Have you ever asked yourself why there’s a manager for ‘Finance and Administration for Regional Centres’ in a technology department? Particularly in the Technology and Operations area (T&O) of BBVA?
For me, the answer is clear…
In this age of innovation and constant change, technology is the ‘core business’ for many new businesses (especially in the sector we call the “world of the internet“), being the fundamental basis for the evolution and survival of nearly all of them.
To be correctly applied in a company, technology requires many essential factors (which my colleagues are beginning to highlight in this blog and will continue to do so in future entries); but, for an IT business to function properly a finance and administration department is also crucial.
At BBVA we have taken a huge step forward in the way that the Technology and Operations (T&O) area offers its services to other areas, banks and Group companies. This leap has been achieved through the creation of Shared Service Centres (SSC).
For a global SSC to function properly and achieve its efficiency, synergy and profitability targets, it must be created as an independent company that provides a variety of IT services to the banks within the BBVA Group as well as (and why not) to other companies outside of the Group.
In our case, our department is responsible for the administration and finances of two SSCs that BBVA has decided to establish in the Americas: the Regional Corporate Centre in Mexico, which is BBVA’s main DPC in the Americas, and an applications development factory in Chile.
It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that both SSCs have the necessary resources to provide the services they have been created to provide, although we also manage everything related to the healthy operation of a company (meaning tax, accountancy or legal issues, suppliers, payments, collections, regulators and auditors, among many things).
Which aspect do you think makes all the difference (apart from the quality of the service) to a SSC? One of the key issues is the correct calculation of the prices they charge for their services and this is where our team has to be fluent in the language of technology (in conjunction with the language of administration) in order to define: What is it we sell? How will our client understand it? What is the cost of this service? What is the best way to determine the price?… and to translate this into accounting, tax and legal terms.
To achieve this, it is essential to manage the information and to have a model that includes suppliers, software, applications, personnel, hardware, service indicators, levels of resource consumption… among many others. It is this combination of different but converging worlds (What do our clients think? Our technical team? Our department?) that makes our daily work more challenging and interesting.
Finally, Regional Corporate Centre (just like any other SSC) must always think of its clients; but in our case, who are the clients of the Department of Finance and Administration for Regional Centres?
We prefer to use the term ‘client’ rather than ‘user’, because it helps to remind all of us that the real key to success for a service company (and a SSC by definition must be a service company) is CLIENT satisfaction.
Our ‘external’ clients are therefore the managers of BBVA’s technology and finance areas in the different countries where we provide our services. And our ‘internal’ clients are the managers of the different units that make up the Regional Corporate Centre, with whom we manage the budgets required to keep the Centre competitive and ahead of the game, generating value for the BBVA Group.
What about you? How do you think a technology SSC should develop? Do you think it should offer its services on the open market? How do you think it can provide more value to its clients (internal and external)?
I look forward to reading your comments.