Software providers Simcorp and DST International are ramping up their training programs in order to bring clients up to speed with the latest functionalities of their systems. Both companies say that the financial crisis has been a double-edged sword: winning new clients has been difficult as firms cut spending and are preoccupied with problems more pressing than back office, but existing clients have seen upskilling staff as in inexpensive way to boost productivity.

“People are looking for ways to add value with little outlay,” chief executive of DSTi Ian Mathieson says. “We think this environment is the right time to bring in a specialist to help clients get the most out of their systems.” In September DSTi hired former BNP Paribas technical training manager, Zeina El Jamil, as a training consultant for its Australian operations. “One thing we have just found from working with clients is that it is not unusual for our products to be underutilised,” Mathieson says.

“Clients will be performing some activity offline in a separate spreadsheet or on a different system, unaware that the product they have already has that functionality.” Simcorp set up a training centre in October, which is being led by Kirk Melleberger, who has just arrived from the training Academy at Simcorp’s Denmark Headquarters. Melleberger will condense the Academy’s threeweek program into a five-day course, providing clients in Australia with more formalised, classroom style training to complement the practical hands-on instruction typically used to familiarise new clients with the software.

Rod Dew, sales manager at Sim- Corp, said that because its software was updated every year, client training was a continuous ongoing part of the client relationship. Mathieson says training DSTi’s flagship HiPortfolio system would typically consist of a two day introductory course, to be followed by more modular training as specific needs arose. Training would probably amount to a week in total over a period of months. Simcorp’s introductory course for its flagship Dimension system runs for five days.

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