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Growing with Microsoft for an Enhanced IT

By Mitchell Johnson, CTO and eVestment

Growing with Microsoft for an Enhanced IT

Mitchell Johnson, CTO eVestment

Evestment fully migrated to Office365 for mail, storage (SharePoint), and collaboration (Lync) in 2013. The results have been fantastic in terms of employee productivity, operating efficiency and infrastructure simplification. A big part of our value proposition is world-class client service so, we invest heavily in local sales and service offices across the globe. These distributed offices and teams need to collaborate on a continuous basis and this can be challenging and cost-prohibitive to provide, particularly with locally managed IT infrastructure. Frequent M&A has added to this challenge by introducing additional offices, associates, and fragmented infrastructure and services. Office365 has provided a foundation that has enabled us to standardize and dramatically improve our global IT service while reducing cost and the need for a large support staff.

Why Choose Microsoft Solutions

The eVestment’s enterprise SaaS platform delivers insight and intelligence to the institutional investing community. It was implemented with a responsive JavaScript single-page application, Elasticsearch, Microsoft .NET services and SQL Server. We deal with very large datasets and complex financial calculations that are technically challenging to scale in a multi-tenant system. The Microsoft Server and .NET ecosystem have provided us with a reliable, high-performance foundation that has effectively grown with our business. Time-to-market and product innovation are essential to our brand, which means that we must be able to work with our clients to quickly prototype and deliver new solutions to the platform. The Microsoft development tools such as Visual Studio are outstanding and have helped our rapidly growing engineering team maintain a high level of productivity and Agility.

Lessons from a CTO

My core responsibilities of leading the development of the eVestment platform and managing the core IT systems remain the same. However, my role has evolved significantly as our business has grown and the dynamics of the marketplace have changed. I am expected to be a business leader first. Our solutions and revenue streams are inextricably tied to technology and what is possible, so much of my time is spent formulating strategy and evaluating new business opportunities. We have done a lot of hiring to support our growth and we place a high value on developing our teams so I spend significant time coaching and communicating with associates across the company and the globe.

Technology usage has become pervasive in all of our business departments. Marketing, Client Service, and Operations are sophisticated users of technology such as cloud-based automation, workflow systems and business intelligence. Much has been written about the dangers of "shadow IT" but we have embraced empowering all of our teams with the very best technology with an emphasis on departmental self-service when possible. I serve as a consultant and advisor to my business partners in these decisions to help ensure that both our short and longer term functional, security, and expense goals are realized.

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