CASE STUDY

Sungard Availability Services keeps The Funding Corporation firing on all cylinders

The Funding Corporation is an independent fi nance group that also owns ACF Car Finance Limited, a national network of used car dealerships that retails the vehicles funded by TFC.

TFC specialises in the non-prime marketplace, enabling customers with compromised credit records to apply for personal fi nance that might not otherwise be available from mainstream lenders. It employs more than 150 staff, the majority of whom are based at its Chester head offi ce and contact centre. The business relies heavily on IT and, recognising the importance of ensuring high availability, chose Sungard AS to host and manage its critical systems. Principal IT System Engineer Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds explains, “It’s vital we have an IT infrastructure we can rely on as this ensures we remain both compliant with regulatory requirements, and able to maintain confi dence in the integrity of our electronic storage and retrieval systems.”

The Funding Corporation (TFC) has been a Sungard AS customer since 2004. Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds explains the fi nance group chose Sungard AS as its IT partner because, “Sungard is well respected in the marketplace. It’s got the infrastructure, proven processes and technical expertise. It’s a company others try to emulate.”

TFC is well aware of the potentially catastrophic consequences of IT failure. It trusts Sungard AS to host its most critical applications, which run on Oracle and Unix platforms, at Sungard AS’s highly resilient London Technology Centre. These include the specialist loan administration system on which TFC’s entire business depends. All systems and data are backed up to Sungard AS’s geographically separate Technology Centre 2 for added reassurance.

“It’s vital we have an IT infrastructure we can rely on as this ensures we remain both compliant with regulatory requirements, and able to maintain confidence in the integrity of our electronic storage and retrieval systems.” Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds, Principal IT Engineer, The Funding Corporation

Chester-based TFC also contracts 100 shared Workplace Recovery positions at one of Sungard AS’s workplace recovery centres, which will give core staff a fully-equipped alternative workplace in the event its own contact centre is unavailable or inaccessible for any reason. Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds explains, “It means the duties of key employees responsible for all aspects of loan applications and servicing plus other essential customer liaison work will remain uncompromised by any type of unscheduled event affecting our systems.”

TFC places great importance on customer care and has won a number of finance industry awards for its forwardlooking policies for treating customers fairly. As Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds notes, such policies need to be evidenced by action and not just paid lipservice: “Sungard plays a very important role in this respect as it ensures that customers will continue to receive the same level of attention, service and care under all circumstances.”

To date, TFC has not had cause to invoke Sungard AS’s services although, in line with good practice, it puts its plans to the test with an annual crisis simulation in which contact centre staff take live calls from the Sungard AS workplace recovery centre. TFC values the relationship it has built with Sungard AS over the years. “My exposure to Sungard has been very positive. From experience, I know the people I deal with genuinely have our interests at heart and will do what they can to help us – that’s more important than saving a few pennies. Trust and rapport take time to build and should not be undervalued.”

“Sungard is well respected in the marketplace. It’s got the infrastructure, proven processes and technical expertise. It’s a company others try to emulate.” Emlyn Vaughan-Edmunds, Principal IT Engineer, The Funding Corporation

Business problem

The Funding Corporation (TFC) relies considerably on IT to execute its market-dominant role of providing millions of pounds’ worth of non-prime loans each year to private car buyers. It needed an IT partner it could count on to keep core operations running uninterrupted.

Solution
  • Workplace Recovery
  • High Availability Hosting across two Sungard data centres
  • Electronic Data Vaulting
  • Communications Network Management.

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Business benefits
  • High availability of critical systems and data
  • Prevents financial loss
  • Underpins The Funding Corporation’s customer care policies
  • Access to specialist technical expertise.

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