Advent Software has recently launched a new online community to bring the power of collaboration directly to hedge fund managers. Advent Direct Community is part of the Advent Direct initiative being rolled out by the firm, a cloud platform that allows clients to tailor and consolidate workflows from front to back.
“We’ve always had online resources for clients. This used to be called Advent Connection where users would log in and access product resources, learning manuals, attend classes, download software etc,” comments Roger Woolman (pictured), senior solutions consultant at Advent.
“Now we have Advent Direct Community. It’s part of the move towards social, mobile and cloud technology which we as a firm are now engaged in.”
In many respects this can be thought of as a Facebook-style tool for both clients and Advent staff to avail of. Users can start discussion threads, follow discussion threads as well as view new ideas and articles that others in the community have shared.
“It not only allows clients to collaborate and communicate with their peers but also allows Advent to monitor the exchange of ideas between clients on product enhancement and development,” says Woolman.
Under the “This Week in the Community” section of the community page, users can view the number of discussions, articles, answers and ideas that have been generated over that week.
More specifically, users can configure topics and discussions that are most relevant to them: a compliance officer will have different requirements to a front office trader.
The most popular or “trending” global discussions can easily be viewed at the bottom of the community page.
“As a firm we want to communicate with industry participants but if they are communicating with each other via our community it’ll allow us to see if different clients agree or not on certain topics,” says Woolman. For example, this could be an Annex IV reporting discussion under AIFMD.
“Is there consensus among managers on what they need to do? We’ll be able to see that. We have tools within the system that allow us to take a conversation – perhaps an idea that’s been generated – between clients for further investigation. We have something called Idea Exchange that allows future roadmaps to be built and prioritised,” says Woolman.
Within the community, users can post questions. Once they are satisfied with the answer they’ve received they can click on “Set as Answer” within the page, which the rest of the community can then benefit from.
The more “kudos” an idea gets the more momentum it builds within the community, which could then be identified by the Advent team for further investigation and research – a great way for Advent to understand their clients and how to improve on product solutions within the Advent Direct cloud.
“I could browse one of the forums and put something into discussion or respond to a client’s discussion thread or idea. Advent Direct Community brings us much closer to our clients. It’s ultimately about knowledge sharing and illustrates how we are able to keep our product solutions up-to-date,” adds Woolman.
On winning the Hedgeweek award, Woolman comments: “Our continued enhancements to the depth and breadth of our solutions for the alternative market are a demonstration of Advent’s ongoing commitment to the industry. We are very proud to receive this award.”