Magazine article CRM Magazine

Money Changes Everything: Callidus Helps a Financial Force Straighten out Its Transactions

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Money Changes Everything: Callidus Helps a Financial Force Straighten out Its Transactions

Article excerpt

Banks, like any other business, have to sell products and services to make a profit, be they savings accounts, lines of credit, or mortgages. Personnel typically receive a commission for referring business to the right officer, or for closing the deal themselves. During the wave of mergers that broke over the financial services industry in the early 2000s, banks were faced with the sudden need to unify their already complex and individualized compensation programs.

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Wachovia was acquired by First Union in April 2001, with the combined entities taking the Wachovia name. Terry Gilbert, vice president and manager of Wachovia's salary and incentive management department, was tasked with integrating the original Wachovia program with First Union's Nomad, a 20-year-old spreadsheet incentive system that had been tweaked to perform compensation functions as well. "It was doing a job it wasn't designed for, needed lots of manual intervention, and only one person in the company understood how it all worked," Gilbert says. "It was little more than a big, 20-year-old calculator."

A rickety, poorly understood application is a recipe for internal disaster, to say nothing of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance failure. Gilbert started looking for a new system. "We narrowed the search down from about 20 vendors to a short list of five by spring 2003." After more trials, Wachovia decided on Callidus Software and its TrueComp application. The implementation was supposed to go live in June 2004, running parallel with Nomad for three months.

At least, that was the plan. After a problem-free development cycle, Wachovia experienced a sudden shock upon turning off Nomad and using the new system (called SOLD) full-time. "We turned it on but it didn't work," Gilbert says. After much head scratching, the team eventually figured out the issue--miscommunication of terms. …

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