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SIDE Securities uses Azure migration to build a scalable, secure and future-ready environment
Together with SIDE Securities Industry Data Exchange, we’re creating a platform for the future. SIDE have partnered with us to support their cloud infrastructure since their inception. To take advantage of advances in cloud technology, the decision was made to move their platform to Azure, giving them access to a future-proof cloud services portfolio.
Working together, we migrated data and applications from SIDE’s previous cloud platform to new cloud infrastructure on Azure, without any disruption to their customers. With the migration complete, we’re now exploring how SIDE can leverage the power of the Azure platform to expand their business horizons.
SIDE Securities Industry Data Exchange (SIDE™) is a market infrastructure platform developed by a team of securities industry experts.
Hundreds of regulated investment firms are connected ‘in production’, including investment managers and their Broker Dealers and Fund Accountant/ Custodians.
SIDE provides industry counterparties the ‘safe and secure bridge’ to obtain the benefits of modern technology use, directly and by seamless integration with their existing platforms.
Building the foundation for the next stage in technological evolution
SIDE Securities Industry Data Exchange is an advanced technology platform driven by industry thought leadership.
The company created a community-based service model to serve a marketplace that prioritizes stability, privacy and absolute trust between its own organizations and its service providers.
‘A lot of FinTechs emphasize disruption as part of what they bring to the market,’ explains SIDE CEO John Packwood. ‘SIDE isn’t a startup looking for a problem to solve. Our advantage is that we’re industry experts who understand the needs of our customers.’
With extensive experience in the market, the team at SIDE understood this challenge and realized they needed a technology partner to reassure potential customers their data was secure and that regulatory and data residency requirements would be met. From the start, they partnered with us to provide the cloud foundation for their SIDEx platform.
‘SIDEx is our technology infrastructure platform that allows industry counterparties to evolve without disrupting their traditional business processes and systems,’ says Packwood. ‘NTT was our first partner when we established our cloud infrastructure and without that cloud infrastructure, we wouldn’t be here today.’
As technology evolved, the time came to migrate their platform to Azure, allowing them to take advantage of the latest cloud technologies. To enable this, they worked with us to ensure the seamless migration of their applications and data.
‘Our product and service innovation has evolved from direct collaboration with global bank-owned dealers and custodians, their investment management clients, and their partners who are also subject matter experts in securities operations and industry regulation. Given this close collaboration we had to inform them about the migration and give them as much detail about the process as possible,’ says John Serpa, SIDE COO. ‘Many of them were reassured by the fact that NTT was the service provider that we were moving forward with,’ says John Serpa, SIDE COO.
‘NTT was our first partner when we established our cloud infrastructure and without establishing that cloud infrastructure, we wouldn’t be here today.’
A joint effort to ensure a seamless migration
The migration to Azure presented SIDE with the opportunity to ready their environment for the next stage in their evolution.
‘The existing environment was limited in its functionality and the legacy infrastructure wasn’t scalable, or able to provide the next level of functionality,’ explains Joachim Golle, SIDE CTO.
No migration project is without risk, and it took seamless collaboration between the NTT and SIDE teams to ensure that it was accomplished without any impact on SIDE’s customers.
‘Having no downtime was a really important factor for a smooth migration,’ says Golle. ‘It’s very regulated, and our customers have come to depend on SIDE being able to process time-sensitive financial market data. So, any disruption would have had a pretty significant impact on our customers.’
With this front of mind, we leveraged our in-depth cloud expertise in the areas of cloud infrastructure and the Azure environment to ensure that the expectations of both SIDE and their customers were met.
‘NTT provided a complete team that included project management, network architects, key technical support resources and business continuity support,’ Golle adds. ‘Working on configuring and setting up the environment in Azure and replicating the functionality we had was a complex task. Our environment supports multiple companies, and this means that there are multiple layers of security and network divisions that have to be catered for, adding to the complexity of the migration. The NTT team had to implement some pretty impressive customizations to get it to work just right.’
‘NTT made it clear to us from the beginning that they wanted to partner with us, not just deliver a seamless migration. This showed us the ability of NTT to be a part of us achieving our business goals,’ comments Serpa.
‘NTT provided a complete team that included project management, network architects, key technical support resources and business continuity support.’
Setting the stage for innovation
With the migration a success, SIDE are now looking to leverage the stability and scalability of Azure to drive their innovation agenda.
‘We had some apprehension around the process as well as the capabilities of the new platform, but it’s ended up being better than it was before,’ says Packwood.
This includes launching new products and services to complement the range of SIDE’s offerings. ‘We’re broadening our platform beyond equities, into the digital asset space as well, which really lends itself well to the technology we have,’ he says.
A platform for the future
While the migration to Azure required replicating SIDE’s existing functionality to ensure there was no disruption to day-to-day operations, they’re already looking at how it can enable their future plans.
‘I’ve seen in Azure several benefits that make it a more feature-rich user experience. It’s opened up options to further scale and mature our environment, setting the stage for our technology roadmap,’ says Golle.
Extending a successful partnership
The relationship between SIDE and NTT is dependent upon working closely together to ensure SIDE achieves their business objectives. Leveraging their in-depth understanding of the financial services market and our technical capabilities allows both partners to excel. ‘We see partners like NTT as industry thought leaders, they’re part of the ecosystem that drives innovation,’ says Packwood.