Cloud-native app opens new markets

Cloud

Cloud-native app opens new markets

A prominent bonds trading network expands its market reach with new products and geographies.

Client

The world’s leading provider of trading services for fixed income products

Goal

Create an IT architecture to support growth across markets and products

Tools and technologies

AWS Cloud, Java, Springboot, React JS, React, Redis, Kafka, C#, Ranorex and Test Rails

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The client, a market leader in bonds trading, is expanding to new markets, acquiring new businesses, introducing products and adding features to existing offerings. To support its growth plans, it needed an agile, modern, cloud-based platform.

Some of the business needs the client wanted to address with the new solution were:

  • How do we achieve scale with minimal latency in operations and service?
  • How do we integrate new businesses seamlessly and without disruption?
  • How do we roll out new features faster to improve customer experience and get a competitive edge?
  • How can we use data to help customers make better trading decisions? How can we monetize the data?

As a solution partner, we had to not only create a new IT architecture for the client’s trading platform but also constantly re-engineer and improve the architecture to quickly meet emerging business needs.

SOLUTION

We deployed a scalable, highly available auctions solution on the AWS cloud using Java, Springboot, React JS, React, Redis, and Kafka.

  • Optimized algorithms now achieve best matching with minimal latency while offering full price transparency.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) provide greater insight and real-time price discovery for specific asset classes.

The new cloud-based architecture enabled the client to create products and monetize market data. The products helped customers get accurate data in real-time to take better and faster trading decisions.

Test automation across the trade lifecycle using a combination of C#, Ranorex, Test Rails helped the client update user interfaces (UI) without reducing performance; it eased integration linkages between the acquired solution’s frontend and the client’s existing backend.

OUTCOMES

The introduction of Agile methodology and the cloud-native application has helped the client significantly speed up time-to-market for new releases – it’s now able to make releases several times a year.

The new IT architecture now allows the client to offer trading in Muni bonds (an acquired product) and US treasuries (a new service). The solution also enables the client to support Chinese markets.

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Deliver personalization via report automation

Asset Management

Deliver personalization via report automation

A leading asset management firm personalized offerings by automating processes to glean customer insights.

Client

A leading asset management firm based in the U.S.

Goal

Help asset managers deliver personalized solutions to establish differentiation.

Tools and technologies

AquaData Studio, Java, Perl, Python, Spring, Hibernate, VRS, PostgreSQL, Composite and MS SQL.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Asset management firms face challenges similar to those faced by most buy side firms – such as a generational shift in the demographic, new patterns of investment behavior, a changing regulatory landscape, and the rise of aggregators with low-cost products who are thinning the pool of investible funds.

Our client wanted to differentiate itself by offering customer-centric solutions that are flexible and adaptable. But its existing systems presented several challenges:

  • Its front, mid and back office functions needed a lot of manual effort
  • Business rules were inconsistent and data duplication was rampant
  • User experience on the platform needed significant improvement
  • Clients were unable to get a holistic view of their accounts
  • Data validation was consuming a lot of man-hours

SOLUTION

We partnered with the asset manager to deliver better digital experiences to all its stakeholders. We created a robust data ecosystem and used advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence/machine learning or AI/ML, intelligent automation, cloud computing and test automation.

  • Our team streamlined and integrated the client’s front, middle and back office functions. We helped the client integrate their back-office solutions with their custodians, reducing complexity in information exchange, eliminating reconciliation and increasing operations efficiency by more than 75 per cent.
  • We automated the creation of more than 7,000 reports.
  • Improved experience for retail and institutional clients by automating the generation of complex compliance and strategic reports.
  • Developed a strategic reporting module that gave customers a holistic view of their accounts and holdings
  • Set up a business data validation team offshore
  • Enabled self-service option for bespoke reports

OUTCOMES

Our solution helped the client significantly improve front-end experience for customers; reduce manual effort and costs in the back-office; and improve overall operations efficiency. Highlights of the outcomes:

  • Automated the exhibits process with 75% increase in throughput
  • Our report automation solution reduced manual effort by 70% and improved monthly artefact generation throughput by 40%.
  • Reduced manual effort for customization in client profile management by 60%
  • Achieved $50,000 savings for client per month in the data validation activity for client profile management

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A robust platform for investment advisors

Brokerage & Wealth

A robust platform for investment advisors

A prominent U.S. brokerage firm transformed its monolithic legacy apps for RIAs into a microservices-based open platform and a significantly improved user experience.

Client

A leading brokerage and wealth management firm based in the US.

Goal

Create a best-in-class platform for registered investment advisors (RIAs).

Tools and technologies

Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Spring Boot, Spring Cloud Gateway, Angular 6, TIBCO AMX BW, SQL Server, Hybrid Automation Framework (Selenium, Appium, Perfecto) and AppDynamics

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

With growing competition from nimble fintechs, custodians are under pressure to provide RIAs a differentiated experience. Many of them are looking to use advanced technology solutions such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and data and analytics to help RIAs improve the end consumer experience.

Our client had multiple legacy platforms built over the years that was preventing it from providing their RIAs with a secure, integrated and cost-effective solution.

SOLUTION

Iris has been played an integral role in transforming the client’s technology landscape from a legacy system to a modern, open, API-based architecture. The solutions we have implemented include:

  • An Open Access Platform with API Architecture as part of the client’s go-to-market strategy. We continue to work on integrating third party vendor applications and RIA back office applications onto this platform.
  • The platform is highly reliable and secure with protection of data at rest and in motion using encryption. We have enabled encryption of data in transit to protect over 100+ integrations outside client environment. We have used SAML and OAuth for user authentication.
  • An SSO solution provides multi-factor authentication (MFA) and a framework for Privileged Access Management to secure customer information. The Iris team has also ensured mobile security for iOS & Android devices and helped the client plug platform vulnerabilities.
  • Developed responsive design as part of the UI transformation initiatives for core trading, advisory and educational solutions.
  • Transformed monolithic application into microservices-based architecture.
  • Provided flexible development capabilities with distributed Agile teams and extensive test automation reducing time to market and achieving significant cost savings.
  • Digitized end-to-end client onboarding with features for bulk onboarding, advisor authorization and ability to submit statutory documentation online and offline.
  • Created back office solutions for money movement and cash & asset management that allowed RIAs to get a holistic view of clients and serve them on the go
  • Customizable workflow to serve needs of individual advisor firms

OUTCOMES

We enabled the client to securely integrate over hundreds of third party apps and RIA back office applications.

Our test automation and Agile solutions helped client reduce time-to-market for new features by 40%

Reduced the regression cycle duration by 60% with automated tests over six months.

Increased test automation coverage to 70%.

Reduced defect leakage reduced to less than 1%.

Improved performance of business transactions by 30% to 40% on the web platform.

Addressed > 70% of security and vulnerability issues leading to a better customer experience.

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How Iris Software’s ES Unit is Aligning Itself with Changing Client Needs

29-Apr-2019

How Iris Software's ES Unit is Aligning Itself with Changing Client Needs

New Enterprise Services Chief Ravi Chodagam taps existing Iris strengths, new talent and new skills in migrating to a 'partner' relationship with clients as they transform.

When Ravi Chodagam joined Iris Software in early 2019 to head its Enterprise Services (ES) business unit, he identified two major trends on how businesses approach their IT requirements. First, Iris' clients across the board are undertaking digital transformation initiatives as their digitally-savvy end consumers are demanding these capabilities. For instance, consumers want access to services seamlessly on different channels instantaneously and look for instant real time services. Second, clients now expect technology services provider like Iris to be a value-added partner on these transformation initiatives while "owning the outcome" and sharing the risk with customer.

Iris' ES unit services customers of varying sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to relatively smaller, niche product companies. They are spread out across industries like insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, retail, logistics, education and professional services. In over 27 years of operations, Iris has built a strong and holistic suite of assets in terms of client relationships, competencies and solutions, he added.

Iris is involved with its clients in what Chodagam described as a "Run, Change, Grow" model. In 'Run' scenario, Iris helps its clients run their businesses better by supporting their operational systems, extracting cost efficiencies and enabling them to become faster and more agile. In 'Change' scenario, it helps clients manage their transition as they are "changing gears" or transforming themselves from a business or a technology perspective. And in a 'Grow' setting, it supports customers as they look to launch newer revenue streams, enter newer geographies, or service newer customers.

Building on Existing Competencies

As Chodagam draws from that broad industry landscape to set goals and strategies for the ES unit, he said he has been able to hit the ground running.

"Our competencies are in developing new technology solutions to support the 'change' and 'grow' agenda of companies, while automating processes to achieve cost efficiencies and be faster in the marketplace," Chodagam explained. "Some of our recent successful engagements  include developing omni-channel customer experience platform for a major work-life services company;  cloud migration and micro services driven technology modernization for the world's leading standards organization; automating critical business operations using a machine learning based solution for a leading North American Education services provider and many more digital enablement projects.

Iris' customized delivery model staffed with experienced and highly skilled team across all levels has enabled it to provide more agility and higher productivity than its peers in the market. High skill levels complemented with deep domain expertise has helped Iris bring differentiated offering to its customers and become a relevant value added partner in their transformation journey.

All of above has resulted in Iris having longstanding relationships of 10-to-15 years with many of its clients, and enjoys high customer satisfaction scores. "I have inherited that stickiness with clients where they like the work we do for them," he said. "We have consistently won repeat business from them as they have been going through their own transformation journeys."

Fleshing out the Goals

Chodagam also brings to Iris a set of competencies from his own, two-decade experience in the IT services industry. For one, he brings experience in multiple verticals. That "cross-vertical market experience" means he understands how a customer in the consumer goods, retail or logistics industries is different from that in manufacturing or insurance. Another strength he brings is in building industry verticals, which happens to be one of his top goals at Iris. Thirdly, he brings experience in the "shift left approach, which is "moving from a transactional play to becoming a value-added partner for clients"; he has worked on that with a few Fortune 500 companies on similar exercises in the past.

About Iris

Iris Software is a professional software services organization serving customers in the USA, Canada and India for over 25 years. Iris focusses on developing ready-to-deploy Custom-Off-The-Shelf solutions, Application Software development services, as well as services towards the maintenance, testing, integration and support of software.

Iris services the information technology requirements of companies ranging from the Fortune 100 to medium-sized firms by utilizing specialized domain knowledge, best-of-breed technologies, rapidly deployable proprietary frameworks/solutions and flexible engagement models. Iris provides thought leadership to solve business problems creatively by conceptualizing and delivering uncommon solutions, leveraging existing technologies and new computing paradigms such as Digital Transformation, ML, Analytics and Insights, Cloud Computing and Process Automation. Iris continually innovates to accelerate outcomes such as time-to-market, lower costs, ease of maintenance and reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Iris's core strengths of software engineering best practices enables it to deliver high-quality solutions consistently.

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