Market Data Firm Leverages Cloud to Drive Growth & Profitability

About Company:

A global information services firm is a leading provider of financial market data and information analysis tools for the wealth management industry. Their proprietary data environment allows users access to high-quality data with controllable and lower predictable costs of ownership. This real-time, interactive data workstation is equipped with robust tools that enable wealth managers to easily analyze market data to derive and capitalize on market insights. Additionally, the Company’s direct and normalized data offering can be seamlessly integrated into a firm’s existing technology applications, including other third-party software. This gives firms cost-effective, flexible access to market data from all asset classes around the globe.

Executive Overview:

A global financial information services firm (Company) sought to decrease the operational cost of their IT environment and accelerate the modernization of their proprietary applications. Following a Proof of Concept, Converge provided a prescriptive educational model and migration plan, establishing a comfortable timeline for migration and use of AWS.

The Company’s IT environment was very traditional, with its application deployed as virtual machines on VMware hypervisor and standalone servers on Intel hardware. The market data they provide would travel to Equinix data centers where the Company’s servers captured the data. From there, it was bundled into blocks, then published out to multicast subscribers’ servers for display via multicast. Customers accessed the application over a traditional TCP connection. A network load balancer (F5) performed basic connection load balancing and set a session sticky cookie until disconnected. Users accessed the front-end servers, then proxy connected to the subscribers of multicast data to receive data requested by the client. Long term data was stored in an Oracle database in Oracle Cloud.

The Company determined their current IT infrastructure strategy was too costly to support their growth and acquisition initiatives. Additionally, they sought to accelerate the modernization of their proprietary applications and look for innovation opportunities, which were limited by their current colocation partners and managed service providers. The Company needed to find a solution that allowed them to both reduce the operational cost related to their six data centers and be flexible enough to support acquisitions of new companies and divestitures. They had considered public cloud as a solution, however their requirement for low latency and support of multicast network streams made their options very limited.

Converge Solution:

As an existing client, the Company had already leveraged Converge’s cloud consulting and migration services for their .net applications. When it came time discuss how cloud could address their strategic goals around company growth, improved EBDITA, and innovation driven by modernization, Converge recommended AWS as the cloud provider of choice.

Key to successfully migrating the Company’s current workload was support of multicast network streams and an educational & operational model that established a comfortable timeline for migration and use of AWS.

The Converge AWS specialist team quickly established why AWS was the best solution by conducting a proof of concept of AWS Transient Gateway Services. This addressed the multicast network streams requirement and engaged the AWS Financials Services team, who were able to demonstrate why selecting AWS as their public cloud provider would help the customer meet their innovation goals.

Converge created a migration plan that incorporated an initial assessment and discovery session, which produced a comprehensive ROI output to ensure the financial benefits would be realized. Next, a prescriptive learning program was created. This program involved items such as AWS Immersion Day to baseline the team’s knowledge on the primary AWS services that would be used, as well as Converge’s Cloud Advisory program so cost optimization and governance best practices were implemented early.

The overall migration plan included Landing Zone creation and use of AWS services such as S3 & EBS for storage, AWS GuardDuty for threat detection, and AWS CloudWatch & CloudTrail for monitoring and logging.

Results & Benefits:

The AWS migration plan provided the Company eliminated capital expenditures associated with hardware refreshes, as well as improved security, compliance, and operational resilience (AWS Shared Security Model, consistent monitoring & logging). The modernization platform leverages AWS innovation in financial services and offers potential partnership with market data providers in AWS. Finally, the Company now has a flexible IT platform that supports organic growth & acquisition, and eliminates stranded IT costs associated to divestitures.