KIVA Group brings MDM-aware capabilities to their Respect solution suite thanks to Talend

Thanks to Talend MDM, KIVA Group has built a competitive differentiator within its MDM-aware CRM suite, and is able to meet the financial services industry needs.
Mike Baker, Founder and President


Do you remember the days when you used to visit your bank’s branches on a regular basis, even to fulfill basic transactions such as a withdrawal? Tellers were the face of the banking institution then, as well as trusted advisors and key influencers of a consumer’s satisfaction with the bank’s services.

Nowadays, customers are more digital savvy and there are numerous touch-points between banks and their customers: from branch visits to online transactions, to support hotlines and web chats. At each step along the way, customers expect bank personnel to provide them with the right level of information and to give them the most relevant options; personalized to their preferences and needs. In the age of digital banking, creating an exceptional experience for the customer at every interaction is the game-changer; and this is what the KIVA Group’s Respect™ solution delivers to Credit Unions and other Financial Institutions, throughout North America, South East Asia, and EMEA. KIVA’s Respect™ suite of applications turns the now complex multi-channel banking infrastructure into a unified set of technologies, applications and processes. KIVA Respect™ provides a suite of applications for unifying all of the customer facing applications of financial institutions. It provides applications for the branch, the call center, web chats, multi-channel marketing, inbound/outbound e-mail communications, and also integrates with customer self-service mobile or web applications, IVRs, and ATMs. It is backed by a solid backbone that includes databases and data models, a custom application and enterprise workflows development environment, rules and a personalization engine, among others.                                                               

Importance of Data Quality in CRM Implementations

In the early days of CRM, financial institutions realized that customer data could be used to drive profitable interactions. They quickly recognized the importance of customer data quality and accuracy. However, at that time, relatively few transactions were fully processed online in real time. Customers were identified by the account number for each product or contracted service as a prerequisite for every interaction or transaction, and topics such as privacy regulations and identity theft were not keeping banking executives awake at night.

 “We always knew Data Quality to be a key success factor of our CRM implementations, but we depended on specific initiatives from our customers like a data migration or a data warehouse to deal with it. But immediately following the traditional approaches to data cleansing, the data would once again begin going out of sync. So we decided to fix this issue in our own software by operationalizing the management of customer data.”, says Mike Baker, the founder and President. “By embedding a Master Data Management component right into our customer facing applications, we are able to handle data quality at its point of entry, in a real time and dynamic fashion. Not only are we able to detect a data quality issue at its source, but we can also fix it in a sustainable way, before unsanctioned data even enters into the system through our strong workflow capabilities. This total quality approach has become critical for financial institutions in this age of identity theft, privacy and security issues”

This is what drove KIVA Group to turn their CRM suite into an MDM-aware application, by extending their core Customer Databases with the following capabilities:

- Customer data integration capabilities for populating the customer database with external content and then propagating unified and quality proofed customer data to any application.

Data cleansing and standardization capabilities to reconcile customer data;

Data stewardship functions to ensure that customer data is sanctioned and to orchestrate manual resolution of data inconsistencies when applicable; 

Real time access to an always accurate 360° customer view with customer identity control.

Operationalizing customer data governance and stewardship

When KIVA Group decided to add an MDM component into their solution suite, they evaluated the MDM software market to find the right partner for their solution.

"Partnerships are in our DNA. There are so many components and technologies that are needed to deliver a complete end to end CRM solution that reinventing the wheel for each and every needed capability would be ineffective”, says Tina Baker, head of Business Development”. “In addition, partnerships have the potential to bring new business opportunities for joint marketing and go to market strategies. Indeed, in the case of technology partners, the underlying technology architecture is a key driver while selecting our partners”

Talend MDM was immediately differentiated from its competition through its open architecture which was easily embeddable into KIVA’s solution stack. As an example, the backbone of KIVA Respect™ for handling real-time application integration relies on the Apache Camel open-source routing and mediation engine developed by the Apache Software Foundation. On a more general basis, the Eclipse based environment together with the wide array of options bundled in a flexible and open, unified platform to integrate any data and application made a huge difference.

The ready to run data stewardship functionalities also drove the decision to embed Talend MDM into KIVA Respect™ as an OEM solution: Data governance introduces new roles and tasks to achieve in the context of a CRM project. Not only does Talend MDM provide the underlying Data Quality functions but it also provides the dedicated tools and applications for those new roles, the so called data stewards, such as the web user interface for accessing and authoring the master data and the data stewardship console for manually resolving the data quality issues when needed.

Onboarding with Talend MDM proved to be a relatively easy process for the KIVA implementation team. Following a short training period, they engaged in the MDM Quickstart, a packaged service offering delivered by Talend’s Professional Service organization to guide MDM customers into their first MDM implementation, and positioning KIVA to proceed autonomously with the next steps of the MDM initiatives.  

Implementing KIVA Respect™ with Talend MDM at a customer site

The first implementation of KIVA Respect™ with Talend MDM supports a large software and services provider specializing in the financial industry. The company provides more than 200 products and managed services such as core banking solutions, e-banking and mobile banking, payments processing applications, document management and archiving, cloud services, etc. Being in the services business for more than fifty years, the company has established a sustainable business model for growth nurtured by acquisitions. After years of assimilating the merged companies” systems, the enterprise decided to re-engineer its customer support activity and related processes. To accomplish this objective, the KIVA Respect™ solution was deployed to progressively replace a mixed bag of departmental solutions for CRM, case management and support ticketing systems.

“The roll-out is significant, because the support services are now unified to provide consistent servicing for the portfolio of more than 200 products spread across the different departments and affiliate companies that came through acquisitions”, says Tina Baker. “The main challenge has been to progressively replace the legacy systems, without interrupting customer service delivery.”

Implementing the MDM component had an immediate impact on customer service and their support systems. It creates a unified view of the customer relationship, including their support tickets, and propagates this view across all support systems, both new and legacy. For example, if a customer opens a support ticket in one department, the ticket can be transferred from one support group to another, without having to retype information or ask the customer to repeat the information. Through this system, approximately 40,000+ customer interactions are handled monthly by 400+ employees resulting in 20,000+ support tickets.

Next Steps

After successfully implementing this system across the customer’s organization, KIVA Group is now ready to deliver its MDM aware capabilities to additional customers.

“We envision many business opportunities for this solution”, says Mike Baker. “Credit unions and banks are all faced with inconsistent data from disparate systems, while merger and acquisition activities tend to accelerate these inconsistencies. As a result, stewardship and governance of customer data is becoming of core importance for well managed customer facing processes in the financial industry. Thanks to Talend MDM, KIVA Group has built a competitive differentiator within its MDM-aware CRM suite, and is able to meet the financial services industry needs.” 

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