Operational Excellence: 4 reasons why customers choose to work with Finologee
Balancing innovation with operational resilience has always been a strategic focus throughout the development of Finologee. Over the past 15 years, Finologee and its sister and predecessor companies within the same group have adjusted and scaled our operations to meet the challenges of rapidly changing business conditions, while providing the operational resilience expected by financial service professionals and institutions. A comprehensive state-of-the-art stack of procedures helps us offer highly efficient levels of support and responsiveness to our customers, laying the foundations for sustainable and long-term collaborations.
Based on customer feedback, here are four reasons why customers choose to work with us from an ‘operational excellence’ perspective. We believe they demonstrate Finologee’s strategic commitment to truly provide operational resilience and service excellence.
Finologee operates under a full Support PFS Licence from Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance for business activities defined under articles 29-1 (‘Client communications agent’) and 29-4 (‘Non-core IT/communication networks service provider’) of the Law of 5 April 1993 on the financial sector.
A Professional of the Financial Sector (PFS) is a legal person that has been granted authorisation to perform, as a regular occupation, an activity in the financial sector (whether direct, connected or ancillary) as defined in Article 13 of the law.
One typical characteristic of Support PFS is that they do not perform a financial sector activity themselves, but act as subcontractors for the provision of operational functions on behalf of other financial industry professionals. Luxembourg-regulated financial industry professionals are thus able and authorised to fully rely on Finologee’s products and services for handling sensitive customer data and for outsourcing their processes. Under Luxembourg law, Support PFS are subject to the same scrutiny, audit and supervision principles and reporting requirements as other regulated financial service entities.
Finologee’s IT infrastructure, business continuity/disaster recovery plans (BCP/DRP), operational procedures, data protection policies and all other relevant processes and infrastructures are compliant and audited under Luxembourg financial industry laws and regulations. This control and auditing structure is based on the ‘Three Lines of Defence’ – a framework widely implemented in the financial industry to facilitate an effective risk management system. Finologee therefore has its own compliance, risk management and internal audit functions (with the internal auditing outsourced to a Big Four auditor), as well as an external auditor.
Finologee has been granted ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, the international standard outlining best practices for information security management systems, as of September 2020. This certification is a cornerstone of Finologee’s operational excellence strategy, aimed at providing clients with an operations infrastructure and processes for their products and platforms that meet the highest international standards, and facilitating the financial industry’s quest for optimisation and innovation without compromising service quality and security.
The implementation of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard is a guarantee that Finologee has established methodologies and a framework of business and IT processes to help identify, manage and reduce risks. It also demonstrates to customers that the company is wholly committed to safeguarding their information assets through the products and services it offers. The independently accredited certification provides worldwide recognition that our ISMS is aligned with information security best practice.
ISO/IEC 27001:2013 sets out the specification for an information security management system (ISMS) with a best-practice approach that enables organisations manage their information security by addressing people and processes as well as technology. Part of the ISO 27000 series of information security standards, ISO 27001 is a framework that helps organisations “establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and continually improve an ISMS”.
A standard-compliant ISMS is based on a holistic approach to securing the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of corporate information assets. Informed by regular information security risk assessments, it is an efficient, risk-based and technology-neutral approach to keeping information assets secure.
In compliance with the standard, we have followed a process-based approach for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving Finologee’s ISMS within the context of our organisation.
Furthermore, the implementation of the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard establishes a robust foundation for the implementation of the latest regulatory requirements from national and European financial industry authorities. This enables Finologee to further enhance its formal risk management methodology processes, including complying with recent updates to national regulations such as CSSF Circular 12/552 and CSSF Circular 17/654, and the EBA guidelines on Outsourcing and ICT risks (CSSF Circular 20/750) covering governance, risk assessment, information security, ICT operations management, business continuity plans, and assistance to payment service users, among other topics.
Finologee’s customer support draws on 15 years of experience building and operating high performance and business-critical platforms for a vast community of financial industry professionals and other institutions. Among these platforms are Mpulse, handling 95% of Luxembourg’s SMS payments and critical notification services, and Digicash, retail banks’ mobile payment app and system which is used by more than 30% of the population.
One of the important principles guiding the support service layers Finologee provides is the commitment to guarantee a level of responsiveness that accurately meets – and ideally exceeds – customers’ expectations. By ensuring fast response times with the help of state-of-the-art monitoring systems when handling incidents and throughout the life cycle of client requests, Finologee manages to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. In this context, the company’s support teams commit to exchange information on a regular basis with customers to ensure all relevant data is shared accurately and in a timely fashion.
Finologee’s proactive monitoring strategy reduces the number of issues and incidents significantly, as well as averting reactive situations. Through high levels of automation and automated testing that minimise downtime spent dealing with incidents, Finologee can instead focus on assisting customers in achieving their business objectives.
The support setup and channels deployed by Finologee meet industry standards, with dedicated teams and 24/7 availability. The company’s goal is to ensure customers can choose from a variety of communication channels and contexts, truly meeting their preferences and existing practices:
- 24/7 support for incidents
- Dedicated customer care portal
- Dedicated support email address
- Phone support during working hours
- Dedicated escalation phone support for incident response and incident resolution 24×7
- Support languages: English and French
- Dedicated customer success manager enabling escalation
Finologee offers a progressive three-tier SLA framework based on market best practices, able to meet different customer requirements: ‘Standard’, ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Premium’ (with an optional ‘Financial Services Compliance’ pack).
Finologee’s progressive SLAs provide accurate guarantees, as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and reporting services, covering the availability of its platform and products as well as response times and responsiveness in the event of incidents, maintenance work or upgrades.
An SLA commonly aims to measure agreed availability levels, focusing on scheduled response times and encompassing a resolution service layer. All Finologee’s customers benefit from one of the three tiers, with ‘Premium’ designed for customers with the most intense demands.
While the ‘Standard’ SLA already meets most customers’ expectations, the more advanced ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Premium’ plans are chosen by customers requiring even higher guarantees and faster response and resolution times. These plans also offer priority access to support engineers and advanced levels of incident resolution and reporting-related services.
To ensure advanced availability targets are met, Finologee’s teams regularly assess risks to service availability taking into account service availability requirements in line with relevant business requirements, service requirements and customers’ needs.
An efficient monitoring system is essential when aiming for true high-availability levels. Finologee relies on sophisticated monitoring systems, based on a modern technology stack, to continuously measure events and alerts that may jeopardise availability targets agreed with customers. Monitoring systems consider both the product and the component aspects, as well as the customers’ perspective based on usage patterns.
Finologee has also set up its own ‘change request’ management process for its products and services, offering clients the ability to request changes in the form of a service request, with full lifecycle management of products and the ability to request the delivery of a new release or upgrade of products and applications. This is backed by best-practice agreements covering suitable framework and responsiveness commitments.
Finally, Finologee provides a complete set of reporting documents, such as service levels reporting, service availability reporting, performance reporting and compliance reporting as well as custom reports, delivered at agreed intervals.