The launch of a portfolio accounting system as versatile and robust as Advent Geneva (now SS&C Advent Geneva) can pay off for the users in feelings of clarity and mastery that are almost intoxicating. The feelings that tend to accompany the thought of an upgrade, on the other hand, are more sobering. Upgrades daunt the otherwise dauntless. No firm, no matter how proactive and fearless, relishes the idea of interfering with a key system in the midst of the relentless cycles of daily workflow. But this is a bell that tolls for everyone, sooner or later, so how best to get ready?
One way to reduce the intimidation factor is to focus in on the considerable benefits to be reaped from an upgrade. Here’s a brief survey of some of the best reasons to upgrade your Advent Geneva.
1. Maintain vendor support and interoperability
Access to vendor support is one of the most critical issues addressed by an upgrade. The benefits of an upgrade make themselves felt in many ways, but the biggest benefit (proportional to the investment) is the heightened degree of vendor support. To the extent that you can leverage Advent Support to help resolve problems, you have lifted a proportional burden from your own resources who would otherwise have to find their own workarounds and even do additional diagnostic work.
Per Advent’s support cycle, the highest support level (Mainstream) is available for two years from the release. For another year after that, Extended Support is available. Product updates become a thing of the past and interoperability with other Advent products is no longer assured. The fourth year after release, the support level goes to the ominously-named “Self-Help.” There are online resources, but it’s up to the firms to utilize them.
So, to be able to fully leverage vendor support most of the time, firms must complete an upgrade roughly every 36 months.
2. Technical and operational renewal
No implementation perfectly assesses present needs or anticipates future needs. Inevitably, every system gradually acquires workarounds (which can be more or less awkward) and ad hoc fixes (which can be more or less efficient). A system upgrade is a great time for a thorough technical and operational review of the business. In the process of auditing current workflows and systems, opportunities will organically arise to retire redundancies and streamline workarounds. In the midst of the general growing pains of the upgrade, these kinds of enhancements can be minimally disruptive.
3. All the bells and whistles
Depending on what release your firm is upgrading from, you stand to gain some, many or all of the following functionalities that have been enhanced since 8.5 (Advent’s most popular release of recent years):
– More readily maintained architecture with Red Hat and Oracle flavors of Linux
– Additional instrument types added, such as non-deliverable forwards, money market funds, and closed-end fund investments
– New functionality to track custom data in price lists
– Collateral tracking
– Swap reset schedule enhancements
– Color schemes for the Geneva desktop
Of course, no matter what your firm stands to gain from an Advent Geneva upgrade, the decision is naturally made more difficult by the awareness that an upgrade needs careful management to reduce the risk of disruption. There could be a need for systems administrative skill, system integration work, project management, custom reporting and/or historical data preservation. Your firm could benefit from outside help in some or all of these areas. The challenge is unusual, and the ideal partner for such an undertaking should be able to offer the unusual.
Options Advisory, the technology consultancy service of Options, is the ideal partner for guiding your firm through the process. We provide services tailored to the particular needs of your firm. Far from an all-or-nothing or one-size-fits-all model, we adjust to your needs in as piecemeal a fashion as the situation calls for. We can deploy resources with speed and numbers to overwhelm a particularly thorny problem, then shift to a more modest level of service as appropriate. We’re capable of working remotely or onsite, and we offer not only operational consulting, but training and ongoing support.
To find out more, visit our website.
Senior Consultant, Options Advisory