When There’s a Critical Piece Missing from Your Salesforce Solution and Replacing It is NOT an Option: How a Global Asset Management Firm Did It with the Microsoft Power Platform

What happens when the software you depend on for so many business-critical functions can’t address a crucial need?  You might think your only options are: 1. Replace the software  2. Invest in a custom application, or 3. Rely on a manual workaround. One will be expensive and create unnecessary disruption. Two will also cost a lot of money and time – and still might not do everything you need it to do, and three defeats the purpose of your initial software investment.  Whichever you choose, you’re compromising.

What if I told you there was a fourth option – and it was the best of them all? 

With guidance from AKA Enterprise Solutions, one global asset management firm found another way. With more than a trillion dollars in AUM and offices around the world, the firm had too much riding on their existing software and an equally critical need for new functionality to accept a compromise, so they went looking for a way to have both.

The best of both worlds, compliments of the Microsoft Power Platform

The firm was using Salesforce in a traditional way, primarily as a salesforce automation tool to manage client entitlements. This was working well for the most part, but it wasn’t able to cover every base—and there were some very important bases to cover. The firm is required by law to issue monthly performance reports. If these reports were not delivered to clients according to regulations, the firm was at risk of losing some of their largest investors as well as incurring penalties and legal complications.

Up to that point, the firm depended on a disjointed process using spreadsheets and disparate systems that was slow, resource-intensive, and unreliable. (This is actually an understatement. To be more specific, the process they were using involved copying the recipient list from an email sent from a shared email box the previous quarter, using that list for the current email, and tracking which email was sent to whom and when it was sent all in a spreadsheet.) The process did not provide the ability to ensure reports were being generated and delivered on time and to the right recipient, using the correct email address. In short, it wasn’t doing the job it needed to do.

The firm looked at the option of building a solution within Salesforce but was not confident that they could get exactly the functionality they needed, and it would cost a great deal of time and money to customize Salesforce to meet those needs.

AKA Enterprise Solutions—the cloud consultancy and Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner I have the privilege of working for—has an excellent reputation in the financial services industry for delivering technology solutions that hit the mark. I’ve personally been involved with many of these financial services success stories. We knew we could tackle the challenge being presented to us.

I’m happy to say we did not disappoint. When the firm turned to us for a reporting solution, they expected us as a Microsoft partner to recommend replacing Salesforce or building a solution that would integrate with Salesforce. They were taken by surprise by the solution we proposed: A Salesforce “surround”, built using the Microsoft Power Platform—specifically Power Apps and Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow).

The perfect solution with the Power Platform…fast and without a single disruption

Without a single disruption of processes and tools already in place—including Salesforce and Vermillion (client reporting software), AKA created a cost-effective solution that streamlined this critical reporting process while removing the risk, providing the confidence that regulations were being met. Automation ensures a fast, smooth, end-to-end process, freeing up resources to focus on client needs rather than chasing down numbers. The ultimate result: empowered, happy employees delivering a white-glove customer experience. The firm got exactly the solution they needed without having to give up applications they were depending on in other areas.

Yes, this could have been done by developers creating a from-scratch solution or customizing software that was already in place. But the decision to go with the Microsoft Power Platform was much smarter: It took only one-third of the time to build the solution than it would have taken to customize traditional software or build a new solution and at a far lower cost than traditional programming.

How does the Microsoft Power Platform make this possible?

So, what makes it possible for the Power Platform to provide this kind of power and flexibility? Here’s how it works:

The Microsoft Power Platform includes three powerful tools: Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate (formerly known as Flow). Each tool was designed to help anyone—not just programmers—quickly and easily build apps and manage data for extraordinary insights. Each tool can work separately, but they can also work together for transformation at a level that simply was not possible in the past without a serious programmer behind the wheel.

Each is built on the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), a secure database hosted in the Azure Cloud. It is the underlying data platform that provides a unified, simplified data schema so applications and services can work together seamlessly. As with other Microsoft tools, the Power Platform tools can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365—as well as third-party applications.

What this all really boils down to is this: Businesses can get exactly the functionality they need for their unique processes without having to embark on a major customization journey. In fact, they often don’t even need to touch existing systems, but can instead build apps or work

flows quickly and painlessly that work in harmony with those existing systems.

Before you give up on what you want–or go to extreme measures to get it–look at the Microsoft Power Platform

This success story is the perfect example of how the Microsoft Power Platform has literally changed the game when it comes to technology solutions. Gone are the days of “good enough” or having to earmark money and resources to customize software. These tools have made it possible to get exactly what you want and need, regardless of other applications and technology you might currently be using.

Have challenges that can’t be met without a major customization or replacing software?

Don’t make another move before finding out what the Power Platform can do. To discuss a Power Platform proof of concept for your challenges, contact me or any of AKA’s financial services experts.

By | 2020-02-27T22:18:53+00:00 January 17th, 2020|Power Platform, Sales & Service (CRM)|0 Comments
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Contributor: Michael Quattlebaum

As Vice President of AKA's CE (Customer Engagement) practice, Michael has 20+ years of experience in technology and financial services, focusing on a business-centric approach to problem solving. His expertise in functional and technical design enables him to convey confidence to end users as well as C-level executives.

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