Calastone is a highly successful technology company. Its solution is middleware for the global funds industry, translating messages between different counterparties, such as order instructions, into formats which each can easily understand and act on. Calastone’s value grows with every institution that uses its platform and, thanks to these network effects, it has seen exponential growth, evidenced by the fact that today it is working with over 3,500 clients in 53 countries and territories, processing £250 billion of investment value each month.
In 2019, in large part owing to the growth it had seen in message volume and related service requests, Calastone decided to seek an external software solution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operational service desk.
The challenges they faced, which they sought to address to improve scalability, were as follows:
- Time-consuming logging of communications
- Incomplete logging of communications (they estimated 35% of cases were not logged in the CRM system after resolution)
- Manual processes and checks to ensure all client communication had been actioned
- Time spent at shift handovers to ensure critical issues were picked up and no cases were missed
- Gaps in management oversight and difficulty in assessing KPIs, such as adherence to SLAs
Calastone evaluated several solutions to address its needs. For instance, it assessed Einstein from Salesforce, since Salesforce is its CRM system used for recording all of its customer interactions.
Calastone ultimately selected Jaid because of the flexibility the solution offered. Jaid is a system of intelligence that sits between multiple systems of record, such as CRM or fund administration platforms, and multiple client interaction channels, such as email clients or team collaboration tools like Slack. As such, it is able to query and draw insight from multiple data sources and use this intelligence to automate, and present information, into multiple workflows and communication channels.
Jaid - Intelligent automation of unstructured requests
As Calastone has found, the architecture of the Jaid platform gives it several advantages over other solutions in the market, such as:
- Ease of configurability. It is straightforward for the Jaid system to interact with additional client channels or systems of record since it offers an extensible data schema and a standard set of APIs.
- Ease of adding new use cases. Since more connections can easily be made to Jaid system, the same instance of the Jaid solution can be used to handle additional use cases, such as automated CRM updates for salespeople (see later), client onboarding and program management.
- Growing intelligence. Since the Jaid system interacts with multiple other systems, receiving and mashing together multi-sided information flows, it learns over time to categorize information better, serving up more accurate information to analysts.
Multiple Products and Query Types
The Jaid solution went live four months after the system had been selected. System set-up, integration and testing were all achieved within two months. The timeline was made longer by two factors; Calastone desired several weeks of parallel testing, and some query types took time to build enough data to train Jaid effectively.
Jaid at Calastone
Now that the system has been live and learning for 18 months, it has over 93% accuracy in first-time classification of queries.
The accurate handling of customer enquiries has greatly automated workflows and addressed the challenges described above. Now, all communications are logged. The system prompts advisors to respond if they have not answered the query within the time frame required, obviating the need for manual checks. Further, there is minimal time or productivity lost during shift changeovers since everything is recorded and categorized correctly in the CRM system. As predicted at the outset of the project, the number of enquiries recorded in the CRM increased by over 30% once the Jaid system was live, without any commensurate increase in emails or calls, indicating that there was significant underreporting in the status quo.
The automation has saved time, but the solution’s benefits have gone far beyond this.
It is estimated that each operational analyst saves around 4 hours a week, not having to do manual work or checks that are now automated by the system. Individually, this time saving is impressive, but in aggregate across a team, it really starts to add up. Moreover, in having to do less manual work, focusing on what matters, the role becomes more enjoyable, helping Calastone to recruit and retain high-calibre people in the team.
But, it is the management insights where Calastone believes that most value has been delivered by the system. As Mike Davies, Head of Global Operations at Calastone, says:
“The Jaid system helps give me dramatically better insights into the workings of our operational service desk. I get a full picture of what kinds of queries we are receiving and how long they are taking to resolve. This helps me to understand the changing nature of our business, to plan capacity correctly, to identify areas for product optimization, and to ensure we are meeting client SLAs.”
Deepening the Collaboration
Given the success of the current use case in bringing more automation and control to the Calastone operational service desk, as well as extensibility of the Jaid platform, Calastone is now working together with Jaid on a new use case. The two companies are looking at how the platform can be used to automate salespeople’s updates to the CRM, integrating initially with email but ultimately to be extended to include Teams chat, to save salespeople the effort of manually updating the system for changes in deal status. This new use case is expected to be live in 2022.
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