BoQ takes $10m hit on Salesforce CRM

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BoQ takes $10m hit on Salesforce CRM

Regulatory hurdles end cloud pilot.

Bank of Queensland has written off $10 million from a three-year trial of Salesforce technology for its customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

The bank today advised that "operational and regulatory requirements" related to the cloud-based system had not been met, resulting in the $10 million impairment.

The CRM system was intended to deliver staff faster access to customer data, a reduction on the time taken to create new accounts, and an opportunity for stronger cross-sell abilities.

It started trials in 2011, which grew to encompass around 57 branches and nearly 400 users.

The bank kept running its legacy CRM platform throughout the pilot. It had initially expected to fully implement the Salesforce platform by the end of 2013.

BoQ said as a result of the impairment, it would now investigate alternative platforms.

The bank will roll back to its legacy CRM solution - which is still in place in the majority, or around 200, of its branches - while it searches for an alternative.

The financial services watchdog APRA has previously signalled concerns around the use of cloud computing services where the data is stored offshore - such as is the case with the BoQ pilot.

Salesforce does not have an Australian data centre, despite promising one almost four years ago. Most Asia-Pacific customers are serviced from Japan.

APRA mandates that any outsourcing arrangements involving "material business activities" be subject to appropriate due diligence, approval and ongoing monitoring. 

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