Our small forest in Ecuador

We are pleased and proud to announce that 2000 trees have been planted in the name of Be Shaping The Future. The small “forest” is located in Ecuador and is part of our sponsorship of the International Capital Market Association Conference taking place in Vienna 8 to 10 June 2022.

As a company that cares about climate protection we did not think twice about taking this option. To learn more about the initiative, follow this link: https://www.ecomatcher.com/forest-map/?fid=700

To everyone attending the ICMA Conference: Enjoy the event and see you there!
https://www.icmagroup.org/events/icma-annual-general-meeting-and-conference-2022/

Be Shaping the Future GmbH: it’s time for a change

On May 17th, 2022 Be Shaping the Future GmbH has changed its company name into Be Shaping The Future – Performance, Transformation, Digital GmbH.

What does this mean for you?

We will remain unchanged in our present form with our team, our products and our services being carried out as always in well-known quality.

Irrespective of renaming all general terms and any kind of contracts remain unaffected and therefore unchanged.

Please note the new company name and invoice address and any type of inquiries as of 17.05.2022 should be as follows.

Be Shaping The Future – Performance, Transformation, Digital GmbH

Arabellastraße 30

81925 Munich

Germany

 

#BeOne: Be Shaping the Future und FIMAS fusionieren

Der gemeinsame Firmenname zeigt das gestärkte Service- und Produktportfolio:
Be Shaping the Future – Performance, Transformation, Digital GmbH

Die Be Shaping the Future GmbH und die FIMAS GmbH haben seit fünf Jahren zunehmend mehr Projekte gewonnen und umgesetzt. Nun werden beide Unternehmen fusionieren und somit auch rechtlich gemeinsam auftreten.

Mit einer starken Präsenz in Deutschland und Teams in München, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Magdeburg, Köln und Hamburg liefert Be maßgeschneiderte Beratung und Lösungen in enger Zusammenarbeit mit den Kunden. Die breitere lokale Präsenz und unverändert kundenorientierte „can-do“ Kultur stellt sicher, dass Finanzmarktteilnehmer durch die Expertise der Be Berater die bestmögliche Unterstützung für Projekte und betriebliche Lösungen erhalten.

Bestands- und Neukunden profitieren deutlich durch die stark erhöhte Lieferfähigkeit des gemeinsamen Teams und neu gebildeter Kompetenzzentren. Mit fast 2000 Beratern gehört Be zu den größten Beratungshäusern für den Finanzmarkt in Europa. In dem neuen gemeinsamen Unternehmen sind davon rund 300 Berater im Einsatz.

Für die Beraterinnen und Berater des gemeinsamen Unternehmens wird die Fusion noch bessere Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten und Karrierechancen in einem dynamischen Umfeld bieten. Dabei wird die in beiden Unternehmen bereits gelebte familiäre Atmosphäre bruchlos weitergeführt; ein gemeinsames Recruiting wird dafür sorgen, dass die „Be Familie“ stetig wächst.

Die neue Be Shaping the Future wird deutlich schneller und nachhaltiger wachsen können, als es die bereits eng zusammenarbeitenden Einzelunternehmen könnten. Dabei ergeben sich nicht nur inhaltliche Synergien durch das optimierte Angebot von Fachlichkeit und Technik aus einer Hand, sondern auch eine schnellere Reaktions- und Lieferfähigkeit durch den Entfall von firmenübergreifender Koordination.

 „Ich freue mich sehr über die Fusion der FIMAS GmbH und der Be Shaping the Future GmbH. Dies bringt deutliche Vorteile für unsere Kunden in der Finanzbranche und unsere Mitarbeiter. Gemeinsam bieten wir hochwertige Dienstleistungen, von der Fach- und IT-Beratung bis zur Kompletteinführung von IT-Lösungen, sowie Managed Services. Wir haben weiter ambitionierte Wachstumspläne – der Ausbau unserer Kompetenzen ist der Schlüssel dazu.“, so Dr. Dirk Fuchs, Geschäftsführer von Be Shaping the Future GmbH, zur Verschmelzung mit FIMAS GmbH.

 Karsten Sommer, Geschäftsführer der FIMAS, kommentiert: „Nach mehreren Jahren einer immer produktiveren Zusammenarbeit freue ich mich, dass beide Unternehmen nun fusionieren werden. Beide Teams ergänzen sich hervorragend und die Vorbereitungen für #BeOne laufen auf Hochtouren. Unser neuer Unternehmensname ist für uns Anspruch und Programm zugleich: Gemeinsam wollen wir die Performance unserer Kunden durch Transformation und digitale Lösungen nachhaltig steigern.“

Banking in the Cloud – Innovation ohne Grenzen?

„Daten in der Cloud sind nicht sicher

oder “ die Cloud ist nicht vereinbar mit neuesten Bankregulatorien

– solche und andere Sätze hört man in der Bankenwelt häufig, aber ist das wirklich immer noch so?

 

Experten von Microsoft, Finastra und Be Shaping the Future helfen, die neuesten Technologien zu verstehen, und zu erkennen, welche Probleme sie damit gerade in der Zukunft lösen können.

 

Unsere Referenten:

  • Richard Oberndorfer, Verwaltungsrat und Geschäftsführer #BeShapingthe Future
  • Roger Halbheer, Chief Security Advisor #Microsoft
  • Jörg Heidtmann, Global Head of Innovation and Intergration #Finastra
  • Thorsten Hahn, Geschäftsführer #BANKINGCLUB

 

Jetzt sich zum Webinar anmelden: https://lnkd.in/dE-uH5C

Fire-and-forget or -track? Reducing complexity with managed services

Financial technology providers have seen a sharp increase in customer demand for managed services in recent years with an exponential grow during the pandemic times. Companies are looking for alternative supporting models and outsourcing solution for the entire IT infrastructure ranging from the purely technical provisioning to functional application management. While some companies demand the complete provision of managed services others are only after selective services, which they want to subscribe to according to their business requirements and possibly only for a certain period of time. Whether fully outsourced or used as a hybrid architecture model, managed services are ideally delivered via cloud-based platforms as they offer several advantages. For a bank, they act like an app store for certain products.

Challenges and trends

Customer value and time-to-market, play an increasing role under the current regulatory environment when it comes to competing with fintechs and bigtechs. In order to achieve a quicker time to market, adjust to the market demands and  provide solutions to customers as quickly as possible under aggravating regulatory conditions, financial institution rely on innovative developers and third-party providers. Artificial intelligence and intelligent automation help modernize business processes and create corresponding added value for customers in the form of cost savings and efficiency optimization. “In the back office area, for example, customers want to achieve STP rates of up to one hundred percent,” says Jörg Heidtmann, Global Head of Integration Innovation, Product, Platform and Technology at Finastra. At the same time, the cost per transaction in customer trading must be minimized through very efficient and cost-saving processes. In addition, project risks for opening up new business areas must be avoided.

What are Managed Services?

The emphasis of managed service compared to a pure service is on “managed”. “Someone obtains a service from a third party, and the third party in turn primarily ensures the necessary result,” explains Karim el Abiary, CIO Creditplus Bank AG. Managed services range from application outsourcing, the smooth delivery of applications, to product development, for example by using external developer platforms, to the integration of fintech solutions on the front end to profitably support end customers in their activities. “When a bank outsources parts of its value chain, it expects a provider that, at the end of the day, does it better than it does in terms of time-to-market, cost aspects, flexibility and scalability,” says el Abiary. As the person responsible for Creditplus Bank AG’s overall IT strategy, he has to ensure that business processes and IT are continuously optimized. Instead, a bank would never hand over services or core competencies that differentiate it to an external service provider.

“Banks expectations of an outsourcer go far beyond the actual service delivery. The bank needs to understand how the service it outsources to a provider is managed in terms of the risks that exist in service delivery,” continues el Abiary. What about data protection and information security? Does the outsourcer know about regulatory issues and can they service them? Banks are accountable to their customers and regulators for their services – making it all the more fundamental that they monitor their outsourcing processes accordingly. For an outsourced service, the principle is therefore not fire-and-forget, but fire-and-track.

Dr. Dirk Fuchs, Managing Director of Be Shaping the Future GmbH, clearly sees complexity reduction as the main driver for the use of managed services. In addition, innovation, scaling and flexibility play a role in the scope. “The trend is to run a complete application operation of an entire application landscape in the managed service,” he explains. Confidence in the cloud is growing – in the course of this development, more and more banks are moving to using a ready-made platform as a service, for example a complete treasury system. From functional to technical support via hosting, applications are provided that the customer can put into operation relatively quickly.

The conflict between cost efficiency, transition risk and disruption

The migration of an internal service to an external managed services provider creates a certain area of tension for the customer. On the one hand, there are complexity reduction and cost efficiency as advantages; on the other hand, there is the smoothest possible transition with as little risk as possible. To minimize the latter, the switch to managed services should not be too extensive and complex, especially at the beginning. At the same time, changes should be continuously incorporated for optimization. “Here it is important to find a suitable trade-off,” explains Fuchs, “it may well be useful to allow some disruptive influences during the transition if this improves service delivery in return through standardized business and IT processes.” The right mix for migrating to managed services, then, is to stabilize in the first phase, while at the same time, however, having the courage to take disruptive action as a basis for comprehensive process cleansing and standardization.

“Many organizations want to open up new business areas with the use of managed services. To achieve this goal, however, the entire organization should not be thrown overboard,” says Heidtmann. Instead, banks should adapt their organizational structure and processes to the new opportunities they now have and also optimize them, he says. Providers, such as Finastra, can provide support with best practice solutions, which on the one hand explain the processes, how other customers tackle these problems, and on the other hand also explain the system-side settings, adjustments and parameterizations that fit the transition. “We additionally provide so-called innovation environments in our projects,” explains Heidtmann, “which are basically sandbox systems that already contain all the essential parameters based on best practices and on which our customers can immediately test and create documentation to prepare for the live introduction of the new workflows.”

Efficiency and innovation through standardization

Managed service processes are generally easy to standardize. This is especially true in IT areas where standards such as COBIT and ITIL are applied. This ensures a certain degree of uniformity and transparency, which can be easily mapped and evaluated using tools. SLA reporting or the measurement of KPIs are useful for deriving optimization measures. An optimized change process with a fully automated testing procedure, such as the automated validation of reports, is a good example of how companies can benefit from the integration of a dedicated provisioning platform during the migration to managed services. “Standardization here leads directly into the topic of optimization,” Fuchs concludes.

Particularly in areas that affect the core system, standardized managed services can realize efficiency gains. For example, banks can react more quickly to changes in the market. In general, the activation and implementation of new functions is possible in a shorter time and more efficiently.

Innovation drivers that are currently providing impetus for Managed Services are tools and techniques that are summarized under the term Continuous Delivery. These include areas such as test automation and continuous integration and deployment. Analytics tools are also very much in vogue at present, for example in the area of ticket analysis and identification of recurring issues. And finally, the cloud with its offerings, with its usual reliability, because infrastructures can be provided securely and flexibly via cloud applications.

The provision of managed services via platforms creates openness for innovations. Third-party services can be connected easily and securely via open APIs. “At Finastra, we have converted our applications to microservices, so that third-party applications can also use all services, pricing and so on. We also use market standards like Kubernetes to visualize and orchestrate system processes. After all, that’s what saves costs: when you can operate a system as standardized as possible,” explains Jörg Heidtmann.

Compliance requirements: From KYC to Know-Your-Supplier

Regulatory requirements demand that banks, regardless of whether services are provided internally or externally, continue to actively manage them as their risks. As such, banks must also be accountable for managed service processes themselves. “Compliance is a key aspect,” says el Abiary. “A platform can be good and efficient, but if it doesn’t meet compliance and regulatory requirements, it’s not usable for a bank.” Customer trust also ultimately depends on it. From a managed service provider’s point of view, it is therefore a must to support banks accordingly. If a part of the processes is set up according to the compliance regulations, then an internal control system should then be defined to check the processes. Under certain circumstances, this can also be done by means of an auditor’s ISAE audit report.

Finastra pays meticulous attention to compliance with certain procedures and standards when developing software – especially when it is developed in the cloud. The development concept is based on two pillars: First, potential points of attack are analyzed in detail and documented before software development. Secondly, products and workflows are continuously tested during operation. The analysis of the notified software is carried out by the dedicated unit of an internal compliance department, which checks and evaluates both the architecture and the data model for potential weak points. If the software is not certified according to the specifications, it is not implemented. The testing procedure, in turn, consists of two parts. On the one hand, it consists of static tests, whereby the code base of the software is repeatedly checked by standard applications that already exist on the market. “More important, however, are dynamic tests,” Heidtmann knows. “Here, the system is constantly attacked during operation to check whether any weak points exist.” The new systems are also attacked specifically by contracted third-party companies to find out where there are predetermined breaking points and whether someone will succeed in hacking the system. “The tests are the decisive criterion that determines whether we can even release software and pass it on to customers,” says Heidtmann.

So for banks, not only does Know-Your-Customer (KYC) play a significant role in selecting the right managed services that also create real value for the customer, but also Know-Your-Supplier, as the latter must ensure regulatory compliance for the bank with regard to the outsourced services.

Deployment of managed services and conclusion

Deploying an application as a managed service involves the following facets: Application Management concerns the application itself or components that are deployed in addition to the application. Other purchased components or individually developed elements are added to the possible range of services, up to and including a complete infrastructure that is operated on the platform. A managed service not only includes the application itself, but also operates at the platform level and can also include full hosting in a cloud environment. In addition to front-, mid- and back-office applications, there are a number of interfaces or integrations in downstream systems – these can either come directly from the provider or from partners such as fintechs, software vendors or even banks that have developed such tools themselves and make them available to the community.

The success factors that contribute to a managed service being used purposefully at the customer’s site begin with the transition and continue through standardization to the continuous implementation of optimizations and innovations. All factors must meet compliance requirements at all times. Existing processes, legacy systems and data sets are recorded and analyzed, and then a standardized migration procedure is used to achieve an easy transition from an existing system to managed services based on the Finastra platform. “We use standard processes as part of our managed services. In addition, we increase the efficiency of the services and applications used by applying innovation drivers from the context of digital transformation,” summarizes Fuchs. The core buzzword, however, remains compliance. Compliance is the guarantor in the human service solution that ensures that the managed service can also be used successfully by the bank.

Managed Services in Banking: What are the key factors for a successful implementation?

There are many reasons why managed services in banking make sense, especially for small and medium-sized banks, due to the benefits such as continuous availability and cost efficiency.

In our webinar, our industry experts will explore and discuss how managed services can be successfully implemented, using treasury as an example.

 

Our topics:

– Current business challenges and local trends in ICT management at banks in D-A-CH.

– What is meant by “Managed Services” and which challenges a company can solve with such    implementation.

– Success factors for the implementation of managed services – what you need to consider in order to achieve your goals with the implementation.

– All experts will answer questions from the audience at the end of the session.

 

Register now for the webinar: https://lnkd.in/dE-uH5C

We are Silver Sponsor of DKF 2021 D-A-CH Congress for Financial Information

DKF 2021 D-A-CH Congress for Financial Information is going global / 4th – 6th May 2021 / online

We are pleased to invite all conference participants to visit our virtual stand.

During the talk, you will get a presentation of our product tarics+, a multi-vendor distribution platform, as well as a demo session.

 

 

 

To find the agenda for all DKF events follow the link: https://dkf.events/agenda/

To find tickets follow the link : https://lnkd.in/esQ72Hn

Be acquires 86% of Firstwaters GmbH

INVESTORS INFORMATION – 14th January 2021 // Milan

Be acquires 86% of Firstwaters GmbH, a leading player in Management Consulting for Corporate & Investment Banking

Be Shaping The Future S.p.A. (“Be” or the Company – BEST.MI), a company listed on the STAR segment of Borsa Italiana and one of the leading Italian providers of professional services for the financial industry, has reached an agreement to acquire 86% of the share capital of Firstwaters GmbH, a Management Consulting firm based in Frankfurt am Main and Vienna, providing services to Financial Institutions.

Founded in 2000, Firstwaters is a recognised specialist player, with a proven track record in transformation projects across the Corporate & Investment Banking value chain (Front-Office, Pricing/Modelling, Settlement, Accounting, Market Risk Management) for multiple asset classes (FX/MM, IRD, CRD, Equities, Commodities, etc.) and financial instruments (Spot, ETD, OTC derivatives).

Firstwaters main highlights are (2020E): Total Revenues €11,7M, EBIT €2,6M, workforce about 50 FTEs.

Firstwaters ticks all the boxes of companies we like to be part of our Group – says Stefano Achermann, CEO of Be: they have a reputable team, a presence in our second home market – the DACH region – and excellent skills in digital transformation. Firstwaters has a great potential for interaction and synergy with all other Group entities. We are happy to welcome the whole Firstwaters team. With Marco Fäth, Martin Peter and Swati Buderbach, the three managing directors, we are ready to do a great job to strengthen our market leadership.


Firstwaters is well known as a partner of leading German and Austrian banks for the successful implementation of business transformation and system integration projects – declares Marco Fäth, Founder and Managing Director of Firstwaters. Our discussions with Be Group have shown that we share the same passion and commitment towards serving financial market participants with outstanding consulting services. We look forward to a period of accelerated growth, as entering Be Group will open a wide range of opportunities for our business and our consultants within and beyond our current scope of activities.


The agreement envisages the initial acquisition by Be of 85.71% of the Firstwaters share capital in Q1 2021 against a price of €10.2 million.

The remaining share capital will stay in the hands of the two managing directors Marco Fäth and Martin Peter, who will continue to drive the growth of the firm. Be will then complete the acquisition of the remaining shares at the end of Fiscal Year 2024. The remaining price will be based on the company’s results in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

T2-T2S Consolidation – Implementation difficulties

Some reminders about the project

  • T2-T2S Consolidation project

The Eurosystem has launched a project to consolidate TARGET2 and T2S, in terms of both technical and functional aspects. The objective is to meet changing market demands by replacing TARGET2 with a new real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system and optimising liquidity management across all TARGET Services. The new consolidated platform will be launched in November 2022. The new RTGS system will offer enhanced and modernized services to the market. The messaging standard ISO 20022 will be used, which is also the case for T2S and TIPS.

 

  • Timeline for implementation

The calendar and its different milestones is under the responsibility of the Governing Council of the  European Central Bank. Since the postponement announced on July 31st, 2020, which now sets the start date at November 2022, no complete changes of the calendar and its different milestones have been published. Only the User Testing Step has been announced for December 2021. The timing of other project milestones is currently under review.

 

  • T2-T2S Consolidation and CBPR+ alignment

The time lag (postponement of T2-T2S Consolidation to November 2022) has allowed for the two projects T2-T2S Consolidation and CBPR+ to be aligned. This will facilitate a better integration of ISO 20022 payment messages, which are used either in correspondent banking (CBPR+) or in HVP (High Value Payment).

 

Prerequisites for carrying out the project

  • Having a complete and up-to-date impact study

The completeness of this often neglected document is a guarantee of success for the subsequent stages. This will avoid having to redo an analysis of certain applications along the way.

 

  • To be familiar with the impacted applications

Knowing the functions and inputs/outputs of an application is essential to be able to propose new workflows or processes. In the same way up-to-date documentation is a plus.

 

  • Having access to the regulatory documentation to understand deeply the mechanisms of the new T2 system

Two sources are essential:

. ECB documentation in particular UDFS documents (User Detailed Functional Specifications) that describes Real-time Gross settlement, Central Liquidity Management, Business Day Management, Common Reference Data, … .

. SWIFT documentation that describes the structure of the messages used in CBPR+.

 

Errors to be avoided

  • Consider the project only as a format migration project

It is not only a question of converting MT messages (legacy FIN messages) to MX messages (ISO 20022 XML messages) and vice-versa.

It is also necessary to consider new types of messages (e.g. R-Messages) that do not exist in the current T2 system, for this purpose a more detailed analysis is required, which can lead to the design of new workflows involving (an) investigation system(s).

However in some cases the use of a converter can be considered.

 

  • Wanting to adapt applications to MX format at all costs

The applications in scope of the T2-T2S Consolidation project are often old (10 years or more), so a renewal is not superfluous. Decommissionning and replacement has to be considered as a credible alternative.

 

  • Treating the project as a monobloc is not desirable

The complexity of the task, implies a parallelisation. As the implications are numerous, streaming of the project is inevitable. This parallelisation of tasks will increase the work force. Thus T2-T2 Consolidation has an impact on many core subjects in the bank, including for example SWIFT Network, Market and Liquidity Management  and Compliance and it also has consequences on Reporting or Channels used by the customers.

 

Multiple skills to be owned

It is important to bring together a wide range of skills to implement all the necessary adaptations to T2-T2S Consolidation.

 

  • Knowledge and practice in Payments area

It must be dual:

. Knowledge in Correspondent Banking & Target 2 i.e usage of MT messages,  

. Knowledge in SEPA type payments – SCT and R-Messages  i.e. usage of ISO 20022 messages.

  • Knowledge and practice in the treasury area

It is necessary to have a deep knowledge in the current mechanisms and its local connotations to be able to design the new mechanisms to be implemented.

  • Knowledge and technical ease

It is important to know :

.  Message Broker / Messaging Software applications

 

Conclusion

By avoiding the errors presented above and by having the necessary skills, the realisation of this complex project should lead to substantial gains, for example:

  • At the technical level

Simplification of the IT landscape (decommissionning)

and reduction in the number of formats used (standardisation towards ISO 20022) should increase ease of system management but in the same time it should require other technical skills. 

  • At the financial level

This project is an opportunity to completely regain control of liquidity management.

Thus intra-group management facilities allow for re-centralisation of such liquidity management.

It is also an opportunity to re-examine the possibilities of direct or indirect participation to T2.

 

More information

To go deeper into this subject

 

European Central Bank

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/paym/target/consoconsolid/html/index.en.html

Bundesbank

https://www.bundesbank.de/en/tasks/payment-systems/target2-t2s-consolidation/target2-t2s-consolidation-723780

SWIFT

https://www.swift.com/news-events/news/banks-prepare-for-far-reaching-changes-in-the-european-payments-landscape

 

By Jean-Noël Prost | Be STF GmbH