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Joe Sinkevich Oct, 21 2022 7 min read

Market Changes Put Renewed Focus on Service: Does Your Technology Vendor Measure Up?

Over the past two years, resource limitations and shifting investor preferences have caused many firms to rethink their strategies and operations. To get ahead, some firms are expanding into new asset classes and client segments, while many also look to streamline fund operations.

Research by Aite-Novarica Group reports that many asset managers are reducing costs by moving away from proprietary software in favor of outsourced technical solutions that require less investment in headcount associated with maintaining, upgrading, and supporting systems.

But when it comes to technology, investment managers cannot do it alone. That’s why quality vendor support and service are now more critical than ever.

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Assessing Your Vendor’s Service Quality

Making shifts toward a leaner organization will only pay off if your firm can rely on the support of your investment technology vendor. To ensure your vendor is up to the task, here is what to look for:

Significant Service Team Investment, Size & Tenure

To assess your vendor's service capabilities, start by taking a holistic look at their service operations. What is the organization’s investment in service? How many people do they employ in this department, and what is their tenure? Experienced leaders and teams with deep knowledge are more likely to be valuable resources for your organization.

Service Infrastructure: Reliable Systems, Processes & Technology

This is also a good time to evaluate the infrastructure and methodologies that back your vendor’s service team. Does the team have the systems and technology they need to perform their roles as efficiently and effectively as possible? If someone is sick or out of office, does your vendor have procedures in place to ensure you continue to receive first-rate service? What is their investment in ongoing training and development for their service team? These kinds of investments pay dividends for clients.

Transparent Pricing Structure

It's also critical to understand how your technology vendor charges for their service offering. Consider whether the service cost is included or separate from the technology cost. If it is separate, this increases the chance that you may be stuck with unexpected or “hidden” fees, which can increase your total cost of ownership and decrease potential savings.

Once you have looked at your vendor’s overall service organization, it’s time to assess the specific groups you will be working with as you get your technology up and running and throughout the lifetime of your partnership.

Dedicated Onboarding Support

Ideally, before implementing, you will discuss with your vendor how they will onboard your firm. You deserve to work with a dedicated team devoted to getting you live as efficiently and quickly as possible and that has experience connecting firms to a wide variety of third parties to create optimized workflows that fit your firm. More complex technology investments can sometimes take longer to get up and running; you need a commitment that your service team will see you through that process.

Live, 1:1 Service When You Need It

Once your software is operational, what level of service is your vendor willing to provide? When a problem arises, will a live person be available to answer your call? When they do, will the person on the phone know you, the nature of your business, and your history with the technology? What is their experience with firms of similar sizes, strategies, and challenges? And do they have the expertise required to assist you in finding a solution?

When you’re facing an issue, the last thing you want is to waste time repeating yourself over and over as you’re shuffled from team to team in search of help. Your service team should feel and act like an extension of your investment operations.

Does Your Service Team Measure Up?

Be sure your financial technology provider offers the service you deserve. Here’s what our clients receive with their investment in our technology.

Dedicated Client Success and Account Management​
  • Committed to your overall satisfaction​
  • Provides relationship and service management​
  • Advocates for your needs​ and acts as your voice in the organization

Specialized Onboarding Support ​
  • Dedicated resources assigned to all engagements and projects​
  • Proven project management methodology and technology​
  • Thorough workflow documentation​

Fast and Personalized Daily Support ​and Requests​
  • 24/5 global coverage and proactive monitoring
  • Our team knows your business and workflows​
  • Focused on quickly resolving production issues and questions
    • Detailed internal processes and use of industry-leading CRM/Account management tools – ensuring nothing is “lost in email”

 

Experts Who Know the Industry – And Your Business

Subject matter expertise is another crucial requirement for your service team. Your service personnel need to know the technology you use and how and why you use it.

You should be able to count on subject matter experts who can support all areas of your business, including regulations and compliance, trading and allocation strategies, and third-party networks.

This combination of technical and industry expertise – combined with in-depth knowledge of your business – ensures your service representative can meet your unique needs.

Eze Service Overview

This chart shows the industry and product expertise of the SS&C Eze Client Service Team

Strong Service & R&D Partnership

Finally, look at how your vendor’s service team collaborates with its R&D team. By nature of what they do, service teams receive vital input from customers on how they use the product, what features need improvement, and future functionality they would like to see added. Does your vendor have strong internal process and systems to appropriately track client “asks” and future enhancements? That information should inform product development, which requires a strong collaboration between service and R&D.

Room to Grow – Additional Service Offerings

As a baseline, your vendor's client service offering should provide the resources you need to go live and effectively manage your day-to-day operations.

Over time, you may require additional value-add services, like SS&C Eze’s Strategic or Managed Services. Even if you don't need these services today, selecting a vendor that can provide them down the road can be incredibly helpful as your firm scales to accommodate growth. Use cases for these types of services can be project-based or more long-term.

For example, imagine your business is growing rapidly, and you’ve decided to add an investment arm to your firm. To manage the associated increase in projects as well as added complexity, you may look to your vendor’s Strategic Services staff augmentation offering for support in troubleshooting and answering questions that come up as you scale, for help from technical account owners who can scope and oversee projects required for growth, or both. Depending on your business needs, this contract may be for the short term until you hire new staff, or it may be a long-term solution.

Managed Services typically fall into the longer-term category and allow you to offload essential, recurring activities for your business. These services take some of the pressure off you to hire, train, and manage additional operational personnel, free up more time for you to focus on generating alpha, and decrease TCO.

As with any service offering, these types of services require that you work with skilled technologists who understand your workflows and your business. 

Are You Getting the Service You Need & Deserve?

Now more than ever, vendor service plays a crucial role in your firm's success. But different vendors offer different levels of service. With so much on the line, you need a vendor that consistently provides reliable support from knowledgeable personnel when you need it, not just for today but as your business grows.

If your vendor can't provide this high level of support, it can put your portfolio and your firm's success at risk, and you should seek to find a new vendor, one with a tenured, experienced team and demonstrated record of excellence.

 

At SS&C Eze, we understand the demanding nature of your work and the urgency of issue resolution. With our signature partnership approach, every client receives a personalized experience and fast, knowledgeable service.

Our teams know you, your business, and your workflows. And we employ 500 globally dispersed support and service experts  so there is always someone available to advise you on best practices, ensure your business processes are optimized, or help you quickly navigate roadblocks and issues within minutes, not days.

Hear from our clients about why they trust SS&C Eze to be their partner in success:

 

Learn more here

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Joe Sinkevich

For over 15 years, Joe’s work has centered on providing investment technology and services that create success for clients of SS&C Eze. In 2016, Joe started the Eclipse client service team. Today, as senior director of Eclipse client service, Joe leads a team of nearly 20 individuals across North America in the delivery of daily client support and solutions, technology implementations, and account management. Previously, Joe served in QA and consulting roles for the Eze OMS, taking on progressively more responsibility with each role. Joe was also instrumental in launching the SS&C Eze Chicago office and is an active participant – and previous winner – of the annual Eze Innovation Challenge. Joe has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and earned an MBA from Boston College.