Major Project Review FX System Replacement

August 10, 2015

A prominent European bank with global interests and a large presence in emerging markets was replacing its legacy FX platform with a new system from a different vendor. The project had been significantly overrunning and the business required an urgent review of progress and approach. The client engaged Brickendon to conduct a review into the project with a specific focus on the design for 24 x 5.5 availability.

The Challenges

  • The engagement had to be conducted without impacting the timescales or diverting staff
  • Considerable sensitivity was needed to manage the relationship between the business and project which had been damaged by increased costs and delays to the timeline
  • The age of the outgoing system meant there were more than 100 system interfaces
  • The project had agreed a phased migration to the new platform over a prolonged 6-month period
  • A detailed technical and business analysis was required into the underlying reasons behind a daily hour-long system maintenance outage which the project had recently discovered
  • Extensive management and technology consulting had to be performed in limited time
  • Trust between the business and the project had declined and needed to be rebuilt
  • The project was very high profile and had considerable management attention at the most senior levels

The Brickendon Solution

  • Brickendon leveraged their extensive systems knowledge, coupled with a deep understanding of the Foreign Exchange business to understand the cause of the one hour outage, to explain the underlying causes to the business, and to work with the vendor to performance tune the system. The downtime was reduced to under two minutes and was accepted by the business, removing a major blocker to the project.
  • Brickendon worked closely with the project team, the business and stakeholders to improve communications and understanding between the groups and enhance relationships. By the end of the engagement, trust had been re-established, the business was supporting the project and the project team had the confidence to proceed.

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The Brickendon Model
A collaborative approach was fostered throughout the project. Key stakeholder groups across the client were proactively included, with a highly visible and transparent level of communication. The specialist knowledge of the Brickendon Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) meant that a deep understanding of the underlying issue was swiftly understood and explained to all parties. Detailed technical training was provided for the client’s support staff.

Team Integration
The Brickendon team worked hard to swiftly establish credibility and excellent relationships with all parties. Brickendon engaged sympathetically with the existing project team and were able to empower and enable them, advising and informing their decisions and supporting them with the business.

Development and Testing
The detailed level of competitor analysis and assessment of rival services and solutions in the wider market place provided an indicative benchmark for the client to exceed.

Client Benefits

  • The client succeeded in meeting all of the planned and desired delivery targets throughout the lifecycle of the project; both services to the customer and revenue generation uplift
  • The new front-end operational solution represented a fresh step forward for the client. It sent a clear message to the market that servicing the customer and offering the very best of breed is paramount
  • The client is now better equipped to identify and monitor future customer flow and use this information intelligently to build better customer activity profiles, allowing greater tactical planning and future Management Information System (MIS) strategy
  • The platform was successfully rolled out to the client’s international customer-base spanning EMEA, the US and Asia
  • The new operating model experienced a greater level of risk transparency, reporting metrics and customer visibility

Key Success Factors

  • Deep understanding of the business and technology
  • Strong vendor relationship and experience of the specific system
  • Methodical approach to the project design and execution
  • High degree of diplomacy

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