Making Sure You Get the Most From Your Technology

Michelle O’Connell, Relationship Manager, Eagle Investment Systems

As anyone who has been involved in such a project before knows, investing in a technology solution doesn’t end with its roll out. It’s our business to help firms grow their assets more efficiently through our innovative solutions and we realize that an important element of that is to work with our clients to ensure their investment in our technology continues to deliver long-term value.

One way that we do this is for our relationship managers to perform regular business reviews. The benefits of keeping an open and active dialogue with our clients to discuss the challenges they face and their priorities are two-way. In many instances, we can help them find a solution within the Eagle platform or give them the benefit of our experience of working with firms with similar needs. At the same time, understanding the issues firms are grappling with can help shape the development of our product solutions and upgrades.

Here are 10 topics and trends that regularly come up during our business reviews with clients.

  1. There is growing demand for new strategies as investors look to enhance returns in a low interest rate environment. This manifests itself in a new focus on alternative investments or even something as simple as new foreign bonds. How is your firm managing those assets?
  2. Market volatility has driven institutional investors to look for additional ways to reduce risk and perform deeper analysis. Multiple sources of analytics data, integrated with forward-looking risk and backward looking attribution, are now common requirements. Are you positioned to support your business if they ask for these capabilities?
  3. Driven by the recession, technology budgets become more cost conscious and institutions are looking for opportunities to run leaner shops. The build vs. buy decision comes up less and less as chief technology officers look to buy off-the-shelf solutions that meet 90% of requirements rather build expensive-to-maintain home-grown solutions that meet 100% of requirements. Do you have a roadmap to retire home-grown solutions that are expensive to maintain?
  4. The dynamic market (the new normal) has driven institutional investors to demand more robust data – faster. Reporting requirements circa 2005 often encompassed large, fixed-format report packages delivered monthly or nightly. Those reporting requirements are now driven by platforms that deliver information “on demand” updated intraday, delivered to consumers on secure, fast, mobile-enabled platforms. Yesterday’s report is now today’s interactive chart, with drill down capabilities that can be viewed securely on devices like mobile phones and tablets. Is there a proven business intelligence foundation at your firm ready to be leveraged when the business demands it?
  5. Firms are seeking to outsource technology or operational tasks in order to maximize their core competencies and reduce risk. Technology outsourcing (SaaS) provides a platform for future growth at predictable and fixed price points. The option to add on investment servicing capabilities also future-proofs a firm’s operating model for additional growth opportunities, for example, launching a global product, reaching into a new market, or dealing with potential merger/acquisition activity. Have you explored these possibilities?
  6. Compliance continues to be a challenge for clients and vendors. Make it a point to take the time to see how your solution provider has evolved to support common regulatory requirements. For example, at Eagle we added support for the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) into our newer releases as well as enabled clients to support LEI in earlier versions. As the regulatory environment evolves, do you feel like you are stuck in an endless loop of blocking and tackling?
  7. Has your systems diagram evolved to look like a bowl of linguini that a toddler has flipped over? Too many lines going every which way… many firms are expressing a need for simplification. Our relationship managers can discuss options to help clients simplify their architecture.
  8. In today’s world, validated and clean data is a tremendous asset within an organization. How much of a handle do you have on your data? New Eagle modules like Reference Data Center empower business users to have more visibility into data changes and business rule configuration. Have you thought about how your firm can best manage the strategic asset that is your investment data?
  9. The fast pace of technological change requires that firms are more nimble than ever before. As Eagle’s technology evolves, firms want upgrades to be seamless. Eagle’s latest solutions can tremendously help in this regard. Services like Data Integration Services and Eagle ACCESSSM; core software changes like more business rule configuration and less custom coding; and content shipped outside of a release for new tools like Reference Data Center and Integration Workflow Studio can help our clients leverage the power of new functionality without doing a full upgrade. How do you envision rolling out new functionality from your service provider?
  10. What’s everyone else doing? Our relationship managers are out in the field each week talking with firms like yours about their goals, challenges and next steps. We use our breadth of experience to help our clients with the challenges they face. After all, there is a good chance we have heard the issue from other Eagle clients and may be able to share some tips.

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