More Agile IT Processes with the Power Platform
Dramatically reduce the time from idea to business results with the Power Platform
Eckerd Connects was founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd with a single purpose and mission: “It’s the kids.” Five decades later with a presence in 20 states, Eckerd’s family of services has expanded to include foster care, adoption, workforce development, aid for the homeless and transitional services.
With employees located across 20 states and a vast base of contractors providing services throughout the same region, Eckerd Connects was saddled with an increasing turnaround time and invested human effort spent provisioning new computers and mobile devices. Eckerd and MSPs make use of modern IT service tools such as ServiceNow but because of their unique organization, Eckerd’s approval and workflow needs were different than the norm.
Eckerd Connects’ CIO staff reached out to MercuryWorks to digitize the IT provisioning processes and automate the overall delivery of computer, laptops and cell phones to staff. Eckerd’s pre-defined provisioning process hinged on human action and monitoring to move requests through the approval stages and guarantee the completeness and correctness of information; this real-world process formed the basis of Eckerd’s new automated solution.
MercuryWorks implemented a low-code process automation to make service requests open to all hiring managers and employees on screens via the Eckerd intranet. The resulting solution (based on Microsoft’s Power Platform and Microsoft 365 collaboration platform) unites requestors, finance approvers, IT approvers and IT service staff into a connected whole. Furthermore, integration with Eckerd’s MSP partners at the completion of approval to kick off provisioning of equipment and accounts has resulted in drastically reduced time from request to fulfillment.
Automated Computer Provisioning
With staff spread over 20 states across multiple service programs, keeping track of computer equipment overall and needs for new employees is quite a dynamic task for Eckerd Connects. The custom-developed Power Platform automation provided a request form through the modern SharePoint intranet, routes requests and provides Finance- and IT-specific screens to review, update and respond to steps.
User Account Request Automation
By virtue of Eckerd’s business model, some contractors bring their own hardware to the job and instead need access to internal networks and an email address. While such account creations do not require finance approval or equipment logistics, it does require security review and IT action. Using a simple Power Apps-driven form, a manager can request an account for their employee and the request is automatically routed for fulfillment following IT review and approval.
Mobile Device Request Automation
In our modern day and age the use of mobile devices is part and parcel of knowledge work and at Eckerd, smartphones and laptops are a key tool in doing the job. Cellular devices are managed by a dedicated MSP and while the nature of mobile device requests vary from that of a computer or laptop, MercuryWorks was able to deliver a device provisioning automation process optimized for mobile devices utilizing the Power Platform.
Other Key Highlights
Strategic Advantage for Business Users
With the new automated request and provisioning process, all steps are automated and fire as each required and validated set of information is provided. The low-code aspect of the Power Platform is a strategic advantage in that Eckerd Connects IT staff and power business users can make needed adjustments to the process without being software developers.
Reduced Implementation Time
The use of Power Automate and Power Apps enabled Mercury to spin up a small team of consultants and deploy a solution in a span time of time measured in weeks rather than months. The drag-and-drop/visual design surface makes updates easy for non-programmer IT staff and power business users.
Ability to See Business Results Faster
With the new automated request and provisioning process, all steps are automated and fire as each required and validated set of information is provided. With the Power Platform, organizations can dramatically reduce the time from idea to business results!
"What a fantastic solution! Our new IT automated provisioning system has proven to be such a core part of our operations. Thank you MercuryWorks for both bridging the business and technology elements but also delivering a rock-solid IT system."
Chief Information Officer
Behind The Curtain
The new Microsoft SharePoint Online provides the strength of modernized intranet content publication with robust document libraries and lists. Modern SharePoint lists were used in this solution to provide business data storage.
Surfaces data from myriad potential connected sources to provide a low-code application user interface. Power Apps was used as part of this solution to provide form rendering and user input screens.
Provides logic, process flow and “behind the scenes” operations for cloud-based business solutions. Largely a no-/low-code solution, Power Automate puts the power of connected applications into knowledge workers’ hands.