BMW Group Financial Services launch pan-European technology program with Sword Apak

Frank axel

The globalisation of the automotive and financial services industries remains a key priority for many businesses to create consistent brand and operating standards.

BMW Group Financial Services (BMWFS) is in the vanguard of this approach with its iDEAL Program (Integrated Delivery of a European Application Landscape).

In early November 2016, the business successfully launched the first market rollout of the program.

The planned harmonisation of BMWFS’s European core operating systems under the iDEAL program is designed to integrate three key modules: Commercial Finance, (Dealer) Front-End and the Contract Management System (Retail Lease & Loan).

The first component has been the pan-European delivery of Sword Apak’s award winning Wholesale Finance Floorplanning System (WFS) for Commercial Finance.

Achieving the first milestone in any major change program is essential; by delivering WFS on time and on budget, Sword Apak will help to continue to shape the following rollouts and phases of the program.

Following a rigorous selection process, Sword Apak was selected to support the Commercial Finance core element of the iDEAL Program, due to its proven experience in providing state-of-the-art wholesale floorplan financing solutions on a single platform that work seamlessly across multiple geographies.

Axel Frank, IT-Project Lead, BMWFS for Commercial Finance (pictured above) said: “iDEAL has the ambitious strategy to create standard operating solutions across BMWFS in Europe. In such a bold undertaking, it is always important to get off to a great start.

“The fact that WFS has a proven track record across different geographies made it a natural candidate to select it and kick start with WFS the wider iDEAL program. The technical and project management expertise that Sword Apak has brought to the rollout has been invaluable.”

Since the successful launch of WFS for both the UK and the Republic of Ireland markets of BMWFS, WFS is now being utilised by 1,143 BMWFS users and has been made available to over 260 BMW Group and ALPHERA retailers and dealer partners.

The complexity of the project required the migration of 354 retailers, 1,416 credit lines and 63,415 existing loans. The entire process was facilitated by Sword Apak’s industry pioneering API integration layer, which allows connection to 13 surrounding systems.

“BMWFS allowed us to play a very active part within its fantastic team; happy to learn from our expertise in other Pan-European and indeed global applications,” commented James Powell, executive vice president, Sword Apak (pictured below).

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He added: They welcomed our expertise on both the technical and cultural challenges that such a program faces and we gained new insights on the emerging challenges facing captives of OEMs in what is a truly dynamic global market. We are proud to have partnered with BMWFS to hit their first major milestone on schedule; now we are gearing up to accelerate delivery to even more roll outs.”