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The European Central Bank (ECB) needed to create a brand new market for Asset Based Securities (ABD) that was fast, efficient and secure. They turned to NTT Europe and partner Sapient who delivered an award winning solution the European DataWarehouse.

The challenge for European DataWarehouse

Following the economic crisis in 2008, the European Central Bank (ECB) took steps to improve transparency and restore trust in the European ABS market which resulted in the creation of the European DataWarehouse (ED). ED was created in order to provide a central point for organisations to lodge ABS data in an open environment with significantly increased data quality, standardisation and transparency.

This service is accessible by all ABS market participants, including loan originators, servicers, trustees, rating agencies and investors for which loan-level information is available in a central data repository. By standardising the way in which this data is collected, validated and stored, it allows investors, traders, risk managers and others to access timely and reliable performance information.

The European DataWarehouse provides valuable data services to its customers via fully integrated software built by Sapient Global Markets. To address the complex functional requirements as well as the strict corporate governance rules, and with the service being used by financial institutions, the ED software needed to be hosted on a central, secure and resilient platform to give data providers and data users efficient, safe and real-time access to the required data.

Operating on the private cloud of NTT Communications in Europe (NTT Europe), this Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was chosen to ensure total integrity and security of the data it contained. NTT Europe’s cloud services support high-availability and secure data processing to enable real-time credit scoring, linked directly to banks via a web interface.

A cloud with big clout

With the opportunity to design and build an infrastructure from the ground up and not having the worry of integrating with or migrating legacy IT systems, NTT Europe and Sapient Global Markets designed a sophisticated cloud platform to address ED’s business challenges. Even for a relatively small organisation like ED, the combination of the latest technology, from IaaS to the bespoke software application designed for ED, provides a large-scale IT platform while maintaining cost-efficiency.

ED has high visibility with the major institutions in the ABS market, so it’s essential to provide a professional and highly reliable service in a secure environment. Cloud provides the power to help an organisation get to the forefront of its market and, in ED’s case, the power to help impact the financial services market; high data availability and total application stability are non-negotiable and critical to ED’s success.

So how does a new business in the financial services market become respected as a credible provider of ABS level data? ED chose business and IT partners that could not only bring the necessary experience and expertise, but also the insight and understanding of what ECB and ED were setting out to achieve: a brand-new approach to standardization, quality and availability of financial instruments performance data.

New opportunities for financial services

Cloud enablement means agility, data sovereignty, cost efficiency, reliability and availability. And with experienced IT partners and leading technology solutions, cloud computing technology, in the right hands, provides a stable and uninterrupted service that can be adapted as the business evolves.

With operational costs under control, ED has been able to place considerable focus on innovation. For instance, when the number of customers and ABS Deals increases, NTT Europe’s private cloud can scale to accommodate this extra traffic. Plus, from an operational perspective, performance monitoring and capacity planning can be fully integrated using the modern cloud infrastructure and is an integral part of the further developments roadmap of this NTT Europe cloud service solution.

In addition, Sapient Global Markets has enabled ED to include a variety of services, such as complex data mapping and enrichment – the conversion of data between formats which is required by different regulators such as the ECB and Bank of England – and the streamlining of two-way communication between regulators and data users through custom-built connectivity channels. Both, NTT Europe and Sapient Global Markets, were jointly responsible for developing the functional and infrastructure requirements for the hosted service, where management of complex IT architectures through server virtualisation was a big driver to simplify the management on the client side.

The entire solution is underpinned by NetApps' primary storage, disk based back-up recovery and cross-site resilience, which provides secure and isolated workloads in a unified computing environment. And, to maintain high availability of the ABS market data, ED is hosted across two data centres – Frankfurt, where ED is headquartered, and London. Maintaining industry compliance, particularly where security and data sovereignty is concerned, is a big issue for the finance sector. By having two data centres, ED can ensure that even during a disaster, data is always secure and customer service continues without interruption.

Operating on a private dedicated cloud service, data hosting is located in Europe to ensure data sovereignty to European DataWarehouse and its customers. Information Security Management is under-pinned by NTT Europe’s ISO27001 certifications, which are independently audited for the delivery and support of managed network services and cloud solutions used by European DataWarehouse.  NTT Europe’s cloud services support high-availability and secure data processing via an encrypted web interface.

Stefan Brandmeier, COO, European DataWarehouse comments: “To meet our exceptionally high requirements for security, quality, availability and sustainability we must fully leverage the power of modern IT infrastructure.

NTT has a proven track-record and proven experience in employing bespoke technology within global markets. Also NTT has well understood the organisational and leadership challenges that need to be mastered to be able to provide an effectively managed IT service.”

Through minimum capital investment, ED provides the sector with a cost-efficient service through process, automation, virtualisation and agility, all while providing an enriched experience for the end-user. The financial markets in Europe will benefit from the resilient service ED offers, thanks to the power of the cloud.

Bob Welton, Regional Director of Northern Europe, NTT Comms said: “For financial organisations like European DataWarehouse – security, control and compliance are core business principles that need to be a priority for any prospective cloud provider. We identified that European DataWarehouse needed a cloud platform that was able to adhere to these core business principles but still be a cost effective, reliable and scalable service. For a business to move to the cloud, they will need a bespoke solution that is tailored to its business engine. Our expertise lies in developing bespoke cloud solutions and understanding how it can address an organisation’ key business and IT challenges.”

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