Proof-of-Concept for Performance System Implementation: The Road Best Traveled

If you were standing before “two roads diverged” and 50% of returning travelers warned you that one road took longer and drained more resources than the other, which road would you take? Short of any Robert Frost fans, most may decide based on the advice of their peers, that perhaps it is not about selecting the road less traveled, but rather, selecting the road best traveled.  

With the pending sale of Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg L.P., many performance analytics teams are considering how to handle the migration of their current performance systems. Bloomberg PORT has been marketed as the preferred option. However, many firms are widening the lens to consider multiple vendors during an official search and selection RFP process (See The Top Three Tasks You Can Do Today, based on IMP’s System Selection Methodology). Here are three reasons you should conduct a proof-of-concept (POC) before your next implementation.

1) Demos are not enough.

If you are evaluating multiple options, or require the implementation of multiple systems to cover the transition from POINT, it may be tempting to substitute a formal POC with vendor demos. However, the road best traveled in this case is to reserve time in your roadmap to conduct the POC in addition to the demos. A demo alone is not enough because it’s conducted on the vendor’s hardware platform and constricted by demo data.

On the other hand, the POC is conducted on your premises and can further test key workflows using your own portfolio data and eventually, use cases. You also have the ability to further test portfolio optimization and analytic functions of the vendor’s software to ensure that they meet pre-determined critical requirements. 

2) Be In the know.

A POC ensures that your firm enters into a vendor relationship with its eyes wide open. Without it, one can easily fall victim to the smoke and mirrors of a sale where the vendor promises expertise across multiple areas in order to secure the business. In reality, not all vendors can successfully deliver on these promises, and the hiring firm ends up spending all of the time, money and resources that they had expected to save by skipping the POC in the first place.

3) Save time and money.

When it comes to running a proof-of-concept, the road best traveled is clear. A POC saves time and money in the long-run. In fact, in a survey conducted by IMP Consulting and TSAM, 50% of respondents (i.e., “returning travelers”) indicated they would have conducted a POC before signing the vendor contract if they had the chance to do it over again.

Regardless if your firm is transitioning from Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg PORT and/or other systems, the main goal of the POC is to run an abbreviated project implementation based on your firm’s requirements. Testing a small set of accounts that addresses custom data requirements, multiple data sources, the reconciliation process, and data validation will prepare the firm for any unforeseen challenges prior to implementation. If the proper analysis is conducted at this stage, then you can rest assured that your firm is selecting the best solution possible under the constraints of functional requirements, time, cost and performance criteria.  

Selecting the road best traveled for your performance systems transition will undoubtedly help your firm to achieve this goal and that will make all the difference. Contact IMP Consulting if you would like to assess your firm’s conversion timeline and how you can ensure that there is enough time to include the proper proof-of-concept.