Complete Credit Solutions, the Australian-owned and operated business, specialising in the acquisition and servicing of consumer and commercial debts, felt its data infrastructure was in need of an upgrade.
CCS was unable to scale and expand its analytics reporting, and this was just the beginning. Its on-premises production system had further performance constraints, and it was struggling to implement industry-required data policies. The organisation’s data modelling in Microsoft Power BI was also complex, which hindered self-service analytics. And its distributed data sources prevented a centralised approach to data governance.
Mustafa Mohabbat, Head of Information Technology at CCS, was determined to find a solution to these problems.
“Being part of the financial services industry, CCS is a highly regulated entity, with strict and severe consequences in place for breaches or unethical behaviour,” he says.
Without a sufficient service in place, CCS may have been unable to successfully manage its information security, or operational risks. CCS was also missing advanced data analytics which could provide valuable insights into customer behaviour and trends. These insights could provide an opportunity to drive future business growth.
Improving compliance in the cloud
CCS partnered with Data-Driven, a Microsoft Gold Partner, to design and implement a Microsoft Azure cloud solution, which instantly proved to be far superior to the traditional, on-premises hardware storage the firm had been relying on.
On deploying Data-Driven’s Data Foundation in Azure, the company found it could significantly reduce business reporting turnaround times, with new reports being finished in days rather than weeks. The cloud platform’s ability to auto-scale according to the demands of the relevant applications, increased the uptime and performance of CCS’ reporting function.
“CCS wanted to have a cloud partner that would allow the business to scale without compromising on security, compliance or performance.” Mohabbat says.
“The global reach of Microsoft meant that finding partners to work with wouldn’t be as big of a challenge,” he adds. “Our key suppliers would take comfort in the capabilities of our chosen technology making it easier to win new business.”
Along with elevated efficiency, the solution has given CCS’s existing data science team more bandwidth for wider tasks. These have included integrated disparate business data sources into a central data lake to support more accurate decision-making.
CCS also has the benefit of Azure Purview, a unified data governance solution that helps companies manage their on-premises, multicloud and software-as-a-service data. CCS can create a holistic, up-to-date map of their data landscape with automated data discovery, sensitive data classification and end-to-end data lineage to assist in achieving it’s IT strategic objectives.
This feature has enabled CCS to enforce specific data policies required for the financial services sector.
“The expectations from our clients, consumers and the public are to provide a fair, flexible and empathetic approach, and to take the role of caretaker of sensitive consumer data seriously. Continuous improvements like the new data platform reduces compliance and operational risk whilst providing assurance to our clients and gives them more confidence with entrusting us with their business.”, Mohabbat says.
Taking it phase by phase
CCS contracted Data-Driven to deploy the unified analytics platform. Data-Driven is one of two Australian companies that have achieved Microsoft’s Advanced Specialisation in Analytics.
Data-Driven is implementing CCS’s deployment of Azure in three phases. They implemented the initial phase in August 2021, with the new system being available for production in November.
“Phase two is currently in progress and will involve the integration of our cloud contact centre telephony system that will output important call metrics, and search analytics. Providing the business with new call centre reporting and analytics capabilities by extracting insights from a new data source, helping the business improve performance and find new business opportunities.” Mohabbat explains.
The business is already reaping the rewards of Azure’s capabilities, with a significant customer base spread over three office locations experiencing tangible benefits. Furthermore, a phase-three project is planned to implement a slowly changing dimension workload on identified data sources to increase analytical insights and customer trends across multiple data sources.
CCS now has a Microsoft-first approach and is investing to expand its use of Azure services, including additional offerings such as Microsoft Office 365. Further projects surrounding cybersecurity and compliance are also in the pipeline.
“The long-term strategy is to move towards a serverless architecture for the entire business.” Mohabbat says.
When asked which cloud-based solutions he would recommend to other financial services organisations, he says: “Implement a solution that solves today’s challenges without compromising on tomorrows. Align yourself with a partner that understands the technology you are building, your business needs and can suggest more modern ways of thinking.”