Q&A with Silvio Keller, Head of Implementation Services
Silvio Keller got his start at Fides through the Credit Suisse Young Talent program, where young employees go through a three-year job rotation program, spending six months in each of a variety of roles. Former Head of Client Services and Implementations Beat Rüfenacht (who now holds responsibilities for risk, compliance, security and operational resiliency) saw something special in Silvio, and petitioned to keep him working with the Fides team for longer. As a result, Silvio completed his entire final apprenticeship year at Fides, and then started full-time as a client services representative in 2013. He then worked his way up from an implementation specialist, to implementation lead, to his current role supervising a team of six employees plus two new young talents.
What does the Implementation Services team handle?
Implementation services doesn’t just cover one thing — we have many different tasks. There are three main areas of focus: bank implementation, client and bank connectivity, and client implementation. I’d say we effectively act as a translation office. We make sure that everyone is getting what they need, in the way they need it.
What do your responsibilities include on a day-to-day basis?
I’m responsible for training and personal development of new employees as well as supervising the team. As a team, we are responsible for client requests, project manager requests, and banking implementations. We’re also responsible for adding new banks onto the Fides system and making sure everything goes smoothly with that. In the course of a day we may be getting a variety of different types of connections set up with a bank, working with a project manager on some technical requirements, setting up a TMS connection for a client, and more.
Every implementation takes time, because every client is different and has slightly different requirements. This is an area where hands-on experience is very helpful. Many of my team members have worked at Fides for five or more years, so we have a lot of know-how on specific projects and relationships.
How is the team structured?
Almost everyone on our team works part-time, and also studies at the university — including me. I’m working towards my bachelor’s degree in general management. So it’s important to pay attention to the schedules, to make sure there is always the right amount of coverage. We work in shifts, ensuring that there is ample coverage from 8:00am CET to 5:00pm CET, Monday through Friday, although usually starting a bit earlier and ending a bit later to better accommodate clients in other time zones.
What other internal teams do you work with most frequently?
We work mainly with our extended team of internal partners, like project management and client services. And we work very closely with them, as we are the setup specialists — we know how each bank needs to receive payments, and how the client needs to receive the statements from the bank.
How did the pandemic impact your team?
It actually provided us with more flexibility. Rather than having to divide time between classes and work due to the need to physically be in one place or the other, the remote work means that team members can get more done. If there’s a one- or two-hour break between classes, it’s easy to connect to the Fides environment and get a little bit of work done. Also, we have some team members who had a very long daily commute, and now they don’t have to spend hours in transit. It was a little bit challenging at the beginning of the pandemic, as everyone had to get used to this new way of working. As a newly created team, we missed having face-to-face interactions and team meetings. But we implemented some ongoing virtual games and other icebreakers during meetings to get to know each other better.
How do you measure success?
We have a number of different goals that we have to achieve together as a team. On the one hand, there are quantitative goals, mainly around completing the tasks of internal partners in the desired time. We of course try to close every ticket quickly and meet all our SLAs. In the rare instance where we aren’t able to do so, we analyze “why” together as a team. And we are continuously working to improve our processes to take the customer implementation to a higher level.
On the other hand, we have the quality goals, where it’s not just about speed, it’s about accuracy, effectiveness, and making sure our clients are satisfied — or ideally, delighted. Customer satisfaction is an area where we work very closely with our extended internal teams to find the best solutions to match each client’s individual needs.
One of my goals is to make onboarding for clients the best possible experience — better than they have seen from any other provider. That also extends to providing solutions to help our customers with all of the details of implementation, from initial setup to payment channels of choice to receiving statements in the way they want.
How have things changed at Fides since you first started?
I started off in the operations team, which no longer exists as an independent group. We still handle support operations but also are more strategic. As Fides has grown and gained more clients, our team has grown and been restructured to be able to provide better and better implementation services. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is Fides’ focus on the customer — we are a customer-centric company, and that is central to our culture. I think that’s why so many people stay at Fides for a number of years: Fides recognizes and cultivates talent.
When you aren’t working or studying, what do you like to do?
Football! Watching football, playing football — I love everything about football. In the winter, I really like snowboarding in the mountains. I’m a sports guy; I love being active no matter what the sport.