Blog Entries from 09/2010
Earlier this week, we looked at some of the personnel factors that are common among extraordinary outsourced Help Desks. Today, we’ll continue the discussion on the characteristics of a great Help Desk, with a focus on the technology aspects to look for when evaluating Help Desk providers. We've also created a presentation on the "Nine Elements of a Great Help Desk."
Call Management Systems: The best Help Desks have systems in place to track all incoming calls from clients. A call management system tracks such statistics as call volume, the length of time a call remains in queue, the length of a conversation with Help Desk personnel, and more. Monitoring important details of all calls allows supervisors to then review the data and analyze it to identify areas of weakness and improve upon them. Call management systems help ensure that all clients who call the Help Desk will be assisted in a timely and efficient manner, as analysts can continually learn from previous client interactions.
When evaluating technology providers, there are a number of factors to consider when determining which is the best fit for your firm. One important, and often overlooked, criterion is the quality of the Help Desk. Alternative investment firms rely heavily on technology, but no technology is completely infallible. In the event of an unexpected issue, having a knowledgeable, experienced Help Desk at your fingertips is essential.
So, what makes an exceptional Help Desk?
In this series, we will look at both the personnel and technology aspects of a great Help Desk and provide guidelines for what to look for when selecting a Help Desk provider for your firm. Let’s first discuss the human factors that are common among the most effective Help Desk teams.
In the first two parts of this series, we discussed some basic yet overlooked security practices, as well as some specific threats that exist and ways to protect your data. In this third installment, we will take a deeper look at the physical security and compliance challenges associated with Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad handheld devices.
Most investment firms are at least somewhat familiar with the security risks that are involved when conducting business on traditional computers and laptops. However, much less thought tends to be given to the risks surrounding the use of smart phones and other mobile devices in business environments. This issue has taken on even greater importance as Apple’s iPhone and iPad continue to gain popularity in the corporate market.
Categorized under: Security
Eze Castle Integration has launched a new subsidiary software company, Ledgex Systems. Ledgex was designed to meet the needs of fund of hedge fund firms, private equity firms and pension funds. Ledgex delivers a comprehensive technology platform that streamlines the investment management process with features such as portfolio management, investor relationship management, monitoring and alerting modules, and more.
Last week, we discussed some fundamental best practices for maintaining data security. Today, we will provide definitions of a few common types of malware that could pose a threat to the integrity of your firm’s data, and some security tips to help you protect it.
According to a study conducted by Panda Security, a cloud security solutions provider, about 46% of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. have been victims of cybercrime. This number is up two percent from last year’s survey. Panda’s annual “International Barometer of Security at SMBs” surveys about 9,500 SMBs around the world, including more than 1,500 in the United States.
Categorized under: Security
We are reaching a point in technology evolution where everything is moving into the cloud. No longer is it necessary, or in many cases wise, for a firm to purchase and maintain all its technology infrastructure and applications onsite. As evidenced by Opalesque’s article this week on cloud computing gaining the attention of financial industry, cloud computing is going mainstream.
This week Eze Castle Integration also announced that we have run over 30 applications in our hosted infrastructure – a milestone that demonstrates the increasing tendency of financial firms towards application hosting in the cloud. The beauty of application hosting or infrastructure as a service models is that it allows a hedge fund to outsource non-revenue producing functions to outside experts rather than attempting to build the expertise in house.
A hedge fund expects an application to run reliably, securely and with high performance – as a general rule, they don’t care about the underlying technology as long as it meets their business requirements. By working with an established hedge fund service provider, like Eze Castle Integration, a hedge fund should be able to trust that they are receiving the best possible solutions based on their unique requirements.
In today’s world, every hedge fund must have a well thought-out security posture to protect it from internal and external threats. From perimeter security to desktop anti-virus software, most hedge funds have technology in place to protect their critical information from intrusion. However, significant vulnerabilities still exist in many companies today from simple physical security, which may or may not be technology related. This series will take a look at some common threats to security as well as some ways to protect your data from intrusion.
Categorized under: Security
In a previous article we looked at some key aspects of expanding a hedge fund's operations internationally including the business and technology factors. Overseas expansion requires a number of strategic considerations. One of the most important steps a hedge fund must take in beginning the international expansion process is to understand the local government requirements for establishing a new business in the selected region.
Once a hedge fund manager understands the local regulations, he must look to leverage his partners and key vendors to help facilitate international expansion. A hedge fund prime broker is a key ally when establishing international operations.
There are several significant factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting a hedge fund prime broker. A hedge fund wants a prime broker who will help it grow, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure both the hedge fund and the prime broker understand local regulations. A hedge fund places a lot of trust into a prime broker; therefore, it should verify that the broker understands the international investor marketplace. The prime broker should be adjunct to the firm’s own marketing efforts. It is important for a prime to know what a good match for a firm is.
As the east coast braces for another hurricane, we are reminded of the importance of having a business continuity plan in place to protect the people and processes that power a hedge fund.
The “beauty” of hurricanes and other weather-related situations from a BCP perspective is that businesses have time to prepare and put the necessary precautions in place. A firm that is ill-prepared for a hurricane is going to have real problems when an unannounced incident, such as a building fire, occurs.
In a previous post, we discussed how to respond to a pandemic emergency as well as the business continuity plan considerations. Many of these practices hold true for weather-related incidents because, in both situations, you have time to prepare before the disaster strikes.