Today, we continue sharing knowledge and equip those in the factoring industry with the technological expertise needed to effectively collaborate with modern software providers.
In this article series, you can find a bunch of details about the key technological aspects of factoring software and two main types of data migration to choose from during implementation. We share our perspectives and best practices, because we believe that the cooperation goes smoother when both sides are on the same page.
1. Does the vendor provide the latest technology?
Check: Ensure that the IT company provides experienced programmers with modern technological expertise and approach to development.
Comarch approach: A modern factoring system should use a microservice approach.
Factoring systems can be built of different modules, e.g. repayment module, contract module, administration module, etc. Thanks to microservices architecture, each of those modules can act as a separate entity as well as work with one another at the same time. What a microservice approach gives to the system? When adding extensions or improvements (e.g. patches) to the chosen module, developer’s work won’t affect the operation of other modules or the system in general. In other words, thanks to microservices, the system is no longer one big monolith, sensitive to providing any minor changes, which was common until not so long ago.
2. Well-thought-out user experience and app interface are a must
Check: The system should be co-developed with the end-users at every stage of production with support from the experts.
Comarch approach: Experienced UX LAB team and analysts work with end-users for best results.
Users get easily attached to what they already know. They don't like changes and refuse learning new systems and e.g. creating complicated process templates. Everyday tasks should be as easy as possible for both customers and factor-employees.
The role of UX LAB is very important in the software development process. Evaluating the behavior of real system-users when performing preset tasks, the time taken to perform them, as well as data on how users operate throughout the system, provides key information on how factoring software should be structured to become a user-friendly solution that is easy to get attached to.
3. Will the existing infrastructure keep up with your business?
Check: Companies experiencing high levels of growth should consider investing in cloud-based services.
Comarch approach: Cloud-based system fits the business needs best.
The scalability of the cloud gives the growing businesses flexibility to expand their bandwidth and capacity on demand. Similarly, if a company is experiencing a period of decline, it can scale down. In result, companies can adapt to change in real time. When it comes to capacity concerns, the cloud can meet your needs and take expensive hardware out of the equation.
4. Does system implementation have to be difficult and unpleasant?
Check: Ensure that the declared implementation times are realistic.
Comarch approach: Quick product delivery and short time to market. The product should be delivered as quickly as possible. The length of the process depends on the scope of implementation, additional functionalities, as well as the scope of integration and data migration. From our perspective, it should take no more than 3–6 months from signing the contract.
5. Flexibility to new functionalities and changes
Check: The process of adding new features and their implementation should consider both pace of execution and user perspective.
Comarch approach: The value of new functionality should be analyzed at multiple levels.
It is clear that the financial industry needs to respond to new customer requirements as quickly as possible in order not to lose profits. However, even the smallest new functionality must be thought through in terms of implementation, internal logic and presentation in the system. Just a few years ago, we wanted every new piece of information and took it without hesitation; today, an overload of information is increasingly preventing us from efficient decision-making. In addition to efficient implementation, the new functionality must also take into account business analysis and user testing, so that it fits into the invoice or transaction-handling process as much as possible, and does not hamper the readability of the process with excessive information.
6. Transparent system development plans and updates that ensure minimal impact on end-users
Check: Supplier-provided upgrade schedule.
Comarch approach: Provide a release plan in cooperation with the client and let it be known in advance.
Maintaining stability of the system during upgrades provides comfort to end-users and ensures uninterrupted business operation. This can be guaranteed not only by applying a microservice approach to system construction and development, but also creating a clear and precise release plan. Providing a plan of product improvement or a road map for each period (e.g. two-year terms) gives our clients a clear view of their system. Delivered in quarterly terms, the releases are based on specific customer requirements, carefully planned out during special meetings. The release plan and roadmap are flexibly adapted to production capacity and customer needs, and are known in advance.
7. Factoring staff and clients can gain more from knowledge sharing and workshops
Check: The IT company shares knowledge in its areas of expertise, not only in the software it provides.
Comarch approach: Sharing knowledge on technology and security, increasing the popularity of the factoring service among entrepreneurs.
Factor and bank employees’ confidence can be boosted through providing education on IT solutions, safety, and new technologies. In our view, this is also a responsibility of major IT companies in the industry. In Poland, we have been lately educating factor’s employees about the use of AI in software factoring and its benefits. We also offer tutorials for both Front Office and Back Office users, to simplify the use of the system and ease the workload. As part of the Educational and Marketing Team within the Polish Factors Association, we produce articles and mailings targeted to entrepreneurs.
Understanding key features and tools in factoring software lays a solid foundation for effective collaboration with tech providers. Now that we have a more comprehensive understanding of these crucial elements, it's time to delve into the practical aspects of data migration. In the second part, we'll concentrate on two primary types of data migration, analyzing their advantages, challenges, and best practices that will facilitate seamless implementation of a factoring software.