Planning and onboarding

Updated by Jaspreet Bakshi

Getting a business case sign off and security sign off are usually the first two steps for any firm that intends to use DotAlign's relationship intelligence solution.

The next step after that is usually a 30-day proof of concept where the solution is deployed onto the firm's cloud and various stake holders can access the solution and view the firm's data, first hand. This article provides information about the various privacy and sharing tools inside DotAlign to help guide you to set up the right structure inside your DotAlign instance.

A bit of background

Before diving into the specific tools and concepts inside DotAlign, it may be useful to recap the core value proposition of DotAlign. DotAlign Cloud helps businesses drive top line growth through automated intelligence about relationship networks. Running standalone or as a CRM overlay, DotAlign enhances ROI and fuels top-line growth. The software automatically maintains a complete picture of relationships, optimal path-of-introduction, level of engagement, and up-to-date (de-duped) contact records. DotAlign is secure and compliant, trusted by blue-chip and FINRA firms. No data leaves the client network. It can run as a web app, on mobile, as an extension to LinkedIn, Outlook, or Salesforce, or sync via API to in-house apps and data warehouses like Snowflake.

Human sensibilities and privacy

As much as relationship intelligence and managing your relationship network is key in growing your firm's top line, there are many sensibilities and privacy concerns that must be addressed on the path to being able to leverage your firm's network. Relationships are the life blood of many professionals in fields like investment banking, venture capital, law, commercial real estate, and many more. To leverage their relationships, the co-ownership of these relationships between the individual and the firm must be accounted for.

DotAlign has been built to address those sensibilities and privacy concerns and we hope that the tools available inside DotAlign can help you address your specific requirements. You should understand how these tools work, and how they can be mapped on to your specific scenario to achieve your goals. We would be happy to help with this process and if we discover that your needs are beyond what DotAlign supports, we would certainly consider enhancing the solution to meet your needs.

Planning for DotAlign

Once the solution is deployed, there are a few important decisions to be made about how you set up the system to be used inside your firm. These decisions can be changed as you become more familiar with the solution and it gains more usage inside the firm, but are still something you should carefully consider and decide on.

The decisions are:

  1. Who will contribute data - Which mailboxes do you intend to have analyzed? In other words, who will be the contributors of relationship data?
  2. What will be the default level of sharing - DotAlign allows default sharing levels to be set to
    1. Relationships only - Team members can see which people and companies a contributor knows and how well.
    2. Include contact information - Team members can see which people and companies a contributor knows and also the contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for each person. While opting to share contact information, you can select whether contact information should be shared with all team members or just admins and curators.
    3. Include interaction stats - Team members can see which people and companies a contributor knows and the interaction stats (latest inbound, latest outbound and latest meeting etc.) for each person.
  3. Who will be users/consumers of the system - Who will be the consumers of the DotAlign app and data set gathered from those contributor mailboxes? This set of people can be the same as the people contributing data, could be an overlapping but not exactly the same, or it could be limited to a special "data team" whose job it is to leverage relationships to grow the business. In every case, transparency and clarity of communication to contributors is important for long term participation and addressing any privacy concerns.

Different companies arrive at different decisions on the above, depending on the company culture, their existing in-house toolset and where in the data journey are they.

Tools at your disposal

To enable your ideal set up for DotAlign, the following tools are at your disposal:

  1. Teams - A team can be thought of as a sharing group, where the members share their relationships with each other (depending on their specific share settings). There are usually natural boundaries within firms, which may be because of compliance, specific business areas, geography or other reasons, and they can be represented by teams inside DotAlign. Teams can be populated by adding individual members directly to teams, or by adding Active Directory groups to teams. Once an AD group is added to a team, DotAlign will automatically sync with it, so if employees leave the firm or new employees join they will be automatically removed or added to DotAlign as well.
  2. Sharing levels - DotAlign allows a default sharing level to be defined for each team, where the levels, as described earlier, can be picked. Individual contributors are also allows to select their own sharing level, overriding the default sharing level. This is possible only if they are allowed access to the app by admins.
  3. Roles - Employees of your firm can be added to teams in one of three roles:
    1. Contributor - This roles implies that their mailbox is being analyzed and information extracted from it will be shared with the teams that they are a member of, as defined by their share settings.
    2. Curator - This role implies that their mailbox is not being analyzed, but they do have access to the data from other contributors in the team, and they can edit the data, in case they spot any errors, or add person/company records manually to the system.
    3. Reader - This roles implies that their mailbox is not being analyzed, and they only have read access to the data from other contributors in the team. They cannot edit or add any data.
  4. App access - As an admin, you can control who has access to your DotAlign app. For any individual or AD group, added as a contributor, the admin can optionally decided if they should also be allowed access to the application.

Sample scenarios

Scenario 1 - A firm where there are no significant in-house compliance related boundaries and employees usually collaborate and share relationships with each other. The goal of the firm is to empower each end-user inside the firm with relationship data to self-serve their needs.

In this case, we would suggest creating one team and adding all mailboxes that must be analyzed to it. Thus, every employee becomes a contributor to that team. We recommend that the sharing level be set to sharing relationships, including contact information and interactions stats, and all contributors be given app access so they can access the data and associated functionality.

Depending on the constraints, we also recommend enabling the DotAlign's Outlook add-in and Chrome extension for LinkedIn and Salesforce for end-users so they can consume the information wherever they usually work, in a secure and private way.

Scenario 2 - A firm where there are complex in-house compliance (or other) boundaries. Employees collaborate within their specific department but would not be comfortable sharing across the whole firm. The goal of the firm is to empower end users to leverage their departmental relationships, and also to enable specific employees to be able to make connections across the firm.

In this case, we would suggest creating one team per department, and adding the corresponding mailboxes from the department to the departmental team. This can be done easily by using existing Active Directory groups. Employees would have app access and thus be able to see their departmental team inside DotAlign. The sharing level would be set to share relationships, including contact information and interactions stats.

In addition, the specific employees who are meant to be able to make connections across the firm would be added to each team. That way they would be able to access relationship information across all departments.

We hope that the above mentioned concepts and tools will help you plan and execute a successful rollout of DotAlign in your organization. At any step of the way, the DotAlign team is there to help in any way, so please don't hesitate to reach out to

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