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The “Original Fintech” Takes to the Cloud: Migrating Instinet’s Data to AWS

Case Study

The “Original Fintech” Takes to the Cloud: Migrating Instinet’s Data to AWS

Executive Summary

Instinet engaged Ness to migrate its core database to AWS, a major step in the Digital Transformation of “the Original Fintech.” Instinet, a major player in agency trading and a subsidiary of Nomura, has tough and uncompromising security requirements. Ness built a secure AWS Landing Zone to enforce these stringent controls. Ness then leveraged its business domain knowledge, technology expertise, and an Agile delivery process to adopt a “data-first” migration strategy. A new pipeline services model using AWS MSK and Amazon Managed Service for Apache Flink has re-orchestrated Instinet’s existing data capture and distribution logic by providing near real-time access to data. Extending Instinet’s legacy on-premises environment to the cloud has enabled the legendary electronic broker to achieve record scale—deftly handling exponentially higher market volumes amid the unexpectedly disruptive global landscape of the last 18 months.

About Instinet

Instinet provides technologically advanced, agency-model brokerage services to institutional clients worldwide and is the wholly-owned execution services arm of Nomura Group. They help institutional investors create, protect and capture alpha, reduce complexity, and lower overall trading costs to ultimately improve investment performance.

Instinet seeks to add value across the investment life cycle, providing:

  • Agency Execution Services
  • Crossing and Liquidity Venues
  • Instinet Technology Solutions

The Challenge

Instinet’s traditional on-prem infrastructure faced projected scaling issues amid continued, exponential increases in market trading volume. The equities broker regularly ingests and processes 1TB of trade data daily. Additionally, it has accumulated petabytes of data throughout its 50+ years, creating a heavy operational and capital-expenditure load. By maintaining its core database (“CoreDB”) in a  physical data center, Instinet faced challenges and logistical inefficiencies that impacted the development of new products and created potential risks to the client experience.

Any proposed solution required that the data platform could seamlessly integrate into existing systems, so as not to disrupt access to multiple data consumers.

Why AWS

AWS’s depth in the financial services industry and its ability to customize Instinet’s workflows made a compelling case to move select infrastructure the cloud. Choosing AWS would not only keep Instinet compliant with a host of evolving global regulatory requirements, but would also deliver the ongoing low-latency integration, scalability, and information security that the firm and its clients require.

Why Instinet Chose Ness

Instinet engaged Ness because of the consultancy’s extensive experience working with AWS and its expertise within the financial services industry. Ness is a Premier Confluent Systems Integrator and an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with Financial Services, Migration, and DevOps Competencies. Ness has a long track record of leveraging its business domain knowledge, technology expertise, and Agile process to deliver on mission-critical projects in capital markets.

The Solution

Ness took a data-first migration strategy that re-orchestrated Instinet’s existing business logic in readiness for optimal cloud deployment. Ness teams created a data ingestion pipeline that utilizes AWS-managed services for horizontal scaling, high availability, and ease of operations.

  • Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK) holds Kafka topics, allowing for replay and re-ingestion of data. Amazon MSK allows for parallelizable processing, and Kafka topics are consumable by different systems at Instinet.
  • Amazon Managed Service for Apache Flink consumes data from Kafka topics and persists data to Amazon Aurora.
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) contains the producers to the Kafka topic that securely pulls data from on-prem. It also contains applications for loading market and reference data and for providing summary and statistical analysis on the data.
  • Amazon Aurora, a MySQL database service, provides an alternative solution to Instinet’s on-prem MySQL database.
  • Amazon Redshift as a multi-year data warehouse of historical trading and reference data provides long-term queryable storage alongside Aurora.
  • AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions automate all weekly operational processes that were normally handled by database administrators and operational support.

Additionally, trade-related data was moved off EMC Storage into tiered storage in Amazon Simple Cloud Storage (Amazon S3).

Results and Benefits

Instinet’s investment in AWS has dramatically increased its data-ingestion rate while enabling other applications to process real-time data in the cloud. Moving CoreDB to Amazon Aurora has increased insert and query rates eightfold, allowing the broker to sustain increased business in the face of historic market volumes., During market peaks, these increases in processing capability mean that the technology applications accessing and consuming data have seen exponential improvements in speed – by a factor of five.

The introduction of the Amazon Redshift ecosystem has also provided a cost-effective ability to increase the amount of data that can be retained in online queryable storage by years, and flexible scaling that accommodates Instinet’s projected market volume growth into the foreseeable future.

Additionally, Instinet has experienced four important business advances:

  1. It has reduced the release process from days to mere hours;
  2. The operational maintenance window has shrunk from being an overnight process to now taking about an hour;
  3. By moving trade-related data to Amazon S3, the storage footprint has been cut by 50%;
  4. And using on-demand resources has aligned with the goal of slashing the company’s carbon use.

Finally, Instinet has gained greater, more nuanced visibility and can access its data assets via multiple parallel applications, and is able to more efficiently harness AI/ML deep learning to develop an array of dynamic future product offerings.

 “Migrating our core database to AWS is another example of how Instinet’s tradition of innovation continues to evolve and keep us at the forefront,” said Minor Huffman, CTO of Instinet. “Ness has helped us move to the cloud in a way that not only understands our business goals and challenges but also the long-range opportunities that can be unlocked by leveraging their expertise with cloud and streaming technologies.”

The Top Five Trends To Watch In The Future Of Work

From the ongoing shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts caused by automation, and other possible disruptions to the status quo, many wonder what the future holds in terms of employment. In a recent interview with Authority Magazine, Abilash Velayudhan, Head of Talent Acquisition for North America and Western Europe, gives his thoughts on what the future of employment in this industry might hold.

Abilash began his career as a technical recruiter 22 years ago and has worked for many companies in order to become well-versed in analytics and statistics. His previous work in various agencies, including those that conduct recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), corporate employment, and staffing has taught him to deliver results under pressure and, most importantly, how to work cohesively with your team and collaborate with your partners and hiring managers.

Below are some of the interview highlights:

What do you expect to be the major disruptions for employers in the next 10–15 years? How should employers pivot to adapt to these disruptions?

According to the World Economic Forum, in 10 years, over 50% of jobs will be automated. However, only 5% of jobs will be eliminated, which essentially raises the need for the existing workforce to be upskilled and reskilled to work alongside the most complex machines. Another phenomenon that is rapidly disrupting work is the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) skills.

How should people plan their careers such that they can hedge their bets against being replaced by automation or robots?

We need to shift our focus from worrying about the impact of automation to actually helping create high-end technologies. If we look at the possibilities in evolving technologies like artificial engineering, machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), and blockchain, there’s a nonstop need for training, data, and maintenance of technological innovations and exceptions.

What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support the fundamental changes to work?

In order to support future labor demands, there must be a bigger push to include more of the workforce in technology-based jobs. There is a huge parity in job availability and access, and only with proper training and expanded recruitment will these challenges be remedied.

What are your “Top 5 Trends To Watch In the Future of Work?”

  1. Diversity and Inclusion will become the cornerstone for workforce planning
  2. Most companies will start creating teams to work as independent startups within their organization.
  3. Remote work will become the norm and teams will be expected to collaborate globally and work flexible hours to find common timelines.
  4. Automation and AI/ML will be inevitable in all functions of organizations.
  5. Candidate experience will play a crucial role in creating employer branding and the company’s ability to attract talents.

Click here to check out the full article from Authority Magazine.

 

Eurowag má od Ness Czech nové řešení pro transportní firmy

Praha, 26. října 2021: Řešení PriceTag pro individuální naceňování pohonných hmot, které využívají čerpací stanice pro dopravce a logistické firmy v Evropě a Asii, vyvinul pro Eurowag systémový integrátor Ness Czech. Systém v reálném čase procesuje miliardy cen v různých měnách a umožňuje pružně zavádět nové služby a obchodní modely. Třicítka expertů Ness prací na projektu PriceTag strávila 17 měsíců.

Původně používala společnost W.A.G. payment solutions, obchodující pod značkou Eurowag, pro tvorbu cen pohonných hmot a hodnocení transakcí 10 let staré řešení, které již nedokázalo plnit požadované funkce. Systém narážel především na výkonnostní limity a uživatelský diskomfort a nenabízel dostatečnou pružnost při zavádění inovací a nových služeb. Obchodní zástupci společnosti nemohli efektivně nastavovat správnou cenotvorbu pro rostoucí portfolio zákazníků i služeb, což zpomalovalo některé obchodní procesy.

Rychlost, uživatelská přívětivost a flexibilita

Z technologického pohledu byl cílem projektu přechod na nejnovější technologie provozované v cloudu a výrazné zvýšení rychlosti a uživatelské přívětivosti. Z obchodního hlediska pak šlo zejména o efektivní hromadné i individuální nastavování cenotvorby pro klienty, jednotlivá obchodní místa a o zvýšení flexibility systému pro zavádění nových služeb, obchodních modelů a produktových bundlů.

S ohledem na dlouhodobou udržitelnost jsme zvolili použití moderních a zároveň široce používaných technologií. Jako cloudová infrastruktura slouží Microsoft Azure, pro správu se používá Azure Kubernetes Service, Docker a Azure DevOps. Kvůli komplexnosti a termínům byl projekt dodán agilní formou s pomocí metodiky Ness Agile,“ přibližuje Martin Silvička, Vice President pro CEE ve společnosti Ness Czech.

Nové řešení PriceTag je rozděleno do několika samostatných modulů. Purchase Price Management slouží cenovým specialistům ke správě nákupních cen a prodejních modelů. Pricing Engine obchodní zástupci Eurowagu používají k nastavování komerčních marží, k analýze cen a simulaci finančních dopadů. Rating Engine poskytuje zákazníkům aktuální ceníky a oceňuje jejich konkrétní transakce.

Plnění obchodních cílů a spokojenost s uživatelským rozhraním

Přes 90 % uživatelů si u nového řešení PriceTag pochvaluje zlepšení uživatelského rozhraní a použitelnosti systému, včetně možnosti nastavování cenotvorby na mobilních zařízeních.

Optimalizace cenotvorby již v prvních měsících používání nové aplikace přispěla k plnění prodejních cílů. Odezva systému PriceTag při hromadných změnách cenotvorby nad větším počtem zákazníků se zlepšila z řádově desítek vteřin až minut na jednotky vteřin. Systém dokáže naceňovat desítky transakcí za vteřinu. Automatické kontroly cenotvorby snižují riziko chyb v zadávaných cenách a následných reklamací koncových zákazníků,“ popisuje Vladimír Šanda, který je v Eurowagu zodpovědný za cenotvorbu. Nové řešení je také připraveno na možné budoucí rozšiřování o další funkce, produkty a obchodní modely s horizontem již v řádu několika týdnů.

O společnosti W.A.G. payment solutions

Více než 25 let inovací dělá z Eurowag jednoho z nejrychleji rostoucích poskytovatelů integrovaných řešení plateb a mobility v Evropě. Naším úkolem je zjednodušit život provozovatelům komerční silniční dopravy a poskytnout jim cenově dostupná řešení jejich obchodních potřeb. Další informace najdete na webu https://www.eurowag.com/cz.

O společnosti Ness Czech

Přední český systémový integrátor Ness Czech, součást mezinárodní skupiny Ness Digital Engineering, má v České republice dlouhou a úspěšnou historii. S pomocí technologií pomáhá společnostem využít jejich obchodní potenciál. Ness Digital Engineering navrhuje, staví a integruje digitální platformy a podnikový software a pomáhá tak organizacím získávat zákazníky, odlišit jejich značku a zvyšovat zisk. Více na staging.ness.cz.

Kontakt pro média
Kamil Pittner, Media Consultant, PRCOM, +420 604 241 482, kamil.pittner@prcom.cz

Ness Connection: Meet Adrian Faur

Meet Adrian Faur, our Marketing and Public Relations Specialist in Timisoara, Romania. Adrian has many years of experience in marketing, advertising and even spent some time working on the radio! His knowledge and expertise are extremely valuable to our tams not only in Romania but across the globe.

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

A: I am responsible for marketing and communication (internal and external) in Ness Timisoara. I work very closely with the recruitment team for our hiring campaigns, taking care of our communication channels, social media, outdoor, news media, and organize technical events (internal and external) related to the technologies we are using here in Timisoara. Also, together with my colleagues from the HR department, Mihaela and Andreea, we take care of several sections of the EDGE calendar.

Q: How do you take your coffee?

A: Black, no sugar, with biscuits.

Let me clarify. I’m not a big coffee drinker. Actually, I’ve been drinking more coffee than I used to since I came to Ness. We have coffee machines in the kitchen here making it easily accessible because I can get a cup of coffee faster than a cup of tea, I started drinking coffee almost every day.

Q: What’s on your to-do list?

A: On a personal level, long term, I want to be a good example for my kids. Short term, I want to make sure I spend more quality time with them.

Professionally the next major item on my list is the Web Summit. In November together with my colleague Giorgiana from Ness Iasi, we will travel to Lisbon. This event gathers the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to present the future of technology. It is very informational, and I always feel that we come away having learned so much that we can leverage for Ness. I am truly looking forward to it.

Also, a few other items on my list are our 2021 winter campaign, Urban Heroes which we are also launching together with our colleagues from Iasi. As well as finishing my Google Ads Certification.

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

A: Petra in Jordan. Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert. These amazing structures are half-built, half-carved into the cliffs dating back over 2000 years.

For me, such places are proof that the only limits are the ones we set ourselves.

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

Do not forget why you do what you do. I heard this phrase from several people I met along the way; people I respected a lot. One of these people was my teacher, she was also part of the Romanian national volleyball team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. A teacher with solid principles and values.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?

A: Marketing is full of challenges and is ever-changing. I’ve never become tired of preparing campaigns or looking for new solutions. The creative aspect of marketing keeps my job interesting, there is always something new to try, different trends to incorporate into campaigns, and new ideas, tools, and designs I get to work with every day.

Q: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

A: In Romania, we have a few dishes that might seem strange to people who are not native to the country. But those I am going to keep secret so we can surprise my colleagues from other Ness centers when they visit.

In my book though, the most unusual thing I have ever tried was a Chinese drink. One day while I was at a Chinese restaurant in Bucharest I received a drink that was presented in a bottle. It contained a dead snake! I still can’t believe I drank it. Surprisingly, it tasted very similar to a traditional Romanian drink called Tuica. I cannot recall the Chinese name of the drink anymore, in fact, I forgot it very quickly at the time I think I  had too much adrenaline coursing through me on account of the snake 🙂

Q: What’s one word you would use to describe Ness and why?

A: Diversity! I have the pleasure of working with many people around the globe daily. One of my favorite parts about my week is our global marketing and human resource-related calls. It’s amazing how all the cultural differences seem to bring us closer together. We use these calls to update each other on the different events and campaigns going on in each region, and how we can help each other out or leverage off each other’s experiences for the future. I am always very curious to know, to see, to understand the “why” behind all those, events, campaigns, proposals, etc., and learning more about the different cultures that make up Ness. I’m also very grateful for how much I have learned from all of you guys… Cosmina, Carla, Giovanna, Stano, Vivek, Giorgiana, Ana… and many more that I could not imagine working without.

 

 

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

Ness rozšiřuje své expertní služby o řešení Xpertdoc

Praha, 7. října 2021: Ness Czech, přední český systémový integrátor, uzavřel partnerství se společností Xpertdoc, globálním lídrem v oblasti řešení pro generování a automatizaci dokumentů.

Xpertdoc se soustředí na to, aby umožnil organizacím digitální transformaci procesů zaměřených na tvorbu dokumentů a usnadnit práci uživatelům. Řešení Xpertdoc zjednodušují, optimalizují, zrychlují a automatizují vytváření dokumentů, jejich generování, správu, doručování, ukládání nebo elektronické podepisování. Všechny tyto procesy lze přitom snadno řídit pomocí přednastavených pravidel a parametrů.

Řešení Xpertdoc pomáhají získávat obchodně využitelná data z různých zdrojů, například ze systémů CRM pro správu personalizované komunikace se zákazníky. Xpertdoc má silnou pozici u zákazníků, kteří využívají služby Salesforce a Microsoft Dynamics/Dynamics 365. Zde hraje významnou roli také Ness Czech, když jako konzultační firma pomáhá tato řešení implementovat,“ přibližuje Ondřej Axmann, Vice President pro finanční sektor ve společnosti Ness Czech.

Xpertdoc nabízí svá řešení pro firmy působící ve všech odvětvích podnikání, od výroby po finanční sektor, k zákazníkům patří malé i velké mezinárodní společnosti, neziskový sektor i státní správa. Ústředí společnosti sídlící v Kanadě má zákazníky po celém světě. Jsou mezi nimi například Metro Bank, Otis, Paccar, Husky, Standard & Poor’s a stovky dalších.

Oproti konkurenci podporují řešení Xpertdoc možnost práce s více jazyky v rámci jedné šablony dokumentu, konfiguraci komplexních obchodních pravidel, integraci dat a obrázků z více entit v rámci CRM systému i z externích zdrojů jako jsou SharePoint a FTP. Řešení dokáží generovat komplexní grafy a čárové kódy, vyžadují minimální IT podporu a jejich používání je velmi snadné.

Xpertdoc si zvolil Ness jako vůbec prvního dodavatele v ČR a SR. „Hledali jsme spolehlivého partnera se solidním renomé, čemuž odpovídala volba Ness Czech, významné poradenské firmy v oblasti informačních technologií v regionu. Xpertdoc a Ness Czech budou společně zákazníkům pomáhat dosáhnout digitální transformace,“ říká Anthony Mansour, Business Development Partner ve společnosti Xpertdoc.

O Xpertdoc

Xpertdoc, značka Experlogixu, je celosvětovým lídrem v oblasti řešení pro generování a automatizaci dokumentů. Jejím posláním je umožnit organizacím digitálně transformovat procesy zaměřené na dokumenty a posílit postavení podnikových uživatelů tím, že zjednoduší, optimalizuje a automatizuje vytváření, generování, správu, doručování, ukládání a elektronické podepisování lepších dokumentů, a to rychleji. Navštivte www.xpertdoc.com a dozvíte se více.

O společnostech Ness Czech a Ness Digital Engineering

Ness Czech, přední český systémový integrátor a součást mezinárodní skupiny Ness Digital Engineering, patří mezi největší poskytovatele IT služeb v České republice. Od roku 1993 se profiluje jako průkopník v zavádění nových technologií a softwarových produktů. Mezi nejvýznamnější zákazníky patří například O2 Czech Republic, Komerční Banka a ČÚZK. Ness Digital Engineering je globální poskytovatel komplexních řešení a služeb v oblasti informačních technologií.

Kontakt pro média
Kamil Pittner, Media Consultant, PRCOM, +420 604 241 482, kamil.pittner@prcom.cz

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