Intelligent Document Management for leading Financial Advisory Business
ISAAC Intelligence were selected by a leading Financial Advisory business to overhaul and innovate their existing SharePoint infrastructure. Their existing SharePoint solution was clunky and counter-intuitive and team members found it very difficult to navigate, resulting in lack of confidence and lack of use. Luckily the team at Matheson Financial knew that much more was possible, and they set about engaging ISAAC to bring their innovative approach to supercharge the way Office 365 and SharePoint was used within their business.
Here’s what they had to say;
Q: Give us a quick summary of your business now and your vision
Matheson Financial are a small firm made up of Financial Advisers and Paraplanners who have always had an eye on not only how technology can improve the way we work, but also the customer experience. We had traditionally used SharePoint Online within Office 365 for the storage of client information, scanned documents and other associated information.
With the recent changes in the financial sector post-RDR, Matheson Financial realised it was time to embrace a much more service-orientated business model, whilst many businesses and CRM/back office systems remained as more traditionally transactional. In late 2016 Matheson chose to commit to a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, adapted by a sector specific consultancy to suit our industry specific needs.
Dynamics, whilst powerful and robust does not however have an integrated document library, hence we knew that further adaptation of our existing SharePoint Online environment was necessary to enable us to connect the two, avoiding duplication and automating many features across the two platforms.
The task then was to identify the right partner who not only understood the Office 365 platform and SharePoint Online, but who had a forward-thinking approach and a vision in line with that of our own. Our previous experience with SharePoint development had not been great, hence this was something we moved forward on with care. After recalling the very positive experience I had with ISAAC during the initial stages of our research for a new CRM and back office, and after further discussion, we confidently chose ISAAC and their Oxygen Document Management solution for Office 365 and SharePoint Online.
Q: What kind of daily challenges were you facing prior to this?
Our existing SharePoint site structure and layout was slow, difficult to navigate and ultimately counter-intuitive. Client information was not connected, and we lacked a single view where we could see all relevant and associated information and documents. Daily operation was a struggle and we were constantly navigating back and forth to find the information we needed. The site simply was not user-friendly and our team at Matheson Financial had resorted to simply using SharePoint for the very basics due to a lack of confidence in the system and the lack of a good relationship with a trusted support partner. Overall, we lost confidence in the solution and were cautious around exploring the true potential of Office 365 and SharePoint Online.
Q: ISAAC Oxygen Document Management for Office 365 & SharePoint Online
Following an in-depth discovery session, developing a detailed understanding of the existing challenges faced by Matheson, we rolled out our acclaimed Oxygen Document Management solution – adapted from our core template to align perfectly with the operational specifics outlined by Matheson Financial. Careful consideration was given to the future requirement to connect the Document Management Library directly to Matheson’s upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution.
Oxygen Document Management automates creation of individual document libraries and ‘Smart’ folder structures, dynamically linking documents back to a primary record; Such as Customer, Contact or Project Record. Once created, any document saved to the new library will be automatically linked to the associated record.
By adopting ISAAC document management best practices, Matheson’s new document solution provides a single view of both customer details, as well as associated document libraries – one for scanned documents, and a second for emailed or newly created documents. Scanned documents are auto-saved to a local server, where ISAAC’s intelligent middleware ‘sweeps’ the server, uploading the newly added documents to the appropriate SharePoint library, auto-associating them with the correct customer Document Library. Other documents, such as email attachments or freshly created MS Office documents, can be saved directly to the appropriate customer document library via the Microsoft Office File interface, or with a drag and drop into ISAAC’s SharePoint plugin for Outlook. Operation is simple and intuitive, with documents quickly filed to the right place and automatically associated with the right customer record. Customer documents can be easily found against the customer record or easily found with appropriate customer metadata automatically available for search and filtering.
New client record creating is accompanied by an automated Document Library creation, directly associated with the primary client record. Thus, documents are now easily located, edited, co-authored and shared from directly within the Oxygen Document Management Library.
Q: What impact has the ISAAC solution had on your business?
Oxygen Document Management from ISAAC has dramatically improved the overall user experience of SharePoint; it is easy and intuitive to locate client information and to navigate our way to specific documents, and with the ‘Client ID Lookup’ we can view all the relevant information for each client along with a link directly to their documents, scanned or otherwise, all in one place. Our daily interactions now are aligned to our working practices and we can easily view and edit the client’s general information without having to return to the original ‘Clients’ list and search for their information each time.
The tabbed view within each client record is also very useful in terms of separating relevant information and therefore making it quicker to find and edit the exact segment of information you are looking for.
Overall, and as a result of our decision to partner with ISAAC, the user interface and end-user-friendliness of SharePoint Online has been transformed. The monthly proactive approach by ISAAC in supporting Oxygen Document Management is geared towards our users, and provides us with much needed assurances that any issues we have can be dealt with quickly and reliably, and this puts us at ease.
From the outset, ISAAC have been competent, timely, and reliable in the support that they deliver us. Teething problems, training and other issues raised are always picked up immediately and are dealt with on the same day. We have full trust in ISAAC and the solution and support they offer.
Q: How have your colleagues and the Matheson Financial Team taken to the new solutions?
The Matheson team have taken to the solution well, as it is both simple and straightforward to use. Key to the success of this project, was ensuring that none of our existing processes were made overly complex by implementing these changes, and ISAAC listened and delivered on this, in each case, simplifying manual processes. They took exactly what we had and simply made it better and easier to use.
Importantly, our requirement also included the need for ISAAC to work closely with the third-party company that manages our scanning solution, to ensure a reliable link was maintained between our scanning processes and the new Oxygen Document Management Library. ISAAC were straightforward and effective with their communication on this front too and worked closely with our scanning company to ensure their solutions aligned seamlessly. From an end user experience, little has changed which is great as we don’t have to learn lots of new processes, however we are confident that our documents are being scanned, tagged and stored in the correct place and against the correct customer record.
Q: How do you see the ongoing support from ISAAC impacting on your future business vision?
Matheson Financial are transforming our approach and embracing new technology and collaborative ways of working. Our new back office, CRM and Document Management systems represent a significant change in the way we do things; thus, the experience of ISAAC and their input is invaluable.
When we eventually go-live with Microsoft Dynamics in Q2 2017, we rely on ISAAC’s SharePoint integration expertise to work with our CRM partner to enable intuitive real-time collaboration between the two platforms, ensuring that data entry is simple and straightforward and the excellent end user experience is maintained. This is vital to ensure that we do not have double-entry at any point in our processes and to ensure our new systems are integrated and run smoothly.
The development work ISAAC have done up until this point, with the role out of their Oxygen Document Management solution, enhancing ease of navigation, has been great. We are excited to have our new CRM rolled out shortly and we look forward to embracing some of the new features that ISAAC have shown us, such as their Outlook plugin, enabling our team members to fully and easily navigate our Document Management Library from directly within Outlook, enabling changes to client records and for email and attachment filing via simple drag and drop, similarly attaching filed documents to new emails as links or attachments in one or two clicks only. The benefits of this are obvious as it enables a streamlined way of filing emails and attachments directly from Outlook to SharePoint and would further improve our process of uploading scanned documents, further enhancing the user experience.
Overall, and given the historical and future importance of Office 365 and SharePoint Online to Matheson Financial, we believe that ISAAC has had a positive and refreshingly innovative impact on the vision of our business.
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