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Augusta launches digital transformation project with IBM and Salesforce

Kiwi company Augusta Funds Management has chosen IBM and Salesforce to further advance business operations and upgrade its investor experience.

The property fund manager is working to transform its business processes, competencies and models and introduce new digital technologies.

More specifically, the company is looking to scale up investor relations capabilities and improve the customer experience.

In order to complete this, the company has partnered with Bluewolf, an IBM company, and will utilising the Salesforce Platform.

Augusta’s primary focus

The company manages property funds for more than 3,500 retail and institutional investors throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Augusta’s primary focus is to retain its current investor base, while also diversifying and growing their prospects database.

For instance, the company is looking to expand to a younger demographic through personalised online services and lowering their minimum investment thresholds to as little as $10,000.

As such, the digital transformation project focuses on its investor relations capabilities and delivering personalised customer relations at scale. In addition, introducing smarter ways to communicate and deliver service in a style suited for younger demographics.

With all additions and changes, as a finance organisation, compliance and keeping up to date with regulations is crucial.

Powerful technology partnerships

Augusta will leverage the Salesforce Platform to offer clients a responsive channel for self-service tasks such as logging customer support requests, accessing detailed account balances and learning about new investment opportunities.

Investors will be able to receive statements and specific information about Investor Relations online.

Salesforce APAC area vice president financial services John Moran says, “Customers expect experiences of the same quality as their favourite app. The investment made by Augusta to transform their customer experience will deliver scalable and seamless personalised service.”

Augusta Capital managing director Mark Francis says, “Property funds management typically lags in technology adoption and this partnership with IBM positions us to lead the industry in New Zealand.”

“Augusta is a family-based business that has always prided itself on close personal relationships with its investors, but we needed a smarter way of maintaining these connections that is more scalable, efficient and compliant for the future,” Francis says.

Bluewolf ANZ Salesforce Lead Gavin Diamond says, “The rise of fintech means that consumers demand excellent service and online experiences from any financial institution, regardless of size or location.”

“Bluewolf consultants are making digital transformation on Salesforce cost effective even for smaller businesses, and Augusta shows the possibilities to transform customer service and communications in ways that drive growth through improved visibility and brand experience,” Diamond says.

A benefit for the business

Augusta Funds Management staff in Auckland, Christchurch and New Plymouth will also benefit from the digital transformation project, according to the company.

Following the developments, staff will have a single source of truth for existing customer data, which ensures communications are tailored to the individual circumstances of the investor and are more easily audited.

Streamlining onboarding for new investors will reduce paperwork for internal teams, more specifically the Anti Money Laundering (AML) team, while marketing automation will surface additional cross-selling opportunities, according to Augusta.

IBM has now migrated Augusta's legacy systems to Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Community Cloud and Pardot.