Workflow & Process Transformation: PORTIA v11

May 11, 2011

In March I read an interesting post in the Securities Industry Blog by Phil Davies and Geoff Hodge, the premise of which can be summed up in its title: “Time to Transform Fund Accounting.” The authors’ thoughts were broad and general relative to the benefits of changing fund accounting workflows.

Transforming processes is what we’re all about here at PORTIA.  We employ best practices wherever we can—namely striving to improve internal processes that are ultimately translated into product enhancements and leveraging these enhancements to drive end-user efficiency.

In the forthcoming launch of PORTIA v11, these driving principles are very apparent.  We took a completely fresh look at our internal approach and processes relative to how this release was developed.  We stuck with past practices that were most effective, namely gathering and prioritizing client feedback to drive product features and functionality and using leading technology in the product.  When it came to planning and executing PORTIA v11 we did a lot of new and different things. 

One of the first changes involved a cross-functional initiative at the Microsoft Technology Center, where we worked with experts and did a tremendous amount of brainstorming—about what the product should be, how it could work, what the best available development tools are, what technology is most appropriate, etc. 

From there, the technology team dug in deeper with Microsoft personnel and the product development team started to work closely with clients.  We considered our client base, broke it down into key user types, and did detailed analysis to draw a picture of how they worked, what processes they relied on, and what they needed from PORTIA.  These analyses were shared, discussed, validated, and revised by working directly with clients who fit the user types.  These ideas and approaches were continually reviewed and refined through working with these clients in the form of a Product Development Community (PDC).  The outcome of this process was a prioritized list of features and functionality that was tied directly to end-user requirements and took into consideration both how they work and how they want to work.

The product development and technology teams reconvened, reviewed their respective findings, and went to work building detailed project plans and finalizing the project approach and priorities.  As we start talking to both clients and prospects about v11, we’re very excited about what the changes to our internal processes mean to the market as a whole, namely:

Easier access.  A single sign on allows clients who uses different pieces of PORTIA (e.g., core PORTIA and PORTIA Perform) to utilize those pieces in a much more integrated way.

Improved interaction.  Role-based dashboards provide a unique and customized view of PORTIA based on what a user is trying to accomplish, making it easier than ever to leverage PORTIA to gain maximum workflow efficiencies.  These dashboards bring the most frequently used tasks for the defined user to the front of the application, providing a holistic view of the system and allowing the automation of numerous tasks and processes.

By revolutionizing the user interaction with PORTIA and providing a host of functional enhancements, PORTIA clients will be able to get more done—faster and with greater accuracy—than ever before.  We’ll continue to improve our internal processes and practices so that clients can experience workflow improvements and transformations with each subsequent release of PORTIA.  As a result of these enhancements, benefits that users will experience include: having more time to focus on core competencies, improving other processes, and providing better service to their customers. 

What processes are you looking to transform?  How would gaining operational efficiencies in your accounting workflows allow you to change your business?

-Nicole Comeau, Product Manager


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