The Importance of Aligning Platform Support with Customers’ Requirements

November 14, 2013

It_infrastructureManaging complex IT infrastructures with their wide range of hardware, operating systems, applications and processes is a complex business, particularly with new software versions or patches being released at an increasingly frequent rate.

Take, for example, Microsoft’s recent move towards annual releases of its operating systems and major platforms. This is welcomed news as more frequent updates will provide quick access to new features and speedier resolutions to potential issues.  It is important that asset management organizations implement these new and better platforms to ensure they can deliver current technology throughout their organization, but to do this they need to be confident that the software they rely upon to run their investment operations will be supported on the platforms they want to implement.

Here in the PORTIA organisation, we recognise the challenges that this ever changing landscape introduces and work hard to ensure that we stay ahead of our client’s requirements to run PORTIA on these new platforms.

To do this we regularly review our platform support plans and take into account:

–          when new platforms will be released and generally available

–          our clients likely demands

–          our own development needs and new features we plan to utilize and,

–          those platforms that we no longer certify

By gathering this information and understanding our clients’ technical plans and strategies, we can continually review and improve our internal processes to ensure our products are the most reliable on any platform our clients implement.

We actively seek our clients input on what their technology plans look like and recently we completed a client technical survey enabling us to validate our existing plans and to highlight anything we didn’t expect. The technical survey consisted of 50 technology related questions, with responses from clients across all regions.  We will continue to run this survey annually as part of our planning process.

In addition, we work closely with Microsoft to formulate a strong relationship with their organisation. This allows us to get better aligned with their roadmap and get access to technical gurus much earlier in the certification cycle, helping us identify any potential issues any new platform may introduce and enabling us to build that into our certification processes.

Every 6 months we review the certification plan and update our planned dates with the latest information available from our partners, along with adding in any newly announced platforms.

This is no doubt an exciting time for those of us in the investment operations world, with rapidly changing technologies bringing both enhanced functionality and technical advancements.   We appreciate our clients wanting to take advantage of these technical enhancements to ensure their middle-to-back office is working in the most effective and efficient manner.  Because of this, we continue to strive to stay ahead of our client’s technology requirements to facilitate their use of these new technologies.

 –          Lee Marsh, Director, PORTIA Deployment

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