Xpedition, a trusted Microsoft implementation partner of cloud-based business applications, has completed a worldwide cloud migration to support global peacebuilding charity, International Alert, in revolutionising its financial processes and transforming its cross-country work.
International Alert is a leading peacebuilding charity operating in more than 20 countries which has been working for over 30 years to build positive peace and reduce violence in conflict-affected countries and territories. To support its mission of building sustainable peace, the charity recognised that it needed to overhaul its finance systems to enable it to become more efficient both now and into the future. This involved:
– Enabling the company to go paperless.
– Reducing costly, manual work and processing.
– Providing a usable solution for a diverse range of users, with multi-currency reporting functionalities.
To avoid the on-premise IT teams constantly solving network issues while aiming to reduce unnecessary costs, the new cloud system was the clear solution for the international organisation, which has 14 offices worldwide, plus an affiliate organisation in the Netherlands and is looking to expand and create efficiencies in working.
With Xpedition’s support and delivery of an innovative, cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 finance platform, International Alert can now automate more of its financial processes, which is helping it to increase efficiency both in the near term and long term. The company, and its more than 31,000 partner advocacy workers, can spend invaluable time focusing on driving their mission of laying the foundations for peace and solving the root causes of conflict.
The charity now has a unified digital finance system which has streamlined processes, cut down on paperwork, and saved costs. The cloud system is also more affordable than its previous, on-premise solution, meaning more money can be reinvested back into the charity’s peacebuilding efforts.
Crucially, the charity can now process and report in multi-currency, due to a new integration with exchange rate sources on a monthly basis. This is a key requirement due to its global fundraising and peacebuilding work, and means each office will have local variants in its financial reporting. This will further save time converting costs into various currencies.
“It was great to implement this solution in partnership with International Alert. To provide an industry-leading finance platform coupled with the agility to roll-out to country offices at minimal costs is great,” said Steve Georgiou, Senior Account Manager at Xpedition. “Having worked in the charity sector for over 30 years, we’re all too aware that value for money is key for charities, and we’re proud to say we can be a part of this mission.”
International Alert recognised Xpedition as the best supplier for the project, after it competed with three other short-listed suppliers. Xpedition was selected due to its long-standing experience in the NfP sector and its understanding of the charity’s requirements. Xpedition completed face-to-face training, and the new solution has provided the flexible, scalable and proven functionality that the charity needed to replace its legacy system and overcome its global restrictions.
Other benefits of the new cloud-based Financial Management solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, included its agility to be rolled out internationally to multiple country offices within a short time frame. Moving to a new system which is part of the Microsoft family of solutions, also brought consistency and familiarity to users with varying levels of technological and financial expertise.
In addition, the subscription model suits International Alert’s finances, as they pay only for the users and level of functionality which is needed, making it far easier to track against cost centres. For colleagues who only use basic Business Central features, there’s no need to pay for a full subscription. But if their capability and requirements change, it’s easy to add subscriptions and permissions as they go.
“We now have a much more flexible cloud solution at a fraction of the cost of putting the old system in the cloud. With the core functionality in place, we are able to take advantage of extra features for efficiency and productivity at our own pace. Our most engaged users are keen to innovate to make the most of Business Central – we’re encouraging them to come up with new and better ways to manage our international and local finances. We are learning more about Business Central every day and planning future process automation and integrations, with Xpedition’s ongoing support when we need it.”
Ronald Bwanika Kansere, Director Finance and Operations, International Alert