Over the summer, I have enjoyed connecting with several of my SS&C Advent® colleagues for a unique blog series profiling the employees behind Geneva®, our portfolio and investor accounting solution for Alternatives. These wide-ranging conversations spotlight the different vantage points and perspectives of employees who support and make Geneva the award-winning platform that it is today, as well as what makes SS&C Advent a unique place to work.
In this second conversation, I spoke with Sam Ramadan, Senior Consultant, and Marisa Fitzpatrick, Principal Trainer. For more in our series, you can find the first conversation here.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, can you tell me a little bit about your role within SS&C Advent?
SAM: I view my role as a business partner to our clients. My primary role is to lead the strategy and execution of our most complex Geneva implementations and educate our customers on best practices so they can be successful managing once they are live.
MARISA: I train our clients and internal business partners on the Geneva portfolio accounting system. Most days I’m spending about half my day in training for a client or our new hire training. The other half of the day I’m spending developing training or cross training on other products.
When you think about your role at SS&C Advent, how do you believe your work makes an impact?
SAM: Implementing the new process design, and Geneva alone helps to alleviate most of the operational and accounting deficiencies clients have before using Geneva. Client interaction is also a learning opportunity to develop a feedback loop into product development by documenting any enhancement requirements for future releases.
MARISA: My work makes an impact by helping our clients to be more independent, informed to help make decisions, and streamlines their business and operational efficiencies. The more our clients can troubleshoot on their own, the less they need to rely on our support team. Also by training our internal business partners, our teams are better equipped to field client calls, questions, and resolve issues in a timely fashion. Right now, I’m cross training on Geneva World Investor® to be able to help support and train new hires in the US. I’m also developing training on SS&C Recon for our Advent Outsourcing Services® teams, so the support reps can take that off their plate, and transfer some of that knowledge to the Advent University team.
Prior to coming to SS&C Advent, what was your experience, how did you end up working to support Geneva?
SAM: I have held positions in both operations and product control at a major investment bank – both in run-the-bank and change-the-bank capacities. My primary focus was loans, but I also dealt with other products such as derivatives.
MARISA: Prior to SS&C I worked at Fidelity Investments, supporting and training on their advisor and broker dealer trading platforms. My clients at Fidelity used SS&C Advent products, which is how I was initially introduced to Advent’s products and services. I’ve been with SS&C Advent for nearly 14 years.
What are the drivers of your success, or your greatest work achievements?
SAM: Being an agent for change, improving processes, and solving problems. Even though we implement the same software, there is no "one-solution fits all." Our clients have different asset and technology mixes, presenting different puzzles for us to solve. The changing nature of the challenges presented keeps my job fresh.
My favorite achievement is seeing my fingerprints in Geneva, mainly Workspaces. I've been involved heavily in the early brainstorming sessions for Workspaces. I also performed several early QA sessions on the software in addition to sourcing client feedback and notes back to development.
MARISA: I really love working with clients. Out of my core responsibilities, this is where I thrive the most. Seeing clients have that “ah ha” moment, when they learn something new, or find that answer to the question that they haven’t been able to figure out – it’s the best!
Also developing a successful training program for one our largest client to date, with thousands of users is a great achievement. Advent University is used to training 20-100 users, but this is a multi-year implementation, and needed to come up with a way to train their end users, as each team rolled out. With the help of my team, we were able to create a self-study course through Litmos, and roll it out on a monthly basis to the users going live that month. We’re two years into this training with probably another year to go.
Last question, and it’s a fun one: What is the best part about working at SS&C Advent?
SAM: SS&C Advent has a unique culture; everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves and assist. The inter-departmental collaboration is one of a kind.
MARISA: The people! I work out of the Boston office and used to spend a lot of time in the San Francisco office. The people are what make SS&C the best place to work!
Stay tuned for more conversations on how the Geneva team views their impact towards clients and the products and services that they create, the culture at SS&C Advent, and how their day-to-day focus drives much of our roadmap and award-winning platform.