Firstly, please can you explain the overall project that Excelian completed?
Stefaan Dhollander: Excelian partnered with the client to implement MX 3.1.32 to replace a number of legacy disparate trading applications. Our involvement focused on the development of Workflows, Interfaces (trade and static, incoming and outgoing), Reporting (BO, FO, Risk, MLC, VAR), End-Of-Day and the trade migration.
Were there any unusual technical problems the client needed to address?
Stefaan Dhollander: A key challenge faced by the bank was their ability to upskill their delivery team in new technology. The implementation technology stack of UNIX / Oracle / Murex was a new domain and therefore they were reliant on a number of external providers to set up, configure and integrate the system.
And can you describe the business problems which the client needed to address?
Stefaan Dhollander: There were two main issues to be addressed. Firstly, adopting the MLC (Murex Limits Controller) and LRB (Limits Request Browser) modules were a big driver behind the project as the business were obliged to deliver APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) reporting for LCR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio) by the end of 2014.
Secondly, there was a ‘new system’ knowledge gap that had to be closed; the business had not worked with Murex before and their understanding of the incumbent legacy systems was somewhat limited. This created numerous challenges, especially with regards to the quality of documented business requirements.
So what solution did Excelian provide the client?
Stefaan Dhollander: Excelian’s delivery team was made up of on-site subject matter experts and Murex resource from our off-shore Global Delivery Centre (GDC) in Cape Town. Excelian utilised the GDC to deliver the Datamart / reporting build, whilst the on-site team focused on the more complex Interfaces, Workflow Configuration, Migration, End-Of-Day, Simulations, Trade Lifecycle Events, MLC and Market Data.
The asset classes covered included; FX Cash, FX Options, IRS, CS, Bond, CPCD, Call Deposit, Credit Line, Time Option, Loans and Deposits including several structured contracts.
What were the major challenges that were faced during the implementation?
Stefaan Dhollander: The Australian entity had not run large vendor implementations previously and possessed little in-house knowledge on the technologies involved. Secondly, business specifications were drafted by the users and required translation into technical specifications.
Another major challenge was the complexity around the MLC setup which included multiple engines, many risks, real-time, EOD and intraday.
The downstream systems posed a problem as they were legacy bespoke applications requiring significant changes to interface to and from Murex. Excelian removed much of the complexity and merged it into the MxML transformation logic to facilitate the integration.
Trade processing (Accounting, Confirmations, Payments) was also a challenge as it was handled by the legacy systems which had limited ability to handle the complex event scenarios that are possible in Murex.
Why was this such an important project for Excelian?
Stefaan Dhollander: As this was a relatively small implementation it was important to show that Murex and Excelian was a practical choice from both from a requirement and cost perspective. The bank was also a new client for Excelian in Australia and we look forward to be involved in support and future Murex initiatives.
What were the business benefits the client gained as a result of the project?
Stefaan Dhollander: The benefits included: considerable new functionality in Murex over the out-going systems, better regulatory reporting capability, and the ability to quickly add custom reports and perform workflow checks. The client was also able to move from an in-house built system to a vendor application giving greater long-term manageability.
How would you describe the client’s experience of working with Excelian?
Stefaan Dhollander: The feedback from the bank regarding our involvement has been very positive; especially since they had underestimated the complexity of the work required. The in-depth Murex knowledge provided by our consultants were heavily relied upon and Excelian were able to deliver this project within the expected timeframe.