On the 17th day of December my Microsoft Partner gave to me…

Microsoft Ireland customer success advent calendar– December 17th 2020

ITC Logo

Independent Trustee Company (ITC) is one of Ireland’s leading providers of self-administered pensions with over €1.5 billion of client funds in 5,000 pension structures. Established in 1994 and employing almost seventy staff, ITC also acts as a trustee of self-administered schemes, private trusts and larger occupational schemes. In addition, ITC is among one of the founding members of the Association of Pensioneer Trustees in Ireland.

The Challenge

ITC realized that its existing legacy system was incompatible with new business needs. A dependence on spreadsheets had developed across the organisation, making work processes cumbersome and disjointed. 

IT Director Eamonn King analysed and mapped a list of more than forty processes which needed to be digitised, ranging from complex scenarios like adding new customers, which required digital signatures and AML compliance, through to simpler processes like ‘transfer of funds’, where customers wished to allocate money between investments. Documenting these processes was an important step. It gave the business a ‘bird’s eye view’ of where the business was inefficient and allowed management to identify where processes could be improved. As a result, Eamonn King could draw up an initial Phase 1 of ‘quick wins’ and high impact improvements and a Phase 2 which further extended automation across the business.

A new platform was needed to make business processes more efficient and effective, without increasing headcount.

The solution

Eamonn King engaged TEKenable, a Microsoft partner and expert in the Dynamics ‘low code no code’ platform to deliver the new solution, known as ‘ITC Nexus’.

In Phase 1 of ITC Nexus, ITC successfully moved to processing all new customer business applications electronically. Instead of moving new applications through a series of word documents, excel sheets and emails, the company now manages this process using the Dynamics Portal and Model Driven Apps. ITC also brought big efficiencies to the Customer Service, Sales and Compliance functions. The company replaced spreadsheets and emails with one consolidated data store in Common Data Services (CDS) and migrated all the data from the disparate legacy systems to this central repository. The New Business Team could now track workflows with real-time dashboards to manage their daily tasks.

In Phase 2, which went live this summer, ITC administrative staff can calculate liquidity requirements before the investment is setup, manage investment options available to schemes and record investments against each scheme. They can also initiate a movement of funds request after reviewing up-to-date bank balances, track recent bank transactions and calculate liquidity against a baseline. Staff can also select beneficiaries from online bank profiles and request approval from an ITC manager to initiate a transfer from the customer’s bank account to other beneficiaries related to setting up or maintaining an investment.

The success of Phase 1 and 2 of this project is clear to all involved at ITC and work on Phase 3, which will extend process automation further across the business is already underway.

The solutions impact

Built using Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform, the impact of the Nexus Platform on ITC has been transformative. Processes like new customer sign-up which previously took weeks are now completed in a few days. Business managers can now track a customer application form when it enters the process to when an account is set up and can quickly intervene if bottlenecks develop. The Nexus platform is also highly scalable, allowing ITC to add new users as demand requires. Data integrity is greatly improved with all information sitting securely on CDS in the Azure cloud.

The greatest benefit of Nexus came when ITC decided to work remotely in March during the Coronavirus lockdown. Despite all staff being required to work remotely, work continued un-interrupted. This was a huge benefit to the company and allowed ITC to continue to service its advisors and clients.

When tendering out this project Eamonn King received proposals from six companies and went through a detailed evaluation process together with a formal presentation by each candidate. 

ITC Staff and Nick Connors, Managing Director of Tekenable

Eamonn King emphasised that TEKenable and Microsoft Dynamics were the winning combination.

“In picking a delivery partner,” he explained “we wanted a ‘safe pair of hands’, a company who could deliver a first-class solution. I had dealt with TEKenable for more than a year prior to putting this proposal to tender and I was impressed with their professionalism and straightforward approach.

I also had a strong preference for developing a solution using Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform. Microsoft Dynamics is very powerful, it’s cloud based, it’s scalable and it integrates with Microsoft’s other products. TEKenable clearly understood Dynamics and they took the time to understand our requirements, so much so that they were able to offer a fixed price for this Dynamics implementation.

I also had a preference for ‘self-service’ allowing ITC to develop a Dynamics skillset thus allowing us to take feedback from our users and implement them quickly. This was a game changer for us and assisted in early user adoption and contributed to the overall success of the project.

Through the use of Dev-Ops, ITC has a more agile solution in Dynamics and accelerated our drive towards digitisation and investing in the future.

This de-risked the project substantially from my perspective. Subsequent events confirmed my opinion and I’m glad to say I’m still working with TEKenable, as we embark on Phase 3 of the Nexus Platform”

Interested in exploring Dynamics 365 and Power Platform solutions like this? Reach out to the team at Digital Evolution, Secure Low Code & Bespoke IT Applications – TEKenable and the Dynamics 365 team at Microsoft Ireland to learn more Contact Us | Microsoft Dynamics 365

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