The latest release of Microgen 5Series, version 4.98, was launched in May 2020. It includes a combination of new functionality, incremental improvements and fixes. Most notable is the integration with Laserfiche, the enterprise content management system and new functions to support regulatory compliance.
Laserfiche is a popular choice with trust and corporate services providers, particularly in the Crown Dependencies. Its popularity is partly due to it being one of the highest rated content management systems for ease of use and implementation.
Like many trust administration products, Microgen 5Series includes basic document management functions. Documents are stored using either the Windows File System or Microgen’s proprietary Document Store. The Document Store is an entry level product but falls well short of an enterprise content management system.
Microgen chose to develop the integration in accordance with the open source CMIS model. This paves the way for future integrations with similar CMIS compatible content management systems. In addition to Laserfiche, IBM Content Manager, OpenText and iManage all support CMIS.
The Laserfiche integration comes ‘out of the box’ with 5Series 4.98 and just requires some simple configuration to connect to a Laserfiche server. Any task in 5Series that creates a document will allow it to be saved in Laserfiche with appropriate entity based meta data.
It is also possible to browse content stored in Laserfiche directly from a 5Series entity information page. The Laserfiche Web Client replacing the standard 5Series Document Store or Windows folder view.
From the 5Series documents page users can enjoy the full functionality of the Laserfiche Web Client. This includes document preview, editing and annotation functions and the ability to initiate Laserfiche workflows.
I have a lot of experience implementing both 5Series and Laserfiche. If you are a user of either product and are interested making better use of them, please get in touch.
Note: At the time of writing this in May 2020, there are some extraordinary deals available on Laserfiche subscriptions. The deals vary by number of users but it is not uncommon to see significant discounts or free use of the product for limited periods. These deals are likely to be only available during Q2 2020.
Through my contacts I believe a close integration of Laserfiche with NavOne (also part of the Microgen / Touchstone camp) is also being developed and set for launch early in Q3.
The power of Microsoft Business Central, which is the underlying architecture of NavOne, combined with Laserfiche’s document repository and workflow, is a powerful proposition for the fiduciary sector.
You can almost guarantee that every release of financial services software will be dominated by increased functionality to support Compliance. 5Series 4.98 is no exception with improvements in managing Economic Substance and the introduction of support for Mandatory Disclosure Rules.
Microsoft started to introduce functionality to support the OECD Economic Substance tests back in version 4.96 in January 2020. Additional value is added in this release through a new workflow task.
5Series helps administrators record the evidence to demonstrate substance activities by jurisdiction with accompanying reports.
The merger between Microgen and Touchstone is accelerating the pace of change in this area. It is clear to see both businesses are sharing the same thinking and product design which is leading to accelerated development in both 5Series and NavOne.
Of particular interest to 5Series customers will be the partnership with PWC which will bring integration of their Economic Substance rule engine to the product. This functionality was released to NavOne customers this month and is set to be released in 5Series later in the summer of 2020.
Mandatory Disclosure Rules
With effect from 01 July 2020 the OECD is enforcing mandatory disclosure of cross border restructuring and tax arrangements. This is enshrined in the DAC6 regulations. The Crown Dependencies have been quick to implement this legislation under as Mandatory Disclosure Rules or MDR. The reporting of the arrangements being made are mandatory within one month. This will put additional strain on administration and compliance professionals. 5Series 4.98 allows you to record information about these cross border arrangements using an advanced workflow.
My sources in the industry inform me that the rebranding of Microgen and Touchstone is nearly complete with a launch of the new company name expected in June 2020.
As I’ve stated in earlier articles the new Microgen / Touchstone business is going to continue to develop both 5Series and NavOne. However, my personal view is in the longer term, I see NavOne more likely to become the dominant system due to its architecture and larger eco-system of Microsoft integrations. The offshore financial sector, Jersey in particular is very Microsoft centric in terms of IT infrastructure.