Pre-Migration Strategy Formation

Equities Trading & The Cloud: A Webinar Series | Part 1

Pre-Migration Strategy Formation

Overview

The first installment of Equities Trading & The Cloud presents insights from the beginning of Instinet’s journey to AWS with Risk Focus. “There’s less debate, more experimentation,” says Instinet CTO Minor Huffman on the advantages of moving to the cloud, “less supposition, more data.” A FinTech pioneer, Instinet has launched a cloud-migration initiative with Risk Focus that aims to harness AWS’s higher-level offerings such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. As the panelists discuss, getting to the cloud offers opportunities to enrich the product offerings of financial services organizations. It also requires a sound technology strategy and a thorough understanding of the unique business problems each organization faces.

The Solution

INSTINET’S SECURE MIGRATION TO AWS: THE “LANDING ZONE” INITIATIVE

Ness Implements 2 Phase Solution for Leading Retail Company

Case Study

Ness Implements 2 Phase Solution for Leading Retail Company

The Challenge

A leading retail company was facing the challenge of multiple hand-offs across multiple DevOps tools, processes, and functions. Looking to simplify their deployment process and automate the cumbersome manual processes they contacted Ness.

The Solution

Ness worked with the customer to implement a two phase process.

In phase 1 Ness designed & provisioned the infrastructure using Infra As Code (Terraform) on Azure cloud by integrating with Jenkins’s pipeline along with Terraform vault to manage the resources using a repeatable process. This simplified the deployment of containerized applications by using Helm Charts for complex Kubernetes (AKS) applications and automated services/applications deployment to AKS through Rundeck.

Phase 2 consisted of using Istio service mesh with AKS to efficiently manage microservices traffic, resiliency, policy, security, strong identity, and observability. Plus the use of Premium Tier Azure Service Bus (ASB) and Centralized App Configuration Management to simplify CI/CD deployment tasks and ease the burden of permutations of configurations created by multiple TMS microservices based applications/services, dependencies, and environments.

The Results

  • 90% Faster deployment of Infrastructure using Terraform led to significant improvement in Time To Market
  • 35% increase in release frequency.
  • 40% improvement in release deployments using fully automated CI/CD Pipelines
  • 80% Reduction in Manual Efforts
  • 70% Improvement in Build and Release Cycles

DevOps Transformation

Case Study

DevOps Transformation

The Challenge

The customer, a leading provider of integrated dealership technologies, was falling behind due to their multiple manual processes. Leading to long release cycles, lengthy time to market, a high volume of production issues, and low engineering maturity from plan until deploy. The customer was looking for a partner to help automate these processes and optimize their utilization.

The Solution

Ness adopted an Assessment, Define, Pilot, Implement and Optimize approach. The Assessment included facilitation to define specific organizational goals, review of the AS-IS state; gap analysis against the TO-BE state; and recommendations. A new framework WCF (World Class Framework) was developed and deployed to provide an end-to-end integration and orchestration of SDLC toolchain.

The Results

This approach resulted in:

  • 20% Reduced cost of operations
  • 70% Faster deployment process
  • 80% Enhanced collaboration between teams
  • 95% Improvement in time to respond for major incidents
  • 52% Increase in software quality

Innovation On Demand

Case Study

Innovation On Demand

The Challenge

The customer needed to match the existing products in the retailer’s internal systems with that of the data coming from the certified data pool of the GDSN.

The Solution

Ness built POC on a GCP cloud setup, focusing on basic use cases to prove the functionality. In the end, Ness provided a deployable code, that could be used to seamlessly exchange product information. Ness also provided the documentation around the build, along with a video recording of the demo to be used for training.

The Results

  • 60% improved time to market for validating new technology solutions that fast-tracked the idea validation process
  • Innovation relevance leading to improved customer satisfaction by 80% – Opportunity for end-users to engage with build, that ensured the feedback is incorporated in real-time

Major Financial Institution Accelerates Product Roadmap

Case Study

Major Financial Institution Accelerates Product Roadmap

The Challenge

The customer, one of the top five financial brands in the world, was facing trouble due to multiple disintegrated systems running in isolation, leading to poor time to market and a high volume of production Issues. The customer was looking for a strategic partner who can bring a high-quality and high-velocity product development team that can significantly accelerate the product roadmap.

The Solution

Ness executed an assessment by leveraging its Intelligent Engineering Maturity Model and Assessment toolkit to create an implementation roadmap to build, develop and provide seamless integration and orchestration of toolchain along with transforming the teams to leverage principles of Agile and DevOps.

The engagement consists of two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Conduct qualitative & quantitative scoring for identified teams by leveraging providers proprietary Agile, DevOps maturity model to identify patterns and provide intelligent recommendations for improvements to deliver the following
  • Overall Engineering Maturity Scoring
  • Assessment Scoring, Findings & Opportunities
  • Tool Gap Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Roadmap (Quick Wins)
  • Phase 2 – Based on the results of Phase 1, Ness prioritized the areas where transformation was most needed. Once Ness’ recommendations are implemented, the teams are then reassessed to re-establish using the Intelligent Engineering Maturity Model.

The Results

  • 150% ROI in 2 years post the transformation
  • 150+ Improvement opportunities identified
  • 15+ quick wins identified for delivering significant impact in < 4 months
  • Created an Agile Operating Model to bring business & technology teams together aligned by business goals and KPIs

Ness Connection: Meet Peter Meulbroek

Meet Peter Meulbroek, Head of Cloud and Data Practices here at Ness. Peter joined Ness a little over four months ago as a part of the Risk Focus acquisition and has hit the ground running. He is a seasoned leader with over 30 years of experience in the financial services and technology industries.  He’s excited to be joining Ness as we expand our capabilities for technological transformation and help our clients accelerate their transformation journeys.Peter Meulbroek

Q: Tell us a little bit about your role and what you do.

A: I lead our cloud and data practices. Ness focuses on several key horizontal partnerships in these spaces:  AWS, Azure, Confluent, and Snowflake.  Our cloud and data practices work with our clients in these technologies, solving problems in the cloud, in data at rest, and data in motion.   Our practice teams help our clients define plans, bootstrap their capabilities in cloud and data, and implement transformational projects. We collaborate with our sales, delivery, and solutions teams, crafting a set of offers around key transformational technologies, working with our delivery teams to fulfill these offers, and working closely with clients assessing, defining, designing, and fulfilling their needs.  My role is to support the team in all of these efforts, pitch in where needed, define where we are headed, and make sure we have the right folks ready to meet client needs.

Q: How do you take your coffee?

A: I take my coffee with cream. My day doesn’t really start until that first cup, whether it be at 6 am before heading upstairs to the home office, or at 4:30 am before jumping on the bike to head to the NYC office.  One of my more treasured possessions is my Ness ‘yeti’ cup, which is ideal for savoring my day’s second cup.

Q: What’s on your to-do list?

A: There are so many opportunities!  Our practices are growing quickly, and so are our capabilities.  We need to capture what we do for our customers very precisely into well-defined offers so that the value we provide is clear, and our clients can identify with it.

I really want to meet more folks at Ness, especially in our delivery centers, and learn more about their challenges.  There are huge grounds for collaboration.

Q: What’s the next place on your travel list and why?

A: I can think of a couple of trips I would like to take. I’m planning to travel at the end of October (Covid allowing) to Iasi for ‘Barbecode’.  I really look forward to meeting with colleagues there.  I would also like to make it to our India delivery centers:  we have so many talented people around the world and I would really love to meet more face to face.

I was also just invited to Seattle by AWS in mid-October, as a part of their ‘Ambassador’ program. They ask a group of us to spend a few days in Seattle every year in order to talk to leaders in the company about the direction of the platform.

On a more personal level, I am always excited about my weekly bike ride into the office. I live about 30 miles away from our office, so once a week I get up before dawn and peddle into the NYC office. The next goal is to make it to Teaneck.

Q: How did you get started in the industry? / How did you end up down this career path?

A: I’ve had the chance to work in a number of fields over the years.  I grew up and went to school in Chicago, so it was a logical step to do research on the Options and Futures markets for financial services firms there. After a few years in the markets, I went back to school and got a Ph.D. in Geology, doing large-scale numerical simulations aimed at understanding how hydrocarbons form and migrate to reservoirs.  I worked in academia doing research, in high-tech in Silicon Valley, in startups, and have had the chance to work with some academic and tech giants.  One of the better moves I made, however, was to join Risk Focus in 2015 to help found our cloud practice.  Fast-forward 6 years, and we’re now delighted to be Nessians. It has been an exciting journey with many stops.

Q: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

A: A number of years ago I received some great advice which I have found very helpful. That is to solve problems by both assuming that everybody you work with works for you, but at the same time believe that you work for everyone else. In other words, recognizing that no matter what role you are in the organization, you must serve and help others, but at the same time, you can’t let the company hierarchy stop you from achieving your goals and accomplishing what needs to be done. Finding the balance between those two leads to success both for the individual and the organization.

On a more practical level, I got a great piece of advice from David Henke who was the VP of Engineering at Yahoo at the time. He said, “you can’t fix what you can’t measure”.  That is, don’t make decisions in a vacuum, and recognize that thinking about gathering data in a problem is too late;  you need to gather data before problems are visible and that problems are only solvable when you have the right data.

Q: What motivates you to work hard?

A: Many things.  I love to learn. It may be a cliche to consider oneself a lifelong learner these days, but I’m at my most excited when trying to understand a new problem, and trying to problem solve, and learning something entirely new.

Though I’m not really a ‘people-person’, it’s become increasingly clear during the course of my career that the hardest problems we see aren’t technology problems, they’re people problems. .  For example, a few years ago when we helped a favorite client move a very large computation and data workload to the cloud, the biggest challenge to success wasn’t the hard requirements, the large amounts of data, or the high-throughput.  It was the team of engineers who fought a valiant rearguard action defending the ‘old ways’, and their management who surreptitiously supported them.  It is not easy to convince people who’ve done a job for 20 years that they best get on board, because that job will go away and never come back.  In the end, though, the key to success for them, and for us, was working to get them to each see the art of the possible.  My motivation comes from working with others to understand their challenges and overcome them together.

Oh, and I also like swag.  A good sweatshirt means a lot.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?

A: I’ve had the opportunity to work and contribute in a number of fields, both academic and in industry, and to make an impact in things about which I am passionate. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with really smart people and learn from them.  Perhaps the most satisfying thing is that I’ve had the chance to help others in their career paths, guiding where I can.

 

Learn how you can become a part of #LifeAtNess by visiting our careers page.

Location Intelligence Platform

Case Study

Location Intelligence Platform

The Challenge

The customer is a large, popular location data platform provider. The customer wanted to extend their engineering capabilities with a long-time partner to expand their products and services portfolio, increase quality, and refactor existing services. Several innovative location intelligence solutions had to be developed, along with optimization of software engineering practices, development of custom software tools while maintaining the existing product portfolio.

The Solution

As part of this engagement of more than 10 years, through modern engineering practices, Ness was instrumental in the development and release of:

  • 2D Visual Products offered reality-based routing guidance at complex intersections or bifurcations, lane-level visualization, a realistic representation of guidance signs, and abstract illustrations of the real world, providing instant recognition to the user.
  • 3D Visual Products linked road and pedestrian networks, buildings, and landmarks for intuitive routing guidance as well as modeled real buildings, statues, and other important landmarks to reflect reality.
  • The High-definition Urban Map focused on lane detection and lane gap filtering, lane confidence automation, and metrication in edit lanes workflow
  • ADAS provided an extension of 2D digital maps with height information, adding two new attributes – curvature and slope
  • Connected Vehicle Services implemented automotive services for drivers and passengers, services for automated driving (HD live map), and Digital Transportation Infrastructure (DTI) services.

The Results

Throughout the business transformation and evolution, Ness was instrumental in developing and releasing multiple generations of products and services on time, to budget, and scope.

Asset Tracking for Oil & Gas Operator

Case Study

Asset Tracking for Oil & Gas Operator

The Challenge

An Oil & Gas Operator needed to modernize their legacy fleet management system to provide its fleet managers and operators with real-time tracking of their assets. The legacy system consisted of four different platforms that resulted in unnecessarily complex workflow impacting the efficiency of fleet managers.

The Solution

In partnership with the client, Ness initially created an integrated user experience leveraging best practices in experience engineering. State-of-the-art frontend engineering expanded to backend platform improvements and the introduction of a microservices architecture, integration of geolocation information, and alarm notifications if the asset moved outside a defined geo-boundary.

The Results

The new version of fleet management system enabled the fleet managers to be able to closely track mechanical availability and reasons for operations issues. The product also helped in increased adoption of tablets and mobile use by fleet managers. Overall, this has resulted in:

  • Increased visibility of assets by 30%
  • Improved operational efficiency by streamlining UX flow and UI compared to the legacy version
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