Getting workflows out of the inbox

John O'Hara FinOps, Fintech, Operations, Technology

Our clients challenged us to bring the benefits of Taskize to email.

Email is omnipresent, but it was not created to be used as the foundation of business processes. It has limitations that compromise efficiency at best, or at worst, cause a breakdown in workflows with all the risk and cost that entails. For instance, emails can easily be misdirected, or multiply in a flurry of cc’s and bcc’s, or may simply sit ignored in an inbox until a task invisibly becomes a crisis. Email technology says nothing about business expectations for the content of messages, so each firm uses email differently, adding to the confusion that operations staff are familiar with as they deal with counterparties.

In order to overcome these issues, our clients challenged us to bring the benefits of Taskize to email.

Email is unavoidable; optimise it with Taskize

Firms using Taskize have Smart Directory™ for counterparty navigation, and Bubbles™ for secure interactions, together with work allocation and all the other benefits of the service. In the past, for our clients to fully benefit from these facilities, their counterparties needed to be on the service, and when our clients had to manage part of their workflow with counterparties outside the network, using email, their efficiency was being compromised.

Data Loss Prevention in Taskize prevents unchecked work being sent to counterparties.

To address this, Taskize added support for sending and receiving emails, overcoming the limitations of general-purpose email tools by adding business processes and manageability to email, and we made Smart Directory email-aware. Now, Taskize can receive emails directly into a Taskize Bubble and route outgoing replies from the Bubble back to the counterparty inbox.  External users not on Taskize can be involved proactively.

The effect is that Taskize users see one task with a known status and clear accountability. They can share, route and manage the work seamlessly. External email users see a series of messages, just as before, but with more information.

The result is an efficient, converged multi-channel solution for client-servicing and operations.  Taskize gives management the information and control they need and can also connect to legacy applications and 3rd party technologies that are important to them.

Taskize reduces the costs and risks of email, providing immediate efficiencies, with a path towards continuous operational improvement, especially where the relationship can be fully optimised end-to-end by inviting key counterparties onto the service.

Taskize was created to make work flow easily along the financial supply chain, and that is why more than 250 companies use it for client-facing and outsourcing processes. It helps them manage their workflows with counterparties in a standardised, secure and efficient way; now also with email!

Use Case: Corporate Actions

Traditionally, when an issuer of securities initiates a corporate action, the custodian bank holding those securities on behalf of its asset management clients will email those clients, informing them of the impending event and advising them of any actions that need to be taken.

Not all of those emails will be responded to immediately, so the custodian has to send reminders. Some will respond by saying they are the wrong person in their organisation and they should be taken off the email distribution list. Some will raise queries. It takes, on average, 10 to 15 emails per counterparty to complete a post-trade process.

If the custodian has ten clients, that will require 100 to 150 emails, and if three to four people are involved in each asset manager, that means 30 to 40 people will be emailed, and numerous email chains will be created.

It takes, on average, 10 to 15 emails per counterparty to complete a post-trade process.

However, if the custodian is a Taskize user, they can manage this email-sending process using one Bubble per client, driving until an election is received, or closed out.  Related work can be linked to the Corporate Action, and relative priorities and deadlines can be set. Meanwhile, the custodian teams (which may be located in different business centres) can push the processes forward together, around the clock, and track the progress easily in Taskize.  If some clients are already on Taskize, the process gets easier still, as Smart Directory replaces clumsy contact lists to identify the right people to be involved.

If the corporate action is complex, documents will need to be collected, shared, actioned and queries resolved.  Taskize can collect the emails, messages and documents for the corporate action in a Bubble, where the right people from the different counterparty firms can share documents and allocate work in a secure environment.

Documents can be added to the Bubble to be shared and automatically updated, so only the latest versions are available, removing the risk of users actioning an outdated document. Furthermore, Data Loss Prevention in Taskize prevents unchecked work being sent to counterparties.

So if, for example, a dividend amount in an original document was wrongly given as £1.23 when it should have been £1.32, the document can be quickly updated and an automated alert sent to all parties. Taskize users receive their alert via the Bubble. Non-Taskize users receive their alert, plus the updated document, via email.
The custodian can therefore be sure that the asset managers and all other parties have seen the latest document, without having to send a huge number of emails manually.

In summary

Whilst this is a corporate actions example, integrating emails into complex workflows has a significant impact on all types of transactions where deadlines are critical or long chains of counterparties are involved.  The Taskize Email Solution assigns, prioritises and tracks outgoing and incoming emails. It reduces distracting and irrelevant emails, oversees communications activity and improves service levels.

Email is omnipresent, but availability is not an indicator of suitability.

The Taskize network includes sell-side and buy-side firms, brokers and custodians, market infrastructure providers like Euroclear (which has a 70% holding in Taskize) DTCC and LCH, and cloud-based messaging platforms such as Symphony.

Taskize continues to innovate and anticipates making processes such as this increasingly seamless, whilst maintaining client controls.

If you would like to learn more about how Taskize can help you manage your inter-company workflows, contact sales@taskize.com.