Best-of-Breed or Holistic: Which System is Best for Your Firm?

By: Mike Mollenkamp


Faced with growing uncertainty and increasing complexity, asset managers continue to debate the use of single or multiple suppliers for technology and investment operations. In an effort to maximize efficiency and reduce risk, organizations often purchase software from multiple vendors to obtain what is known as best-of-breed functionality. The alternative holistic approach is to purchase complete systems instead of individual pieces.

The primary benefit of the best-of-breed approach is that it allows organizations to mix and match superior functionality from different sources to address specific issues that might not be covered by a single, holistic vendor. This approach maximizes overall performance and minimizes specific pain points. However, integrating components may create issues that override the advantages of combining a variety of standalone systems from different sources.

The key benefit of holistic systems is seamless integration among the various pieces. This is crucial in the data-driven financial services industry. Many best-of-breed solutions are touted as easy to integrate, but there are always extra discussions and work to do to integrate workflows with standalone systems. Another benefit of holistic systems is that a single organization supports the entire solution.

How do clients benefit from the overlapping systems provided by SS&C?

SS&C provides a variety of component solutions that can be integrated with our existing holistic systems. These components are also offered on a standalone basis to organizations that follow a best-of-breed strategy.

For example, SS&C PORTIA users now have access to best-of-breed reconciliation, client reporting, performance measurement, and attribution functionality. This is a great way to address specific pain points and minimize overall systemic risk.

PORTIA is the centerpiece of our Institutional and Investment Management (I&IM) division that provides a broad set of front-to-middle-to-back-office capabilities that allow investment managers to automate the day-to-day activity in investment portfolios to support global accounting requirements. Offered on a deployed, hosted, or outsourced basis, the solutions support a wide range of functions including IBOR accounting, internal reporting, client reporting, regulatory reporting, performance measurement and attribution, reconciliation, post trade compliance, and trade communication.

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