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Here you can find out about some of the components of Elements and services provided by CTC in support of its software.
Exploring some of the off-the-shelf solutions using Elements can be found in What we do. In What we are thinking and in the Innovation Centre (coming shortly) you can see the fruits of our R&D investment available for clients to take competitive advantage; these innovations are built using the components in Elements.
Clients can apply your own creativity with Elements and address business problems or opportunities unique to them. We thrive in these situations bringing our own business and financial insights, confident we can assemble Elements quickly to fulfil a client's ambitions.
Elements modules and our range of services are described further below offering a unique capability where actuarial, financial, operational and IT excellence come together.
Click here to see the full CTC Periodic Table
The calculation engine which underpins CTC's illustration capability, other modelling solutions and complex administration functions have been extended over many years. CTC has always taken the approach that the calculations should be made from first principles and it is this feature which provides a unique flexibility to CTC's software solutions. The further advantage of our many years' experience in this field is seen in the speed with which calculations are undertaken, based on years of optimisation work, which results in the best possible user experience.
From the outset Elements was set up to be customer rather than product centred. Consequently, even if a customer has more than one policy or plan all aspects of communication with the customer can be viewed in one central communications record. This communication record can log meetings, telephone calls and diary future events. It will automatically retain the archive of all documentation and letters generated through Elements and hold scanned copies of any paper correspondence received. The customer record itself holds full personal details and can be utilised for wider marketing purposes. Because Elements is web based all relevant (and allowed) information can be read not just by administrators but by consultants and advisers and by the end customers themselves.
Elements is designed to cover the whole range of financial services products (featured in the CTC Periodic Table). The product engine is designed to cover the whole process from application, through contribution collection, fund accumulation (where appropriate), to payments out whether by transfer, death, retirement payments or maturity. An individual customer can have many product types, each of which may obey different regulatory rules, belong technically to a different provider, have attached differing claims and payment options, carry different charges and offer different fee arrangements for introducers. The set up bases are highly parameterised thus speeding the implementation time for new products or variations on existing products.
The pace of technological change continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Increasingly customers expect to interact with the companies and institutions with which they do business through tablets and mobile phones. All CTC software is now designed to operate clearly and effectively through tablets and mobile devices. For advisers, the full range of interactive planning tools can effectively used on tablets and laptops.
Elements has been a cloud based solution since before the term obtained wide usage. CTC's standard implementation approach is to provide a fully hosted service with the data held securely in our dedicated hosting environment. Thus clients all benefit from our sophisticated back up and disaster recovery processes. Because when system updates are required CTC staff are applying them directly into our own environment turnaround times for updates can be significantly improved, this is of particular benefit during the initial development phase.
Many of the CTC directors and senior staff have hade careers in the types of financial services companies that use our software; experiences spanning product development, actuarial, technical and operations. So we can rapidly grasp what clients are trying to achieve and are able to contribute to their propositions.
During the early stages of a project CTC draws on this immense bank of experience to provide consultancy advice on how best to achieve an objective. This is a practical exercise exploring where CTC software can rapidly generate client benefits and considering the "art of the possible". Our depth of expertise means a project initiation phase can be significantly shortened and we are efficient at turning requirements into technical solution.
All CTC's services and development are based in the UK. We are able to deliver projects with small teams and without long development chains because our people have a deep understanding of the products and services sold by financial services companies. Whilst keeping to rigorous development methodologies CTC analysts work quickly and efficiently because they can accurately interpret and anticipate business requirements.
Our implementation directors and project managers all have a financial services background and are equally proficient at detailed planning as they are ensuring the business integrity of a software solution. CTC technical consultants are conversant with the most current communication and infrastructure technologies defining secure architectures that scale.
CTC is a firm advocate of the use of iterative prototyping to speed the development process. All clients understand the benefits of early access to the software as it develops. This means that any gaps in the specification are spotted quickly and users can take early ownership in the software that is being developed for them. The usability of the software can be checked at an early date, not just with client staff, but with third parties (advisers, consumers, employers etc) that may use the software.
CTC has many years of experience in taking data from existing systems and importing and validating it into CTC applications. Any migration plan would be developed in parallel to the main software development with appropriate mapping occurring as early as possible so that at an early stage of any development the client can see a test site which contains the fullest possible set of migration data. This means gaps or problems with the migrated data can be assessed at an early stage and some of the overall testing can be accommodated using existing live cases. Iterative cuts of the data to be migrated can be taken so that at the data final changeover problems are minimised. Full support is provided for parallel running where applicable.
BNY Mellon is a leading investment management and investment services company, uniquely focused to help clients manage and move their financial assets.
As part of any project a full training requirement analysis is undertaken at the commencement of the project. CTC's recommended process is that senior users are involved in the project at the earliest possible stage. If such users are involved in the development and testing process they quickly take ownership of the project and, for the long term, become the "super users" who are the key to a successful project. For larger projects and implementations CTC's standard approach is to "train the trainer" and appropriate test and demo sites will be made available from an early stage to enable training staff to develop the most applicable methodologies for a client's particular organisational needs.
CTC's operates an advanced web based Helpdesk whereby a client can log problems and change requests, prioritise them and view each log through to completion. This means that a client's management can always see for themselves the full current status of all outstanding issues. The Helpdesk can also assist clients in developing ad hoc queries (e.g. where management have asked urgently for a particular piece of information) and in amending letters and documentation produced by the system.
Each client has an assigned Service Manager who is responsible for monitoring the service and support work carried out for the client. A standard report and service call or meeting take places regularly to review service performance, work in progress and planned work.
CTC is respected for its commentary on statutory and regulatory developments which is published through the website and discussed with clients. With our clients we also share our thinking on newly emerged products and market developments. Many clients consider CTC staff to be their own experts in areas covered by our software.
Aside the Service Manager (covered under Customer Centre) there are two other people who ensure that clients get the most value from the relationship with CTC. The CTC Client Manager understands the client's on-going business objectives and, beyond the existing CTC products and services the client uses, they offer ways CTC can help the client. In addition to this, each client has assigned an executive from the board who seeks to align CTC's strategy with the strategy of the client. Particularly as CTC drives innovation, clients greatly value the regular governance meetings that are an opportuntiy to talk about future ambitions and opportunities.