Challenge Accepted: Laying the Foundation for Transformation of a Fast-Growing Asset Management Firm with a Strong Dynamics 365 Finance ERP Base

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A story about digital transformation using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance ERP, shared by the technology expert behind its success:

Dynamics 365 Finance ERP

HSO’s skilled technical consultants concentrate on working with clients to provide solutions that do two things: make it easier to do business and get better at doing business. These experts use their brains, experience, energy, and natural curiosity to take-on business challenges by applying technology like Dynamics 365 Finance ERP. That leads to digital transformation, which leads to business value.

In this Challenge Accepted interview, you’ll hear from Maureen Spollen, an HSO senior functional architect and veteran ERP expert, who talks about how one client used Dynamics 365 Finance for a challenge accepted and conquered…and kept on going.

Maureen Spollen, Senior Functional Solution Architect, shares how an ERP foundation laid the groundwork for aggressive growth and continuing digital transformation

Not long ago, we started working with a growing asset management firm that was managing their finances with a legacy Sage ERP system combined with spreadsheets–when they were transforming from a multi-family office to a real world-class asset management firm selling on the institutional side.

They had  realized an ROI on their old system, which they had been using for 25 years. However, it was on premises and antiquated, requiring the additional step of taking information out of it and entering it into Excel to rework it. The firm was ready to embrace the cloud with a current, ready to use, scalable ERP.

The Challenge: Move to a new ERP foundation to support aggressive growth … FAST

Choosing Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations made sense since the firm had already selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE (CRM) and Azure and were very happy with those choices.  In fact, the CTO had already bought the software before he met us, because he was just like, “We are going to put this in.”

Of course, he had an intense timeline; the firm needed an ERP solution, and they needed it now.

I met the firm’s team at the beginning of October, where they announced  that they were planning on going live January 1. So I said, “Okay, well, let’s give this a shot.” This was going to be quite a task because they had a lot of functionality they wanted to add.  They realized that the scope must remain relatively small at first to meet that deadline, which is quite a smart approach when you have such an aggressive timeline.

We rolled up our sleeves and implemented the core financial functionality of Dynamics 365 Finance in less than 90 days.

Challenge Accepted: Dynamics 365 Finance in place in just 90 days … and ready for the next transformative step Dynamics 365 Finance ERP

For me, 90 days was a personal milestone…and it didn’t stop there. Functionality like fixed assets and budgeting, planned for Phase 2,  are already happening. You often hear of a phase 2 that never happened; not so in this case! They are able to continuously add new functionality as they need it because as a team we laid a great foundation they can scale with. It’s been a true, “land and expand” journey, with each step furthering the overall digital transformation of the firm.

I’m excited about two things: We succeeded in meeting the firm’s aggressive deadline for a Phase 1 ERP foundation, and they didn’t slow down a bit moving forward from there because they’re excited enough about the product that they continue to add to the implementation. That is the ideal scenario–we help start the ball rolling, smoothly hand it off to the client, and then they keep it moving forward.

The Outcome: Achievement after go-live and beyond with an ERP foundation and specialized support through Application Management Services

One way we can help guide that smooth transition to the client is by engaging as their application management services (AMS) partner and making certain we give our managed services team everything they need to step in and provide that essential ongoing, holistic support–not just a help desk.

First, we kept a detailed record of the entire engagement, from the solution blueprint documents and methodology through our dev ops, including all the requirements and the testing. Our goal is to make available as much as possible in the form of documentation, but we don’t stop there.

The managed services team needs to know the history of the client to be a productive application management services partner. They need to know their work style, what’s important to them, their deadlines, and so forth. What have they put on the back burner or what was saved for later? What was already rock solid? We also need to transition them at the right time, which is NOT the day after the go live; it’s the day after they finished their first financial close. I don’t want to rush it, but I do like to get them in early because we’re going to have to offload some knowledge, and we can assist them as a bridge as well.

Most importantly, however, we need to ensure the client is realizing their desired future state. In this case, is the firm now about to reach their growth goals? The answer is YES which is the best conclusion for this story. The firm has a plan they’re implementing and succeeding with, and I think it’s been thrilling to see a client do that. Too often, things get shelved.  Not so with this firm... they are full speed ahead​.

Is your financial services firm ready for transformation? Are you not sure where to start?

Contact us, and we’ll connect you with Maureen or one of our other expert consultants, who can help you get started on your journey now.

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