by Helen Sanders, Editor
Among the most important innovations in cash and treasury technology in recent years have been the developments in corporate-to-bank connectivity, not least in the areas of integration, security and accessibility. This was the theme of the ‘Rethinking Connectivity’ workshop held at the 2014 BNP Paribas Cash Management University. The panel comprised: Marcus Hughes, Director – Business Development, Bottomline Technologies; Thierry Hamon, Treasury Controller, Valeo; Marie-Laurence Faure, Head of Marketing, Channel Products, BNP Paribas Cash Management, and was moderated by Eleanor Hill, Editor, Treasury Today.
As Marcus Hughes, Bottomline Technologies explained, one of the most transformational technologies that has emerged in recent years in the cash and treasury management space is cloud computing, also referred to as SaaS (software as a service). By accessing a managed, web-based service that provides both core cash and treasury management functionality and ancillary services, the need to maintain hardware and software in-house is reduced, solutions are often more cost-effective than licensing a system, and integration with both external parties (e.g., banks) and internal systems is far more straightforward as it is managed by the vendor.
A growing number of cash, treasury and payments vendors and their customers, are taking the opportunity of implementing a cloud-based solution to integrate SWIFT connectivity into their infrastructure. While the advantages of SWIFT connectivity are well-documented, particularly for multi-banked corporations, the advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness, risk mitigation, scalability and flexibility are enhanced by embedding multi-bank connectivity within a cloud-based solution as corporate treasurers and finance managers need to deal with only one solution and a single technology partner.
TOTEM project at Valeo
Thierry Hamon, Treasury Controller at international automotive supplier Valeo, illustrated the company’s experiences of implementing its TOTEM (Tools for Treasury Excellence in Cash Management) project. The objective was to provide treasury with a high performing, secure tool to manage cash management, including flow management, bank account reconciliation and forecasting, payments and reporting. This involved putting in place a SaaS-based treasury management system, together with bank connectivity via SWIFT and integration with group ERPs and payroll systems. The system would be used by more than 100 treasury professionals and 600 signatories in 26 counties across four continents and connect with 60 ERP, numerous payroll systems and multiple banks. Due to the nature of the business, the solution needed to offer multi-language capabilities and 24/7 support.