Last week marked a key milestone for a National Australia Bank push to modernise and rationalise its CRM landscape – a strategy underpinned by Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM system. After modest beginnings last year, NAB has finished migrating all of its small business bankers to Salesforce.
Ultimately, some 10,000 people are expected to use cross-bank Salesforce instance. A little over 12 months ago a compact team comprising a handful of people was tasked with the ambitious program. A year on and that team has grown to more than 100 people, the Salesforce World Tour conference in Sydney heard yesterday.
Although the aim is to roll out the platform across the bank, “We also knew we would have to start somewhere,” Amilia Hird, NAB’s product owner, CRM, said.
The rollout began in NAB’s business banking arm in July last year – a natural choice because of NAB’s ambition to be the “world’s best business bank,” Hird said. To begin with, just 29 bankers were given access to Salesforce. For the first time that enabled them to get access to customer data on their mobile devices – giving them the opportunity to leverage the CRM system while they were out meeting customers.
“This was a great way for us to test and learn not only the technology but our change approach -- how we roll out and engage with bankers,” Hird said. “It meant that very quickly we had a feedback loop back to our delivery teams.”
“We knew right from the get-go that the value of bankers using Salesforce and our staff using Salesforce came from the organisation-wide taking Salesforce on and where possible using it in the same way,” Hird said.
NAB is one of the first organisations in Australia to employ the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Kirsten Roach, NAB’s head of technology – CRM sales and service, told the conference. The bank is using Shield to encrypt data and a number of its developers are using Salesforce DX for lifecycle management.
Hird said it remains a “huge task ahead” to roll Salesforce out in the complex environment of NAB. “We’re continuing to release features – and [as of] last Monday the rest of those 29 bankers’ teams are now using Salesforce as well,” she told the conference.
The next step will be finish delivering it to other teams in the business bank before moving on to the rest of the group.
The rollout is part of delivering on the bank’s ‘One NAB’ strategy of simplification, Roach said
At the start of the cross-bank Salesforce implementation the CRM team was faced with a complex environment that included 12 systems dealing with customer management and sales management.
“That’s really quite difficult in terms of making change,” she said. “Quite often you have to make a change across multiple platforms at the same time to sustain capability. It’s also really hard to retain skills.”
Those systems included a Siebel 6.2 instance that Roach said had “code from 15 years ago when I was a child”, some Oracle CRM On Demand, and a number of existing Salesforce instances.
“One of the key pillars of NAB’s strategy has been around simplification. That’s not only from a technology standpoint in terms of consolidating and having one asset to maintain – it’s also in terms of the bankers’ experience, in terms of the number of applications we’re asking them to use,” she added.
Roach said that master data sits outside Salesforce, so integration has been an ongoing challenge for her team. At first, data was delivered through a daily batch update.
“Very soon we were challenged to put AWS into the mix and get real-time customer updates to our bankers – so not only are we rolling out Salesforce we’re rolling out a new technology in AWS and training our people on that… for the first time ever we’ve put customer data in the hands of bankers on their mobile phones, which is unheard of in our organisation.”
Roach’s team has focused on the future with a “roadmap view,” she said, making sure that the system could scale.
“This roadmap view meant we knew there was a lot more work coming,” she said. From the start, they have taken a DevOps approach including automated testing, automated deployment and code scans. Even when only 29 bankers had access to the instance those bankers “had this great big infrastructure behind them [because there] was very soon going to start being a lot more bankers,” she said.
The Salesforce implementation and move to slash the complexity of the bank’s CRM landscape take place amid a broader push by NAB to leverage cloud services. The bank revealed last year that by the end of 2019 it intends to move more than 300 applications, including some core banking systems, to the cloud.
In the 12 months to the end of September 2018, NAB migrated 3 per cent of its applications to the cloud. The bank has an internal cloud training program call ‘NAB Cloud Guild’.