Operations: the key to the success of the Calastone Transaction Network

Michael Davies, Operations Director

Blog / 26 Oct 2017

The Operations team is the heart of Calastone, and it is through our collective teamwork that our transaction network remains one of the most robust in the market. Whether it be our highly trained staff solving client queries quickly and effectively, or our proactive approach to monitoring the network, the Operations team’s energy, drive and professionalism allows us to go beyond the call of duty and deliver the highest possible level of service.

The approach we take to recruitment is pivotal in allowing us to build a strong, effective team. We almost exclusively recruit graduates with first class maths or sciences degrees, from all over the world. This means we have a pool of highly intelligent multi-lingual people who break down problems and provide solutions in a methodical and logical way.

All new team members are placed on an initial six-week training programme where we develop an understanding of the business, our clients and the market to build a solid foundation of knowledge. Each new team member then gains practical experience on the job and is mentored through a formal programme by more experienced members of the team. After six months, graduates then take the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) foundation course. ITIL is the most recognised and highly regarded service management framework in tech, and the course teaches the fundamentals of service delivery and continual service improvement. Once staff are fully trained, they are free to start focusing on an area of the business that interests them.

The Ops room is a busy and energetic environment to work in. We run a multi-lingual service desk, 24 hours a day, 5.5 days a week, providing support to all the markets we operate in. Many of our key markets are spread across APAC and so we have a dedicated team, led by Xupeng Li.

Xupeng and his team are keenly aware of the different client and technological nuances across the region, ensuring that we that we can respond rapidly and appropriately to queries and service requests, regardless of the client’s location.

Xupeng Li, Deputy Director, Manager of APAC

Antony Johnston leads the team responsible for supporting our UK and European based clients. Apart from his day to day client responsibilities, Antony spends a great deal of his time coordinating and implementing our automation programme; this is focused on automating replicable tasks, and monitoring system behaviours and response times.

Proactivity is a key element in allowing us to deliver a strong, consistent service to our clients. Day-to-day, we perform exception monitoring at every point on our system in real time. To do this we use statistics to baseline certain thresholds within the system so that we know if something is behaving as it should, and then we track the state of our processes and responses. By constantly tracking the activity of each of our servers we can work to address any issue to prevent it becoming client impacting, as we are aware of anything unusual before it affects the live environment.

Antony Johnston, Operations Manager, UK & Europe

We aim to solve most client queries at the first point of contact. When resolving a client query, we consistently hit a first line fix rate 95%. This has been achieved by the investment we place in training and development programs and automation tools aimed at improving the speed and quality of responses to clients. This significantly reduces second line escalations.

Calastone also operates a continuous service improvement programme (CSIP) which has been put in place to examine and challenge our internal processes, and ensure that we are always looking at innovative ways to improve the service to our clients.

All of these elements coalesce in a strong team culture, and the cultural framework forms a key part of our training process. From the day-to-day running of our service desk to incident and capacity management, the culture is completely client orientated.  Importantly the results of our efforts are visible in what our clients across the world have to say about us.

The Ops room is a busy and energetic environment to work in. We run a multi-lingual service desk, 24 hours a day, 5.5 days a week, providing support to all the markets we operate in. Michael Davies, Operations Director

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