How NAB transforms the world's most complex Salesforce structure

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National Australia Bank is ambitiously transforming its broker software platform, which is considered the most complex Salesforce structure in the world.

In the context of a broader transformation of customer relationship management, the brokerage division of the retail bank takes just under a year to update the online customer relationship management system called NAB Podium.

The platform is used by the three aggregators of NAB – or intermediaries between the bank and brokers – known as PLAN, Choice and FAST, and supports registration with 52 different lenders.

That's about 25% of the Australian brokerage market, which is about $ 50 billion of loan transactions a year.

Credit brokerage capacity is a differentiating factor for NAB because the institution has always had a strong hold on the business and commercial loan market and the service market relative to its peers.

Despite its leading market position in 2014 after significant investment from the bank, the Podium aggregation platform has begun to lag behind its expanding competitors .

"With the rapid evolution of the digital environment, we can no longer keep pace," said Podium Digital Product Manager Dan McCoy at the Salesforce Global Tour in Sydney last week, adding that platform was now ranked fourth.

This was largely due to complaints from customers who had told the bank that its platform, consisting of 2,800 instances of the Salesforce Classic user interface deployed, as well as other tools and codes developed internally on measured, was slow, and its user interface was cumbersome and difficult to use. .

However, the complexity of the infrastructure underlying the application made it difficult to deploy changes, with the team still producing quarterly versions while competitors moving every month.

"We actually have the most complex Salesforce structure in the world and its folklore – not just in Australia, but also in the US now – because we're faced with a lot of business cases with product teams to get you help to understand and find this solution. "Said McCoy.

In April, the bank undertook to review the platform by examining the current architecture of Podium, which led the Salesforce Enforce advisory team to understand if it was possible to simplify 2800 instances of the platform within a single community of partners.

Until then, the bank did not know if it was possible to reformulate the existing complexity on a single instance.

"Through this commitment, we have truly proven this proof of concept that we can use partners and the customer community to achieve this goal," said McCoy.

"At that time, the technicians withdrew and said," Okay, let's go back to what we have now and put it down ", and that's when we had a good conversation solid, there is an opportunity to change the whole experience for our customers, and really take it to a higher level. "

"Not just from the customer experience, but also from an infrastructure, a deployment, and so on.

As a result of this review, Salesforce began a 12-week commitment to conceptualize the new platform in early January. The team was quick to produce results.

"Literally [in] In the space of two or three weeks, we had in fact already built a fundamental set of features, "said Sachin Siddalingaswamy, senior program architect at Salesforce, adding that this had been accelerated through the use from a number of existing resources.

"So we had a head start based on a number of publicly available resources, but we had to design the prototype initial sketch, which we then evaluated with the users and sought their comments in February and March." .

During this process, "high level discussions" were held with key stakeholders from the three Choice, PLAN and FAST aggregators to understand the issues and areas in which change was required.

McCoy said the resulting prototypes were "critical" to secure investments in the next round of funding.

"We go through funding channels with the bank, so we built prototypes, clickable prototypes and a visual representation of where we want to go, which made conversations a lot easier, which was essential," did he declare.

The podium distribution manager, Stam Gonopoulos, said updating the podium would result in the bank's migration to "a Lightning platform, with a single organization," which was currently operating through 39, a continuous and agile delivery.

He said it would create "387 new screens," 200 reusable Lightning components to minimize development and testing efforts, as well as 2,000 custom fields. It is also necessary that the new single instance integrates with 30 external applications.

A massive six-month migration of the "three terabytes of data and 1.5 billion records" contained in thousands of Salesforce instances based on different data models into one would also take place from the middle of l & # 39; year.

This is part of a broader transformation strategy that has already introduced a new digital access platform and an alternative provider for hosting.