Jan 04, 2021

A Phased Implementation Approach

Overview

The client effectively functions as the investment management arm of the comptroller of public accounts (CPA) and manages over USD 60 billion in funds for the State of Texas. The funds included a combination of internally managed equity, fixed income, short-term assets, asset backed securities, derivatives, and externally managed alternate investments (including private equity and real estate).

The firm had been using QEDs Q2, but the increasing complexity of instruments and collateral requirements resulted in significant difficulties due to manual processes in the legacy system.

Cutter Solution

Cutter engaged with the client in the initial analysis and RFP-based vendor selection process that led to the selection of SimCorp Dimension (SCD). Cutter assisted with the implementation of a planning effort that suggested a phased implementation with multiple releases. The first phase went live in 2017 and phase II is ongoing.

Cutter has been involved on the client’s behalf in all aspects of the project, including requirements definition, business process and workflow design, interface specifications, test planning and execution, user acceptance testing, conversion, and project management.

Some of the features of the implementation include the following:

  • The first instance of the use of SimCorp’s ASP services
  • Adjustments to the implementation methodology for phase II based on the lessons learned in phase I
  • Adoption of a hybrid waterfall and Agile approach for phase II (Agile method for design, configuration, and testing)
  • Product enhancements performed in SCD during the course of a release for collateral management and repo processing
  • Upgrade of SCD version during implementation, which necessitated regression testing of release components already introduced in production
  • Need to make changes during the implementation to accommodate new releases of interfacing systems

As a result of implementing the first phase of the project, the client achieved significant automation in its unclaimed property accounting. The implementation required a non-standard configuration of SCD that resulted in an extended parallel testing as well as user training.

In addition, the use of a less-than-mature SimCorp ASP service model necessitated clear definition of roles and responsibilities between SimCorp and the firm’s IT team members and additional support and training for IT. Cutter resources were instrumental in the system achieving stability, post implementation, and business users getting comfortable with the new processes and systems, and IT team members receiving training to support the system.