As business models evolve, it has become more challenging to maintain high levels of compliance, quality of underwriting, portfolio management and reporting without increasing operations cost or adversely impacting the sales stream. The Cisco Global Credit organization, which manages the credit risk associated with 100 percent of the company’s revenues generated from a combination of both trade (open account) as well as sales and financing (lease and loans), saw an opportunity to address this challenge.

Recognizing the Need to Transform

It became apparent that Cisco required an advanced credit platform that had the capability to quickly adapt, especially since we are constantly evolving and revolutionizing our products and service offerings. Our goal was to create a consolidated platform that could drive continuous innovation and maintain best-of-breed credit practices. Therefore, starting in 2017, we designed and implemented a single credit platform that enabled sales by accelerating credit decisioning. This serves as a sole credit portal, upholds credit policy and makes it easier for customers and partners to do business with us.

How We Did It

We facilitated training and adoption of the platform by having delegates from all credit regions participate in all test cycles. This hands-on experience allowed for early training and product adoption while at the same time creating locally-based subject matter experts (SMEs). In addition to the local training, the credit team members were provided with a manual, documenting step-by-step instructions, detailing how to use the application as well as WebEx recordings demonstrating the execution of each process.

Change management is difficult for everyone, especially when it happens simultaneously. To ease the transition, we gradually introduced new aspects of the system to the team. This included involving key team members in the future design of the new system and business process, as well as introducing key new concepts and functionalities manually before the new platform launch to accelerate training and adoption once the platform was fully implemented. This resulted in a relatively seamless go-live and quicker adoption of the system and processes.

What’s Next

While implementing the single credit platform was a success, we are continuously setting internal expectations that go live is not the end of a large transformational project. Now, we are focused on post go-live activities that include the standard normalization period, minor bug fixes and future enhancements that we need to address effectively. Any innovative project of large magnitude creates a solid foundation that can and should be used to further build upon thereafter. Customers and partners ultimately reap the benefits from this solution, and we have been recently recognized by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association (ELFA) for this innovation by being included in its 2019 Operations & Technology Excellence Awards.

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Mike Infante

Managing Director, Capital Markets

Cisco Capital