CSI, a technology provider for financial institutions and other businesses, had long, manual internal processes that needed to be refined, automated and cleaned up. With K2, CSI has now been able to expand beyond its tried-and-true manual processes and has successfully embraced digital transformation to automate critical processes throughout the company.
With a proven history as a leading provider of financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) solutions to financial institutions and other businesses, Computer Services, Inc. (CSI) continuously strives to deliver the best possible service to its clients. However, over the course of time, the company came to rely on several legacy paper and spreadsheet-based workflows that had become a standard mode of operation.
CSI’s Managed Services team, who are the front line for strategic IT customer engagements, initially identified a need for a digital process automation solution to integrate with its cloud-based ticketing system Autotask. After choosing K2 for this deployment, the CSI Business Intelligence team also identified other initiatives in which this platform could play a role in streamlining operations, but at first, adoption was not an easy sell.
“As a more established institution, many of our business-critical processes had become such an ingrained day-to-day aspect of our employees’ jobs so, there had been some level of resistance to change,” said Tyler Clark, system engineer at CSI “Once we started building processes using K2, however, people started seeing the value of the digital transformation that it could bring.”
Today, CSI has over 50 workflows spanning the business, consisting of both user-managed and automated workflows that require no human interaction. And some workflows, such as CSI’s purchase requisition application, are utilized by upwards of 800 users.
So, what are some of these applications that are helping to streamline CSI’s business processes? The following is a snapshot of some of the real-world processes helping to heighten customer engagement.
An example of a new K2-based solution at CSI that replaces an older Microsoft Excel-based manual workflow managed within finance is their purchase requisition process. With this, users can make requests for equipment for either customers or internal needs. Previously, there was a centralized spreadsheet where people were getting purchase requisition numbers, which were then routed via email to approvers who then had to validate the request by looking up those same numbers. This proved to be quite cumbersome and prone to errors.
This workflow, which facilitates requisitions from start to finish, begins with a K2 SmartForm in which users can initiate the request and designate whether it’s either an operating expense for small purchases or a capital expense. Says Clark, “It collects what you would expect, such as information about the devices that are changing, what you need to purchase, what those quotes are, and in the case of operating expenses, we’re confirming whether there is an existing capital expense line item that exists in the master budget.”
This new end-to-end process makes it much more intuitive to ensure a reduction of errors, as well as streamline the approval chain of command for approvers.
This workflow facilitates the adds, moves, and changes for customers through the company’s Managed Services division. In this instance, there are numerous possibilities that the SmartForm can step through, which ultimately is integrated into the Autotask ticketing system where a project and its associated tasks are ultimately created. There is also tight integration between Autotask and an on-premises Microsoft SQL Server Database which keeps mappings and attributes related to this process, and which also utilizes K2’s out-of-the-box service broker.
The MAC process starts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with a customized button that kicks off the K2 workflow. This passes opportunity-specific information to the K2 form, which is used to do a lookup on its details. The CSI representative will have an opportunity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that is related to a move/add/change in which the customer has any number of devices that need to be changed in some way, such as adding new servers or requesting that new servers be added to their network.
The ability to integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM and K2 using its out-of-the-box service broker has been of great benefit. CSI can now link opportunity data within its CRM system while easily addressing the complex workflow of appropriately routing to the correct people and creating all artifacts within Autotask.
Of CSI’s 50+ K2 applications, the majority are workflows that have no human interaction whatsoever. One such process enables appropriate email routing when documents are entered into a Microsoft SharePoint document library. The company extensively uses email-enabled documents, and to support automated routing of these emails, workflows are activated when one of these documents gets uploaded to the document library.
“Automated workflows are really an unsung hero. This is one of the key integration points we have between several different systems, and if you asked users, they have no idea that K2 is enabling critical tasks at CSI,“ Clark said.
As an established fintech company, CSI has been able to expand beyond its tried-and-true manual processes and has successfully embraced digital transformation to automate critical processes throughout the company. Clark states, “K2 really is involved in all the business processes across our organization, even as we move into the Office365 world where we’re starting to integrate Microsoft Flow as well. Really, we don’t see any way that we could accomplish any of this without K2.”