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Ian Campbell, Planixs’ Head of Pre-Sales, provides a glimpse into his day-to-day role at Planixs - highlighting the key challenges that banking firms face when it comes to managing their cash and liquidity, and how he is working with customers and potential customers to solve these challenges as they move towards a digital treasury.
I’ve worked for software companies as a Consultant, Solution Architect and Head of Pre-Sales for over 20 years. I was at my last company for 17 years and my move to Planixs, just over a year ago, took a lot of careful consideration.
What a move…. I’m loving it!
It is a very exciting time to be at Planixs – we are winning prestigious new name logos in the most difficult of times, partly because our Realiti® software is so unique and leading edge in an ever-evolving marketplace. As Head of Pre-Sales, I work within the Sales team. Sales is supported by the whole of Planixs, with teams working tightly together to the same goals. Since joining Planixs, learning all about treasury operations and intraday liquidity has been intellectually challenging – but I have great colleagues who are industry experts and willing to share their time. I’m engaged with an exciting mix of clients: large Tier 1 banks, small UK entity banks and a growing number of global corporates. I’m heavily involved with our partner channel, working with world leading organisations who resell, implement and repackage our software. And, until the nightmare that is Covid, I was fortunate enough to travel all over Europe and to the United States representing Planixs.
For this blog I was asked to try to capture what it is that I do on a “typical” day. That’s a tricky ask, Pre-Sales is such a varied role that there’s no such thing. It’s exactly this diversity within my role which keeps me motivated and busy every day – but I will do my best to try and convey how broad the role actually is and explain why no two days are the same…
At the moment, the only constant in my day is the morning school run as the family copes with the rules around isolation and sadly, managing without hands-on grandparent support for the kids. During the school run, and much to my kids delight, we have our daily team conference call where the team discusses our upcoming day and plan any collaboration needs.
Thereafter, it’s different every day but these are some of the things I’m currently involved with:
Bread and butter for a Pre-Sales person is learning the software and keeping the demonstration solution up to date. We’ve recently released some updated capabilities around our cash management proposition, enhancing how banks accurately manage their forecasts, make more informed funding decisions and generating sweep instructions to automatically square off accounts. I’ve just finished the handover with the lead Business Analyst and have created the first draft of the demo script. My next task is to enhance the script further so we can demonstrate “a day in the life” of a Cash Manager to really show off the improved capability. Following on from that I need to get to grips with the securities side of intraday liquidity management. We have just released our new Inventory Monitoring & Management module. This will really stand us out in the marketplace as having the only single platform which can address all of a firm’s liquidity needs.
We’ve been engaged with a particular leading UK bank for a number of months and I’m currently working with the bank for their internal business case submission. It’s been fascinating to see how the business case over the course of the engagement has morphed from being based on substantial liquidity buffer savings to include focusing on enabling the bank’s new target operating model, forced upon the bank by Covid. This has become far more prevalent in many of our engagements, as operating models have been forced to change overnight and remote working becomes the norm, the inherent operational risk in legacy processes has been highlighted and these processes are now seen as too risky and an impediment to the rapid change which is required.
There’s a lot of activity at the moment around our SaaS proposition. We’re seeing an increase in banks requesting SaaS delivery models where hosting, infrastructure, IT operations tools and performance considerations are taken care of by Planixs. I’ve been working closely with our CTO to update our SaaS deployment model on AWS which provides protection against component and site failure. More and more clients categorise Realiti as business critical and consequently, this SaaS model is becoming more and more popular.
There’s a constant flow of RFPs which we’re working on, all at various stages. Completing RFPs can be time-consuming and take a lot of effort to get right – but it is worth the time and effort when we are selected as the preferred partner for some of the largest banks in the world. This week I received a supplementary questionnaire document from a bank we are contracting with after a particularly involved RFP. The questionnaire had 232 questions and we had 2 days to turn it around. Thankfully, it was sent in error!! We had already answered the questionnaire earlier in the RFP. That moment of realisation was possibly the highlight of my week this week.
Our partner channel has really taken off in 2020. We have a range of partners and referrers, including small specialist consultancies, the world's leading IT services and solutions companies and a leader in global payments. All of these businesses are working with us because they recognise Realiti as the leading real-time cash and liquidity management solution in the market. As a result, I am involved in a number of different initiatives …. defining new product propositions and go to market strategies, creating enablement materials, skills transfer sessions, hands on client support - the list goes on. We’re really excited at the moment because two of our new joint propositions are entering the pilot stage with a select number of banks and large corporates. Co-ordinating these with the partner, the client and my internal colleagues is keeping me busy on their own. I’m really hoping to travel to Asia Pac once the world returns to normal - within one of our partners there’s a great team out there who are really pushing Realiti forward in their local markets and the relationship merits meeting face-to-face to really nurture the partnership. It’s also a part of the world I’ve never been to and foreign travel is one of the highlights of the role.
To finish… In these difficult times it’s hard not to reflect on what is happening in the world right now. In truth, I consider myself very lucky and writing my current experiences down as part of this blog has made me reflect and really brought that home to me. I’ve got a great job, selling best in class software which resolves real and complex business problems, working with an array of global brands and top-notch expert colleagues.
If, as part of reading this blog, any aspect of what we do at Planixs is of interest, please reach out to me and I’d be delighted to speak to you further.
Here’s to 2021 and bigger and better things in so many ways.