Successful financial services firms are successful for a reason: their salespeople (account managers, portfolio managers, and the like) work very hard to attract clients and keep them happy. But what happens when technology—or lack thereof—becomes a hindrance rather than a help?
One such alternative investment firm that came to HSO for help recently was experiencing just that. As with most hedge funds, portfolio managers are never at their desks nor have time to write emails. And they have too much on their plates to deal with manual, time-consuming processes.
“Death by a thousand cuts”: Small issues can cause big problems
The problem is, however, that most of these processes—regardless of how time-consuming they might be—play a vital role. For example, the firm’s portfolio managers were inundated with emails for trade approvals. This seemingly small issue, which is understandingly annoying and inefficient, is actually the perfect example of how a “small” issue can become a very big problem. Without these approvals, the firm was at risk of incurring steep regulatory fines. This could not only cost the firm money; it could also lead to clients losing confidence and possibly moving their business to another firm.
The firm needed an easy, fault-proof way for portfolio managers to approve and disapprove trades from their mobile devices. This sounds like a simple solution, but unfortunately, the traditional options—either building an application from scratch or modifying existing software—typically prove to be expensive and time-consuming…and often still don’t meet expectations.
The firm uses Salesforce and a trade settlement platform and is satisfied with these solutions. However, there was simply no good way to customize Salesforce or build a from-scratch solution to accommodate the reporting functionality they required. They turned to Microsoft for help—and Microsoft turned to HSO.
Our financial services team was ready for the challenge, thanks to the Microsoft Power Platform. We started off by demonstrating how Power Apps, a component of the Platform, could be used to solve any problem, regardless of platform–including Salesforce or an internally developed system. This was enough to convince the firm to hand their challenge over to us.
A solution in a single day…thanks to the Microsoft Power Platform
In just a single day, we designed a Power App that completely integrates with Saleforce and the trade settlement platform, which posts a report in the firm’s cloud, allowing the Power App to gather all the trades associated with each individual portfolio manager. Salesforce keeps track of the PAs, while the Power App built by HSO integrates between the PAs and settled trades and creates a notification. Once trade approvals are completed, the Power App autogenerates an email to compliance, making a once-cumbersome process much more efficient, but also ensuring the firm is meeting obligations and regulatory requirements.
Just one day, and one of the firm’s most aggravating challenges was no more. No more frustrations with piles of emails, no more worry about errors, and no more threats of fines. That’s why the word, “power” is part of the name of the Power Platform. No matter the environment—Dynamics, Salesforce, or other—the Power Platform has the power and flexibility to get in there and bridge those seemingly small, but vitally important gaps in technology that can make all the difference for a business that’s moving fast.
How the Microsoft Power Platform works
So, what makes it possible for the Microsoft Power Platform to accomplish something like this in such a short period of time? Here’s how it works:
The Power Platform, which includes three powerful tools—Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow), was designed to help anyone at any technical level quickly, easily, and cost-effectively build apps and manage data for improved insights. Each tool is designed to work on its own, but they can also team up for major transformation that wasn’t possible in the past without a highly experienced programmer and lots of time and money.
The entire platform is built on Microsoft Dataflex Pro (formerly known as the Common Data Service for Apps). Dataflex Pro, a secure database hosted in the Azure Cloud, is the underlying platform that provides a unified, simplified data schema so any application or service can work together seamlessly. And, of course, the Power Platform tools can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365—but it can also work with third-party applications.
The result: Businesses get exactly what they need to handle those specialized processes that no one else can without major development work. As a matter of fact, existing systems don’t even need to be touched. Apps and workflows can be built to “surround” other applications and systems and work harmoniously with them.
Do you have a business process that your current systems can’t tackle? Turn to the Microsoft Power Platform
This is just one of the success stories illustrating how the Microsoft Power Platform represents a paradigm shift in the way businesses can deal with technology needs. No longer do you have to deal with “good enough,” workarounds that cause more work and leave you open to risk of all kinds, or paying big money for customizations. The Power Platform gives you the tools to get exactly the functionality you need, without disturbing the technology you already have.
To discuss a proof of concept using the Power Platform to address your challenges, contact me or any of HSO’s financial services experts.
Read how another financial services company found a solution to a challenge with a Salesforce “surround,” complements of HSO and the Power Platform.