Fostering a Culture of Innovation: SS&C Eze's Innovation Challenge
Creating a culture where innovation thrives is core to SS&C Eze’s mission as a technology provider and as an employer. Taking risks, failing fast, learning, and adapting quickly are key aspects of our philosophy. Over the years, we’ve launched numerous initiatives focused on nurturing a culture of innovation. While some have fallen short, others – like Eze’s popular Innovation Challenge – have endured.
The Eze Innovation Challenge is an annual competition where teams self-assemble around an idea and collaborate intensely over two days, creatively tackling any market problem or project that interests them. Typically, teams are made up of individuals from Development, Product Management, and QA. After two days of coding, each team presents in front of a panel of judges across SS&C Eze’s R&D centers. The top-scoring teams then compete head-to-head in the Battle of the Champions.
Of course, this year posed some unique challenges with our entire workforce working from home. But adaptability is a core value here at Eze, and teams thrived despite this additional challenge. In fact, I believe this event to be the best in the Innovation Challenge’s six-year history!
In total, 185 employees across 39 teams participated. The teams presented over Zoom, and the four final teams competed head-to-head in a live-streamed Battle of the Champions. Only the finalists and the winners received prizes, but all of the participants relished the opportunity to dive deep into a passion project with a group of talented people who share their interests. This year’s entries ranged from portfolio visualizers and embedded trading insights to chatbots, tradebots, and voice-assisted automation. The entries were evaluated based on technological innovation, practical value to our clients or internal processes, and completeness.
It was the quick-entry trading ticket for Eze Eclipse that stole the show. The trading ticket enables users to trade from virtually any screen within Eze Eclipse, for example, an accounting report. There is even a button that hovers anywhere on the desktop to quickly enter trades, no matter where a user is working. Designed for fast, easy trade entry and optimized for the most common workflows, the new ticket improves trade entry speed by up to 70%.
The winning entry in action.
The entry stood out for its creative and practical value, as well as its completeness – this was the first time an Innovation Challenge project was not only ready for production but had been released in the product before the winner was even crowned. Not only was it an impressive feat by the winning team but a testament to how quickly innovation can happen in Eze Eclipse, thanks to continuous delivery and a microservices architecture that is built to evolve and support rapid development.
The Innovation Challenge is just one example of Eze’s culture of innovation, and a great source of ideas for projects to come. Congrats to the winning team of Jared Assmus, Jillian Hennessy, Martin Ma, Srikar Nanduri, Rachel Rauh, James Tracy, and Joe Sinkevich!
To learn more about SS&C Eze's culture of innovation, click here:
To watch the entire quick-entry trading ticket Battle of Champions presentation, click here:
Jeff Marston leads global engineering for Eze’s flagship product, Eze OMS, and oversees teams in Boston and Hyderabad. He began at SS&C Eze in 2001 and has held many leadership positions across development.