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Crossing-Tech™'s Engagement in a Fast-Growing Financial Institution in the Middle East

Published 29 July 2009 | By Crossing-Tech™

An organisation engaged in brokerage, asset management and financial services within the Gulf area. To meet the financial institution's objectives of renewal of their entire IT system to meet goals set by investors, the organisation decided to opt for packaged solutions.

Originally, the FI had an internally developed solution that could not sustain multi-national expansion. The use of the packaged solutions was envisaged to boost its ability towards performing as a powerful regional player. The project started in 2007.

The packaged solutions were acquired from reputable vendors. Each of these was the result of research by the financial institution and they had a plan for implementing each of these.

Next, a pragmatic approach was called for to connect the core, trading and reporting engines. This is the point at which Crossing-Tech™ were chosen due to their in-depth knowledge of the FI's business processes and technology choices, rapid implementation times and their set of integration tools.

The multi-channel and multi-country solution at the financial institution benefits from the use of Crossing-Tech™'s Connectivity Factory: a proprietary backbone for efficiently interconnecting an organisation's IT components irrespective of their source language, storage scheme etc.

The combination of Crossing-Tech™'s tools and services gave the financial institution the leading edge needed to transform their traditional business model into a sophisticated international operation.


Packaged software systems used by the financial institution

For core banking activities, TEMENOS T24™ r8 was used (with Oracle 10g), along with TRisk. For the order management part GL Trade™ was used; New Access Xeres Reporting and Logical Access Suite were used for reporting and archiving respectively. The QUOD Financial™ solution is used for online trading.


The business challenge

The aim of the project was to build an overall integrated, fully transactional, real-time, end-to-end banking platform addressing brokerage, online trading, private banking, e-brokerage, e-banking needs, supporting real-time buying power, pre-trade compliance and market risk analysis.

Specific functional requirements included VaR computation, real-time buying power and pre-trade compliance provision.


The complexity of the case

Crossing-Tech™'s challenge was to provide an end-to-end solution that included transfer of data from the core banking system into the reporting tool and presenting this data in native Arabic format. So on top of the usual integration issues involved in such cases, there was also the required language mapping to be performed as well.


Business benefits to the financial institution

The financial institution would be able to sustain growth and rapid expansion as a result of this engagement. They aim to be a leading asset management and financial services company in the Gulf region by providing innovative investment products and services.

For example, they would like to offer a full panel of banking services including ATM and brokerage. Towards this aim, Crossing-Tech™ aimed to create for them a federative and flexible functional and technical architecture, in an e-brokerage, e-trading environment.


Business benefits to FI's customers

As a result of this project, the financial institution's customers are provided with access to a real-time and non-stop trading platform for all Gulf-based countries with multi-channel e-brokerage/e-trading capabilities.


The technical challenge for Crossing-Tech™

Since the beginning of the project, Crossing-Tech™ faced the tasks of performing overall integration, architecture and technology directions, comprising high-level risk analysis, all data flow and data flow interchanges modelling related to market risk management and buying power and data management.

Additionally, the whole pre-trade compliance and VaR computation analysis and compliance with stock exchange regulations required the technical services of Crossing-Tech™, as did migration from the legacy system.

Each of the applications involved (eg. TEMENOS T24™, GL Trade™) have their own connectivity and protocols. The technical challenge of this project was to connect these applications in terms of business data and platforms. For this, Crossing-Tech™ needed a communications factory put in place in a quick timeframe. This was achieved according to both time and budget constraints.


The time to market challenge

Crossing-Tech™ needed to address timing issues related to smooth transition towards new services in a reasonable amount of time. This meant Crossing-Tech™ were bound by strict deadlines for delivery and needed to perform all installation and customisation work plus testing so the new system could go live without any effect on the FI's day-to-day operations.


The architecture deployed

One major aim of the deployed architecture is to relieve TEMENOS T24™, of the processing load due to reporting as much as possible. To this end, Crossing-Tech™ had to make trade-offs between efficiency and complexity to provide the financial institution with a powerful yet lightweight data transfer between the core and reporting engines.


The applications involved

This is essentially an e-trading and e-brokerage front-office on top of the centralised back-office system for retail and private banking activities. Due to the business model of the FI, Crossing-Tech™ also needed to blend in to the overall picture risk management tools and processes.


The result obtained

Crossing-Tech™ have provided the financial institution with business-driven integration of their risk management tools and processes plus a unique market offering consisting of real time risk-related data delivery and an e-trading and e-brokerage front-office on top of their centralised back-office system for retail and private banking activities.

As a result of Crossing-Tech™'s work, the financial institution can sustain their growth strategy by means of:

  • A real-time and not-stop trading platform for all Gulf-based countries
  • Multi-channel e-brokerage/e-trading capabilities
  • Being ready for compliance and risk management

The net results obtained are more customers and the provision of quicker service.


Role of Crossing-Tech™ in case success

The role of Crossing-Tech™ was key in making this project a success since the complexity of the integration and customisation work required in-depth working knowledge of TEMENOS T24™,  and how it can be efficiently connected to other corporate sub-systems.

Crossing-Tech™'s role was also pivotal in project governance and IT strategy and architecture consulting so as to manage the inherent complexity in such an environment while maximising the synergy amongst the various systems and stakeholders involved.

In brief, Crossing-Tech™ was able to manage all system planning, technical, application integration and data flow interchange aspects related to solutions selected by the FI.