Three key waves dominated 2020. Along with the Covid-19 Pandemic and Brexit, digital transformation has taken centre stage as companies had to adapt to new ways of working and embrace, at pace, the new ways their customers and employees were interacting with their business.  2021 is the year companies need to further ramp up their transformation strategies.

Our team has been driving transformation with our customers quickly and securely this year, BUT what do they personally love about Dynamics 365 and Power Platform?

In the run up to valentine’s day, we caught up with a few members of the Redspire team, not about flowers, wine and chocolates… but to find out what gets them excited about the technology.

 

  1. “I love the D365 Sales Insights capabilities, but specifically I love the new visual view of opportunity pipeline, which is a prime example of Microsoft’s continuations investment in the Dynamics 365 Sales Insights capability. – Tamara Phelan, Head of Sales

 

  1. “Power Automate is what excites me I’m probably not in the minority here. I think most people that come across Power Automate end up taking a huge liking to the technology. I love Power Automate because it’s literally as though the possibilities to automate daily tasks are endless! I’ve used Power Automate to create intense and complex validation algorithms to make business processes more efficient for our clients, and I’ve also used it to quickly set my out of office before starting annual leave. Those are two very different ends of the spectrum! This year, I’m excited to get some time to explore the capabilities of Power Automate Desktop and gain more familiarity with some connectors I haven’t used before so I can bring more value to the clients we work with!” – Ross McGhee, Consultant

 

  1. “For me, it has to be the ability to drive insights and branded visual reporting. The market-leading analytical platform Power BI is something I’m excited about, it can allow organisations to build and lead a data-driven culture. All users are given the power to turn data into insightful branded visualisations from a variety of data sources in real time, driving quick and informed decision-making whilst also bringing the data to life”. – Helen Murphy, Marketing and Partner Relations Manager

 

  1. “I love the ability to visually gain insights with Dynamics 365 Dashboards these are easy to create, visually appealing and allow you to drill-down on the data displayed to obtain even greater insights! – Conor Brady, Marketing and Business Development Executive

  1. “Low-Code Capability. I love that D365 & PP can be developed without being required to know any coding languages, meaning that applications can be developed by people who understand business processes.” – Iain Kennedy, Solution Specialist

 

  1. “I like Power Apps, it brings a no code, or low-code to a development environment. This can make building applications simpler. There are a number of Canvas Apps and Power Automate templates that can be implemented as they are or enhanced and tailored to fit the business needs.” – Colette Rodgers, Consultant

 

  1. “My favourite feature is Power Automate. It can automate many different processes from something very simple to something very complex. It also empowers users to connect to a wide variety of data sources without being an expert in API development.” – Josh Reeves, Senior Consultant

 

  1. “Invoicing Capabilities! My favourite aspect of D365 is the invoicing capabilities which allow our project management office the ability to create, edit and send invoices to our partners. Powerful reporting also allows the team, in conjunction with the finance department, to drill down to view the current status and track any outstanding invoices.” – Greg Tierney, Project Coordinator

  1. “Along with quite a few of my colleagues, it has to be Power Automate. It provides endless possibilities to automate and enhance systems without coding knowledge.” – Ewelina Bredzinska, Junior Consultant

 

  1. “I love Power Apps Portals! You don’t need coding to be able to create a cool website that can interact with all the different parts of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform such as CRM and Power Automate.” – Cheryl McLachlan, System Support Analyst

Find out more about what’s happening at Redspire and how we’re helping businesses connect their data, people and processes, build competitive advantage and shape their digital transformation. Visit our blog page or have a read of a few of our customer stories for more information.

Incremental Group accelerates its position in the UK financial services market with acquisition

  • Glasgow based Redspire is one of the leading providers of CRM solutions to financial services in the UK
  • The combined group becomes one of the largest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the UK
  • Incremental’s FY21 H1 revenue is up more than 10%, gross margin up 5 points, and EBITDA up by more than £1m on same period last year
  • Incremental continues its journey to achieve revenues of £60m and 500 employees by 2023
  • Strong organic growth will be bolstered with further complementary acquisitions

Digital technology services provider, Incremental Group, has acquired Glasgow based Redspire in a deal that accelerates Incremental’s position in the financial services market and makes the organisation one of the largest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the UK.

The combined group now has run rate revenues exceeding £20m and 180 employees across the UK. Redspire will continue to operate as an autonomous business within Incremental.

Redspire provides Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Power Platform solutions to financial service providers and works with customers including Virgin Money and Beazley Insurance.

Discussing the acquisition, Neil Logan, CEO of Incremental said: “I am delighted that despite the pandemic our market continues to grow, the pace of change is accelerating in businesses and the scale of transformation projects we are seeing is increasing. Microsoft and our customers are increasingly looking to work with larger but agile partners who can better deliver for and support them. The acquisition of Redspire strengthens our ability to do this.”

Billy Lyle, Managing Director at Redspire said: “We’re excited to continue on our growth journey, delivering real value for our customers now and in the future. Financial Services is showing real resilience and determination, with transformation key to building adaptability and innovation. Joining with Incremental provides Redspire with access to additional resources and expertise. Redspire is extremely well placed for an exciting future, it’s a great opportunity for everyone involved.”

Incremental helps public sector, not for profit and commercial organisations digitally transform with Microsoft technologies. It is in the top 1% of Microsoft Dynamics partners worldwide, and also provides Microsoft Power Platform, Modern Workplace, Azure and data services. Its customer base includes Admiral, Little Greene Paint & Paper and the NHS. With a growing customer base in public sector, not for profit, manufacturing and professional services, Incremental is also increasingly seeing success in the financial services market, which this acquisition further accelerates.

Incremental Group was launched in November 2016 by a group of Scottish technology industry executives. It is backed by private equity from Dunedin.

Simon Rowan, Partner at Dunedin, commented: “The acquisition of Redspire is an important milestone in Incremental’s buy and build strategy. The company is committed to offering its customers the highest quality range of services, and this customer service philosophy very much underpins the acquisition. The strategies of both companies are closely aligned, which will allow Incremental to continue to increase its scale and market reach, particularly in the financial services sector.”

Incremental’s FY20 revenue was £13.2m, with a normalised pro forma EBITDA of £0.9m. Business performance has been strong throughout the pandemic resulting in further growth and improved profitability through the current financial year. Comparing H1 FY21 (April – September 2020) with H1 FY20 (April – September 2019), revenue was up more than 10%, gross margin up 5 points and EBITDA up by more than £1m returning a double-digit EBITDA margin.

The group is targeting £60 million revenue by 2023, a workforce of more than 500 and plans further acquisitions over the next couple of years. Neil Logan said: “While we are focused on continuing to drive strong organic growth, we are working to identify further value accretive acquisitions as part of our buy and build strategy.”

The Challenge

As their legacy Dynamics system approached end of life/support, Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd required a new CRM system to support their global Sales, Marketing and Business Development front office, who operate in disparate time zones. The project was deployed in two phases.

  • Migrate and upgrade to dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement
  • Implement and integrate Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Stability, maximised efficiencies and a simple UX were key requirements, as well as the ability to augment existing systems and provide teams with a single customer view. The project sought to future proof digital infrastructure and processes and end reliance  on a single system, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in all time zones.

The Solution

Redspire’s approach was to rebuild Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, hosted by Microsoft online. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing to provide an integrated digital marketing suite. Out the box functionality was maximised with customisations and configurations, rather than development, to remove any dependencies on specific partners going forward. Furthermore, this approach allowed Martin Currie to leverage existing Office 365 Licenses using the out the box integrations to Outlook, SharePoint and PowerBI.

Redspire’s approach was based upon sound, proven methodologies that ensured the new Dynamics 365 system and integrations were built precisely to the client’s needs. The project’s digital and data infrastructure not only achieved Martin Currie key outcomes, but provided the perfect foundation for the future continuous digital improvement that the business sought.

Business Outcome Highlights

  • System stability: The global sales teams can reply on a secure and stable cloud based system that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in all time zones.
  • Significant cost savings per annum: In just three months’ post Go-Live, Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd report significant annual savings attributed to support costs and zero system downtime.
  • Additional cost savings and productivity gains: A user-friendly, unified system with established and connected processes to help attract, acquire, on-board and manage customers and their interactions.
  • Resource efficiencies: No more manual updates.
  • Connected sales, marketing and BD teams: Data is more accessible and dashboards shareable on the core system and by email. Dashboards are easy to build with no manual reporting required.
  • Integrated email and CRM: Automations mean nothing is missed and improved succession planning.
  • Automated RFP request and tender process
  • Adoption and confidence: Improved team confidence in new, slick systems and processes
  • No manual updates required: Dynamics twice yearly wave releases provide access to the very latest features and capabilities without any manual oversight or updates.
  • Informed business decisions: Improved MI and capabilities for qualitative analysis have allowed business decisions to be made quicker.

Why Redspire?

“Our analysis and scoping led us to Dynamics 365. It offers more features available out the box, was customisable to current and future needs and suited our wider technology suite. Microsoft then recommended Redspire as a technology partner for implementation. Apart from understanding the scope of work, they were stand out partner in terms of approach and rapport. They didn’t try to oversee or overdevelop the project, they listened carefully and met our requirements.

Redspire’s approach and turnaround was efficient and effective. During implementation, updates and progress reporting were daily and structure. Communication was good and I was aware of progress at every stage. They’re a great client facing consultancy with strong people. The weekly project call and status report gave me really useful insight to share with the key stakeholders and financial teams too”

Hayley Keenan, Head of CRM, Data and Change

 

The Client

Martin Currie Investment Management Limited is a global organisation that offers asset management, equities, securities, investment strategies, financial planning and advisory services to customers worldwide. Operating since 1881 with £11.2bn Assets Under Management, the business has 110 employees operating across five global offices.

Their stock-focused approach is driven by in-depth fundamental research and skilled portfolio construction. Martin Currie’s key goals are to gain a holistic view of investment companies and an insight into their culture to build an understanding of material risks and opportunities develop conviction in ideas, and deliver differentiated client outcomes.

Martin Currie Investment Management Limited is a Specialist Investment Manager of Franklin Resources, Inc. which has Assets Under Management totalling US$1.4 trillion (as of 30th June 2020).

 

Client Feedback

“The project was delivered on time, it restored system dependability and increased confidence across our sales and commercial teams in multiple geographies. A key objective was removing reliance on a single system and partner. Dynamics has solved that for us.

The team now spend more time on qualitative data analysis and access data much easier, thanks to improved visual reporting and MI capabilities. We have such great visibility now on workflow and can manage resource effectively. We’re actively using every capability the solution offers, to the huge benefit of the business.”

In recent months. Financial Services organisations have seen a years’ worth of digital transformation for every month that’s passed (Satya Nadella). Redspire and Microsoft are working together to deliver transformation in the sector, from remote teamwork, connected operations and critical cloud infrastructure to sales, marketing and customer service.

The intelligent office is the future of Investment Management. Download our Sales Professional Guide to Dynamics 365 to find out how machine learning and AI can drive automations, or read more on the power platform.

Redspire is a Microsoft Gold Partner with strong capabilities in Financial Services. We’ve worked on the biggest operational challenges facing the industry today. From Business Banking improvements at VirginMoney and business automations at Beazley Insurance to client and stakeholder engagement at Money and Pensions Service. Our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform helps our clients unify operations quickly, deliver transformative projects that solve business pain and future proof for all scenarios.

When the developer team aren’t deep in Redspire client work, we’re usually found over at the Virtual Power Group (VPG) developing our technical skills and growing our network. The VPG is a Community Forum for Power Platform and Dynamics 365 users of all levels to come together to share knowledge and best practice.

This month, VPG was joined by Microsoft’s Lucy Bourne to cover the functionality and features of the Wave 2 release in the Microsoft Business Applications stack.

Staying on top of the ever changing platform and their twice yearly updates is a mammoth effort. Lucy’s session gave us a major leg up, with her run through of the features coming to the stack from October onwards.

There are two major releases of functionality to the Microsoft stack in a given year. One in April (Wave 1) and one in October (Wave 2). You can opt in to these features early, or preview in a trial instance. Though please note, once applied it cannot be removed so exercise caution. For existing implementations, it is advised to apply in a Sandbox environment and test that your solutions are not negatively affected by any conflict with new (or potentially retired) functionality. If you want support with this, reach out to a VPG Admin to discuss.

These major release waves do not launch all this new, cool shiny stuff immediately in to your environment – though there will be some. October 1st marks the beginning of the release wave and this functionality is launched – some elective – landing over the coming months up to the next release wave in the following April/October.

During her session, Lucy gave us a fantastic introduction to Power Apps for Teams and a rundown of the major highlights. Some of these were showcased in real-time alongside announcements at Ignite, adding a little extra excitement.

Here’s my highlights from across the main products:

Sales 

  • Mobile Experience Changes
  • Forecasting and Gamification
  • Usability enhancements
  • Sales Insights Updates

Marketing

  • Natural Language Segment Editor
  • Enhanced Customer Journey Canvas
  • Form Submission Enhancements
  • Improved Email Customization
  • and more…

Customer Service

  • Agent Productivity Dash (Multi Session Experience)
  • Omnichannel for Customer Service
  • Integrated Insights with Built In AI
  • Native Call Functionality in Omnichannel Framework

Field Service

  • Insights Dashboard
  • Customer Voice Survey Integration
  • Proactive Service Delivery
  • Scheduling experience improvements
  • Technician Success and mobile app enhancements

ERP/Commerce/Project Ops

  • CDS Integration improvements and various Cross App Capabilities
  • Document and Electronic reporting enhancements
  • Major updates to SCM
  • PayPal Integration for Commerce
  • And upgrade path plan for PSA to Proj Ops

Dynamics HR

  • AAD Integration enhanced
  • CDS Integration with Skills, Certificates, Performance and Benefits
  • Teams Self Service GA and further enhancements

Power Apps and Power Automate

  • Power Virtual Agents available within Power Apps Portals
  • PCF control support in Power Apps Portals
  • LOADS of RPA Capabilities in Power Automate (direct quote)
  • Power Automate Visual in Power BI

This is a session that I’ll not only watch again but be recommending to colleagues and clients to stay ahead of the tsunami of features scheduled to land this October. Watch the replay below.

As ever, I’m so excited to be working in this field where, as it was said on the call tonight, “change is the only constant”.

This article was first published on Viritual Power Group. For more information on forthcoming events, visit the website or connect with me on LinkedIn.

A bank’s AI goals should look beyond cost reduction, welcome though that is. This technology has the capacity to do much more. Indeed, it can completely transform on institution from the core.” (Accenture, Redefine Banking with Artificial Intelligence)


In our recent Banking on AI article, we gave an overview of the rapid pace of AI evolution in the banking sector and looked at the limitless opportunity to automate functions and augment the banking workplace. Microsft’s Dynamics 365 AI solutions feature the most impactful and proprietary AI capabilities in global technology, and support banking organisations to deliver meaningful customer experience. Rich banking data across the business turns into proactive ideas and actions.

Customer Insights and Virtual Agent for Customer Service

In this follow up article, we’ll take a closer look at Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Virtual Agent for Customer Service for banking. These AI technologies are helping front line sales and service banking agents make better use of their time, enabling managers to use team resources more efficiently than ever and improving satisfaction and experience, no matter which platform customers are engaging on.

In a recent Intelligent Economies survey by Microsoft, AI use is reportedly high amongst banking organisations worldwide. Nearly half (48%) of banking and financial services leaders reported that they’d already implemented virtual agent technology, with more than a third making use of both machine learning (36%) and predictive analytics (38%). Broad examples of these tools in action are:

  • Virtual Agent can be deployed proactively to resolve common service queries and frequently asked questions but can also be configured quickly to react and problem-solve when new, emerging issues arise.
  • Predictive analytics can be used to analyse account behavior and identify the potential risk of lending defaults.
  • Machine learning can monitor account behaviour and highlight any activity or transactional patterns that may suggest fraud or risk.

AI drives market differentiation and competitive advantage

Microsoft’s position on AI is that the technology works best when the people closest to a problem are empowered with the AI tools to solve it themselves. This is made easy with the low-code, no-code point and click technology which is at the heart of their AI development, putting problem-solving capabilities in business users’ hands. When individuals and teams create their own solutions, as and when they need them, it increases team competencies and heightens impact and ownership. Which of course, leads the way to strong differentiation and provides maximum competitive advantage.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Virtual Agent for Customer Service

Which brings us back to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Virtual Agent for Customer Service. Together, these solutions provide banking customer service managers with a 360-degree overview of service operations and allow customers to access not only immediate but intelligent responses to each and every request. What’s more service levels are measurable and unified, whether getting in touch by telephone, text, online or via banking apps.

At Redspire, we recommend Customer Insights and Virtual Agent as some of the most impressive tools for delivering enhanced customer experiences to retail and commercial banking customers. The combination of service operations and machine learned insights means users can make use of all the data coming into the system to make smarter decisions on what to optimise and what to automate. A simple overview of the tools in action include:

  1. Data is constantly being fed into Dynamics 365 from omni-channel customer support queries, cases being raised and transactional requests.
  2. Customer Insights AI analyses these support cases them groups them into similar themes and topics to identify potential problems in real-time and inform non-technicaly teams that action is required. For example, a card provider’s hardware outage would lead to query spikes or increased online banking activity, as banking customers are unable to use their debit cards and call to report the issue. Or a branch emergency closure would lead to a rise in transactional calls and online activity.
  3. Before these calls become a drain on front line agents or support staff, business users of varying skill capability can quickly and easily configure automated conversations with a Virtual Agent bot via a web based application. The bot can engage, inform, easily take action and interact with existing systems to transact or problem solve to the customer’s satisfaction where possible, or escalate to a human for higher touch resolution where required.
  4. Throughout these conversations and transactions, Virtual Agent is constantly learning, mining user feedback and getting smarter over time. This continual improvement steers best practice with human teams and recommends future actions to update the bot in the interface to provide the greatest impact.
  5. Visual dashboards and business analytics on the service scenarios report and allow customer service managers to quickly evaluate and act to meet key performance indicators (KPIs) and maintain customer satisfaction levels.

As aI technology evolves and grows progressively more sophisticated, the complexity of the tasks that bots and virtual agents take on will continue to grow. Virtual agents will collaborate with team members, for example by prompting them to ask the right questions throughout customer calls or will pro-actively serve them with customer data or product information, without the human agent having to search manually.

Redspire: the leading digital transformation partner for Banking and Financial Services

IF you’d like more information on Customer Insights and Virtual Agent for Customer Service get in touch today. At Redspire, when we partner with you to implement Microsoft’s leading AI technologies, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner throughout your whole improvement journey.

We have particularly strong capabilities in Banking and Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money and Pensions Service, our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the AI-driven Power Platform, we help our clients achieve service excellence and deliver transformation projects that promises return on investment.

Contact us today

For more information on the Future of Banking download our Future of Banking white paper. To discuss what Microsoft and Artificial Intelligence can offer your organisation, get in touch with Redspire today on 0845 226 8170 or email us on info@redspire.co.uk.

There’s been a lot of excitement coming from Camp Microsoft and the Partner community regarding the potential of Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate in the last year and we’re seeing some excellent use cases of the tools in action within the Financial Services sector.

At Redspire, we can’t recommend the Power Platform for Insurance firms highly enough. Microsoft, as always, is leading the way in the evolution in the insurance sector, bringing over 400 enhancements to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform in the most recent release. The tech giant’s investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and low-code, no-code technologies directly support insurance businesses through the on-going digital skills gap and enable business users of varying capabilities to build apps, visualisations and workflows and improve business performance via simple point-and-click technology.

At Redspire, we’re working closely with our insurance clients to maximise use of the latest releases. Our clients in the insurance sector have undergone rapid digital transformation with Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications in recent years. Progress has been made to shatter barriers between departments and insurers no longer approach each policy, person or departments as standalone but part of a connected universe of data that provides valuable insights to business performance. The Power Platform – with it’s integrated AI-infused technologies and the recent announcement of Wave 2 enhancements – opens up unlimited opportunity to harness the power of that data-unification. With hundreds of data connectors and a toolkit built on a common data language, insurers can achieve peak productivity, maximise engagement and provide data-driven decision making to manage their brokers, customers, products, policies and claims.

Yet across Banking, FSI and Insurance, many of the new clients we meet are unsure about the Power Platform and how it can be deployed granularly within their organisations. And more importantly, just why they should invest.

So, what is the Power Platform?

Power platform can be summed up in three keywords: analyse, act, automate. Known within Microsoft circles as the Triple A-Loop.

The toolset allows users to automate processes across the Microsoft stack and beyond. It ensures that everyone with permissions within your insurance organisation has the ability to build rapid business solutions, and solve all types of daily or organisational business pain.

The Power Platform combines the capabilities of three key products – Power BI, Power Apps (including Power Apps Portals) and Power Automate, which was formerly know as Flow. With Microsoft’s proprietary technology, users of all skill-levels, from pro-developers to authorised administrators can analyse, act-upon, and automate data in ways that have never been possible before.

The tools have been developed upon the Common Data Platform and are designed to work together for maximum business value. All users within the business with suitable permissions can quickly and easily build custom apps that solve immediate business pain, automate complex workflows to improve business productivity, and analyse data for insights – no matter their technical expertise or capabilities.

Act with Power Apps for Insurance

Power Apps allows everyone from developers to business users within your insurance business to create interactive apps that support with specific business scenarios from Claims processing and renewals to risk and compliance. Tying onto a specific  Dynamics 365 use case or standalone, your in-house teams will be able to react quickly to ever-changing customer, partner, product, claims and compliance needs, all without writing a single line of code. Or having to engage with a developer partner. Integrating neatly with Dynamics 365, the Common Data Service, other line of business systems and accessible by Power BI and Power Automate, users across the organisation can carry out tasks and complete processes quickly and efficiently on their device of choice, with the information flowing back into the CRM. Supported by hundreds of point-and-click Power Automate connectors, the data captured within the apps can be used to automate processes and drive insight like never before.

Power Apps puts the power to automate back in the hands of the insurance business and solve challenges in real time by creating focused journeys. To summarise the benefits of Power Apps you can:

  • Easily build apps within a full feature low-code/no-code point-and-click platform
  • Connect to all of your valuable data with a suite of pre-built connectors or custom connectors
  • Put your data to work with the Common Data Service for Apps
  • Integrate neatly with Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Power Automate
  • Make use of strong enterprise governance & security
  • Access Pro-develop extensibility

Sample use cases for Power Apps for Insurance include:

  • Improve and complete policyholder on-boarding in real time with bespoke Power Apps and Power Apps Portals, designed to capture the required data for each scenario. Connect this data to the next step action in the process and automate risk and compliance controls too.
  • Automate task-led business process flows like renewal processes or escalations for medical underwriting.
  • Manage the claims process more efficiently. Provide loss adjusters or even customer access to a front-facing app where they can answer the required questions, capture and attach jpeg or png photo evidence or PDF and Microsoft Word supplier quotes for repairs. Feed their responses directly back in the CRM and automate to next stage with one of 250 out of the box Power Automate connectors.

Recent enhancements for Power Apps in Insurance

Recent announcements from Microsoft include the wide release of AI builder for Power Platform. One of our top picks from the functionality is object detection. This provides the capability for AI to read, understand and translate photographs of handwritten notes and convert into word documents, or analyse text from Excel or PDF and feed directly into the appropriate Dynamics 365 fields. The time-saving capabilities of these tools are immense.  Anywhere you can rekey data, you can feed to Power App, AI will read, recognise the data and populate it. This will be extremely helpful for rebuilding and legacy platforms.

Analyse: Power BI for insurers  

Power BI is Microsoft’s market-leading intelligent business analytics solution. With familiar Excel-like controls, with Power BI, users can connect a multitude of data sources – legacy on-premise, in the cloud or elsewhere –  to gain valuable insights, analyse trends and make rapid, data-informed decisions. Data is visualised helping teams share insight, collaborate and report across the entire organisation, on any device. With in-built governance and security, sharing customised dashboards and interactive reports with the right teams at the right times becomes process-led, with the right risk controls in place to protect the sensitive information in your business.   

Some sample use cases of Power BI for insurers 

  • Power BI allows users to visualise real time insights and analysis of losses from insurance claims. This constant feed of data empowers business users to highlight trends across the business and leverage underwriting data to make prudent business decisions, minimising future losses. 
  • Create visual reports to analyse your brokers, agencies and intermediary performance levels. Understand which relationships are working well or which may need urgent attention. Visually view gross written premium per broker and understand the cost of each new policy or renewal.  
  • Closely analyse policy and product performance. If a product is performing particularly well within a certain demographic or geographical area, this may inform a reactive marketing campaign or a review of the policy price point.  

Recent enhancements for Power BI in insurance  

Within the latest Power Platform release, Power BI improvements focus on four critical areas that drive a high performance data culture. Largely AI focused, these are: intuitive experiences, a unified BI platform, big data analytics, and pervasive artificial intelligence.  

Automate with Power Automate for Insurers  

Microsoft’s Power Automate – again, low code, no-code, point and click functionality –  puts power to create complex workflows within your organisation. It uses over 250 out of the box connectors to automate all types of processes and removes the risk for human error stalling a journey’s progress. Once the Power Platform has been implemented and adopted by your workforce, Power Automate removes the need for developer support to create workflows, heavily reducing costs and implementation time for new business critical or improvement processes.   

Like the rest of the Power Platform, Power Automate provides point and click functionality that connects legacy technology infrastructure. Out the box connectors integrate not only with Microsoft tools but less well known systems too. Secured within the Microsoft cloud, these workflows provide the functionality to move your insurance business forward.  

Some sample use cases of Power Automate for insurers 

  • Power Automate can connect sales journeys, policyholder on-boarding and renewalsClients or intermediaries complete front-facing Power Apps Portals forms are then connected to the next stage of the process for action, review, risk, approval, decline. With data feeding directly into the CRM, a risk audit trail is created, productivity maximised and data accuracy maintained.  
  • When call centre activity spikes – for instance, regarding storms claims when the UK has been hit with bad weather – Power Automate can be connected to a quick deployed bot that can direct clients towards self-service options for lodging the claim or answering frequently asked questions 

Recent enhancements for  Power Automate in Insurance 

Power Automate’s new functionality creates smarter, more meaningful experiences in three key areas. Users – again with varying levels of expertise – can leverage world-leading business process capabilities, work off-line and make use of rich administration tools that drive connectivity across the insurance business.  

Why invest in the Power Platform?  

A recent Economic Impact study of Dynamics and the Power Platform highlighted that the average cost of app development is reduced by 70% with Power Apps and Power Automate, 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.  

Redspire and the Insurance sector.  

At Redspire, we’re leading radical digital transformation in the insurance sector via world-class Microsoft technologies. Together, we’re helping insurers understand and engage customer needs and deliver seamless, proactive and personalised experiences. We’re improving underwriting processes, loss ratios and policy lapse rates whilst reducing customer churn. In the new, differentiated marketplace, everything is to play for.  

Redspire and Microsoft have joined forces on a co-hosted webinar series that showcases how to put low-code, no code, point and click technologies in business users’ hands, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Watch the webinar on-demand now and if you want to see the tools in action, view the follow up demo.

If you’d like to find out more about how the Power Platform’s Triple-A-Loop can support your Insurance firm through its next phase of digital transformation, read how the Power Platform can automate a claims scenario, get in touch with our team of specialists today on 0845 226 8170 or info@redspire.co.uk.   

The October 2019 Dynamics 365 wave 2 release for Dynamics 365 is, as expected, is a love story to Microsoft’s continued investment in AI and commitment to industry and commerce. The release brings a whole host of AI-infused and industry specific capabilities and brand new world-class innovations that provide meaningful capabilities to digitally transform organisations of all shapes and sizes.

The enhancements and improvements to Dynamics 365 suite of applications include hundreds of brand new capabilities across the usual business process applications.

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Field Service
  • Project Service Automation
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Talent
  • Retail
  • Business Central

Microsoft October 2019 release for Dynamics 365 wave 2

We recently shared an article covering AI driven sales insights, market insights and customer insights capabilities and enhancements. Additional release announcements include Dynamics 365 Product Insights, which connects product telemetry to Microsoft Business Applications, bringing valuable in-branch, store-level insights and gives visibility into product and service performance and customer interactions.

Enhancements to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights extends the reach of the tool further from mainly B2C scenarios. Additional features will now allow organisations to generate powerful insights into complex B2B journeys too and understand and serve leads and accounts better.

At Redspire HQ, we’re very excited about Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service. This is a vital tool to deliver enhanced customer service and experience, and is improved with with brand new authoring capabilities. This allows users to test and deploy AI-powered chat bots with greater speed, freeing front line agents to focus on more complex issues, and providing deep insights into customer satisfaction and experience.

Security and risk is also covered. Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection provides a formidable fraud protection solution,  decreasing fraud costs and helping increase acceptance rates for customer payment transactions.

The Power Platform

The Power Platform is bringing unbelievable new hands on automation and innovation superpowers to organisations and internal teams globally. The new wave 2 capabilities really extend their reach and maximise the power of AI for everyone from pro-devs to front of house teams. Read more in yesterday’s Power Platform article or get in touch with us to find out more.

About Redspire 

Whilst just scratching the surface of the top tier Dynamics 365 wave 2 enhancements here, our technical team are delving deep into the new capabilities to bring them to our clients. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, leading business transformation in Banking, Insurance, Government and FMCG, we know Dynamics 365 inside out and we love getting under the hood of our clients’ businesses to innovate, automate and return on your digital investment.

To read more about the Microsoft technologies driving digital business transformation, download our guide today. To discuss how Dynamics 365 and the latest technologies from the Microsoft stack can transform your business, please get in touch with our team of specialist Microsoft-accredited consultants today for an informal chat. Ask about our suite of on-site business transformation workshops. Call 0845 226 8170 or email info@redspire.co.uk.

 

 

In today’s digital-first world, our way of life is constantly evolving. How each of us is connected to each other, the companies we use, the goods and services we procure and how they’re delivered to us today looks very different to the digital landscape of just a year or two ago.

Despite a cautious approach in the early days of digital transformation, digitising data in insurance is well underway. As with the wider Financial Services sector, insurance is in a process of on-going, accelerated change, and it’s steering how the c-suite approach operations and policyholder service delivery. As insurance goes digital, competition for customer spend and attention is fierce, bringing opportunity to differentiate on brand proposition, service and experience. The onus isn’t just on attracting and retaining customers, it’s on ensuring a unified experiences across the entire portfolio.

Recent research by Microsoft has shows that 76 per cent of customers and prospects have researched your website or done a web search on their query, before they make contact with an insurer. Bruce McKee, financial services industry manager at Microsoft UK says: “By the time they’re on the phone, they already know a lot about the products they want so they’re likely to ask more difficult questions and expect increasing levels of expertise from staff.”

For your insurance business to not just survive but truly thrive, the c-suite are encouraged to focus energies and investment on building CRM driven service and operations. Create a digital-first culture, implement new technologies that drive meaningful interaction to truly transform the systems and processes that drive employee, intermediary and customer engagement. To find out more, read our Digital Insurer white paper today, watch our Digital Transformation in Insurance video series, or sign up for our Digitising Data in Insurance blog series, direct to your inbox.

  1. Deliver omni -channel user experiences via a customer centric CRM to gain competitive advantage and drive long-term customer and agent loyalty

When you place your insurance customers at the heart of an interactive business ecosystem, where they can contact you on their channel of choice, as and when they choose, with a unified cross-channel response and real time knowledge and understanding of their needs and issues; you create an immersive sales and service environment that engages. Customer experiences that can’t fail to stick.

Microsoft’s suite of business application tools are delivering these experiences in the insurance sector. Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies insurance customer data in real time and integrates with tools like Unified Service Desk, Power BI and PowerApps to help build communication networks that drive sales, inspire loyalty, encourage satisfaction and increase customer lifetime value. Digital self-service via low and no code apps, developed rapidly in-house increases team productivity whilst empowering the customer to transact on their own terms, often without ever needing to engage with an agent.

Additionally, the data insights leveraged across these communication tools, from agent channels and customer portals, to mobile, social and web interactions build an invaluable 360-degree view of your customer and their needs. Predicative AI and relationship insights tools support by taking the guesswork out what of your customer needs and next step actions are. When those insights are available to your people, customers are provided with pro-active consultative support and sales conversations land with razor sharp precision.

Looking at the claims process, that single version of the truth and the productivity tools of Dynamics 365, Unified Service Desk and O365 can speed up the claims process, allowing remote assessment, works management and completion, often without the need for loss adjuster visits.

  1. Creating digital workplaces that empower relationships and service excellence

End user customers aren’t the only winners of a unified data system. Unlike other financial networks, in insurance the eco-system contains third party agents and intermediaries that often aren’t directly employed by the firm. Building loyalty and delivering smooth operations to these stakeholders and third parties is imperative to the bottom line.

That interconnectivity of the business, agents and policyholders can be achieved with bespoke portals that feed in directly to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, connecting household data and documents with the correct product and service at the right price point.

It goes without saying that ease of service is under serious scrutiny at this point in the sale. With customers often talking to a number of insurers, both price and experience are key differentiators. Additionally, intermediaries will naturally steer towards the platforms that provide them with great accessibility and experience and the ability to sell, connect and close quicker.

Unified communication via handheld devices, easy access to product and service information, forms and eSign capabilities that connect product, agent, system and customer can replace a laptop or desktop without compromising on service levels. On an access as required status that secures sensitive customer data.

  1. Providing accurate real-time insights

Real time insights provided by Dynamics 365 allows you to unify all of your customer data, applications, claims and complaints into one easily accessible system. With Dynamics data insights you can better understand customers, accelerate applications and decisions; create personalised insurance offers; gain a 360-degree view of internal and external data, predict customer needs and provide custom solutions.

With constant advances in the tech and new bi-annual releases, teams can progress action and help when there is trouble, automate processes and augment human ingenuity with AI and cognitive capabilities to meet customers where they are.

For call centre staff, access to these insights and unified service data help provide a pro-active service to consumers who are informed and often quite far down a sales pipeline via their own personal research. Microsoft Unified Service Desk collates data from the legacy sources and knowledge materials that help agents answer tricky questions and fulfil customer needs. Data insights impact all areas of customer delivery and improve profitability. Eradicating ageing systems and disparate silos also helps reduce over and under pricing and monitor fraud, depreciating trends and unnecessary claims payouts that are impacting your bottom line.

Digital disruption and transformation is in motion from the top down, and across the financial services and insurance sector, everything is to play for. From new market entrants to established High Street names, insurance firms globally are rapidly accelerating and shape shifting into highly focused, strategically planned, modern and agile institutions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem is steering differentiated customer journeys and operational success. In a rapidly evolving business environment where the strongest and most innovation hungry institutions will thrive and survive, the question is: ‘How does your organisation’s digital strategy stack up?’

At Redspire, when we partner with you, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner throughout your whole improvement journey. We have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and we have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money and Pensions Service and our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem within insurance firms like Ellipse, Saffron and The Judge, we help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that promises return on investment.

Want to find out more? Download The Digital Insurer white paper today. If you’re ready to chat, contact us on 0845 226 8170 or email us at info@redspire.co.uk. We’ll get back to you right away.

With online retailer Amazon famously releasing new functionality to its website every eleven seconds, it’s clear that continuous technological change is at the heart of customer service and experience. Regardless of the space you operate in, keeping pace digitally is vital to keep customer satisfaction high.

In insurance, the Board and c-suite are under increasing pressure to keep up. And not just with the current tech driving customer satisfaction, but also the change-making tech looming on the horizon. Customer demand coupled with cost pressures and the needs to provide a modern technology-led workplace to executives and third party intermediaries creates an insurance workplace that requires a robust technology strategy. Insurers who will succeed will have an appetite for continus innovation and change that goes far beyond simple lead nurture and risk management.

Thankfully, Microsoft have worked hard to enable insurance firms of all shapes, sizes and budgets to keep pace. The tech giant has created a range of fully integrated solutions and tools that provide increased collaboration and productivity from teams and intermediaries. All alongside the ability to map and enhance business processes and drive continuous improvement and automation.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform include a range of bolt-on technologies that unify data, tech and people. These transformative tools enhance all aspects of the insurance business and enable a 24/7 customer experience that sticks.

Read on for just a few of the key tools that are evolving the digital insurance space. For more information of the new and emerging technologies we’re deploying via our partnerships with the UK’s leading insurers, download our Digital Insurer white paper, watch our video series or sign up for our up and coming detailed blogs series on the individual tools below, direct to your inbox.

  1. Customer Service Insights: enhanced service and reduced costs

With AI and data driven customer service insights, the customer journey from on-boarding to reporting a claim and case management is set up to cater to the customer’s every need. Set 24/7 communication choices to suit customer preferences via Apps, Portals, data-driven Bots and seamless email processes straight into CRM. Your team’s productivity is improved, whilst being available for heavier touch contact when required. With agents accessing the same real-time data, your customers will receive consistent service levels. Decreasing CSAT scores monitoring,

SLA monitoring and enhanced business intelligence dashboards that identify trending call centre activity, means that you’re always on top of any potential issues before they get out of hand. And you can even quickly configure and deploy simple bot activity to resolve issues, whilst measuring individual or collective customer sentiment via cognitive services. Delivering on your customer’s needs and resolving claims and complaints effectively and in a timely manner creates that emotional connection that drives much sought after brand loyalty.

  1. Sharepoint Online: secure, regulatory compliant document storage

With the insurance sector processing millions of auditable pieces of data each day, it’s essential to have a safe, secure space to house these digital paper trails. With risk and data protection and GDPR regulation at front of mind, Microsoft recently enhanced its document storage offering. Sharepoint Online uses AI to identify sensitive information, encrypt where required and watermark and categorise documents. Integrating neatly into Dynamics 365, the application and claims process all sits within the secure Microsoft framework, benefitting from world-class security and classifications immediately.

  1. Relationship insights: Close deals and manage relationships with AI

Microsoft Relationship Insights builds strong relationships not just between customers and relationship managers, but also helping drive productive, effective networks between insurance teams, stakeholders, intermediaries and brokers. Going far beyond nurturing and close deals, the AI that’s housed within the CRM and email systems analyses and highlights trends and sentiment for appropriate action. Additionally, the user is served reminders on next steps required without having to manually set tasks or create events, enhancing productivity and ensuring no opportunities are missed.

  1. Office 365: Seamless productivity and team building business applications

With brokers in the field working directly with agents in call centres across disparate geographical locations, staying connected is vital. Office 365 combines office tools like Excel, Word and Outlook Exchange and introduces new, innovative productivity tools like Microsoft Teams. Teams provides a full collaboration space for online meetings, phone calls, video conferencing, document sharing, screen sharing and so much more. Easy to use across all devices, and integrated with rich data application Delve and the Dynamics 365 CRM, Office 365 is a much under-utilised tool in the insurance space. Yet it’s one our clients are seeing huge productivity value and benefits from once we steer them towards using to it’s full capability.

  1. Sales Navigator: social selling that turns relationships into sales

Get rich insight into your current and potential clients and the broker network by connecting Dynamics 365 to your LinkedIn account. When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26billion, they combined the winning formula of Dynamics 365 and Sales Navigator to help Relationship Managers create warm connections and close deals faster. With huge success in Financial Services, the insurance sector should follow suit to differentiate, accelerate relationships, increase deal sizes and improve win rates.

  1. PowerApps: Putting business applications processes in your development team’s hands

Our top pick for the future and some exciting new features coming in the next wave. PowerApps is relatively new to market but revolutionising app development within the insurance and financial services space. With PowerApps, in-house developers can bring task-driven mobile apps and model-driven data apps to market as soon as they need, greatly reducing development time to market as well as partner development costs. Our clients are using PowerApps in the field to allow loss adjusters or even customer self-reporting of claims, with the capability to upload photos of damaged assets direct to CRM for attention via a simple, secure, bespoke built app. Claims can be validated quickly and efficiently, increasing customer satisfaction.

Many insurers are also using model driven apps to manage compliance and underwriting processes, connecting with tools like Flow to build out the entire process as a seamless extension of the Dynamics CRM.

  1. Marketing Insights: AI powered insights

Understand what your customers feel about your products and services, the claims process and your brand with Marketing Insights. Insurance services can be emotive, as you hold the security of people’s homes, cars and travel, or in commercial insurance, high value sums and risk in your hands. Marketing insights pulls the sentiment from your own online mentions, allowing you to take action and shape shape future service levels and marketing activity. Track what competitors are up to too, cut through the noise of what doesn’t interest you and find out what’s trending in insurance at the click of a button.

  1. Adobe Sign: digital document share and sign that closes more deals, faster.

One of the biggest tech giant partnerships of recent times, Microsoft and Adobe joined forces to collaborate on Marketing Cloud and Adobe Sign, increasing lead quality and quote volume and speeding up insurance customer on-boarding. Integrating fully into Dynamics 365, Dynamics can feed new and cross-sell insurance customer data from the CRM. Create, prepare and share digital documents for signing in seconds, rather than days or often weeks before they were returned. Conversions are improved, drop off reduces and customers benefit from a slick digital service and insurance coverage as and when they need it.

  1. Power BI: Enhanced Business Intelligence, visualised

Gartner’s top performing BI tool for the 13th year running, Power BI is the best way to understand what the data you hold on your clients, broker performance and teams actually means in the here and now. Part of the Power Platform, turn insights into action and data led decision-making across every department, from relationship management to risk and compliance, when you combine PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow.

  1. Portals: safe are secure self-serve communication with great impact on ROI

Reduce costs and increase productivity and experience by connecting to your partners or customers to the business via bespoke build, secure data-sharing portals. Manage your broker relationships, share insights or information on claims, policies, renewals and customers.

Adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape in insurance

As with the wider Financial Services sector, insurance is in a process of on-going, accelerated change, and it’s steering how the c-suite approach operations and policyholder service delivery. As insurance goes digital, competition for customer spend and attention is fierce, bringing opportunity to differentiate on brand proposition, service and experience. The onus isn’t just on attracting and retaining customers, it’s on ensuring a unified experiences across the entire portfolio.

The cost of not keeping up with the new technologies driving change? Your digital strategy could veer off in the wrong direction or you could rule out initiatives that could be executed in your business quicker and at a lower cost than what you think. Advancing InsureTech is providing innovation hungry transformation teams with the opportunity to breathe life into an evolving sector and engage and deliver slick user experiences like never. To find out more, download The Digital Insurer white paper today or contact us on 0845 226 8170 or email us at info@redspire.co.uk.

You’ve done your due diligence on how to achieve digital transformation in your sector. Carried out some initial internal needs analysis, scoped out the best CRM options on the market, talked to your best people and cross-referenced their recommendations with Gartner et al. And you’ve identified that Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI and the wider Microsoft ecosystem is the clear leader in digital transformation. Not just in terms of CRM and data solutions but as a unified solution to manage your entire business environment and operations.

So, now that you know all about Microsoft Dynamics 365, its limitless integrations and the art of endless possibility within your sector. You know that your competitors are modelling success with Microsoft’s latest technologies. You have a need for internal change, now.

What are the next steps?

The partner approach to digital transformation

Selecting the right business partner for your digital transformation project is an essential part of project success. Choosing a partner who brings a deep understanding of Dynamics 365 and its customisable capabilities and who leads from the front to ensure user adoption will help you model success and yield return on investment from your CRM project.

As well as an expert in the product, it’s vital that you select a partner who’s experienced within your sector, who understand the nuances and challenges of your business and who also has references and success models within your industry. From pre-sales scoping and needs analysis to project and process mapping and build, all the way through to implementation and beyond, a strong partner is the primary key to success. Together you’ll bring together your who, your when and your what.

The benefits of working with a partner

Out the box, Dynamics provides an incredible range of features ready to plug and play by internal IT teams. These include an immersive CRM, smart collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams, Flow, Power Apps and more. But for the UK’s biggest and best brands with unique operational needs, a more customisable approach to CRM and data solutions is required.

The power of the partner approach to digital transformation is that a specialist partner can analyse your business needs and processes, map them against their enhanced knowledge of the system’s capabilities and build a bespoke, customised solution that fulfills your businesses unique needs. The finished product? A system that works exactly as you want it to. With a focus on automation and simplifying processes, your bespoke build CRM can gain thousands of days productivity across the business, enhance customer and stakeholder engagement, increase sales, manage risk and improve operations.

Getting started and selecting the right partner

At Redspire, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner through your whole improvement journey. Our partnership ensures:

  • a bespoke, fit for purpose CRM that fulfils your business needs, after exhaustive discovery and requirements scoping.
  • that project build, implementation and go-live is a success with limited downtime to the business day to day.
  • enhanced user adoption through an immersive user and super-user training programme, designed to fit each individual client’s needs.

About Redspire

We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner with particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, Retail, Government, and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money Advice Service and operations and field service at Golden Charter and AIG Group, our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that promises return on investment and with measurable KPIs in place from the outset.

To find out more about the partnership approach to Dynamics 365 in your business,  you can contact us on 0845 226 8170 or email info@redspire.co.uk.