Interview with João Alberto Almeida

João Alberto Almeida-Itau BBA

With 8 years of experience at Itaú BBA, João Alberto Almeida is a system analyst responsible for the entire technology division at the Equity Research department of the bank. Itaú BBA is the biggest Corporate & Investment Bank in Latin American and is part of the Itaú Unibanco group, one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world. João pioneered the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2012 and has been, since then, advancing and amplifying its use. Read more.

“We’re expanding the solution to other areas…”

Tells us a little bit about the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Itaú BBA.

Itaú is always looking for new technologies that can add value to the business. We opted for using Dynamics CRM in the research division since 2012. The Office pack was already a very popular toolset inside Itaú and it integrated perfectly with the Dynamics CRM features we’ve been presented, what made adoption much easier. Dynamics CRM turned out to be very popular with the teams that used it, simplifying the storage of customer data and the centralization of relationship activities. The platform allows exporting or updating data through Office. It’s a rare thing when I need external technologies that are not in the package.

Why did you choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Some CRM solutions were not compatible with the bank, being ‘black boxes’ – hard to customize and maintain. Others didn’t pass our compliance requirements, for operating only in the cloud and not having an on-premises option. Dynamics CRM is flexible, open, and has the hybrid model, attending all of our demands.

Why did you choose AlfaPeople as the implementation consulting partner?

I met with other consultancy firms, and it’s all in the customer service. AlfaPeople’s teams were very competent and sure of what they were doing. They understood my challenges, the context I was in and offered viable solutions. They’re people that know what the customer needs and know the product.

What gets more your attention in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform?

All customer relationship is stored in CRM. It’s easy to cross data and create reports. All the material generated by the research division is organized, stored and distributed to the customers through Dynamics. Dynamics and Office integration features make the job of everyone easier – be it with Excel, Word or Outlook.

What are the benefits that Dynamics CRM brings to your division and to Itaú BBA?

The little dependence on the IT area is one of the main benefits, with greater autonomy to the business area, which can create its own forms, reports, workflows and other business rules. Dynamics front-end is very rich and easy to work with. With a familiar interface, you don’t need to be a specialist to operate the CRM in an advanced way. Dynamics is quickly able to 2017 to respond to our business requirements.

The platform was implemented in 2012. What are you thinking about the evolution of the product during this time?

Although technology change comes slowly in financial institutions, Dynamics CRM has been evolving naturally to other areas. We started with a select group of users and pioneered Dynamics CRM use in Brazil and in the world, inside the conglomerate Itaú Unibanco”. We currently have about 150 users in our installation. Considering the rest of the bank, we have thousands of Dynamics users. Many other areas of the group are now using the platform.

What’s the greatest challenge met by your team when using the CRM?

The only challenge is having a culture of using CRM. The user doesn’t like registering everything he does, he thinks it’s a waste of time. This is a cultural problem met in most companies, not only Itaú or with Dynamics. Users struggle to recognize the value added to the company by storing relationship information.

Any news regarding Dynamics CRM?

We’re expanding the use of the solution to other areas, not only the research division will use Dynamics CRM, but also the sales area. They will be able to fully control negotiations, events and relationship activities in CRM. There will be an integration between areas, unifying the information shared with the customer. Today is not uncommon for the sales area to invite a customer to an event, without knowing which clients are in contact with other areas, and how frequently they contact us. With this integration, there will be a single database, and products that I’m sharing with my customers in my area can be used in sales campaigns.

How do you evaluate the role of AlfaPeople in the last years?

It was always a crucial role, as in Itaú BBA we don’t have experts in Dynamics CRM, being totally dependent on external teams. Besides that, AlfaPeople knows our environment a lot and they’re always ready to solve our problems and improve our system.

What are the improvements planned for your area?

The main project we have in mind is the migration to the new version. We’re still using the 2011 version, that is not supported anymore by Microsoft. Another need we’ve identified is the use of CRM mobile to sellers and analysts that are on the field a lot.

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