Peru’s development bank COFIDE finances projects designed to spark economic growth, benefit communities and protect the environment. How could it tell that its money was wisely spent?
Teaming up with IBM® Services, COFIDE upgraded its SAP solutions to the latest release and introduced wide-scale automation across its financial processes.
Speedsaccess to financial information, helping companies that perform development work
EnablesCOFIDE to increase data accuracy and reduce errors by eliminating manual checks
Automateskey processes such as regulatory reporting, saving time and boosting accuracy
Business challenge story
COFIDE promotes sustainable economic growth across Peru, aiming to foster prosperity and higher living standards for citizens. As the country’s state-owned development bank, COFIDE collects funds from the government, multi-lateral organizations, commercial banks and local capital markets, and invests them in privately-run projects designed to further the nation’s development. For example, COFIDE contributes funding for renewable energy initiatives, the construction of bridges and motorways, house-building programs and the provision of amenities for rural communities.
Specifically, COFIDE directs its investments towards projects designed to spark economic growth, benefit communities and protect the environment. By shouldering some of the risk, COFIDE makes these initiatives more appealing to private investors.
Mónica Angulo, Assistant Manager of IT at COFIDE, explains: “As organizations work to further the country’s development, we provide them with support, such as calculating interest on loans given to citizens to help them build, buy, modernize or extend their homes. To provide high-quality service to companies carrying out development work, and to meet stringent new regulatory requirements, it is imperative that this information is correct. What’s more, the information needs to arrive on time, so that the organizations can notify citizens about their monthly payments.
“To generate this financial information, we rely on our core SAP applications. In the past, because our SAP systems were outdated and highly customized, it was difficult to get them to produce exactly the information we needed. To obtain specific information—such as interest calculations or details for regulatory reporting—we had to perform manual workarounds, which created delays and introduced an inherent risk of human error.
“We wanted to move away from highly customized systems and manual work, instead embracing standardization and automation. In doing so, we would be able to boost the accuracy of our financial information and unlock valuable time savings. To adopt best practices and harness automation, we first needed to upgrade our SAP systems.”
Finding the keys to success
SAP applications lie at the heart of COFIDE’s business, so it was paramount that the upgrade was performed with no disruption to commercial operations. For support during the complex transition, COFIDE engaged an expert team from IBM Services.
“When we spoke with vendors to select our integration partner, we were very impressed with the proposal from IBM Services,” continues Mónica Angulo. “The IBM consultants demonstrated a strong track record of completing complex SAP upgrades using a tool called Panaya. The Panaya solution identifies all processes and transactions that will be affected by an SAP upgrade, showing the team exactly which areas need to be examined. With these insights, the team can optimize resource allocation, and reduce the risk of errors and oversights.”
The COFIDE team worked hand-in-hand with the IBM consultants to upgrade its core applications from SAP ECC 6 EHP 0 to SAP ECC 6 EHP 7—an enhancement package that offers more than 750 additional functionalities from which COFIDE can pick and choose on an individual basis.
“IBM Services provided excellent support during our critical SAP ERP upgrade,” remarks Mónica Angulo. “The team worked tirelessly to identify and address any potential causes of delays, and in the end the whole project was completed precisely on schedule in just four months. Most importantly, there were no critical incidents, so users did not even notice the transition. Overall, the project was a huge success.”
With the upgrade complete, COFIDE can enhance its existing SAP for Banking solution, which is designed to meet the needs of financial organizations, to automate and standardize processes such as regulatory reporting. As COFIDE redesigns these critical processes and adopts industry best practices, the IBM Services team provides advice to help the bank maximize efficiency.
Embracing automation and gaining efficiency
Through its work with IBM, COFIDE is undergoing a dramatic IT transformation to become a leaner, highly efficient organization. As a result, it can provide better service to organizations carrying out development work, such as building bridges or constructing renewable energy production facilities.
Mónica Angulo comments: “Previously, to ensure accuracy, we ensured that figures such as interest calculations on loans were checked by three different people before they were distributed externally. Now, because we are confident that the numbers are correct, we can eliminate this extra step.
“As a result, we can provide companies carrying out development work with faster, more accurate information. For example, it used to take us four days to provide information on monthly interest on loans given to citizens, whereas now we can do it in just two days.
“Thanks to these improvements, organizations carrying out development work now have faster access to accurate information, helping them better manage their businesses. By enabling these organizations to work more effectively, we help to further Peru’s development and raise living standards for citizens.”
In turn, COFIDE is streamlining and automating processes such as payments to benefit its internal staff.
“Our vision is to free employees from manual work, so that they can dedicate more time to fine-tuning our strategy for advancing Peru’s economic development,” explains Mónica Angulo. “In doing so, we will save time and reduce the risk of errors in our figures, helping us work more effectively to support economic development across Peru.”
Before engaging IBM, COFIDE had been forced to put several major elements of its IT transformation on hold, because it first needed to upgrade its SAP systems. With the upgrade complete, COFIDE is now working with IBM to complete these projects—and all three are running on schedule.
“Two years ago, the government introduced new regulations affecting all banks and insurers in Peru, requiring us to report on information such as income earned through interest on loans,” adds Mónica Angulo. “When this wave of regulations hit, we had to perform manual workarounds to generate the required reports in the prescribed format—leading to delays and a risk of human error. Now, we are working with IBM to automate the creation of those reports. As a result, we hope to simplify compliance, achieve time savings and boost reporting accuracy.
“Similarly, we are working with IBM to automate calculations of capital reserves and accounts receivables. The aim is to help staff save time on manual work, and devote more energy to analyzing the figures.”
Once these projects are complete, COFIDE plans to migrate its SAP for Banking solution to the powerful SAP HANA® database, which features in-memory processing for rapid data analysis. By implementing SAP HANA, COFIDE hopes to further accelerate reporting and speed time-to-insight. Faster data analysis will help COFIDE make better decisions about which initiatives to fund to bolster Peru’s economy and to maximize quality of life for local people.
Mónica Angulo concludes: “Working with IBM and SAP, we are transforming into a more efficient organization. As a result, we are better equipped than ever to provide excellent support to our clients as they work to advance Peru’s economic development. Ultimately, our work with IBM and our core SAP applications help us work with our partners more effectively to raise living standards across the nation, and to help our economy flourish.”
As Peru’s development bank, COFIDE provides vital investment to organizations managing projects designed to promote the nation’s development. Specifically, the bank supports initiatives aiming to foster sustainable economic development, benefit society and protect the environment.
- Banking: App Modernization/Migration to Cloud
- Banking: Risk & Compliance
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