Wallstreet Suite is long-established as the core system used by SEB Estonia for its treasury and capital markets and asset management activities. Under the technical leadership of Tõnu Tomann, IT Development Manager, Treasury and Capital Markets, the IT support team has developed a strong capability in its core system and is able to draw on its specialist knowledge of the software to manage upgrade and development projects in-house.
When SEB Estonia planned to upgrade from version 6.5 to 7.4 last year, the need to secure some additional support for the team quickly became clear. Firstly, this was a larger than usual project, as Tomann explains: “We had decided to re-implement the software from factory settings and this meant migrating all our active static data as well as instruments and positions - a very large amount of data.” As well as additional resources, Tomann realised some extra expertise would also be required: as part of this upgrade, the system's accounting module would be implemented for the first time at SEB Estonia. “We didn’t have any inhouse experience of the accounting module and we knew it would be better to bring in and learn from someone who did.” Deadlines for the implementation were also extremely tight.
SkySparc’s consultants were really part of the team and we learnt from their knowledge. They brought SkySparc’s experience to our migration approach and solved or speeded up a number of tasks and challenges along the way.
Tõnu Tomann, IT Development Manager, Treasury and Capital Markets, SEB Pank Estonia
The upgrade project was divided into two phases. SEB Estonia asked SkySparc to assist during the asset management phase of the project. “SkySparc’s consultants have excellent knowledge of our core system, as well as a deep understanding of financial instruments, so we knew they would bring the additional skills as well as resources we needed. The fit was right for us,” comments Tomann.
SkySparc was to be responsible for migrating the active instruments and positions, implementing the accounting module and performing the reconciliation and testing. “SkySparc used their testing application to automate the testing and reconciliation and this really saved us so much time,” comments Tomann. “I don’t think we would have been able to manage the testing required manually; we would have been faced with developing multiple scripts from scratch.”
SkySparc also supported on the migration of the static data. Tomann says that SkySparc’s consultants not only delivered the resources needed to cut through some heavy migration tasks, they also brought ideas during an intensive phase of the project. “They were really part of the team and we learnt from their knowledge. They brought SkySparc’s experience to our migration approach and solved or speeded up a number of tasks and challenges along the way,” he says.
SkySparc’s knowledge of the accounting module was particularly critical to the success of the project. Because SkySparc has experience of implementing the module for several clients, SEB Estonia was able to benefit from this experience and avoid too steep a learning curve. Several workshops were held early in the project in order to plan how to migrate the accounting data. SkySparc then managed the configuration of the system and migrated the data.
SEB Pank’s objective was to migrate all static data and implement version 7.4 at SEB Asset Management Estonia and the private investment department by the end of 2012, with no interruptions to business as usual. This ambitious deadline was successfully achieved. In part this was a compliance project, because SEB Pank Estonia’s previous version is no longer supported, but the bank’s users are also pleased with the significant new functionality now available, including a fully-integrated accounting module.
This was an unusually large project for SEB Pank Estonia. Not only did the upgrade involve significant new functionality, but the decision to cleanse and refresh all the static data added considerably to the task. And SEB Pank Estonia had a large number of positions to migrate, covering over 300 private client portfolios and funds as well as its inhouse positions.
“This was a big project for us with some unfamiliar areas, but with SkySparc’s help we were able to successfully meet our objectives and deal with issues before rather than after go-live,” says Tomann.
He particularly praises SkySparc’s consultants for their problem-solving skills, experience and the excellent communication throughout the project.