5 min read

The art of the possible in Banking with Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform

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There hasn’t been a time in history where we’ve seen such accelerated pace of change in the banking sector. Driven by the fourth industrial revolution, new and emerging technologies are creating cultural and societal shifts that are reshaping our very way of life, including how we consume goods and services.

Within the financial services sector at large, Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform represents the chance to reimagine and simplify user experiences and streamline common user functions and capabilities. Power Platform – Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow – extends the Dynamics business application to quickly and easily create custom built apps, automate workflows, improve productivity and analysis, and gain rich data insights. And with a powerful, point-and-click approach to app building, there’s little need for serious in-depth technical capabilities.

Welcome to Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform in Banking

As Artificial intelligence and self-service bots rapidly become the norm, personalisation in both retail and commercial banking has taken on surgical precision to create data sets of one. With the introduction of the Common Data Model, Microsoft Dynamics and The Power Platform is helping banking users deliver the enhanced service levels that customers expect. Self-serve, custom-built portals are driving product and service accessibility and delivering slick experiences to customers at home and on-the go. AI Builder, updated AI capabilities, and a new look for Power BI, PowerApps Portals, and enhancements for Microsoft Flow are all coming in wave 2 later this year adding increased capabilities for delivering customer and operational excellence.

Going forward the combination of Common Data Model and PowerApps in Banking will allow Apps to be created for specific scenarios, either tying into a Dynamics use case or as standalone. PowerApps solves the challenges across your entire Banking business and allows teams to rapidly create apps for any scenario.  Benefit from:

  • Easily build apps with a full featured low-code/no-code platform
  • Connect to all your data with pre-built connectors, custom connectors
  • Put your data to work with the Common Data Service for Apps
  • Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Microsoft Flow integration
  • Strong enterprise governance & security
  • Pro-dev extensibility

The nuances and complexities of your business are always at the centre of your Dynamics and Power Platform deployment. There are thousands of bespoke use cases of Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform and the capability for constant, fast-paced improvement is in your users’s hands. Innovation isn’t silo’d or in the hands of your transformation partner. Rapid innovation becomes possible within your in-house development team, meeting the fast-changing demands of the banking environment and marketplace.

“PowerApps is a great blank canvas, with easy-to-use templates, and seamless connectivity to all the Microsoft cloud services that we use. It took only two months from the time we started development until we launched the app in our first stores.”

Bruce Rioch, Chief Data Officer, MetroBank

Some example use cases of Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform in banking include:

  1. Automation of complex customer on-boarding or risk processes, freeing up staff resources, improving productivity and creating a risk audit trail on the CRM.
  2. Create self-serve loan applications connected to third party decision making tools that provide instant responses to applicants and create a compliance paper trail that ticks all of the regulatory boxes.
  3. Increase adoption of front-facing apps that create slick user experiences and convenience whilst delivering precision targeted marketing activity and high levels of user satisfaction
  4. Raise and action reports and support tickets that keep services live and automate improvement processes.
  5. Make use of any devices to create inspections and auditor apps for remote hardware like ATMs to ensure they are always clean, functional and available.
  6. Build helpdesk chatbots that are serviced from centralised knowledge materials and always accessing up to the minute customer data.
  7. Structure and automate workflows between teams and third parties for maximum productivity and connectivity
  8. Standardise new employee on-boarding across the whole business to ensure that individual employees and teams are talking the same language and operating to the same high standards.
  9. Employ smart assistant for salespeople and relationship managers to ensure that no sale is lost and clients or customers enjoy a consultative selling experience.
  10. Create automate reporting practices that unify information sharing and set macro and micro targets and KPIs that are understood business wide and at the appropriate permission level.

A recent Economic Impact study of Dynamics and the Power Platform highlighted that the average cost of app development is reduced by 70% with PowerApps and Flow, with £2.9 million avoided in application development and management costs. These types of cost savings are indicative of the costs and productivity savings that can be made with each individual solution within the platform. Combined with no-code capabilities that drive high user adoption, it’s clear that return on initial investment is high. And with the tools included within the standard Dynamics 365 licensing, it’s easy to get started with Power Platform today.

For a comprehensive overview of future banking, download our Future Banking White Paper now, or get in touch via 0845 226 8170 or info@redspire.co.uk.

 

6 min read

Bank to the Future: The Microsoft technologies driving radical transformation in the sector

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Customer bases in banking sprawl wide, interconnected networks that hold trillions of disparate, but rich valuable customer data points. Most customers have multiple accounts, collectively carrying out hundreds of thousands of different applications, transactions and requests each day and interacting across different departments, platforms, and geographies. It’s essential to manage this vital customer data safely, securely and efficiently across all subdivisions of the banking network, not just to treat customer data safely and securely within the regulatory banking landscape, but to harvest and mine these rich data insights and understand and predict customer needs.

Yet many Banks and financial services organisations still hold this data in silos, wasting the opportunity to gain a 360-degree picture, truly know their customer, and service them with the expected brand experience.

Microsoft is leading the way globally in the future of banking technology. Constantly updating cloud solutions, AI technology and immersive tools that make common data model technologies work harder and smarter are leveling the playing field for new banks and High Street stalwarts. Incumbents moulding technologies like Dynamics 365, the Power Platform, Azure, SharePoint and Office 365 to fit their precise needs retain competitive advantage against new cloud-ready market entrants.

Managing customer data across the banking network

The data-centricity, security and productivity gains available via the connectivity of Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft technologies like Office 365, Azure, SharePoint and Power BI are immeasurable. Banks can create department-specific processes and flows; connect, automate and solve problems with apps and portals; and create reporting dashboards that understand, analyse and report on business performance and pipeline, as well as manage and monitor growth and risk. The return on investment from the tools prove immeasurable and a solid foundation on which to expand the scope to solve ever-evolving business and backend processes.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud online and the Power Platform integrations are the most effective digital transformation tools available on the market today. At their simplest, Dynamics resolves business pain for banks by unifying data, systems and processes into one, single intelligent system. With the capability to connect multiple, disparate legacy data sources from all across the business, key business information can be served up via intuitive, custom-built real-time dashboards.

Teams are provided with the tools and insights they need, from a real-time, single view of the customer to relationship insight tools that automate and suggest next step action. All integrating neatly into the Office 365 technology and Windows hardware that your employees already know and love, and Power Platform functionality that puts the tools to deliver no-code services tailored precisely to your business needs, right in your team’s hands.

A shared data language in banking

The long-term goal of the banking sector at large as FinTech and Open Banking partnerships become the norm, is to define a shared data language in banking and the wider financial services sector. It becomes easier for organisations and their partners to connect systems, disparate data silos and standardise data formats and definitions across the industry.

Microsoft’s suite of connected business applications, cloud solutions, AI technology and productivity tools and dashboards have started the journey already, providing improved processes and insights, easily deployed in any environment, on any device.

Here’s a short overview of the tools in action;

  1. Retail Banking

Lending teams and relationship managers can make use of analytics and productivity dashboards to gain a high-level view of the day ahead, with predictive analytics and machine learning identifying prospects most likely to close, highlighting any key referrals and expiring KYCs (Know Your Customer). These insights allow relationship managers to plan their day effectively and connect with customers with a propensity to close. Onboarding new customers also becomes easier for relationship managers as manual processing of new prospects, loan and mortgage applications, KYC and other retail banking workflows are automated and managed via custom-built dashboards and portals. The benefits of these step by step business processes mean relationship managers are more productive administratively and can focus on relationship building and providing consultative support to prospects and existing customers.

  1. Commercial Banking

Like Retail Bankers, the commercial lending and commercial relationship managers

can identify opportunities and see a holistic view of their portfolio utilising loans and relationships dashboards. Teams can view accounts with a high propensity for closing, track deteriorating accounts that need immediate attention and predict success for the week ahead. This insight, supported by artificial intelligence and smart next-step actions helps commercial bankers and team managers plan their working day and strategically view and diarise future cross-selling opportunities. Augmented workflows slicken up administrative tasks like completing loan applications. Commercial bankers can quickly understand if an opportunity is won or lost, ensuring maximum productivity and avoiding too much time being focused on the wrong accounts.

  1. Branch Management teams

Branch managers benefit from a unified data model and a common data language across Retail and Commercial banking. With a comprehensive 360-degree view of the entire bank operations from business mortgages issued through to commercial lending performance, it’s easier to track performance and KPI’s across different geographies and branch locations.

Not only does this help set strategy and plan for the year ahead, but advanced data analytics insights also help improve processes and provide operational efficiencies that drive team productivity on a micro and macro level. Working on real-time data across different branch locations makes delivering meaningful, in-person customer experiences that much easier.

  1. Cross-business referrals

Connect departments across the banking eco-system with PowerApps and Portals to simplify the referral sharing process across retail, commercial and branch. This can be as simple as retail banking inputting a new business lending opportunity lead on a unified customer 360 form, which instantly shows up within the commercial banker’s 360-degree customer view. With existing customers, the commercial team can access rich customer data like existing product portfolio, KYC history, and previous interactions to become an invaluable business consultant in the next phase of their client’s business, understanding their needs in advance of connecting.

How does your Bank’s digital strategy stack up?

In the new, differentiated banking marketplace, everything is to play for. At Redspire, we’re proud to be leading radical digital transformation in the sector via world-class Microsoft technologies. Together, we’re helping retail and commercial banks understand and engage with customers like never before.

No matter what stage you’re at in your transformation journey, there’s no doubt that your customers are already expecting the banking standards of the future, now. Download our white paper on the future of banking today and together we can explore the art of the possible.

4 min read

From Graduate Analyst to Solutions Architect: A Redspire Graduate Journey

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It’s been a busy twelve months at Redspire HQ with lots of exciting client work, innovative partnerships, brand new faces joining the team and promotions and team shifts. Our headcount has grown once again to 33, we’re attracting some of the best UK tech talent, closing the team gender gap and partnering with global and local grassroots organisations to bring the best tech events to Glasgow.

This week we’re reflecting on the Redspire Graduate journey, interviewing Jamie Logue, who joined the business as a Graduate Analyst. Jamie excelled through the programme to become Solutions Architect managing a team of his own consultants and leading communications between clients, architects and analysts.

The Redspire Graduate Q&A

Jamie joined Redspire after graduating from UWS – University of the West of Scotland, with a BSc in Business Technology in 2015. This interview follows on from his first Graduate interview until today, where Jamie shares his journey of the last few years.

Jamie tell us about a typical Redspire day?

I know it’s maybe a clichéd response but there’s no typical day in my role. What I will say is that it’s been an exciting few years with Redspire and I’ve loved the varied mix of projects that I’ve been involved in. From working with clients like CYBG and Money Advice Service to delivering real tangible business change to working collaboratively with Microsoft, this is exactly the sort of work I’d envisaged doing whilst I was at university.

My working week is typically a good mix of client work, from face to face meetings with clients all over the UK and hands-on work on project development and build, to creating user adoption training programmes or go live deployments.

If I’m not on-site with a client, my day usually starts with a short stand up team meeting to set the tone for the day. If we’re not on-site, we use Microsoft teams and Outlook to collaborate remotely, which can often be a great way to showcase the tools to clients!

As well as my project work, I also work closely with business support on technical writing and creating bespoke marketing materials. As lead Solutions Architect for the Banking and Financial Services sector I was recently interviewed for some explainer videos on the which was really interesting and a chance to reflect on the wider implications of the work we do instead of the granular detail of systems, solutions and projects.

What’s been the highlight of the last 4 years since joining Redspire?

There’s three key stand outs for me during my career here.

  1. Being able to constantly learn, which is a gift once you leave university! Redspire is all about continual progression and training, and it’s all shaped around my current skills, career aims and development requirements.
  2. Progression and opportunity. I believe I was able to fast-track to my current position thanks to Redspire’s approach to learning and development. You get out what you put in and that hunger to keep learning and go the extra mile is rewarded.
  3. All client work is rewarding but working on the Small Business Banking project at CYBG was one of the most interesting I’ve ever worked on. Seeing the quantifiable productivity gains and high user adoption levels as we move onto next phases of Power BI implementation is really satisfying! I believe that our attention to ensuring user adoption is what sets Redspire apart from our competitors.

How has the working environment changed at Redspire?

We’ve grown and taken over additional office space since I first joined, however the team spirit hasn’t changed. The team is really friendly. We’ve a great social area, regular nights out, team-building activities and an open door policy where everyone from junior team members to managers can drop in on each other as and when they need. We’re all really invested in each other’s progression too, so are constantly sharing information and insights with each other or taking part in lunch and learn sessions to share knowledge picked up on the job or via our Microsoft interactions.

Any advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

Immerse yourself in all things Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and learn as much about the solutions as you can. YouTube has great resources from our in-house consultant Neil Parkhurst. That foundational knowledge will help when it comes to accreditation! And as before, do your research on the different roles available, ask lots of questions and throw yourself in.

To find out more about working with Redspire, keep an eye out for our careers page coming soon and in the meantime,  send us an email if you’d like to find out more.

1 min read

Redspire shortlisted for Financial Technology Partner of the Year Award

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Redspire has been shortlisted for the Financial Services Technology Partner of the Year Award at this year’s Scottish Financial Technology Awards, in collaboration with DIGIT.

The shortlisting celebrates Redspire’s commitment to innovation and transformation in the sector. Our partnerships with some of the UK’s biggest financial brands and customer-facing Government financial organisations have led them through radical digital transformation and business improvement projects, revolutionising how they do business and connect with customers.

DIGIT’s Scottish Financial Technology Awards

The Scottish Financial Technology Awards are designed to recognise effort, innovation, and impact. The judging process looking to acknowledge exceptional accomplishments, invention and improvement and reward individuals and organisations that are making a difference to frontline customers and industry progress, as well as those making valuable contributions beyond the sector and into the wider community.

The winner will be announced at the Scottish Financial Technology Awards which take place on September 25th, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh.

The Redspire management team is proud of our hard-working teams and excited to be selected in such a prestigious category. Thanks to DIGIT and the Scottish Financial Technology Award team for selecting us. We’re looking awards ceremony to celebrate the incredible FinTech industry in Scotland and look forward to seeing you there!

About Redspire

Specialising in Dynamics 365 and the limitless integrations of world-class Microsoft’s Power Platform technologies, Redspire solve organisational business pain, improve operations and create a unified digital eco-system that can be constantly enhanced or improved as digital evolves.

With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government and Third Sector, when we work with you, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner. Our client base includes Money and Pension Service, AIG Group, RPMI, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) and GroupM.

6 min read

Sell smarter and faster with Dynamics for Customer Engagement and AI

Sales and Marketing professionals are continually seeking new ways to improve, drive engagement and focus on the opportunities that matter. How can Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement features and Microsoft’s constantly innovating use of AI help build engagement, optimise productivity and empower employees to deliver incredible customer experiences? With a combination of Microsoft’s continually improving tools you could see a 15% increase in sales productivity.

When you apply Artificial Intelligence to your rich customer data, making fully informed decisions is quick and easy. Dynamics 365 uses Artificial Intelligence to give detailed, actionable insight that allows you to gain sentiment analysis, score leads and dive deeper into your customer relationships. Feedback is visual and granular, taking both the legwork and guesswork out of the team’s day to day activity. These tools enable you to increase efficiency and productivity by unifying all of your disparate and valuable data to make intelligent suggestions on priority tasks and your prospects.

4 Customer Engagement for Dynamics 365 AI tools for the sales professional

Here are 4 key integrated AI driven cloud tools that combined, enable sales professionals to gain rich insight and take personalisation and efficiency to whole new levels.

1. Relationship Assistant

Relationship assistant is like having your own executive assistant meeting you every day – there to monitor your day, analyse your customer feedback, raise any problems or give you a nudge on an upsell opportunity.

Microsoft calls these pieces of advice ‘action cards’, which are generated using your own tracked data.

There are numerous ways action cards can be used, but some useful areas for sales teams that could help to ensure the working week starts off on a high are:

• Highlights priority tasks and deadlines: by highlighting your tasks and upcoming deadlines, you can be more productive, completing those tasks and ensuring no deadlines are missed.
• Monitors your interactions and raises any issues: relationship assistant tracks your keywords to ensure you respond accurately or flags when a potential issue arises with a stakeholder, lead or customer by analysing their keywords and tone.
• Sales or Marketing opportunities: the tool flags upsell opportunity, ensuring you can delve deeper into that prospect. Utilising insights and playbooks, you can see what the next steps should be to make the most of that opportunity for maximum profit and customer lifetime value.
• Email and meeting monitoring get nudges on emails you may have missed and gain insight into how, when and how quickly people have engaged with your emails. Relationship Assistant also monitors your meetings and calendar, providing the location/map or recommending if there should be documentation sent out in advance.

Another great thing about relationship assistant – it’s completely customisable. So you can tailor it to suit exactly what you’d like to track and what areas you’d like additional support with ensuring you maximise your working week.

2. Relationship Sales (LinkedIn Sales Navigator plus Dynamics)

Microsoft Relationship Sales fully integrates LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 to unify the selling experience. Combine AI tools like relationship assistant with this data you pull in about your prospects and customers to see what true personalisation looks like. The conversations you can have with people become meaningful and impactful rather than traditional sales led calls.

These key benefits, utilised within your CRM, ensure you are equipped with the most up to date and relevant information about your prospect or customer. Relationship sales – sales navigator plus Dynamics 365 allows you to:

• Discover the right connections and understand their needs: Gain insight on who you should be connecting with. Seek out the right decision-makers and their influencers and understand their challenges and the content they are engaging with.
• Track behaviour: Keep track of prospect interactions, the information and assets you send and the types of materials that they are engaging with. For example, see who is viewing your PointDrive presentations in real-time, understand their triggers, what they spend the most time engaging with and what messages they are viewing. This really slicks up the sales process and services prospects with exactly what they need, when they need it.

3. Sales Playbooks

Dynamics 365 for Sales Playbooks are a great way to automate repeatable processes in response to a set of external events. With playbooks, automation can trigger a play that activates a set of tasks needed to remedy a situation.

Sales Manager or users with a playbook admin role can create playbook templates for common business scenarios that they or their teams regularly face. For example, if a key decision-maker leaves the business you are engaged with, you don’t lose all of that hard work and a warmed prospect. Set up a set of automated business processes within the playbook categories to create a set of business protocols for ‘Departing Decision Makers’ that creates best practice step-by-step process that can be widely replicated when the situation arises again. Assign activity to entities, log sales materials and estimate length of time needed for playbook success before sharing with teams who can launch the playbook when that particular challenge arises.

4. AI for Sales Insights

Dynamics 365 for Sales Insights empowers you to make better decisions and be more proactive in selling and building relationships. It can help you prioritise leads, and view relationship analytics visually. It delves deeper into your insights too – for example it doesn’t just tell you the score of your opportunity, but why it’s scored that way and what the suggestions are to nurture that opportunity.

Top features of Sales Insights:

• Open and build relationships: with AI, gain suggestions on conversation starters, talking points and next steps. It also allows you to see if someone else in your company is having conversations with those people so you can ensure you can be introduced/gain insight.
• Track performance: Graphically display your relationships, interactions, sales, pipeline and other key metrics to ensure you can predict next steps and spend more time on your strategy and nurturing the right leads.
• Predictive scoring: predictively score your leads and opportunities, allowing you to tailor and prioritise the activity required for this category for optimal conversion.

Ready to find out more? Redspire is a Microsoft Gold Partner CRM consultancy. We partner with the UK’s biggest brands to lead them through radical digital transformation and business improvement projects, revolutionising how they build relationships, sell and do business.

Specialising in Dynamics 365 and the limitless integrations of world-class Microsoft technologies, Redspire solve organisational business pain, improve operations and create a unified digital eco-system that can be constantly enhanced or improved as digital evolves.

With particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government and Third Sector, when we work with you, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner. Our client base includes Money and Pension Service, AIG Group, RPMI, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) and GroupM.

Download the Sales Professional’s Guide to Microsoft Dynamics 365 now, or get in touch on 0845 2268170 to speak to a member of our specialist commercial team today.