We see many software products with user friendly interfaces, but with old-style client/server technology functioning in the background. We refer to these applications as FAT (i.e. they are shooting tons of data through the LAN and calculating and processing at the workstation). That is mid-nineties style client/server technology. The AnalytX framework is a pure 3-tier architecture offering (1) server side processing (business object layer), (2) a fast, highly normalized database (DB layer), and (3) a fast, configurable graphical user interface that pulls down and uploads fast .xml data streams.
Elegance and Robustness
Some vendors write specialized software to achieve specific results for say, venture capital firms. At AnalytX, we refer to these kinds of solutions as 'hard coded'. In essence, a particular programmer has a particular view of your business. He writes code the way he thinks your transactions should work. As soon as you have a variation on this theme, a program update is therefore required. Alternatively, the AnalytX framework embraces dynamism at various levels, without the need to change software code (e.g. dynamic types, dynamic attributes, creation templates, dynamic relationships, dynamic transactions with the ability to model synthetics, dynamic IRR methodologies, and a robust and extensible waterfall rules engine that can model any waterfall).
Graphical User Interface
We think that our user interfaces are the best in the industry - partly because we employ artists and designers on staff. We believe that taking an afternoon to stare at Monet or Picasso is a good practice for any user interface designer. Now, we are not comparing ourselves to the Masters - merely making the statement that the pursuit of art in user interface design is important. A case in point: Please examine our website which reflects 100% in-house design and compare that with the outsourced website approaches for many other software vendors.
The PEO framework, is highly configurable. During our significant journey in alternative asset structures and operations, we realized that this was the only truly robust approach. We do not predetermine what characteristics to capture for an asset, fund, or investor. Even the transactions are dynamic in that they rely on smart components with definable logic. Hence, our model is highly flexible and considerably more powerful than the 'hard coded' solutions that cannot precisely model your business since their model is fixed.
However, each product line comes pre-configured for attributes, relationships, categorizations, reports and transaction granularity based upon our experience with alternative assets. You get the best of both worlds - pre-configured templates as a starting point, with the ability to handle those 'curve balls' that are so typical in alternative assets.