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Project completed on time, within budget with no changes required to business logic and processes.

LONDON: 12 June 2003. Changing the underlying technology platform is a nightmare for any business and usually results in significant disruption to existing applications software, with at best compatibility issues to resolve and at worst their entire replacement. Swissca Securities Limited, the London-based funds management and broking services provider, has recently switched to Oracle for its database platform and experienced at first hand, the benefits of using the technology-independent Syn~Orders application from Coexis. The hitch-free project was completed within 10 months – including extensive regression and user acceptance testing - on time, within budget and without any major changes to functionality, workflow processes or business logic.

The Swissca Group, was established by its owners – the Swiss Cantonal Banks – to provide centralised fund management and other related financial services. The London subsidiary provides fund management and broking services across bonds and unit trusts, on behalf of their owners and their largely Swiss clients. As business grew the company decided to automate order management with the goal of achieving end-to-end straight through processing via electronic links to collect orders, interface to client systems via the internet or Reuters ITD as well as to the existing back office system. With no off-the-shelf package available at the time, Swissca selected Coexis to develop a funds supermarket-style application. Coexis was chosen because of their pioneering business process-driven and rules-based approach to developing software which isolates valuable business logic and intellectual property from the technology landscape. The decision to switch to Oracle was taken to improve performance of growing transaction processing volumes.

Coexis’s claims for technology independence have been vindicated, as Mark O’Brien, Swissca’s associate director for systems and operations, comments: “We set aggressive timescales for the switch which had to be completed before our year end in June 2003. We needed to see dramatic improvements in transaction processing throughput and we were confident we would achieve this by switching to an Oracle database. The bulk of the ten month project was spent in converting data and rigorous regression testing with very few changes being made to the code of the application. This has been one of the smoothest platform changes that I have experienced.”

Terry Williams, chief executive officer, Coexis says: “We are still living in a world where the underlying technology is subject to constant change. Our Syn~ family of applications isolates the business logic and intellectual property of a business – where uniqueness and competitive advantage reside - from the technology.

The business is then free to take advantage of different or new technology platforms without incurring high conversion costs, as indeed we have seen Swissca do.”