Banking projects

Black Sun Technology has delivered a large number of programmes in global Investment banking. The following are selected highlights.

US electronic message retention system

Black Sun Technology were called in to rescue a failing programme to deliver email and instant message capture for 17,000 bank staff in North America, based in Chicago. There was a fixed delivery date to meet a regulatory demand from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This was achieved against significant challenges in a very short timescale, by making some tough but effective decisions within the organisation and suppliers.

Process definition for outsourced working

Black Sun Technology were also called in to rescue a failing programme in Europe to improve the cost effectiveness of application development and maintenance within Group Functions (Compliance & Legal, Human Resources, Risk, Finance and Services) by means of outsourcing to specialist offshore companies in India.

An aspect of this was the operational processes, documents and tools to be used for operation of the organisation in the new outsourced environment. Working with a core team from previous contacts in ABN AMRO in the UK, we developed simple and effective processes that users would actually want and be able to understand. We identified representatives for the customers in the business areas and the outsource suppliers to work closely with them to develop a “back to basics” approach, which very quickly and cheaply allowed the delivery of processes and training to the staff which they found useful. Furthermore, this provided the structured foundation for the organisation to increase its sophistication and move towards CMMi level 2.

Northern Hemisphere IT Project Office Establishment

Investec have a central IT department servicing five internal banking units. They had a history of unstructured IT delivery with no control, traceability, predictability or successful delivery. IT projects were always orders of magnitude more expensive and behind schedule than the plans, often with requirements only partly met. The bank representatives would phone up individual IT staff on an ad hoc basis, thereby receiving unsatisfactory service.

Black Sun Technology provided programme management to set up project office to bring structure to the organisation. A programme board was set up with the IT head of each of the banking divisions, to request projects and review progress. Simple one page document templates were defined for the IT engineers (business case, change control, closure, etc), introducing a new one each week which enabled to obtain buy in and the confidence of the engineers.

Black Sun Technology wrote the Mithras web based programme management database tool to organise the information, allowing senior management complete transparency of progress and finances. At the completion of the assignment Black Sun Technology  recruited a number of project managers who were able to operate a well controlled and efficient system.

One manager stated that Black Sun Technology  “had changed the way people think – an amazing achievement”.

Other projects

Black Sun Technology has delivered over 200 investment banking projects, including;

  • LAN, WAN, voice, video and data network infrastructure rollouts
  • Systems build, integration and test to support Swift, Crest, Equation, Meridian, Vista, Euroclear, Corona, ResearchNet, InfoMatch, Compliance holdings declarations, Transaction Monitoring, Global Corporate Manager, Brady Trinity for Commodities and Forex, Continuous Linked Settlement, Straight through and batch processing.
  • System upgrade and migration for Windows server 2003, SQL server 2003, Exchange 2003, Active Directory, Symantec Enterprise Vault mail archive, Citrix
  • Security projects for firewall configuration analysis, firewall upgrade
  • New bank branch office infrastructure builds (overseas)
  • Software licensing review
  • Help desk, Service Catalogue and Service Level Agreement Delivery for IT support.
  • System backup solutions using Tivoli and Netbackup
  • Market Data Feed integration and billing reconciliation

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