Finance firm adapts to growth with Automation
A fund management company with over AU$500m under management needed automation to support business growth objectives. Nano worked with the customer to develop serverless integrations for the transformation and loading of data from ARMNet into WiiSE, minimising time effort on manual data entry and reducing the risk of keying errors.
A fund’s manager with more than AU$500m in funds under management, as part of their digital transformation roadmap, required an automation to be constructed involving the extraction, transformation and loading data from ARMNet into WiiSE (Microsoft Business Central Dynamics). The customer spent hours every day manually processing financial data with a large risk of keying errors, and required an automation to: handle complex transactions against financial products, support improved data quality, and reduce the need for additional staff to handle growth.
Their ARMNet solution, hosted in Microsoft (MS) Azure accounts operated on MS SQL Servers and possessed limited data I/O capabilities. Having recently implemented WiiSE (a KPMG product) within the business, the client was interested in automating gross-up calculations for invoices and general journals raised against their customers and various financial entities. Unlike ARMNet, WiiSE possesses a set of API’s in the form of JSON REST endpoints in addition to bulk upload / download functionality.
Nano’s integration team, led by an AIPM Certified Project Manager and AWS Certified Solution Architect, engaged with the client to develop an overview of the integration required and a detailed specification of the integration and its required business logic. This involved investigation of existing spreadsheets used for the calculations and data manipulation, which was being performed by hand, and establishing a pseudo-code description of the business logic and corresponding API endpoints that would be used in each stage of the integration.
Reduction in processing transaction times.
Reduction in opex compared with client sourced alternatives.
“We are delighted by the outcome. Automation has led to greater productivity and allowed us to focus on what’s important and not just the time critical tasks.”
The team built an understanding of the data structures returned by each platform, and the specifics of how to sequence API calls to achieve the desired outcomes which included creating and posting General Ledger and Purchase and Sales Invoices into WiiSE. The team worked with the existing ARMNet team and client to construct the data egress points, establishing a secure file repository in the Azure environment that could be used to store transaction data and thus trigger integrations.
For this project, nano deployed a stand-alone instance of nanoConnect to host this and future integrations built for the client. Based on an infrastructure as code model, the platform was stood up within 4 hours allowing developers rapid access to start building integrations. Since nanoConnect is a 100% serverless and event driven solution it was easily modified to add functionality including client specific storage options. As a cloud native solution, it also allows for the construction of highly scalable and robust integrations in code.
High speed and reliable automation
Since its deployment the integration has yielded daily time savings for the client who receives a daily digest of the transactions processed instead of having to enter them manually. The integration has demonstrated high availability, reliability and robustness, handling various errors that due to incorrectly formated data in the source system, or missing client details in WiiSE. With the benefit of error handling, this allows the customer to focus on the right things. This integration has also run fault free to present day with no downtime required for maintenance or updates.
Highly configurable platform for problem solving
As a platform built by developers for developers, nanoConnect allowed the development team flexibility to implement solutions which were unconstrained by an opinionated interface requiring specialist resources. As the project progressed it became clear that this client specifically required additional infrastructure that extends the capability of the base integration platform. nanoConnect caters for the client’s unique needs including any constraints of the systems being integrated. For instance, additional serverless storage was deployed for the client within nanoConnect ensuring that customer data remains isolated from that of other clients and supporting data soveriegnty requirements.
Faster to develop and maintain
With nanoConnect being rapidly deployed, the development team was ready to build integrations as soon as the business logic was confirmed with the client. With integrations written in code this leads to shorter development times than Low/No Code solutions, and doesn’t require specialist knowledge. Our integration took a few weeks to develop, resulting in a faster realisation of the business benefits sought.
Well governed CI/CD
nanoConnect’s account structure allows for safe development and testing with a customer’s sandbox accounts before deploying into production. Our team implemented extensive testing to capture and account for edge-cases not identified with the client in the design stage. With this testing regime in place the customer has gained a high level of comfort and trust in the integration before being deployed into production. Updates to these integrations are managed through a well governed Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline.
Eliminate data loss and operate reliably
With nanoConnect utilising cloud native serverless infrastructure backed by AWS SLAs, integrations are highly reliable running when and as needed with built-in redundancies in both data storage and compute. This means the client is never at risk of data loss and can expect integrations to run reliably.
Scale massively, automatically, when needed
This and other integrations built for the client have a demonstrated ability to process a massive amount of data in a highly parallel fashion. In fact, nanoConnect is so fast at processing data, it outperforms the systems to which it connects which constrain how many API calls can be made to their endpoints. This means the customer can expect the business logic of integrations never to be the bottleneck.
Protect the security and integrity of customer data
In addition to secure communication protocols, with credentials managed by the platform developers are free to build integrations whilst not having access to the specific credential information such as passwords and keys. Developers only have access to a development account which hosts credentials to the customer’s dev and test environments meaning live production data is not exposed and access controls are maintained.