Mark Van de Wiel

Three Lessons One Global Financial Institution Learned When Building a Real-Time Enterprise

Many organizations talk about the need to be a “real-time enterprise”, but very few organizations achieve this model when faced with the business, cultural, and technical challenges that go with implementing that vision.

For one of our financial customers, the real-time enterprise was not a business school or utopian organizational model – it was a necessity for their day-to-day operations.

In this case, our customer did not start their journey to becoming a real-time enterprise with HVR, they came to us after a failed partnership endeavor and learned some valuable lessons along their way to becoming a real-time enterprise.

Three Lessons in Short:
  1. You need the right business environment
  2. You need the right technology
  3. You need the right partner


Lesson 1. The Right Environment

The concept of becoming a real-time enterprise is aligning technology and business practices to transform your company. The benefit of being a real-time enterprise is to ensure customer satisfaction, better product performance, greater efficiencies, and enables better cost management. Business guru Geoffrey Moore describes one of the chief purposes of the real-time enterprise as enabling “moments of engagement” with customers, partners, and peers. Becoming a real-time environment requires dedication, communication, and commitment from all internal stakeholders.

In the case of our customers, this concept meant that their client managers and investment professionals have the information they need at their fingertips to provide highly responsive service and accurate information to their customers. It was a high-pressure,  high stakes endeavor with high expectations.

Lesson 2. You Need the Right Technology

At the technology level, this means that the firm needs a global data replication architecture to deliver up-to-the-second, accurate data wherever and whenever it is needed. Like many global financial service firms, our customer relied on a Shared Services IT infrastructure managed out of one of their North American locations and built on proven hardware and software products from vendors such as Dell and Oracle. This infrastructure supported both their Tier One (trading, customer facing and mission-critical) and Tier Two (internal and non-critical) applications.

However, as our client’s data replication needs became increasingly demanding, they became more and more dissatisfied with the complexity of the data replication architecture that the previous product had imposed on them. They increasingly experienced inflexible contract terms, hard to access support, and expensive consulting resources didn’t fit the vision and growth that their data required.  What was supposed to be an exciting journey to becoming a more competitive firm with more satisfied customers, was quickly becoming bumpy and frustrating.

Lesson 3. You Need the Right Partner

In response to the initial disappointment, our customer researched the data replication market and decided, among other products, to evaluate our High Volume Replicator. Despite our presentation proving our vision for our customer’s data replication needs, doubts lingered about the viability of HVR as a vendor when compared to industry giants like Oracle and Dell. Having suffered through the painful implementation of their last partner,  our client didn’t want to go through another long and disruptive implementation process.

Two things happened that convinced the company that the potential
reward of working with HVR outweighed the potential risks:

  • First, HVR’s ability to provide strong references from leading European companies such as Barclays and Lufthansa, as well as a local reference from the United States Coast Guard, we re-assured our customer that they were making a safe, responsible decision.
  • Second, in line with our customer’s real-time vision, they were very concerned about data latency and wanted dashboards that enabled them to visualize and monitor latency in their data flows. We understood that this feature could be useful to many of their other customers and so agreed on a co-development project to create this feature.

For this reason, our customer decided to move forward with our successful pilot program. As such, our High Volume Replicator displaced their old system the company’s data replication platform.

Our solution worked for our client because of our hub and spoke architecture that was built for heterogeneous environments. In this case,  the complexity and volume of the data that needed to be replicated in real-time across the company’s global shared services architecture to their trading and customer-facing applications is something our technology was built exactly to do.

If you would like to learn about how our service may be able to satisfy your replication needs, feel free to contact us, or request a consultation.

About Mark

Mark Van de Wiel is the CTO for HVR. He has a strong background in data replication as well as real-time Business Intelligence and analytics.

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