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The Customer

With over 66 years of experience in the fund business and assets under management of 413 billion euros, Union Investment is one of the leading fund companies in Germany. Around 5.8 million private and institutional clients use its investment solutions, employing around 4,305 people.

The group is part of the Genossenschaftliche Finanzgruppe, a network of more than 1,000 cooperative banks and associated financial services companies in Germany.

The Challenge

In order to meet the requirements of over 800 users, Union Investment decided to implement a future-proof CRM system for the efficient and transparent management of customer data and relationships.

The existing CRM system was outdated and was to be replaced by a modern standard system based on the latest technology. Support for the entire environment was becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming.

Within the scope of the project, the challenge was to replace the historically grown, monolithic overall system with Microsoft Dynamics and thus create a technological basis for future market cultivation. The goal was to develop a CRM system that would meet the requirements of the future and enable Union Investment to effectively implement its market cultivation strategies.

The Goal

To implement a new CRM system based on Microsoft Dynamics 365. When selecting the system, the focus was on extended online capabilities and a SaaS solution. Union Investment was aiming for an end-to-end solution that would enable marketing and sales in particular to work together more efficiently within the company and offer greater transparency.

A key concern was the integration of Union Investment’s two major customer groups into the new CRM system. In addition, it was to provide a smooth user experience for the approximately 800 sales employees.

To achieve this ambitious goal, Union Investment chose Hitachi Solutions for support and advice. This partnership was to enable a comprehensive transformation and implementation and ensure that the new CRM system was optimally adapted to the company’s requirements.

What was the initial task?

The following factors were decisive: Hitachi Solutions offered a customised consulting service based on their extensive technology expertise and industry affinity in Financial Services. As an all-in-one package, their service included business analysis, consulting, implementation and extensive Scrum skills from a single source.

With expertise in CRM and a long-standing partnership with Microsoft, Hitachi Solutions was able to optimally implement Union Investment’s CRM system. The implementation solution “Fast Track” was also used in the process.

Hitachi Solutions took responsibility for the agile implementation of Union Investment’s roadmap. They managed the sales area and actively supported other work streams. This included working with other consultants and developers from external service providers as well as working closely with various areas within Union Investment.

The go-live took place in September 2022 with an approach across three work streams:

  • Sales: Transfer data from institutional and private customers as well as product data and information from the legacy system to the new CRM. The goal: every VR bank/every Geno service provider was to be mirrored in the system.
  • Architecture: Integration of existing systems.
  • Marketing: Activation of an interface between Sales and Marketing for constant smooth data exchange, providing a 360-degree perspective on each customer, and for managing events.

The Solution

The architecture of the new CRM system includes the integration of environment and partner systems via interfaces as well as a successful and fast data migration from the legacy system. In the area of data management, the new CRM system acts as a single source of truth for Union Investment’s 5.8 million private and institutional clients and their consolidated data. This enables improved transparency in customer data, sales activities and the associated processes.

By mapping all relevant sales objects for each individual client, the CRM system offers a 360-degree perspective. Occasions, measures, communication and products (accounts, assets, watch lists, services, etc.) are recorded holistically. This enables CRM users to maintain individual communication with customers and make forecasts about their future behaviour. Furthermore, the external corporate unit, the subsidiary Attrax Financial Services S.A. in Luxembourg, was successfully integrated into the CRM system.

Complementary Microsoft solutions such as Outlook and SharePoint were integrated into the system to further improve workflows. In addition, a common data warehouse for sales and marketing was implemented. The integration of third-party solutions, especially in the area of loyalty and value-added services for customers, was also implemented. Cross-divisional cooperation was improved by making customer events and measures from marketing accessible and usable for the sales team.

Documentation and communication have been simplified by using SharePoint as a central repository for the management of all sales documents and records, as well as for reporting and data integration. Through workflow management and communication tools, SharePoint helps sales teams make informed decisions and identify opportunities and risks early. In addition, SharePoint is mobile optimised. To support mobile working, an app is available that ensures mobile availability of CRM functionalities.

The Result

The integrated CRM solution will enable Union Investment to collaborate more easily internally in the future and ensure high data quality across all areas and systems. A key reason for the first-class result was the smooth cooperation between the service providers, partners and the client.

The product owners directly contributed implementation ideas, which were put on the right track by the experts from Hitachi Solutions. The implementation was partly carried out under the difficult conditions of the pandemic. Many functionalities and workflows could be taken over from the existing system and optimised in the process. With the introduction of the extended Microsoft Dynamics world, including SharePoint, Outlook, mobile access via app and Power BI, Union Investment entered a new dimension.

Communication was at eye level and the cooperation was characterised by trust. Hitachi Solutions had understood Union Investment’s business challenges and was able to meet the requirements for the CRM system. Thanks to optimal preparation and excellent cooperation, the go-live went smoothly and without any major disruptions.

Successes include:

  • Significantly optimised user-friendliness
  • Faster, automated process flows
  • Fewer system breaks due to new processes within Dynamics
  • Consolidated data for sales: all data in one place saves time and effort and also enables predictive work.
  • 360-degree perspective on every customer.

The Future

Planned enhancements include the integration of Microsoft Teams for improved internal collaboration, the use of Azure for the SQL database and the departure to the cloud. In addition, newsletter distribution will be implemented via Microsoft Dynamics and a customer portal for institutional customers will be developed with data from the CRM. These measures aim to increase efficiency and enable personalised communication and better access to information.