Moore Stephens LLP

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Cross-Platform Database Monitoring

Accounting and business advisory organisation Moore Stephens LLP needed an automated cross-platform database monitoring solution to integrate and monitor over 500 databases linked to its document management systems, issue notifications and alerts regarding data problems and distribute reports, purchase orders and correspondence. This has improved internal services and quality, and reduced manual administration tasks.

Primary Applications Used: Bespoke Document Management System

“We wanted to integrate data from multiple systems and then generate reports and alerts from the combined data.”

Charles Verrier, Information & Database Architect, Moore Stephens LLP

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Automated cross-platform monitoring, reporting and alerting for accounting and business advisory organisation

Company Details

Moore Stephens LLP is an accounting and business advisory organisation that provides a wide range of financial services. The head office in London is also the headquarters for Moore Stephens International.

The Challenge

  • Automate cross platform database monitoring of over 500 databases and multiple business systems
  • Enhance document management system
  • Generate and deliver alerts and reports
  • Improve employee productivity

The Solution

  • Monitor document management databases
  • Issue alerts regarding data problems
  • Distribute reports about POs and correspondence

The Results

  • Introduced a single, centralised system
  • Improved internal services and quality
  • Reduced manual, time-consuming tasks

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Cross-platform monitoring, reporting and alerting

Moore Stephens LLP operates more than two hundred desktop applications and in excess of five hundred databases. One of the significant challenges faced by any organisation with a complex IT infrastructure is coordinating and controlling how information moves around these disparate systems.

The organisation needed a tool to supplement the standard feature set of its document management system, such as delivering a weekly summary of all correspondence to department managers and assembling reports of outstanding purchase orders.

“We wanted to integrate data from multiple systems and then generate reports and alerts from the combined data,” said Charles Verrier, Information & Database Architect, Moore Stephens LLP. “We knew that we needed a cross-platform monitoring, reporting and alerting tool. Basically doing things that individual products were not capable of doing – each product has its own reporting system, which only talks to its own data. We knew that there were areas that were not performing as well as they could and it was about getting a tool to basically do that work. In some cases, to replace old, custom written solutions that had built up over the years.”

“We knew that we needed a cross-platform monitoring, reporting and alerting tool. Basically doing things that individual products were not capable of doing – each product has its own reporting system, which only talks to its own data.”

Charles Verrier, Information & Database Architect, Moore Stephens LLP

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Error checking the document management system

The first task that Moore Stephens implemented with Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform was to routinely monitor the database of the organisation’s document management system to identify cases where document usage was not adhering to the company’s internal processes or according to best practice. It also monitored usage patterns to identify data problems in the database, which would then alert the IT department.

“Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform automatically sends alert messages to users to let them know about a problem before it becomes a problem. We can spot patterns in the data that, from experience, we can tell are going to cause the user a problem,” explained Verrier. “We can now send them an email saying this document is going to be a problem if you don’t do something, or you need to change the way you are handling it. We have those set to run twice a week.”

“Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform automatically sends alert messages to users to let them know about a problem before it becomes a problem”

Charles Verrier, Information & Database Architect, Moore Stephens LLP

Database monitoring

The biggest usage, in terms of the number of alerts, stems from monitoring multiple databases to look for cases when data goes out of synchronisation. For example, when a member of staff gets married and changes their surname. As the surname can reside in any number of databases across the organisation it can be time-consuming to keep the records up-to-date.

“We use the Data Integration & Synchronisation capability to monitor multiple databases and look for cases where data should be the same, but has gone out of sync. It then generates a regular report for the necessary people to inform them that they need to manually sort out a discrepancy that shouldn’t be there,” said Verrier. “Sometimes you can write custom routines to sort that out, but it’s not always possible. There could be regulatory or contractual reasons why we are not allowed to directly write to another database. In that case, the best we can do is identify a synchronisation problem and email a request that an authorised person fixes the data.”

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Report automation – generation and delivery

Moore Stephens also uses Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform to supplement the standard feature set of its document management system. One requirement that couldn’t be achieved was to deliver a weekly summary to department managers of all correspondence that had been created in the department during the week. Previously, as in many organisations, this was achieved by manually recording every letter that left the building in a physical ‘letter book’.

“The Report and Document Automation capability generates a report at the end of each week, categorised and organised by department and person, and then emails it to departmental managers who need to do a quick review of activity during that week,” said Verrier. “We also use it within our purchase ledger system. Once a week it assembles a report of purchase orders still awaiting approval and circulates that report to stakeholders, just to make sure that we keep on top of our purchase ordering.”

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BPA Platform – A platform for development

Moore Stephens has been using Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform for over two years now and has used it to constantly evolve the IT environment. Its flexibility and ability to integrate most products has enabled the organisation to automate numerous processes, streamline document sharing and explore new developments.

“Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform is the market leader for doing what it does – and we certainly knew that it would add value,” stated Verrier. “We had a couple of particular goals in mind, but most of the stuff that we have done with it has only happened after the product was installed.”

Providing integration for multiple systems

The deployment of Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform provided Moore Stephens with the opportunity to decommission some of its older cross-platform solutions and introduce a single centralised system instead that would be capable of integrating a number of independent databases and systems.

“It meant that we could consolidate a lot of things into one product that could be managed by one skillset. With old IT systems that were written by people who left the firm years ago it can be increasingly difficult to support multiple custom cross-product reporting tools,” explained Verrier. “By replacing things that might have been custom written and instead just generating Codeless Platforms’ workflows, it’s much more practical to support and maintain these customised functions into the future.”

“Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform is the market leader for doing what it does — and we certainly knew that it would add value.”

Charles Verrier, Information & Database Architect, Moore Stephens LLP

Prior to installing Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform, many of the tasks that the organisation wanted to achieve required so much effort that Verrier admits that they wouldn’t have considered doing them.

“The number of man hours required to duplicate the things that Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform does automatically just wouldn’t have been worth the effort. There wouldn’t have been a business case to even do the work. This is about improving our internal processes and service quality really. It also creates new opportunities to generally improve data quality internally.”

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Getting infrastructure alerts

Moore Stephens has only just started exploiting the full capabilities of Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform. It is currently investigating its further use to replace some custom written reports that it uses for warning people when their timesheets haven’t been completed on time, by integrating it with its time and fees product.

The organisation is also looking at using the Notifications & Alerts capability for monitoring its IT infrastructure, which includes a wide area network, local area network, IP phone system and lots of routers and multi-office connections.

“While there are individual applications that can monitor all of these things they all tend to generate their own flavour of reporting and own way of alerting when something goes wrong,” said Verrier. “We have been looking at Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform as a way of consolidating alerts from other specialised systems, so that we have a single, consistent approach for generating infrastructure alerts within the business.”

Case Study: Moore Stephens LLP

Case Study: Moore Stephens LLP

Learn how accounting and business advisories Moore Stephens LLP automated database monitoring for over 500 databases, issue alerts and reports.

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