A Capital Markets Regulator Modernizes Risk Platform to Improve Compliance​

Case Study

A Capital Markets Regulator Modernizes Risk Platform to Improve Compliance

The solution increases development velocity by leveraging Infrastructure as Code.

Overview

The client is one of the world’s leading fixed-income managers. With a focus on long-term fundamental value investing that employs a top-down and bottom-up approach, the client has been recognized for emphasizing team management and intensive proprietary research supported by robust risk management.

Challenge

The client embarked on a technology modernization initiative to optimize the investment management process further. The first step was to re-architect their real-time pre-trade compliance engine to achieve scalable performance, modern architecture for enhanced portfolio management optimizations, and a high-velocity development process. The re-architected system had to support simultaneous trades, each with hundreds of accounts and each account often having dozens of specific guidelines. Also, the system needed to be robust enough to handle the vast amount of data with data and inter-trade dependencies processing in real-time. Peak computation alone took millions of calculations per second to achieve prompt response times, not including timely data delivery.​

Solution

To meet the challenge, Ness leveraged a Kafka-based streaming architecture and developed a repeatable pattern for stepwise technology modernization, enabling the transition to the cloud without business disruption. We recommended AWS as the infrastructure solution and designed a Re-Orchestration and Data Modernization architecture to achieve near-perfect parallelism, allowing the client to increase capacity at peak times with a throughput of just one second as overall trading volumes and automation algorithms grow. The AWS-based infrastructure increased the stability, resiliency, fault tolerance, and cost savings.​

Result

The client achieved a near-perfect scaling of all 1.5 million calculations. The solution increased development velocity by leveraging Infrastructure as Code, allowing each developer to test variable configurations of a Confluent Kafka and Flink application in AWS. Ness also established a brand-new data governance process leveraging Confluent Cloud and Kafka Schema Registry.​

A Post-trade Provider Adds FRTB Data Service to Optimize Balance Sheet Capital

Case Study

A Post-trade Provider Adds FRTB Data Service to Optimize Balance Sheet Capital

The solution provides extendibility, allowing migration of legacy platforms to the new architecture

Overview

The client provides post-trade market infrastructure for the financial industry, automating, centralizing, and standardizing the processing of financial transactions to mitigate risk, increase transparency, and drive efficiencies across market participants.

Challenge

To allow customers to optimize their balance sheet capital, the client wanted to offer a Real-Price Observation service as part of the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) regulation. This service assists financial industry participants with risk factors, allowing positions in their trading book to be capitalized using internal models. The client wanted Ness to partner with them to co-develop a front-to-back solution using scalable aggregation and an agile DevOps-first approach.​

FRTB updates the minimum capital requirements for market risk to address shortcomings of the current Basel III market risk capital framework. The client is uniquely positioned to assist the industry with its FRTB data needs for Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives and cash instruments to test models for illiquid instrument classes.

Solution

Ness designed and implemented an AWS-based scalable platform for real-price observations. One of the key features was the de-duplication of 1.2 billion transactions across all asset classes. The data transformation layer processed 18 months of anonymized transaction data, including validation of lifecycle events. This data was then made available for consumption by the data aggregation layer. We built a platform for multi-dimensional analysis with an average query response time of five seconds across 150+ users. The platform allowed business-rules-based filtering and drill-down capabilities, enabling regulators to analyze results based on observation across asset classes. Ness also built the alerting capability to notify risk factor eligibility changes.

Result

The client delivered a scalable service that measured the modellability and capital impacts, maximizing risk capital charge efficiencies. Ness built the solution with extendibility, allowing the client to migrate other legacy platforms to the new architecture and provide new revenue-generating opportunities. The client was also able to conduct new ideation workshops using AI/ML to provide advanced analytics around pricing models and P&L attribution.

A Leading Social Media Company Transforms Video Streaming Platform for Improved Customer Responsiveness ​

Case Study

A Leading Social Media Company Transforms Video Streaming Platform for Improved Customer Responsiveness

The new global content delivery solution achieves 100% delivery accuracy on time and within budget.​

Overview

The client is a leading social media company built around passions, bringing like-minded people, fans, icons, creators, and brands together in communities—blending epic online and offline events—centered around music, arts & entertainment, games, interests and community. Their innovative new business model is based on commercializing social experiences, and the platform is built around video content.​

Challenge

The media playback performance on both servers and cloud servers was inadequate, causing the client to miss key performance KPIs on CPU utilization, memory usage, and battery consumption, making it a business-critical problem that needed to be solved quickly.​

Solution

To help the client improve their user experience and meet their KPIs, Ness presented several options to optimize the performance of their applications. We scaled the proof of concept into a full delivery setup just two months after kicking off the product. We also expanded the scope to include developing a live streaming component based on Amazon IVS.​

Result

Ness supported the client in meeting their ambitious go-to-market timeline by overcoming performance challenges and securing a seamless user experience. Ness’s solution delivered up to 97% performance improvement in CPU consumption in native video players and up to 60% improvement in memory consumption.​

A Leading Music Publishing Company Improves Metadata to Streamline Tracking and Artist Royalty Payments

Case Study

A Leading Music Publishing Company Improves Metadata to Streamline Tracking and Artist Royalty Payments

An authoritative metadata system across multiple sites improves artist royalty reconciliation​

Overview

The client is one of the leading music publishing companies. With a catalog of many million songs, they are responsible for ensuring artists receive payment when their compositions are used commercially.

Challenge

Music publishing businesses around the world have been trying to solve data sufficiency and accuracy challenges and digital consumption of music has made it even harder, making it imperative for publishing businesses to find ways to improve their processes that track composition usage and be able to accurately pay royalties.

Solution

Ness designed a new system to ingest high amounts of diverse data from different external data sources into a unified model for the business that consolidates existing systems into an authoritative source of recording metadata.

Result

In the last 12 months, metadata volume has increased from 500,000 records to more than 100 million records—through ingestion from just one external data source.

A Leading Canadian Bank Modernizes Card Issuance to Drive Customer Experience​

Case Study

A Leading Canadian Bank Modernizes Card Issuance to Drive Customer Experience​​

Faster verification and key features like Apple and Google Pay integration improve credit card usage, attract new customers, and drive revenue.​

Overview

The client is the financial services subsidiary of a leading Canadian retail chain and is one of the largest card issuers in Canada with an industry-leading loyalty program. The client has embarked on a strategic growth plan to invest in its omnichannel customer experience to create a modern, cloud-native digital-first platform.

Challenge

The client was issuing credit cards to bank customers through their contact services channel, which took 7-10 days because of the many disjointed systems and processes required for card issuance, making the client less competitive in the space and impacting growth. The client recognized the need to streamline the process and get credit cards into the hands of customers faster.

Solution

Ness executed a complete digital transformation that involved systems for real-time KYC, address verification, activation, fraud management, card issuance, PIN management, tokenization, and account management. It also included real-time activation and integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay to help stimulate credit card usage. Ness created a seamless multi-channel workflow solution for customers and affiliate/partner networks and co-created the architecture and design to build a new rebranded credit card.

Result

With Ness’s solution in place, credit card issuance increased by 30% and time-to-market improved with instant activation that boosted card usage significantly. In addition, the solution allowed the client to be the first bank to integrate their credit card with Apple Pay in Canada.

A Leading EdTech Company Modernizes their Assessment Platform to Deliver Improved End-to-end Assessment Solutions​

Case Study

A Leading EdTech Company Modernizes their Assessment Platform to Deliver Improved End-to-end Assessment Solutions​

A competitive analysis led to complete digitization, which enabled the client to develop solutions faster, scale operations, and lower costs.​

Overview

The client is one of the world’s leading education companies and the largest global comprehensive provider of educational assessment products, services, and solutions that promote learning and academic achievements.

Challenge

The client wanted to deliver a modern solution and value-added services for a platform that helps learners assess and evaluate their current skills and readiness for college-level courses through adaptive assessments, precise instant scoring, and suitable course placements. They also wanted a product roadmap to meet the ever-increasing demands in the EdTech space and match the paradigm shift of digitization in assessment platforms. Their goal was to deliver adaptive logic in assessments, provide a high level of interoperability, shift to paperless, address accessibility demands, and enable practice before actuals.

Solution

Ness improved the end-to-end assessment solutions for a platform to make it more competitive and increase revenue share with higher student coverage. We performed a competitive analysis to build the most compelling features and implemented a robust strategy for cloud migration, modernizing their learning platforms to enable content, learning, assessments, and credentials as microservices, allowing a high level of interoperability. We also revamped the application for better usability, features, and simplified navigations, making it easier to adapt flows. As a result, Ness was able to cater to the adaptivity pattern in the next-generation assessments and automate the loading and validating of the questions process. We managed question banks with advanced content packaging solutions and transformed the linear paper-based tests into digital e-assessments. We also built the proctor certification platform, set a practice platform, built a platform to provide instant course recommendations, and implemented effortless onboarding of new customers.

Result

The client experienced an unprecedented period of stability, going 1,843,416 calendar minutes without an unplanned outage for the first time in five years. Test counts of the learning platform increased by 13% to 3.2 million tests a year for CAT and 15% to 450,000+ tests for subjective. The new platform improved scoring efficiency with zero re-score requests out of 457,706 essays annually and significantly reduced the score wait time for 900+ students. The client gained accessibility to 20% more learners and reduced operational costs by 40%.

The Top Five Myths About CRM Integration Debunked

Customer relationship management (CRM) software has been helping companies manage, monitor, and improve the customer experience since the mid-1990s. It is a proven business asset that is becoming a necessity as changes in consumer behavior and expectations have accelerated the need for companies to provide a seamless customer experience.

This surge in demand—coupled with sophisticated technological advances such as artificial intelligence, connected devices, and cloud-based functionality—has analysts predicting the global CRM market will grow from $57.83 billion in 2021 to a whopping $145.79 billion in 2029.

Even so, some companies remain hesitant to implement a CRM solution. Whether this reluctance stems from a lack of information, an unwillingness to change, or some other reason altogether, these businesses continue to miss out on the many benefits driven by an effective CRM platform.

In this article, we debunk many of the myths that hold businesses back from adopting a CRM solution.

Table of Contents

Myth 1: CRM is only for large enterprises, and only the sales team will use it.
Myth 2: CRM solutions aren’t customizable.
Myth 3: CRM implementation is too difficult and overly time-consuming.
Myth 4: CRM introduces security risks.
Myth 5: A CRM solution is too expensive.

Myth 1: CRM is only for large enterprises, and only the sales team will use it.

CRM can be a game-changer for any business with customers, whether that business is small, medium-sized, or large.

Yes, big corporations lead the charge with CRM because they need the technology to help manage their enormous customer databases. But CRM solutions have evolved considerably since then, becoming multi-faceted and feature-rich, with capabilities to create synergies and improvements throughout virtually any business.

Sales teams can always use CRM to reduce response times, accelerate deal closures and expand cross-selling and upselling. However, today’s CRM systems offer broader and more far-reaching benefits, from enhancing communication and collaboration across departments to improving product development and forecasting.

When implemented effectively, CRM unifies and streamlines all customer interactions. Now that the buying journey includes more touchpoints than ever before, businesses increasingly rely on it to deliver a consistent and timely customer experience.

Myth 2: CRM solutions aren’t customizable.

Some businesses operate under the assumption that no CRM system can match their personalized customer processes. These businesses do not want to conform to a generic, cookie-cutter CRM system—and the good news is, they shouldn’t have to.

CRM solutions are customizable, and it is essential for any CRM implementation to involve working with the selected vendor to develop any necessary process realignment. After all, the goal is to offer even better customer service than before, and that is precisely what a well-implemented system will do.

With the right strategy and effective implementation, a CRM solution will provide a refined view of customer segments, enabling more targeted and individualized interactions with those customers.

Myth 3: CRM implementation is too difficult and overly time-consuming.

At its core, this myth boils down to a fear of change. Businesses are accustomed to operating and managing their customers in a certain way. That means they are reluctant to adopt new practices. Sales teams, in particular, often get locked in place with a reliance on conventional tools like Excel, Outlook, or even paper notepads and Post-its.

Overcoming this friction can be complicated by other deleterious misperceptions. For example, some salespeople worry that they will lose control over customer relationships if they enter all their data into a single, shared system.

At times, motivating employees to adopt a CRM solution can be an exercise in change management, which is why it is critical to listen to users’ needs and priorities early in the process (during vendor selection, if possible), provide the proper training, and rack up early, convincing wins.

Myth 4: CRM introduces security risks.

It is reasonable and prudent to be cautious about how customer data is collected, maintained, and shared within the business.

Thankfully, today’s CRM solutions typically have excellent security features designed to keep customer information safe from external attacks like ransomware and distributed denial of service (DDoS). However—and perhaps even more importantly—it is also critical for businesses to take steps that will protect customer data from internal threats.

For most companies, this means implementing a minimum access approach to the CRM system. With this approach, users are only given access to the customer data and features that they actually need with a minimum access approach.

All too often, companies implementing a CRM solution do the exact opposite: they give all users access to all the data and system features. Then, because there is so little control over what users can see or do, the security of the CRM system is compromised, which leaves gaps vulnerable to exploitation.

While internal vulnerabilities can be a security concern, they can be minimized by careful and thorough design around who has access to what data and how that access must change when people change roles or take a job elsewhere.

Myth 5: A CRM solution is too expensive.

This may be the most popular CRM myth of all, and it stems from the assumption that a CRM solution will be costly to purchase, implement, and maintain. Whenever “cost” is calculated, however, it is essential to factor in the overall value of a CRM solution and its true ROI.

In addition, much of this myth is related to project scope creep. A CRM’s implementation plan must include the allocation of time and resources to test process alignment, make the appropriate adjustments based on these tests, and provide training.

Cutting corners in any of these areas invariably leads to patches and workarounds, which can add to implementation costs. By contrast, when a CRM implementation is well planned from the beginning, any subsequent changes are limited, and the overall project can be managed within budget.

In today’s ultra-competitive global marketplace, it is imperative for businesses to gain a competitive advantage by focusing on the customer experience. CRM software can help companies of all sizes streamline, automate, and monitor customer relationships. In turn, this enables businesses to optimize sales, service, and marketing processes, and strategically deliver the exceptional personalized customer experiences that drive revenue.

About the Author

Vipul Taylor is a certified Salesforce architect at Ness Digital Engineering, with over 15 years of experience in designing secure, high-performance technical solutions that maximize the potential of the Salesforce platform. Vipul is an expert at technical solution design and providing a delivery framework that ensures quality and success.

About CIO Insight

CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations. CIO Insight is an ideal website for IT decision makers, systems integrators and administrators, and IT managers to stay informed about emerging technologies, software developments and trends in the IT security and management industry.

A Smart Energy Management Company Develops a Home Energy Management Platform to Help Customers Save on Energy Bills

Case Study

A Smart Energy Management Company Develops a Home Energy Management Platform to Help Customers Save on Energy Bills​

The digital transformation solution helps customers be more sustainable and save money on their energy bills​

Overview

Over the past 11 years, the client has successfully developed more than 25 products and sold over four million energy monitoring systems. Primarily working with utility providers and constantly breaking new ground in the home energy industry, they strive to make energy consumption smarter by helping their customers save on energy bills through fully integrated end-to-end data services with insight reporting to automate the next best action.​

Challenge

The client wanted to build a next-generation Home Energy Management System (HEMS) that could be installed as part of the smart meter rollout in the UK market. They lacked a system that could automate energy savings across the various systems and appliances in an energy-consuming home. The solution would be different from their previous HEMS, leveraging the capabilities of the home’s smart meters. This, combined with the latest IoT technology, would increase their capability and reduce cost.​

Solution

Ness established a dedicated Intelligent Engineering Centre for the client to build the device software and platform, delivering several HEMS initiatives, including: ​

  • Digital Platform: Converted the legacy data platform into a cloud-based, AWS-powered platform that took advantage of cloud components to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency ​
  • Heating Control: Embedded software development for RF edge devices such as smart thermostats for controlling individual heating zones, smart switches for controlling the boiler, and communication hubs for connecting all pieces together​
  • Water Control: Embedded software development for RF edge devices such as detecting water leakage and closing a valve to avoid property damage​
  • Energy Monitoring: Embedded software development for RF edge devices such as energy monitors and In-home Displays (IHDs) for interfacing with smart electricity and gas meters to visualize and analyze the usage​

Result

Ness helped the client deliver more than half a million new units in one year, saving over 400 GBP per average household per year and reducing carbon emissions and gas consumption.​

A Large Metro Transportation Service Provider Introduces A Predictive Solution to Improve Traffic Throughput

Case Study

A Large Metro Transportation Service Provider Introduces A Predictive Solution to Improve Traffic Throughput

The digital transformation solution provides passengers real-time scheduling information through multiple information system channels​

Overview

The client is a Crown agency of the Government of Ontario, with a transit system that improves the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas.​

Challenge

Before partnering with Ness, the client predicted the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) of their trains using static rules built using statistics and physics methodologies. To modernize this approach and leverage digital engineering solutions, the client wanted to use predictive analytics and data from diverse sources to increase the accuracy of the ETA in dynamic conditions and in real time.​

Solution

Ness’s solution improved ETA accuracy significantly, with 92% of predictions now achieved within 3-minutes of actual arrival time. It helped the client optimize available resources for a given trip or the broader operational network. In addition, the client can now push out more precise information to customers to provide a more accurate ETA, with visibility beyond a single station. Overall, predictive analytics made it possible to optimize train operations and capacity planning for the client.​

Result

The predictive analytics designed by Ness predicted the actual time spent at each stop during a trip, the impact of external factors (such as weather), and passenger flow. ETA predictions are updated every 5 to 10 seconds by leveraging historical and real-time data. With the added benefits of CCTV cameras, signal data, and track failure data, the client and their passengers benefit from a modern, streamlined transportation system and more accurate departure and arrival times.​

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