Waters Rankings 2017: Best Accounting System Provider—SS&C Advent

APX and Geneva prove unstoppable this year as SS&C Advent looks at new ways of serving new clients

Waters Rankings 2017 - Best Accounting - SS&C Advent
Robert Roley, Katherine Pearce, Marc Flamini

SS&C Advent takes home the accounting prize for two of its products this year—APX and Geneva—both of which have seen substantial transformation since being acquired by the technology and hedge-fund administration giant in 2015.

Much of this change has come from what Robert Roley, general manager at SS&C Advent, describes as a “substantial” investment in user experience and workflow.

“Our customers expect us to deliver complex solutions that are as easy to use, or hopefully close to as easy to use, as some of the consumer applications that they might have on their smartphones,” he says. “User experience drives a lot of innovation for us.”

This hasn’t just been a case of slapping fresh new graphics on top of a user interface, though. Roley says that the design of applications, not just in terms of visuals but also in terms of how a client uses the program itself, is now a fundamental part of the development process.

Part of this focus can be attributed to the rise of heavily consumer-focused devices and software platforms that now feature in everyday life, although Roley also believes that the changing profile of its user base has had a hand in this change of mindset.

“That investor experience is best-in-class, and as Gen-X or millennials are becoming the core clients of wealth managers as opposed to baby boomers, that digital presence is becoming even more critical,” he explains.

Outside of user experience, the firm has also been investing in data access and reporting through the release of its Enterprise Information Store for Geneva users, which has drastically cut the amount of time it takes for information from relational databases to feed into accounting reports.

On the APX front, the firm has also been exploring integration with its other products, including its advisory platform, Black Diamond, which APX users can push out through web and mobile to end investors.

Looking ahead, Roley sees SS&C Advent’s focus falling in a number of areas. Regulatory compliance and cybersecurity are, of course, ever-present challenges for vendors and clients alike, but the firm will also be focusing on client servicing, which includes the Black Diamond integration. Finally, solid, effective data management is a key challenge and opportunity for the vendor, with the need for timely and accurate information to inform all areas of client activity only increasing over time.

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