Incremental collaborates with a leading UK Pension Fund to connect middle and back office functions and automate key legal and risk processes.

“Incremental’s expertise in the Financial Services space, in particular in relation to management functions and regulatory controls and how that aligned with our vision to slicken up our processes, was what really sealed the deal for us.”

Chief Technology Officer

  • Industry: Investment Management 
  • Solutions: Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Adobe Sign 
  • Date: August 2019 

Creating visibility

The legal team in a leading Pension Fund had no visibility of external lawyer time and cost accumulation against set work items. This lack of progression and cost tracking made budgeting, invoicing and case tracking difficult.

In the first of three key phases Incremental partnered with the Fund on a programme of continuous digital transformation which focused on building an intelligent middle office. Phase one of the project included:

  • Automation of key middle office legal and risk processes 
  • Development of logic-based workflows that reduce manual administration and intervention  
  • Creation of processes to manage the legal team, internal and third party communications, compliance and approvals  
  • Overall objective to create front, middle and back office operational efficiencies and reduce human error  
  • Simplify processes, team, stakeholder and third party journeys.

“Incremental understood our vision of an intelligent middle office. They invested the time at the beginning on requirements scoping, internal and external user analysis, mapping processes and risk reviews to ensure the tools and bespoke build was exactly what we needed.

Their architects understood our business processes from the outset and dove deep under the hood of our various business strands to understand the aims of the project. We really appreciate their partnership approach to consultancy and the long-term relationship will allow us to build the agile business processes we are strategically working towards.”

How Incremental connected middle office legal processes with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform

Building upon existing Azure and Microsoft 365 environments, Dynamics 365 was deployed to maximise efficiencies and unify data sources. Dynamics was supported by Power Platform in the form of custom-built Power Apps Portals and Power Automate to connect middle and back office teams with third party lawyers. Adobe Sign e-sign integration with third party tools created workflows that automated end-to-end legal processes, met regulatory requirements, all finished off with Power BI insights and reporting.

The Fund had already begun data standardization and naming conventions work before engaging with Incremental, using Excel spreadsheets. The next phase of transformation involved building a centralised system for recording work items. Microsoft Dynamics achieved this by connecting and unifying these existing data sets. The new solution used bespoke Power Automate logics to automate and standardise key daily processes like case management, in-house and external lawyer communications, next step actions and controls, as well as making costs and time progress of activity visible through Power BI.

“Once we met the team at Incremental, we knew we had made the right choice. They were absolutely brilliant from the start.”

Seamless user-adoption and efficient working

The legal team are now able to make use of Dynamics 365 to track case progression, along with external lawyer quotes, time entries and estimate vs actual costs. This functionality was made possible with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service module, utilising a custom-built legal team model-driven Power App along with a customised customer self-service Canvas App Portal.

The initial implementation standardised and streamlined the existing business processes and met the following objectives:

  • Automation and auditability: Auditability and automation of authority forms processing. Tracked and time-stamped directly to Dynamics 365, meeting compliance and regulatory risk frameworks.
  • Productivity gains: Information is pre-populated from connected and integrated front office tools, improving data accuracy and creating huge productivity gains.
  • Single customer view: Authority forms and leads are now connected within Dynamics 365, reducing the need to rekey in vital data. Real-time updates mean users are always working on the most up-to-date data, improving completion times.
  • Improved reporting: Middle office legal teams can focus on processing deals quickly and accurately instead of producing reports and audit requirements which are now automated and controlled within workflows.
  • Rapid onboarding: Automated approvals direct from any device improved the customer journey and accelerated approval times by eliminating the need for manual signing.
  • Cost transparency: Greater visibility on costs improved budgeting and sped up invoicing allows for greater insight on costs via up to date reporting.

Flexible, future-proof solution

The project provided the middle office automation and intelligence the Fund desired and created a consistent, unified data language that improved on the work the team had invested in.

The new infrastructure has provided the Fund with the perfect foundation for future continuous digital improvement. The intelligent middle office project continues, building agile business processes that allows the Fund to modernise across any part of the business.

“Incremental’s architects understood our business processes from the outset and dove deep under the hood of our various business strands to understand the aims of the project. We really appreciate their partnership approach to consultancy and the long-term relationship will allow us to build the agile business processes we are strategically working towards.”

"Incremental understood our vision of an intelligent middle office. They invested the time at the beginning on requirements scoping, internal and external user analysis, mapping processes and risk reviews to ensure the tools and bespoke build was exactly what we needed."

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Incremental Group is committed to helping Financial Services businesses do and achieve more. Our people are experts at helping customers achieve their digital transformation goals.

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