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Fixed Income Giant builds customer-centric infrastructure to fuel grow

Supplier: Microsoft Dynamics
10 July, 2013

Chosen for its scalability and flexibility, Microsoft Dynamics CRM helped FIIG to increase customer visibility and insights, better track leads through its sales process and enrich customer experience.


As Australia's largest fixed income specialist, FIIG Securities Limited (FIIG) has over $10 billion of funds currently under investment. Focused on fixed income instruments from bonds, term deposits to cash services, FIIG positions itself as a trusted partner to its investors through its market-leading research, education initiatives and intelligent fixed income investment options.

Its unique proposition of providing direct access to both corporate and government bonds from parcels of $50,000 has increased the accessibility of bond investment for more investors and in turn fuelled its growth. Since 2010, the company has doubled its funds under investment from $5 to $10 billion and expanded its staff strength from 75 to 120 across its four offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

To effectively support and sustain continued growth, FIIG embarked on a technology transformation initiative to replace its core network and legacy in-house systems which had limited integrability, longevity and scalability. Commenting on the company's biggest technology investment since its founding in 1998, Mr Adrian Dixon, Chief Information Officer, FIIG Securities Limited said, "Instead of building a new system around our trading business, we wanted to re-architect our infrastructure and build a customer-centric platform around what our customers want and how we can better meet their needs.

An integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the vital backbone to give our customers access to online information and tools, while helping us monitor our leads through closure and achieve our goal to grow our client base to tens of thousands."

Familiar with the woes of a legacy CRM system that did not integrate well with its trading platform, at the top of FIIG's priorities was to find a CRM system that offered seamless integration, great usability and easy interoperability. After an extensive evaluation, Microsoft Dynamics was the only candidate. "Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives us the scalability and flexibility to evolve as we grow. Such adaptability and agility is vital in the highly dynamic financial services space, as it enables us to plug-in new capabilities to support trends such as e-trading, instead of re-investing in a new architecture," said Mr Dixon. Another impetus came from being an existing user of Microsoft office productivity solutions, as the team at FIIG were already productive with familiar Microsoft technologies. This ensured a smooth migration of FIIG's core asset – its vital business and customer data – onto Microsoft SQL server.

Having experienced excellent previous encounters with Avanade Australia (Avanade), Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Customer Relationship Management, FIIG naturally turned to Avanade to manage its Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation. "We needed the CRM system, integrated with our revamped website, to be up and running within six months. Avanade assembled a highly capable, skilled and experienced team to help us achieve that.

With their experience around the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with our existing environment, Avanade truly augmented our IT team and provided great leadership, knowledge and valued partnership throughout the project," beamed Mr Dixon. He added that Avanade's invitation to attend "Convergence", Microsoft's premier global conference for the Microsoft Dynamics community, also helped to seal FIIG's decision with confidence and assurance. The implementation was completed within the stringent six-month time frame and went 'live' in September 2012.


With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, FIIG successfully built a customer-centric platform to fuel robust growth. Increased customer tracking, enhanced tracking of leads through the sales process, enriched customer experience and better customer segmentation are some of the exciting benefits FIIG has gained.

Increased Visibility with Enhanced Tracking of Leads to Closure

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, leads can now be tracked from the web, allocated to work baskets and assigned to FIIG's respective offices for follow up. FIIG can now track the sales progress through the onboarding processes to the point where the customer is ready to execute the first trade. The enhanced visibility allows FIIG to efficiently forecast sales opportunities while streamlining its workflow.

Enhanced Customer Knowledge Raises Service Levels

FIIG is now able to retain knowledge of all customer correspondences within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Instead of depending on individual salesperson's relationship with each customer, the entire sales team is now equipped to service the customer, regardless of staff movement. Mr Dixon said, "Enhanced customer knowledge also gives us clearer visibility of the customer's investment mandates. This empowers us to proactively alert the customers to potential investment opportunities, which in turn increases our cross- and up-sell opportunities."

The new infrastructure also readies FIIG to eventually allow the staff to bring their own devices to work, which when coupled with remote mobile access to critical business and customer data, can help to shorten sales cycle in the long run.

Enriched Customer Experience with Online Access toInformation and Tools

One of the biggest benefits FIIG has gained is the ease in provisioning additional services to customers. For a start, FIIG have already implemented back-office processes within CRM to on-board new clients and these will soon be extended to its online platform, enabling customers to sign up and start trading on the same day
Once on-board, customers can help themselves to FIIG research papers, download monthly valuation reports, refer to full-set of bond prices, monitor the value of their investment portfolio and cash flows, and there are plans to extend this to allow clients to devise modeling scenarios to see potential yield and more -- all via the convenience of FIIG's portal.

Mr Dixon said, "Microsoft Dynamics CRM has empowered us to provide higher value-add and faster service to the customers. Instead of calling their dealers to ask for specific information, customers can now self-service via our user-friendly portal. By providing access to research, educational resources and self-help investment tools online, we are enhancing transparency and empowering investors with knowledge and insight to make calculated decisions. This has enriched our customers' experience with FIIG, strengthened our position as a trusted investment partner and is the way to go for today's digital savvy investors."

Enabled Better Customer Segmentation forDifferentiated Content Delivery andTargettedMarketing

Tight integration between its website and Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows FIIG to better segment its customers into wholesale, retail or trial investors. "Besides empowering targeted marketing, proper customer segmentation allows us to deliver differentiated research content and market information to different groups of customers. This is critical as we are bound by legislation to restrict access to sensitive investment information, such as company ratings can only be provided to wholesale investors," explained Mr Dixon.

Increased Data Quality and Security

Microsoft Dynamics CRM's built-in security complies with FIIG's mandate to safeguard its critical business and customer data, while meeting regulatory guidelines stipulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). "Prior to choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there was an earlier board decision to go with a cloud-based CRM system. Upon joining FIIG, I reviewed that decision as I was uncertain about its security capabilities to support our mission-critical business which required data retention within our jurisdiction. That explains our investments in Tier 1 data centers and the commitment to adopt best practices to ensure highest security levels," shared Mr Dixon. With enhanced security comes increased data quality, which also sped up management decision-making.

Key Enabler for Growth

To Mr Dixon, the most exciting outcome gained is the enhanced customer visibility and insight. He said, "Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with its flexibility and scalability, is a key enabler to help us meet our growth target. By empowering better efficiency across our sales, marketing and customer service functions, it allows our staff to spend more time servicing the clients and less time with manual tasks. With simplified workflows and streamlined processes, we expect to sustain our growth as we roll-out more customer-centric capabilities that draw more customers to FIIG."

Looking ahead, FIIG looks forward to the integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which will tighten the integration between its trading, back-end and front-end systems to further raise customer service levels.