AFTAs 2020: Best Third-Party Technology Vendor IT Team—Vestmark


For the second year running, Vestmark, a provider of wealth management solutions and services based in Wakefield, Mass., has beat out the competition for best third-party technology vendor IT team. 

Vestmark’s IT team develops product features using scrum, a process by which engineers deliver value in two-week iterations, says Mark Peabody, senior vice president of product management at Vestmark. He adds that his department’s goal over the past year has been improving the depth and predictability of team backlogs, having implemented a business intelligence tool to assess and report on the depth of each team’s backlog. Peabody says this not only provides transparency at the team and department levels; it also improves the product management team’s ability to predict delivery dates and make trade-offs.

Another area of engagement for Vestmark is increasing use of virtual whiteboard tools. Peabody says that because not everyone on his team can be in the office at the same time, they have found ways to collaborate virtually. “We use an online whiteboarding tool to create mind maps, story maps, and user interface (UI) wireframes,” he says. “We are able to collaborate using the virtual whiteboard in real time, which has increased our productivity with brainstorming … and communicating solutions.” 

The firm has also made significant additions to its automated testing framework. This has allowed it to identify issues earlier in the development process, reduce costs, and increase the quality of deliverables. “The investment in testing automation will pay dividends in future releases by increasing coverage and minimizing the reliance on manual testing,” Peabody says.  

Over the next year the firm is expanding its user-experience feedback initiative. This initiative, led by its UX team, engages with clients to solicit feedback on enhancements to its VestmarkONE platform, which is used by wealth management clients. The firm is also expanding its use of online usability and A/B testing, also known as split testing, tools to gather feedback from clients.

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