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In this blog article, Simon Cornwell, co-founder of Vermilion Software, explains why asset managers should seek to become self-sufficient when deploying a new software solution.

When an investment manager is tasked with introducing a new software system provided by a third party, the tendency for the end user or IT teams is often to sit back and let the vendor drive the project. After all, it’s their software and they have deployed the system many times before, right?

Well, perhaps not.

Whilst this approach may result in heavier implementation fees for the vendor, it can also result in a reliance culture within the asset management firm’s project team.

I have found that some of the most successful deployments occur when the asset manager takes control of the programme and makes the solution their own from the outset. Their aim is a complete transferral of knowledge from vendor to client. These firms have recognised that structuring their Client Services team in the right way and taking ownership of the implementation is essential, enabling the asset manager to become self-sufficient in the shortest possible period of time. This type of approach is the fast becoming the norm these days.

For example, recently Vermilion completed an implementation where Vermilion’s role was solely to empower the client and the end results have been impressive: improved time-to-market delivery, with production times cut significantly; a streamlining of the reporting process; a full audit trail for all reports; and a significant reduction in the number of errors through less manual intervention.

The project was to create a standards-based, scalable platform onto which the asset manager would migrate the production of all its reporting needs. The ‘secret’ of the project’s success was that the deployment was very much a collective effort between Vermilion’s consultants and the asset manager’s IT and reporting teams. Vermilion, with extensive assistance from the asset manager, completed its standard analysis, created specifications and provided training to the asset manager’s team. The client then executed the build, testing and go-live process, with support from the Vermilion project team.

A continual challenge for vendors like us is how to explain to clients the benefits of tackling their software deployment in this way, helping them understand the importance of being able to take complete ownership of the solution themselves without continually having to go back to the vendor in order to tap their expertise.

When implementing new technology, the goal for any investment management firm has to be to create a state of independence from their vendor, as rapidly as possible.