Infrastructure product aimed at small financial firms

By their nature, financial institutions require a higher level of speed, customization, storage and security in their infrastructure, said an exec with Savvis Inc.

Savvis, a provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions, has already tapped this market with previous products, but their recently released Savvis Market Infrastructure (SMI) targets the financial sector directly.

Varghese Thomas, global head of financial services at Savvis, is confident that “the purpose-built solutions made possible by Savvis Markets Infrastructure allow firms to focus their IT resources on their own core competencies.”

Roji Ooomen, director of business development at Savvis, says that SMI is basically a “productized a set of tools that, whether you’re a broker, a dealer, a small hedge fund, or even a large mutual fund, you can assemble into a stack that you can write a trading application on top of for very low costs.”

Mikey Rollins, operations manager for cloud-based eCommerce company, Nova-Tech Online Inc., agrees that “this should help keep cost manageable for small firms and give them the scalability of a larger one.”

Oomen says “there has been a tremendous upswing in the amount of trading done electronically,” and, as a result of this, “financial firms in capital markets have become a lot more IT centric.”

Bearing that need in mind, Oomen says Savvis took a “look at a broad spectrum of our customers and [noticed] that there tends to be a tremendous amount of overlap in certain areas.”

Where trading is concerned, a lot of the business is centered around key areas, mostly exchanges. When the Savvis data centres were originally located there, it was in order to be close to those exchanges.

Now, that locational distance, and the implementation of their private fibre with 10 gigabit capability, allows SMI to offer the kind of speed and security sought by financial firms, Oomen says.

Often where trading is concerned, “latency is critical,” Oomen said. The market produces so much data every day that, “storing that data so you can analyze it to predict future patterns has become burdensome on small firms … SMI is a way for firms to tap into [Savvis’s] ability to deliver managed infrastructure as a service, [in order] to help manage their costs and become much more efficient.”

Because businesses can access as much or as little of Savvis’s resources as they need, even on a day-to-day basis, the scalability of services can keep IT spending from spinning out of control.

Based on the trends set by “companies like Amazon, Netsuite, Oracle and Google [pushing] for more cloud solutions in the last couple of years,” Rollins believes Savvis’ product could really fill a niche in the market.

The only caveat, as far as he is concerned is one that Savvis hopes will not become an issue. By adopting an over-arching system and putting a company in the hands of SMI, you face issues of “losing control, a lack of up to date features, and getting locked into a platform,” Rollins said.

But Oomen is quick to point out that, while these concerns are valid, Savvis strives for unconditional neutrality. As they’re not a participant in the financial market, they believe they can offer the best in class features and hardware, without being bogged down by politics, a claim, he says, not all providers in this market can make.

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