When downtime is unthinkable
When a business settles USD 6 trillion a day in transactions, downtime is not an option. Every day, a significant percentage of all trades on New York stock exchanges process through Broadridge’s Fixed Income Platform, an equity-based transaction system used by 18 of the 23 largest exchange dealers. “This is Wall Street. We are Wall Street,” says Scott Anderson, Vice President (VP) of IT at Broadridge. “We cannot have an outage. That’s the way we operate at Broadridge. Our systems have such a deep effect on the market that there is no room for outages.”
Broadridge launched when Automatic Data Processing spun off its ADP Brokerage Services Group to form a new company. So, the company’s legacy is in processing, but as the financial world continued to evolve, Broadridge wanted to meet the markets with additional innovative solutions.
First, the company wanted to implement modern ways to provide the security, reliability and consistency of its current solutions for a global market. Broadridge also wanted better scalability and management to grow its business in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Then, the company wanted to develop new, innovative solutions that were driven by what it calls the “ABCDs of innovation,” with A standing for AI and robotics; B for blockchain solutions; C for the cloud; and D for digital. “What’s next for. Broadridge is really taking those ABCDs and proving that these newer technologies really do make a difference, will differentiate Broadridge, and will help our clients differentiate themselves,” says Mark Schlesinger, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Broadridge. “From a financial standpoint, our goal is to double revenue by 2023.”
To grow new solutions, Broadridge needed to further modernize its core infrastructure and get ahead of daily processing and storage demand that fluctuate with industry trading volume. “Technology many years ago used to be such an inhibitor to our business because it was always something that needed to be built, acquired, secured and measured,” Anderson says. “But we need to think of technology as something that’s already available for our clients. That way, Broadridge really helps clients get ahead of today’s challenges to capitalize on what’s next with communications, technology, data and analytics.”
“We’re a 4 billion-dollar revenue company, but the market for our model is many multiples of our current revenue. That’s how much we haven’t built up yet. And I expect us to get all of that,” Anderson says.
“The industry is constantly changing, Broadridge is constantly delivering innovative solutions, and [Kyndryl] is certainly helping us in the transformation.”
-Mark Schlesinger Chief Information Officer, Broadridge Financial Services, Inc.
From foundation to launchpad
To position itself for the future, Broadridge decided to move its Fixed Income Platform to a more flexible and dynamic infrastructure. But with such a large architecture running mission- critical applications that needed to be continually available, the stakes were high.
The company’s existing system used powerful servers that had superscalar symmetric multiprocessors with internal disks. The architecture was designed to process data within each server, rather than across shared resources. The company wanted to move to the flexibility and scalability of a storage area network (SAN) that would help create a private cloud. This shift meant that all data and processing had to be migrated to new hardware. “The fact that we had to install it all, light it all up, connect it all and migrate in a hybrid format, that was enormous,” Anderson says. “And all that had to happen in four months, with no downtime.”
Broadridge selected Kyndryl as its partner to develop a global solution with a flexible design and rock-solid reliability. The process began with an evaluation of the current state, and Kyndryl then established a benchmark center where the team loaded Broadridge applications and recreated production loads on a platform based on a dedicated instance of IBM iSeries cloud technology. This demonstrated that the new scalable architecture would deliver the required performance. Once that was proven, the team designed and launched the project to not only build the new platform, but also demonstrate the platform during the build. When the platform was completed and validated, Kyndryl and Broadridge began moving the existing systems to the new infrastructure. The schedule was aggressive but, to help ensure uninterrupted service, the team split the move over seven weekends.
And the migration never slipped its schedule, and never had a moment of downtime.
“Customers were informed about our changes, but those changes did not impact them. Something of this magnitude did not impact a single customer, and we’re really proud of that,” Anderson says.