The Google Principle: Data is Treasury Gold

The inspirational genesis of Load Balanced Treasury
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Martin Bellin author pictureAuthor: Martin Bellin

When BELLIN completely switched to web-based systems almost two decades ago, we adopted a philosophy we named: Load Balanced Treasury. The fundamental nature of the idea was simple yet productive. By integrating web-based technology, our solutions have become location independent. All activity of the corporate group is accessible and transparent via a single application, allowing them to input data into the central database. This provides control and visibility of data to the global treasury department. Our load balanced philosophy was the golden mean within the raging debate of centralized vs. decentralized global treasury. For such a philosophy to succeed, we extracted the best of both worlds, ensuring subsidiaries had localized control and access to a centralized platform.

A nod to our humble trailblazers: Google

The genesis of this philosophy can be traced back to a small mom-and-pop company, Google. Google famously-provides all users with valuable applications, free-of-charge. Google Maps, Gmail, Google Translate, Chrome, are all free applications and impressively top in their class. How is Google able to afford providing top-shelf suites of applications without direct revenue streams? Quick answer: Google knew the revenue it would generate from selling their applications was peanuts next to the limitless value in consumer data. Despite their small size and miniscule market share, Google can be viewed as a behemoth pseudo data-aggregator that provides targeted products based on that knowledge. Like Google, data is the lifeblood that drives corporate treasury success, and having a tool to aggregate that data has exponential utility.

When we introduced tm5 based on the concept of Load Balanced Treasury, we enabled corporate treasuries to provide powerful banking solutions to all their subsidiaries. Such applications were otherwise unavailable to many of their subsidiaries, and our offering was intended to fill in the gaps that they had. Our ideal scenario was that the subsidiaries would not pay for these applications – unless needed to avoid intercompany pricing and taxation issues. In return, the central treasury department opens a silk road to all that valuable financial data. All those subsidiaries have effectively paid their part by providing information to the group treasury and avoiding time-consuming reports.

Our load balanced concept was the product of early innovation on Google’s part. The group companies that utilize tm5 have experienced boundless cost and administrative benefits. Users from all subsidiaries enjoy a host of secure and advanced tools to optimize their banking activities, elevating their payments and treasury with automation and control. Consequently, the valuable time that is freed up allows treasurers to utilize their expertise and efforts on the high-level strategic tasks that matter. Although data collection as a task is cumbersome, it is vital to understand the actual data is gold. As we reminisce about the debates between centralization and decentralization, a middle-ground approach in which all companies can take any road they wish should be the industry standard.

Final thoughts

As I sit here using Google Chrome to publish this, I can’t help paying homage to Google, the humble trailblazers. Google paved the way for us. And just like Google, we provide the instruments to collect the data needed to build your customized business case.

The result: transparency and security fueled by efficient collaboration.

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