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Dimension as a Service Increases Performance, Flexes Costs

Established in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1971, SimCorp serves more than 300 of the world’s leading asset managers, fund managers, asset servicers, pension and insurance funds, wealth managers, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, and treasury firms. Its flagship solution, SimCorp Dimension, is used by customers to manage more than USD 19 trillion in assets. SimCorp employs more than 2,300 people, all of whom are dedicated to offering top-notch software and services to the investment industry.

Business challenge

Investment firms worldwide use SimCorp Dimension software to manage their customers’ portfolios. While these firms highly value the software, many of them see owning and running data centers as an increasingly costly distraction from core business.

SimCorp understood that the financial services market was shifting from traditional licensed software running on-prem towards software-as-a-service [SaaS] models. When he took over as Head of Strategic Vendor Management at Simcorp, Richard Laugesen knew that SimCorp had to meet that need for existing customers.

“By providing a SaaS solution, we recognized that we could take the operational headache away from our customers and step up to being a trusted service provider rather than just a vendor,” says Laugesen.


30-40% performance boost for most customers

Fast onboarding of new customers

Fast and easy adjustment of capacity and costs

Turning Necessity into an Opportunity

Beyond relieving customers of the burden of deploying and running Dimension in their own data centers, the SimCorp team saw an opportunity for business growth.

The new delivery model would open up a new category of potential customers: smaller businesses that previously lacked the resources to deploy and manage their own SimCorp solution.

By offering Dimension as a service, SimCorp also would be able to develop and deliver new features to customers more quickly and without the heavy customer service touch often involved in version upgrades.

When services are delivered on virtual resources in a private cloud, all customers benefit from the capability to scale capacity (and costs) up and down in line with changing needs. And companies using SaaS solutions also benefit from the expertise and economies of scale that cloud service providers can offer.

For SimCorp, these were compelling potential benefits both for existing on-prem customers and new prospects. “Our vision was to provide a seamless service to investment management firms, so that they can focus on their core business without having to think about owning and operating IT infrastructure,” says Laugesen. “The opportunity for our company was clear: We could offer better solutions, at lower cost to our customers, and with increased flexibility and scalability.”

Meeting the highest software standards

Operating in one of the most highly regulated industries, SimCorp’s customers often need to comply with multiple local, regional and global regulations. In adopting the new as-a-service software delivery model, SimCorp would need to support the highest standards in availability, security, privacy, cyber-resilience and recoverability.

“Given the industry we serve, it was vital to create a truly world-class platform for our new SaaS model,” says Laugesen. “As well as meeting or exceeding all of the major global security and privacy standards, we targeted an industry best Recovery Time Objective with a Recovery Point Objective of just 15 minutes.” SimCorp has validated those recovery objectives in tests.

In addition to finding a long-term cloud partner capable of meeting its customers’ stringent requirements around security and resilience, SimCorp wanted to ensure rapid onboarding and low-risk migration to the new SaaS platform.

“Our customers have customers in practically every time zone, so a non-disruptive migration and ongoing constant availability were must-haves from the operational perspective,” says Laugesen.

Delivering through trusted partnership

SimCorp partnered with Kyndryl to design and build a standardized, automated, fully managed cloud landscape for its SimCorp SaaS Platform. Running on virtualized infrastructure in multiple top-tier data centers across four continents, the Kyndryl solution features cross-site mirroring of data for resilience and rapid recoverability.

Each customer’s production environment features two clustered Oracle databases for high availability, replicating asynchronously via Oracle Data Guard to a third database for disaster recovery purposes.

Kyndryl and SimCorp have successfully migrated 20 customers from a wide variety of on-prem environments to SimCorp SaaS Platform, using a detailed playbook and rigorous project management services from Kyndryl Consult to ensure a smooth, low-risk process.

“The Kyndryl solution gives us the control and security of private cloud combined with the flexibility, scalability and cost advantages of public cloud,” says Laugesen. “Working with Kyndryl continues to be a very positive experience: The team always has our backs and steps up when there’s a need for innovation.”

In the five years since go-live, Kyndryl has shown considerable flexibility, introducing private dedicated connectivity options and flexing the number of processor cores per Oracle database instance for selected customers, as well expanding the compliance scope from Europe-only to include Canada, the US and Australia.

We see our relationship with Kyndryl as a true partnership, not a client/vendor dynamic. Both of us are driven to succeed by offering a great service to clients.

-- Richard Laugesen / Head of Strategic Vendor Management / SimCorp

Building on success

SimCorp SaaS Platform enables clients to eliminate non-core activities such as hosting, operating, maintaining, and upgrading the solution. Instead of worrying about software or hardware, they can focus on faster operations and better customer service.

“Clients who migrate to SaaS typically see a performance boost of 30 to 40%,” says Laugesen. “Our clients are very happy with the solution because it offers 100% adherence to SLAs without any in-house effort.”

With no need to buy, install and configure hardware and software in their own data center, and guided by Kyndryl’s best-practice process framework, clients can get up and running in less than one week.

Thanks to the agility of the cloud model, clients can ramp services up and down as business needs change. They also benefit from greater transparency and predictability in costs.

The SimCorp SaaS Platform meets or exceeds numerous global, regional and national standards around security, compliance and privacy, including ISO27001 and NIST SP800-53, and gives clients peace of mind through quarterly disaster-recovery tests.

Looking to the future, SimCorp is developing a hyperscale, everything-as-code version of its software running on Microsoft Azure. This option introduces further automation and gives clients the ability to spin up their own virtual resources on demand rather than making a service request. Both the Azure and Kyndryls option are available for new clients. And as a strategic partner of Microsoft, Kyndryl is ready to assist as SimCorp navigates the challenges of setting up and managing clients on Azure.

April 2023

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