MMC are New Zealand’s leading provider of investment administration services to over 100 investment managers, product providers, KiwiSaver schemes and financial advisory groups. Today MMC administer investments with a combined value of over NZD 90 billion.
MMC’s core infrastructure forms the operational backbone for the provision of services to their fund and wealth administration clients whose businesses rely on MMC daily. As client service availability is critical when providing essential services, robust business continuity planning has always been an essential part of MMC’s planning for the unknown.
Robust business continuity
MMC’s clients rely on the provision of their services being always available. This makes robust business continuity planning absolutely essential to ensure that no matter what unexpected event happens, MMC can be relied on to deliver for their clients.
Mobilising a business to work from home overnight
Even though they are regarded as an essential service, MMC made the call early on in the pandemic to prioritise the safety of its people. As such, they needed to execute their business continuity plan and mobilise the entire workforce overnight, ensuring everybody was setup to not only work from home, but to be productive and continue delivering business as usual services for clients.
Clearly defined IT strategy
Having a clearly defined IT strategy that is aligned with the overarching corporate strategy and business objectives is considered best practice. Our teams worked alongside MMC’s in-house team to develop an IT strategy that enables MMC to always be online, whilst embracing the latest digital technologies.
With MMC making the decision to mobilise its teams to work from home overnight, we made quick decisions and relayed those to the wider team, so everyone knew what needed to happen. We ensured members of our engineering team were onsite at MMC from 8am the next day. The team were able to facilitate the safe removal of any hardware and provided instructions on how to reconnect things once at home.
Number one priority
Behind the scenes we prioritised all queries related to working from home, so anyone experiencing an issue got dealt with quickly. This included providing proactive guidance on how to overcome the most common working from home challenges relating to VPN connectivity, firewalls and ensuring security levels remained high.
The lockdown didn’t pose MMC any real challenges
Leading up to and during the lockdown, market volatility meant additional levels of investor activity, at the same time as the tax year and MMC’s own financial year both ending. Despite this perfect storm of events, with MMC’s day to day systems and operations running smoothly, they could focus on providing the great level of service they would normally provide to clients if they had been in the office.
Vedran Babic, MMC’s Chief Executive says: “The buzz words these days are agility and being able to pivot on a dime, and technology enables that if you have the right technology stack, team and partners supporting you. Lancom Technology has been an instrumental technology partner to MMC over the years. Having access to the latest Microsoft technology enabled us to switch our operating model to remote access overnight without any impact on client service levels or performance. Our focus over the years to continuously review and improve our processes and investments in the latest technology meant that we were well placed to handle the new world order.”
Productivity and better communication
Using the latest technologies from Microsoft, such as Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, MMC have been able to reach new levels of productivity and improve their communication, regardless of where their people are working from. By having their collaboration, conversations, chats, online meetings, shared files, and tasks all available in one place, the team are better able to focus on their work and delivering for their clients.
MMC’s long-term partnerships with their clients added to their trust in delivering services during disruptive times. David Boyle, Mint Asset Management’s Head of Sales & Marketing, comments: “The pandemic has put a lot of stress on all industry players as the market turned volatile which also lead to an increase in investor activity. It was important that MMC delivered continuity around unit pricing. They kept us up to date on a regular basis, which was so welcomed in respect of the clients we were talking to and making sure that our information was accurate.”
Relationships are incredibly important to MMC and they have been able to strengthen their relationships by holding virtual roadshows and workshops, allowing the team to get in front of clients more often than usual, and helping them connect with people that aren’t based in the Auckland region.
Nicola Tait, MMC’s Chief Client Officer, says: “Whilst nothing can beat face to face meetings in person, the challenges of lockdown in fact strengthened many of our relationships in a number of ways. We made a conscious effort to run roadshows and workshops virtually. Knowing this was a difficult time, we focused on reaching out to our clients more often than we normally would. Our technology enabled us to get easily connected with all our clients who are spread across New Zealand. Having the trust in our day-to-day operations running smoothly, despite the transition to remote-working, meant that we could focus on providing the same great level of service that we always pride ourselves on.”
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