Professional consulting services are at the heart of all of our solutions. We provide professional and reliable advice tailored to your needs. We can focus our service offerings to a specific deliverable or timeframe, or offer services across the solution delivery lifecycle. Above all, we aim to adapt as your situation evolves, with the willingness to provide the services that your situation demands. We want to be a trusted partner of our clients, and we achieve that end through caring, dedication, and flexibility.
Below is a sampling of the consulting services that we offer. When combined, they comprise a service set for end-to-end solution delivery. Please contact us and we can tailor a service specific to your business.
Firms are routinely confronted with a multitude of issues that require attention. Often the hardest decision is what to do and when to do it. The “what” often requires sequencing: selection of initiatives, followed by a strategic approach to each project.
eBIS can help clients on both fronts. Selection requires a firm conceptual understanding of the benefits, either through regulatory compliance or ROI, of a proposed project. Some initiatives fail to commence, simply for lack of a compelling argument. A business can damage its competitiveness as much from inaction as action: the failure to realize a key opportunity, only later to understand the consequences. We excel at originating and articulating concepts, clearly presenting ideas and manufacturing them into benefit metrics that allow businesses to make informed decisions. Reconstructing investment offerings in a defined contribution plan to improve mean variance and risk adjusted returns, while lowering transaction friction and management cost. Reorganizing risk and finance areas to share data and use consistent risk adjusted performance measures. Incorporating accruals in exposure balances for preferential capital treatment. Reengineering fair value accounting for derivatives deals. Creating a consistent, consolidated definition of credit exposure across an enterprise. Architecting a credit ratings system for retail customers in a central repository. eBIS framed each of these concepts for its clients, ones that would have otherwise been missed.
Once initiatives are chosen, businesses must create a strategic plan for maximizing the utility of expenditure. What approach will return the greatest benefit? What puzzle pieces are necessary to see the picture, and what details can wait for the future? What actions will enable adoption of a strategic solution across an enterprise? eBIS has a long history of providing value to clients in answering these questions. In every engagement, we’ve played a key role in providing direction, informed by our experience and judgment. See our Success Stories for evidence of how our strategic thinking can benefit your firm.
BUSINESS PROCESS REENGINEERING
Business processes are central to our solutions. In every engagement, we first step back and gain an understanding of how your business operates, a necessity for informing our solution design. During this process, we ask questions, digging to find information and fuse concepts together. We diagram using decision trees and process flows to visually represent your operations and our ideas. Often this approach leads us to discover areas for improvement, where a new or changed process could facilitate the improved decision making or service that your business strives to achieve. We bring these perspectives to your attention, providing documentation on what we’ve found and why a process change could provide benefits, along with a cost/benefit analysis if requested. We understand that many roads lead to Rome, and the one you’ve embraced may offer advantages not apparent on the surface. Regardless, we look for the most direct path, one with minimal grade and even pavement, point it out, and then let you navigate.
We can also take a more strategic tack on procedures, focusing solely on analyzing your business operations and how to make them more efficient, effective, compliant, or profitable. We rely on best practices as our guide, leveraging our collective experience in financial services. See our Success Story for an example of how we used best practices to deliver a restructuring blueprint for effective enterprise project management.
It’s vital that your business processes are in line with best practices, from portfolio construction to financial modeling to operational policies. Whether tactically as part of a solution design, or strategically as part of a reengineering proposal, we’ll work with you to assess your current processes and recommend improvements for business benefit.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Training is a key component of the support phase of the solution lifecycle. It synthesizes the benefits of a solution for users, providing guidance on how and when to use its features. Following the deployment of a solution, we are available to document the solution that we’ve helped create, and train your user base for a smooth transition of ownership. We recognize that no solution is complete unless it is fully understood and utilized, and we don’t consider our mission complete unless our clients realize the full benefit of their investment. We will work with you to create custom materials and seminars, and then arrange to deliver training to your user base, in person or through video tutorials, until your organization is fully confident, operating self-sufficiently on the solution.
We have experience delivering a wide range of training to our clients. Examples of previous eBIS training seminars:
ETFs as retirement plan investment vehicles
Derivatives modeling for Basel II compliance
Wholesale exposure definition within a Basel II framework
Data Warehouse best practices
Solution Architecture: from data acquisition to reporting
We will prepare training class material, including training agendas, presentations, and white board illustrative examples, which can be delivered in person or through a video webinar, as well as participant take-away hand outs. We believe the best way to reinforce learning is through personal instruction, dialogue, and documentation for reference through time, and endeavor to structure our seminars accordingly. If delivered through video, we offer dynamic chat capability to answer questions remotely as they arise.
Training is a critical, yet sometimes overlooked, step to unlock a solution’s utility. eBIS is there to help.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND THE SOLUTION DELIVERY LIFECYCLE
eBIS provides the model for implementing solutions with the Solution Delivery Lifecycle (SDLC) and our implementation toolkit. Just as, if not more, important is the task of ensuring this model, or one of your choosing, is understood and followed by project participants. eBIS offers comprehensive project management across the SDLC, managing, tracking and reporting scope, deliverables, timeframes, resources, cost, milestones, and changes. We will work diligently to deliver solutions on time and within budget, adjusting to changes as they inevitably occur. Above all, we feel clear communication is at the heart of successful projects, for projects are made of people, not documents or financial theory or technologies. Even with diligent attention to detail and expert scope management, poor communication to any level of project personnel can derail an initiative. Our project management approach reflects this tenet: communicate clearly and often to everyone.
PROOF OF CONCEPT
Good ideas are always great. In theory. Great solutions often start small, building on the promise of that good idea, and realizing it incrementally through small wins. A good way to cultivate that first win is through prototyping. Using a sub-set of data for illustrative purposes, we create a rapid application or model that proves a concept for business benefit. Depending on prototype objective, we can use technology that mirrors your enterprise architecture, but create a simplified model using sampled data, or we can model functionality more elaborately offline, i.e., either limit the business modeling or the technology. The objective is consistent: show, in a short time interval, how a potential solution can improve a process, service, or provide valuable data for ongoing analysis. With minimal investment, you can prove or disprove the benefit of a solution initiative, sometimes the critical step for enterprise buy-in and funding.
eBIS can get you there. We take our enterprise-scale implementation toolkit and apply it to a prototype effort. Using the same innovative design ideas and development best practices, we focus them on a specific need, creating a blueprint, if adopted, for broader application. We are strong proponents of this approach. Proving concepts through prototyping gives your business the confidence to invest in a more substantial solution and provides us assurance that our approach adds value. It’s a win for both sides with little upfront risk or investment.
FIT GAP ANALYSIS
Small and large firms alike often spend years and allocate significant budgets to building solution infrastructure. Then things change. Corporations merge. New lines of business are initiated. New regulations are introduced or altered. New investment products come to market. Businesses often need an assessment of how the new paradigm fits with the old architecture. eBIS offers these services, taking a holistic approach to gap analysis. First we endeavor to understand, in detail, what the new requirements entail, concentrating on the desired business process and business outcome. Then, we dig into the details, iteratively parsing through options to understand the best integration approach. Finally, we develop an integration gap matrix and detail recommended approaches to reconciling them, either through enhancements to existing systems, new solutions, or new business processes. We’ve added value in this role in the past, having led a comprehensive fit/gap assessment of a client’s analytic architecture for both post-merger systems integration and regulatory compliance.
eBIS can help your organization fully assess its needs and provide guidance in choosing an appropriate technology. As part of a tactical initiative or as part of a strategic technology review, firms need assurance that the technologies they embrace enhance their business processes and, just as importantly, can grow and change with them. We are technology agnostic, and have no alliances, partnerships, or incentives to sell a specific vendor package. Our objectivity ensures that your interests are our priority.
In the past, we’ve helped clients choose technologies in hardware and across the software stack, from operating system to user interface and reporting vendor. We can recommend a best of breed composite for a specific business need or analyze the overall health of your systems architecture, document suggested improvements, and then provide the professional services to implement them. See our Success Stories for examples of assessments that we have rendered in the past and visit our Knowledge Center for technology selection scorecards and other tools to help you make informed technology decisions. Instead of analysis in a silo, we endeavor to fully understand your existing infrastructure and technology commitments before making recommendations, minimizing transition costs where possible. In short, innovate with value. In every engagement, we strive to provide independent thought leadership, perspectives that you might otherwise miss.
We can architect solutions of many flavors, from asset allocation models in retirement plans to transaction systems for high volume trade execution to data warehouses for intelligently organizing terabytes of data. No matter what your solution need, we take a consistent approach to solution design, endeavoring to understand the finance driving the business practice first and foremost. Our solutions focus on business processes. We diagram your business practice and then make it more robust or efficient through technology. We’ll visually demonstrate your current process and one in a future state with an eBIS solution, contrasting the differences and making the value proposition clear. Once the business case if fully understood, we progress to data and application design, using principles that account tomorrow’s needs as well as today’s: adaptability and scalability.
Of heightened importance in today’s regulatory environment is that of comprehensive, integrated historical data reporting, the forte of a data warehouse. We have significant experience in data warehouse solution architecture, providing the “one source of the truth” that many organizations find elusive. From data extraction to warehouse layer modeling and dimensional design to reporting architecture, we have the knowledge capital to deliver terabyte-scale data warehouses. See our Knowledge Center for a comprehensive presentation of best practices in constructing a data warehouse.