Overcoming fear of change

Situation

An independent investment firm with offices in the U.S. and Europe was once ahead of its time but had fallen behind. Originally one of the first Milwaukee-based firms to purchase Markit EDM, the firm was struggling with the effects of skipped upgrades and outdated technology. Past software upgrades had taken longer than anticipated or left the firm struggling with buggy implementations. The result was a firm-wide perception that upgrading software was a last-resort activity that should only be done when absolutely necessary. Because the firm’s installation of Markit EDM was two versions behind and included unsupported technology, that day had finally arrived.

The Continuus Approach

After searching for a consultant with significant Markit EDM and upgrade experience, the firm selected Continuus to guide it through the upgrade process. Our goal was to get the upgrade done within one quarter and without impacting the business in a negative way.

We began by working through all the issues that existed in the current installation to mitigate any potential problems caused by code changes. Working with the firm’s IT team, we focused on User Interfaces and workflow processes for two weeks. Once we were confident that the challenges with the existing installation were solved, it was time to upgrade in a test environment. While running testing cycles, which we also defined and executed test plans that will guide future upgrades of Markit EDM and other software packages.

Finally, the big day came. We backed up the current installation and spent a weekend ensuring that the upgrade worked perfectly. On Monday, the advisory team was able to use their fully-functioning upgrade.

Results

Although the obvious success story is a completed upgrade, we are more proud of the way we were able to change the firm’s perception of the upgrade experience. Thanks to the processes developed by Continuum for this upgrade, the firm now confidently upgrades its software on a yearly basis.