Sprint workshops carried out by specialized experts. This usually happens with the use of questionnaire or focus research.
Knowing how important this element is, we dedicated a specially appointed team of outstanding experts in this area to complete this task. Should the client request that, we also conduct UX/UI quality audits of IT solutions, especially those where the end users are the final recipients of our clients’ services.
R.T.: In that case, what was the biggest challenge in implementing this project?
K.Z.: From the point of view of a company providing clients with the full range of information that is the basis of our cooperation, the key challenge for us was ensuring the data quality. From the very beginning of the project, this element was with us at every stage, and it was crucial for the final success. The full mobilization of many areas of the company around systematic care for data quality and the attitude of Project Teams on both sides made our business processes safe and fully transparent for our clients.
P.K .: With each IT project of this type, new operational challenges appear, and they are difficult to predict at the initial stage of presenting the demo solutions. In this case, they included, for example, advanced integration with the BNP Paribas online banking platform, providing the Portal to customers using several sales channels, or the need to provide multiple IT environments for efficient testing of the solution.
However, it should be emphasized that the high quality of cooperation and transparency of both Project Teams made it possible to successfully face these challenges without major difficulties.
R.T.: Is there anything that distinguishes your cooperation with Ailleron in a special way? I mean, not only the period of implementation, but also the company’s attitude immediately after launching the Portal.
K.Z.: I think that the great effects of our cooperation so far, based, on the one hand, on a partnership approach, extensive experience and understanding of the industry in which we operate, and, on the other hand, on finding effective solutions together, have made us know each other well enough that we can easily plan next, joint projects.
R.T.: What activities make you guarantee the effectiveness of project work on daily basis, and thus cooperation with your clients?
P.K.: It may sound quite banal, but our experience shows that good communication is the key to working with clients. For our part, we try to very specifically set the levels of communication, indicate people responsible for it on each of them and constantly monitor for any misunderstandings, which, in some cases, may turn into serious difficulties in cooperation.
During the pandemic, when our contacts are often limited to remote communication channels, maintaining customer relationships is particularly important – that’s why we conduct regular development meetings during which we inspire each other, present our plans and discuss current customer challenges.
Integration meetings, both at the managerial level and at the level of individual members of project teams, also play a significant part in this kind of relations, which, even in this digitized formula, effectively allow to maintain the spirit of fruitful cooperation.
R.T.: Was there anything special in the cooperation with BNP LS that positively influenced the effectiveness of cooperation and ultimately ensured satisfaction with the implementation of the platform for both parties?
P.K.: Openness and many sincere conversations were certainly such a factor. The ongoing exchange of information about the status of works and regular consultations allowed us to easily meet the ambitious goals related to the implementation of the jointly adopted functional scope of the project or schedules.
Moreover, relations based on mutual responsibility and trust allowed us to successfully complete the project implementation phase and start a new stage of development works using Agile cooperation methodologies. Thanks to this, we operate more flexibly and efficiently respond to the most urgent needs of the clients, which simply pays off in the dynamically changing environment.
This confirms that if appropriate team attitudes are ensured on both sides, there is basically no situation in which it would be impossible to find a solution that would satisfy each of them. And that’s exactly what happened in this case, without revealing details that will remain known only to our companies.
R.T.: How did the implementation of the Customer Portal system affect the relationship with your customers?
K.Z.: I am convinced that we have come closer to each other in terms of understanding our needs, priorities and assessments of cooperation. It is invaluable knowledge which is the basis for systematic work on processes and supporting tools. The fact that we are constantly assessed by customers greatly mobilizes our employees, which makes us even more enthusiastic to provide services at the highest level.
R.T.: What are the plans for the development of this type of Platform?
K.Z.: We are fully aware that solutions such as the Customer Portal must constantly develop, offering an even wider range of functionalities. We want the popularity of our tool to increase systematically among customers. We want to focus on the development of self-service mechanisms, develop the Portal’s integration with our Business Process Management system and integrate with the sales front end.
In this way, we will enable our clients to process sales transactions on their own and meet the growing market expectations in e-commerce and the current requirements of entrepreneurs.
In addition to the development of the litigation side, we would like to strengthen the entire sphere of communication, offering recipients increasing access to information, while limiting direct contact with a leasing company employee only to areas where it is necessary.
R.T.: What would you suggest leasing companies planning a similar investment?
K.Z.: First, I would be surprised that they do not have such solutions yet, secondly, I would say briefly – it’s time to change it.