Marubeni migrates to SEPA with Exalog
Marubeni Europe plc has placed its trust in Exalog once again by choosing its Exabanque software for the company’s migration to SEPA. Valérie Vanderchruche, accountant at Marubeni Europe plc, explains why they made this choice.
Could you first tell us about Marubeni Europe plc?
Marubeni Europe plc is the European subsidiary of the Marubeni Corporation, one of the largest Japanese trading companies, or a sogo shosha.
The commercial activities of the Marubeni Group at international level mainly involve metals, energy resources, chemicals and electrical energy, as well as consumer goods and textiles.
With total turnover of EUR 908 million in 2011, Marubeni Europe plc has 12 branches, including the Paris office which is noted for its work in the areas of chemistry, foodstuffs and transportation equipment.
What is your position within the company?
After 25 years here, I am an accountant in the Paris office. For about 10 years I was in charge of treasury management in our branch.
Nowadays, I no longer look after operational tasks; instead I am involved in large projects such as the transition to EBICS or the migration to SEPA, in addition to my human resources responsibilities.
How is the treasury department organised in your Group?
Since about the year 2000, the whole of the Group has been working with SAP, but each subsidiary has its own treasury software. In Paris, we have been using Exalog’s Exabanque solution since 2007.
What criteria led you to choose Exalog’s software and what was the background to that choice?
Before starting to use Exalog, we used a program from another supplier which kept causing us problems, such as data losses whenever we performed an update. In addition, we were not happy with the maintenance charges, which we felt were too high.
One of the banks we work with recommended Exalog to us just before the summer of 2007. We were looking for a treasury management and banking communication solution that was reliable, given the problems we were having with our system at the time. The financial aspect was also important, as well as good access to the vendor.
The Exabanque solution from Exalog met our criteria, but at that time it didn’t include certain treasury management functions we needed.
The Exalog teams then suggested working with us to develop the software in such a way that it could meet our needs. This partnership proved very effective, and from October 2007 we began to work with Exabanque.
How would you sum up the implementation of Exabanque at Marubeni Europe plc?
We have greatly appreciated the way that Exalog has listened to us and been there for us, both during the consultancy phase and while implementing the software. We have greatly appreciated the way that Exalog has listened to us and been there for us, both during the consultancy phase and while implementing the software. The Exalog teams supported us during the implementation of Exabanque, and the migration of our data to the new solution was very quick and easy.
What would you say are the strong points of the Exabanque software and of its publisher, Exalog?
One of the major benefits of Exabanque is how easy it is to use. Its ergonomics are so intuitive that a 12-year-old would be able to use it. It is also a reliable product. We haven’t really had any significant problems since we installed it.
And as far as Exalog is concerned, we have had no reason to doubt our decision to choose them in 2007: this is a provider we can trust, that is highly skilled in its domain and offers excellent customer service. Exalog always keeps us up to date with new functions available in the software, and about what is happening in the sector.
On that note, how did you find out about the introduction of SEPA?
It was Exalog that first mentioned this to us at the end of 2007. Then, our banking partners brought the subject to our attention around March 2008. So we knew very early on that we needed to implement this new standard. However, we did not set to work immediately, as we were concerned about the technical aspect.
Our head office in Japan wanted each entity in the Group to take responsibility for their own SEPA project and select a solution which best met their needs.
What were the main stages of your transition to SEPA?
When we decided to begin our migration project, we first contacted our banks. Some of them offered their own SEPA transfer solutions.
As we were happy using Exabanque, and as the software was compatible with the new standard, we didn’t follow up on the offers from our banks, instead preferring to pursue the partnership with our software supplier. Exalog helped us with the configuration of our new environment.
How would you sum up your migration to SEPA?
Today we can carry out SEPA transfers with all our banks. We are not yet carrying out treasury transfers because our international banking partners, with whom our Group basically works, are not yet ready.
Once it was underway, the SEPA transition project went without a hitch. We appreciated Exalog’s forethought in offering a module to convert CFONB files to SEPA format. Their teams listened to our needs and provided us with the support we needed, which was especially useful because this was a technical challenge and we don’t have an internal IT team.
To those companies who haven’t yet started their migration process, I would say go and talk to your software supplier and find out what their software can do. The conversion of the database is a particularly vital part of the migration to SEPA, where you need to take special care.
Guillaume Lafarge, Chairman