UniCredit Business Partner streamlines back-office operations across Europe with SAS® Financial Management
At the end of 2008, the UniCredit Group – a major pan-European financial institution with 160,000 employees and nearly 10,000 branches – created its own dedicated international back-office subsidiary, establishing UniCredit Business Partner (UCBP) in January 2009. Today, about 7,000 professionals in Italy, Romania, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland collaborate to integrate back office activities with speed across the 22 countries the UniCredit Group spans.
Integrating new solutions pursue its ambitious agenda, UCBP turned to SAS for a technologically advanced management-control system. “This is a completely new context for our organization,” says Martinelli. “We found ourselves having to tackle a particularly challenging situation: effectively managing a uniform flow of complex management information.”
SAS, which previously provided technology for UniCredit's back-office operations in Italy, was brought on board to help the emerging company fully integrate new and existing solutions in the application/database portfolio.
This partnership made it easier for UCBP to combine quantitative and financial data in a single, unified repository of corporate information that has improved communication among different departments.
"In this manner," Martinelli says, "information and organizational processes have become the two levers on which we focus for standardizing our analyses and business processes. Initially, SAS Financial Management helped us to adopt a common language in different organizational structures and nations by creating of a shared operational vocabulary for the exchange of information and management of our financial performance. This has enabled us to offer our management a more complete vision of the company."
A three-phased project
The second phase consists of making SAS Financial Management the clearinghouse for detailed information from different UCBP operational offices. SAS then processes it and generates a country-by-country summary.
The third phase provides each country with direct access to the common financial data to support the development of new, more in-depth analyses. As UCBP's business changes, the model underlying the SAS solution evolves as well, ensuring different analytical perspectives based on business and geography.
“The sharing of information among corporate entities is becoming more important in our environment, where most costs are personnel-related,” says Martinelli. “In fact, SAS has been instrumental in setting up a continuous dialogue between finance and HR in each country. They’re sharing information about each department and jointly analyzing their financial dynamics. SAS has emerged as a useful tool for encouraging dialogue among departments across countries and within individual countries.”
Scalability and flexibility
"This process has been well-executed thanks to the flexibility and to the scalability of the information solutions we developed with SAS. In complex projects like ours, it is essential to be able to count on a flexible and scalable information solution that delivers in-depth analysis even as the business evolves and new requirements emerge."
Article originally published on Sistemi & Impresa in 2010.
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UniCredit Business Partner
Centralize, standardize information and analytics processes to enable sharing and proliferation of best practices among departments and countries
SAS Financial Management
A scalable, flexible foundation of financial management that drives in-depth analyses as well as the ability to share information and business practices across departments and countries
“This process has been well-executed thanks to the flexibility and to the scalability of the information solutions we developed with SAS.”
Management Control and Planning Manager