Commerzbank hires Infosys to remodel IT architecture

01 June 2016 Consultancy.uk

Commerzbank has hired Infosys, in a five year deal, to remodel its existing IT architecture to meet the changing needs of its investment banking customers, through digital technology. The professional services firm will, in addition, set up a domain-based Centre of Competence to train their respective teams as well as explore a potential Post-Trade Processing Utility.

Commerzbank was founded in 1870 in Hamburg, Germany. The bank has since grown to become a global institution, and the second largest bank in Germany, with branches and offices in more than 50 countries. The bank is a leader within Germany’s SME banking market, and also provides a breadth of traditional retail banking services. Commerzbank has revenues of around €9.8 billion with roughly 51,300 employees.

The bank, like many of its incumbents, faces a host of IT related challenges – from increasing transparency to satisfy regulators and omnichannel demand from customers and clients to legacy systems that impede development. Furthermore, as new alternative investment markets open up across Europe, as well as a range of agile and scalable FinTechs develop innovative propositions, the bank is seeking to improve its IT system to raise its overall competitiveness.  

Commerzbank hires Infosys

The bank recently sought to attract third party providers for the delivery of a remodelling of its existing IT architecture to meet the changing needs of its investment banking customers. The five-year contract with Commerzbank was won by Infosys, a global professional services firm focused on consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The value of the deal has not been disclosed by either party.

As part of the contract, Infosys will deliver an optimisation to the bank’s investment banking IT architecture, which includes streamlining and consolidating the existing systems at the bank, as well as evaluate a potential Post-Trade Processing Utility. The Utility would then focus on the clustering of trade processing platforms across various product types. In addition, the parties are to collaboratively establish a domain-based Centre of Competence, which is aligned to the bank’s business functions within its Corporates and Markets segment, as well as develop an online and physical academy for Commerzbank within which cross-skilling and continuous learning will be realised.

Stephan Müller, Group CIO, Commerzbank, remarks "We are continuously developing the IT at Commerzbank, also on a strategic level, focusing on digitalisation of our processes. The collaboration with technology experts is essential for us to stay ahead of the curve in our markets.”

Mohit Joshi, President and Global Head for Financial Services, Infosys, says "Financial institutions need every advantage in this hyper-competitive industry, and this partnership will be providing just that. Middle and back office utilities are the future of the financial services industry and this will be one of the first of its kind. Commerzbank is benefitting from the renewal and simplification of its current IT landscape, developing new and radical technologies, and is pursuing new business models to compete better in an increasingly regulated market."

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.