“Best of Breed” vs. “One-Stop Shop”

June 1, 2011

In today’s volatile market, investment firms across the globe are investigating ways to save costs, reduce operational risks and streamline their workflows.  A number of firms are choosing what they perceive to be the low cost option of having one solution to cover all their requirements in both the front and back office.  But is this really the most cost effective solution with the lowest risk profile?

With competing priorities and – let’s be honest – sometimes a feeling that the front office needs take precedent over the middle-to-back office, how does a firm manage the internal conflicts that could ensue when reviewing one system?

How do you, as a purchaser, decide whether a trading blotter is more important than real time transaction record keeping or whether a flexible chart of accounts is more important than “what if” analysis.  That’s the decision facing firms who choose to look at one solution rather than take a ‘best of breed’ approach.

The problem with choosing a solution that meets some, but not all, of your needs is that there will come a point in time when you realise that you need to find a way to address the gap you thought you could do without. That may be building in-house – which creates operational risk because you need staff to support and maintain the solution – or involve looking at another solution to focus on that specific gap (meaning additional costs that you were trying to save in the first place).

Today, the ability to integrate solutions seamlessly means that the concerns firms have with specialist solutions are no longer relevant.  Most vendors who provide leading solutions in their area of expertise have the tools to support integration with other complimentary providers, removing the risk and fear factor associated with buying best of breed. In fact, many of these firms work closely together, with mutual clients and expertise in not only their own solution but also those of their ‘partners’.

Product designers, developers and managers all have an area of expertise, whether it be in the front office, back office or somewhere in between.  They are specialists in their field for a reason – they have years of experience and specific knowledge.  They become subject matter experts, and can deliver solutions with features and functions that meet all rather than some of your needs.

PORTIA offers world class solutions across the middle-to-back office.  Our clients appreciate the experience our teams have developed over 25+ years of continuous operations, working with clients in over 40 countries.  Our Implementation Service teams are experts at executing PORTIA solutions, whether they are deployed, hosted or fully outsourced.  When our clients require front office solutions, PORTIA is able to seamlessly integrate with whichever system our clients use, and can leverage data feeds from literally hundreds of sources.  As asset managers grow and globalize, they will appreciate how the deep capabilities their best-of-breed solutions provide will scale with their businesses.

– Helen Jackson, Director of Product Management


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