Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Bank ($6.6 billion in assets) is driven by a customer-centric vision. "Our shared mission is to know our customers and anticipate their needs; advocate and advise; innovate and surprise," the bank's formal mission statement reads. To accomplish this mission, UMB needed to integrate customer information across all lines of business to get a better view of its customers, relates Kanon Cozad, SVP and director of application development for the bank.
So in 2005, UMB began a major initiative to deploy a unified customer relationship management (CRM) system. "The goal was to provide a more holistic view of the customer base than we were able to provide before," Cozad says, adding that the bank selected the Siebel Universal Customer Master (UCM) -- now Oracle (Redwood Shores, Calif.) UCM -- as the backbone of its CRM system.
"At that point, we needed to undertake a different approach to aggregating customer information," Cozad continues, explaining that pulling data from disparate back-end host systems to create a universal customer data information (CDI) system is a major challenge. So the bank set out on a search for a solution that would extract and aggregate customer information. UMB also needed data governance technology to cleanse, analyze and match the data, Cozad adds.
UMB turned to Trillium Software, an affiliate of CRM provider Harte-Hanks (San Antonio, Texas), to consolidate its data into a single record for each customer. According to Cozad, Billerica, Mass.-based Trillium's data quality and governance solution interfaces well with the Oracle UCM products, which put it ahead of its competitors, and UMB has used a Trillium solution to scrub information for the bank's primary deposit system since about 2000. "We really thought we'd stick with Trillium and didn't entertain any other product," he says.
With Trillium on board, the bank completed the data consolidation portion of the project and went live with the CDI platform in early 2006. Implementing the Trillium software was relatively easy, Cozad says. "We didn't have to buy a great deal of components," he recalls. "It interfaces naturally with the [Oracle] product." Cozad notes that the bank did have to add some physical processing capacity.
The biggest challenge was helping the bank's information quality analysts adjust to a "new way of thinking about large-scale information aggregation," Cozad says. Because the system leverages business rules, employees had to "be able to reflect and design the logic and determine what we want to look like and [then] code that into the Trillium system," he explains. "We understood what went into coding -- it was the design of what we wanted to do that was the biggest challenge." UMB utilized Trillium's professional services to understand the particulars, Cozad adds.
Although it took several months to develop the business rules, according to Cozad, the Trillium system now works in real time, enabling UMB to deliver high-quality, integrated customer data to its lines of business. "I've gotten a number of comments from users who say, 'Wow, we've never been able to look at overall customer relationships in this way before,'" Cozad relates.
Even though the bank has experienced excellent results from the project, however, Cozad warns other banks not to underestimate the effort required for a data quality initiative. He advises banks not to view the project as purely technical and to consult with the business units for requirements. In fact, Cozad points out, UMB's CRM project was a mandate for the bank's top business executives, not its IT department.
Institution: UMB Bank (Kansas City, Mo.).
Assets: $6.6 billion.
Business Challenge: Unify data to create one record for each customer.
Solution: Trillium Software's (Billerica, Mass.) data quality and data governance solution.