How TMX group steered its financial management cloud transition

Perhaps it’s because the organization lives and breaths line graph visualizations every day, because it wasn’t until he charted out the TMX Group’s future roadmap with its on-premises financial management software that Frank DiLiso, vice-president of corporate finance and administration, realized a change was needed.

“When we mapped out our roadmap with our current infrastructure, we kind of drew what our current landscape was versus a Software as a Service (SaaS) system,” he said, in an interview at the Workday Rising conference in Chicago. “The picture in itself was worth 1,000 words. The fewer connections we had, the more efficient we became as an organization.”

It was midway through 2016 when TMX made the same decision as many organizations. It’d abandon its on-premises installation of financial management (in its case, Microsoft Dynamics) and seek a cloud-based alternative. For TMX, its on-premises system had become Frankenstein-like, fed data by 80 different entities that required monitoring by employees, and which required treatment as separate systems when closing the books on a quarter. Eventually, the integration points added up and the finances system was no longer producing meaningful reports.

“You’re trying to aggregate that into one area and then export it to another system to get at the results,” DiLiso said. “You don’t have a lot of time to focus on what else we could do, you’re just focused on getting it ready.”

In October, TMX was just getting out of the gates with its Workday Financial Management implementation. DiLiso is already seeing some early benefits, but mostly potential about what his staff will be able to do with all the extra time they’ve created thanks to the automated integration of its systems. Here’s how TMX moved through the migration process from that “eureka” moment that leadership determined a change was needed.

Choosing the right solution

TMX began its migration journey the way many board-governed enterprises would – it issued a request for proposals. Consulting firm Deloitte helped it define its needs for their financial system to include in the RFP. It heard bids from five different systems – NetSuite, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. Before it made the final decision to go with Workday, it narrowed the choice down between Workday and Oracle.

Involved in the selection process were managers accountable for profit and loss centres at TMX. Workday was the right choice because it had the capability of consolidating all of its four legacy systems.  But it was also a favourite among employees, who were brought in as beta testers during the final phase of selection between two vendors.

First TMX collected a needs assessment from their workers and then held a demo period, scoring both solutions against those needs. “They were much more comfortable with the Workday experience,” DiLiso says. “It was about having a system that was nimble enough to support our long-term strategy.”

Making the leap

Migration to Workday started three months before the actual go-live date for the new system would be officially supported. That gave TMX enough time to migrate over its transaction-level details happening day-to-day during that time period and also back 18 months in historical data.

“This was a quicker way to get off the legacy system,” Diliso explains. “There’s no reason to go back and look at transaction details.”

While TMX did spend more time than it anticipated on migrating all of its data, just because of the sheer volume of it, the commitment was worth it as it improved adoption. Combined with a change management plan, TMX was able to drive enthusiastic adoption of Workday.

Compliance considerations were also a factor, with the TMX governed by the office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. It has a requirement that all books and records for TMX’s finances must be accessible in Canada. Working with its compliance officer, TMX determined that so long as it was able to download the data from the cloud (and its U.S.-based server) to produce reports, it was in the clear.

“There were some conversations about what OFSI needed and what we were doing,” Diliso says.

Expected benefits and next steps

Some benefits of the new cloud software system are already being reaped. TMX is finding that it’s reduced courier costs because it’s not running as much paper around that needed a signature from a particular executive. Employees are now submitting requisition and expense requests through Workday.

TMX is also looking to integrate with its suppliers APIs where possible. Since Workdays integrative capabilities were a big incentive for its move, Diliso is keen on turning this around. This will allow TMX can more tightly control its payments to suppliers based on agreement terms and its capital management plan.

Next steps include more system integration – Workday will play nicely with Salesforce and ServiceNow – and creating a one-stop shop for employees to get all of their information in one place.

“We want to make sure that when employees come to work, just as they open up a tab for mail, they open up a tab for core financial tasks.”


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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