Rewarding excellence by dfsiopmhy6


									                       FST AWARDS REVIEW


                             Rewarding excellence
                             The FST Awards celebrated its ninth anniversary on                         this year included Barry Holland, ex-director of operations at
                             26 March at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Bayswater,                        Barclays Capital and Peter Golden, chairman of the British
                             London. The bright lights and gong giving was                              Computer Society's financial services specialist group
                             followed by a casino and much partying late into the                       (see our website for a full list at were
                             night. Neil Ainger looks back on an enjoyable evening                      looking for innovative IT projects that delivered definable
                                With the cherry blossom sprouting, birds tweeting, and the              business benefits.
                             daffodils in bloom all the signs of spring are upon us, including of          After a trying year in which the financial system almost
                             course the traditional springtime explosion in awards ceremonies.          collapsed during the dark days of September and October last year
                             In accordance with this tradition 405 guests, across 42 tables,            and numerous institutions, such as RBS and HBOS, have had to be
                             gathered at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London for our annual FST         effectively taken into public ownership, the need for innovation
                             Awards. All the usual elements from the Oscar and BAFTA                    in the struggle to survive has never been greater. The ability of the
                             celebrations were in place, including the fancy frocks, penguin suits      technologists in the room to come up with solutions to hedge risk,
                             and rowdy cheers of the winners, but thankfully there were no tears        stimulate growth, introduce new revenue streams via contactless
                             up on stage or declarations of love towards mothers or agents,             cards or mobile payments, or to track consumer debt more
                             although one winner did punch the air, as if in homage to James            effectively during these troubled times is a vital concern and could
                             Cameron, the director of Titanic who famously declared himself to          be the difference between a firm prospering or going under.
                             be ‘king of the world’ and invited everyone to ‘party until dawn’ at the   Management strategies, and cut-backs if need be, of course have a
                             1998 Oscars (see insurance category). Handing out the 18 trophies          place in any survival policy but technology-driven innovation and
                             was our host for the evening, Chris Barrie, best known for his roles       efficiency gains can also help firms navigate the present stormy
                             as the marvellously annoying leisure centre manager Gordan                 waters and - given the correct backing - I'm confident the people
                             Brittas in the Brittas Empire and as Arnold Rimmer from cult-90s           gathered at the FST Awards 2009 can help firms through the
                             TV show, Red Dwarf. Chris delighted many in the crowd by jumping           current market turbulence.
                             off stage and heading to the back of the room with his microphone             Representatives from global wholesale and retail banks,
                             seeking some audience participation – one particularly talkative           insurers, building societies, online players and niche
                             guest eventually had to delegate to his assistant to avoid having to       operators and platform providers all gathered at the Nine Kings
                             answer Mr Brittas’ questions. Inevitably of course, a few good             Suite at the hotel. All of the teams present took part in leading-
                             natured remarks were made about the year that we’ve just endured           edge IT projects that provided real business benefits

                             in the financial services industry and some gentle ribbing of some of      and demonstrated excellence in their own field - a full shortlist ,
                             the fallen giants of banking ensued during a fun opening speech.           whittled down from the hundreds and hundreds of entries that we
                                All joking aside however, the event has a serious side,                 received, is available on the website at
                             recognising as it does the best IT practices in the financial              The quality of the shortlisted projects showed a breadth of skill and
                             services space – a sector that drives a major part of the UK               innovation that bodes well for the future and may help many firms
                             and European economy. The intention of the FST Awards 2009                 survive until the long awaited upturn comes.
                             is to reward the unsung heroes of the industry; the CTOs,                     Numerous bottles of champagne could be heard opening as our
                             CIOs and other technology innovators who introduce new                     winners were announced and, following the presentations, the
                             processes and technologies into banks, building societies                  crowd dispersed onto the dance floor and the casino/bar area to
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                             and insurers, allowing them to flourish, or even just to survive           celebrate. A full report of the evening follows, including a selection
                             during these very difficult times. The judges, which                       of pictures from the evening…
                                                                                                                                FST AWARDS REVIEW

                                                                                                                                                     FST Awards winners
The evening began with a victory for Royal      based client relationship management
Bank of Scotland in the Best use of IT in       platform that is intended to measure and
retail banking category. Presented by one       monitor improvements with respect to
of our sponsors for the evening, Ashley         strategic key performance indicators and
Brooks of DataFlux, to Sonia Rossetti, head     key risk indicators. It consolidates multiple
of product management, RBS global               workflow initiatives in each region and
transaction services, the award recognised      product line into a global data warehouse
RBS' Bankline Project. This online channel      that improves visibility.
for UK corporate banking customers                 The Best use of IT in insurance category
replaces a number of legacy electronic          was the next project to be rewarded and it
banking products and payments options,          went to the Wesleyan Assurance Society            Best use of IT in retail banking
enabling integration efficiency benefits and    for its new customer sales system. This
enhanced ease-of-use. The judges chose          scalable infrastructure uses software
this entry because of the customer              created exclusively for Wesleyan to enable
satisfaction that was clearly delivered but     the firm to provide a greater level of service
the closely fought category attracted many      and security, and deliver more insights to
submissions and a commendation was              its niche market professional client groups.
therefore also awarded to Barclays for its      The trophy was accepted by commercial
‘thin client’ architecture, which has been      director, Steve Deutsch and project
rolled out across its new 700-branch retail     manager, Tony Brooks.
network in Spain.                                  The first of our new categories for 2009
   The next award for Best use of IT in         followed with the Best trading platform,          Best use of IT in wholesale & investment banking
wholesale and investment banking was            which is intended to recognise the pre-
also closely fought but the judges              eminent trading system introduced
eventually decided upon Citi as our winner.     recently, whether it is installed internally at
The bank installed the Thunderhead Now          a wholesale bank or into the general
document generation platform in its             financial markets for widescale use. This
structured products business, where it has      exciting category, sponsored by Business
increased the automation and accuracy           Systems UK sales director Stephen
possible in the production of complicated       Thurston, attracted many entries from the
term sheets and legal documents for             new multilateral trading facilities (MTFs)
derivative instruments, cutting legal costs     that have launched since the advent of the
by 80 per cent per transaction. Paul            EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments             Best use of business-to-business ecommerce
Kember, ESS volume sales director from          Directive (MiFID) and it was the first of
category sponsors Hewlett Packard was on        these, Chi-X Europe which won, having
hand to give the trophy to Toby Wise, Citi’s    launched seven months ahead of the
vice president of ecommerce retail              changeover and grown since to offer trading
structured products.                            opportunities on 16 European indices.
   The award for Best use of business-to-          The award for the Security / Anti-fraud
business ecommerce went to Man                  strategy of the year went to Lloyds
Investments, and their global head of           Banking Group:HBOS for the online
technology, Mike Wright. Its MI Trade           authentication, monitoring, and anti-fraud
secondary market allows investors to            systems that it has developed with RSA.
actively manage their hedge fund portfolios     Now deployed across several business              Best use of CRM technology
                                                                                                                                                                          FST MARCH/APRIL 2009

on a daily basis, instead of having to adhere   units, including retail banking, debit cards
to monthly or quarterly limits. Clients can     and new user credit cards, these systems
now check product inventory availability,       have reduced phishing incidents by 85 per
make decisions and place orders online          cent and stopped £13 million worth of
and tap in to STP execution services.           attempted fraud.
   Next up was the Best use of CRM                 One of our judges, Barry Holland, retired
technology award, which was accepted on         director of operations at Barclays Capital,
behalf of Deutsche Bank for its OPAL            took to the stage to hand out our next award
platform by the firm’s managing director of     for Compliance project of the year. This
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debt obligations and BI services, Sarah         went to Markit Document Exchange and its
                                                                                                  Best use of IT in insurance
Berwick. The new development is a web-          directors Lansing Gatrell and Yasmeen

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                       FST AWARDS REVIEW

                                            FST AWARDS WINNERS
                       FST Awards winners
                                                                                         Jaffer. This documentation library acts as a   accolade to Martin Wilson, chief
                                                                                         central repository for buy-side documents,     commercial officer at VocaLink.
                                                                                         ensuring there is a single location that the       Next up was the award for Networking /
                                                                                         sell-side of any transaction can access, in    cabling project of the year, which brought
                                                                                         order to retrieve up-to-date compliance        another new entrant to the stage in the
                                                                                         and regulatory documentation as needed. It     form of CLS Bank who accepted the trophy
                                                                                         has the potential to transform the way         from Martyn Hart, chairman of sponsors,
                                                                                         financial institutions share compliance,       the National Outsourcing Association, for
                                                                                         counterparty credit and regulatory             their work cabling in and linking up a new
                                            Best trading platform                        documents, making the whole process            data centre to make the foreign exchange
                                                                                         easier for participants.                       clearing platform more regionally resilient.
                                                                                            The award for Systems integration           Working with IBM and Vtesse Networks,
                                                                                         project of the year, marking the halfway       CLS Bank established a long distance
                                                                                         point of the evening, went to Deutsche         synchronous replication system to
                                                                                         Bank AG – POS Infrastructure. Peter            enhance its business continuity, without
                                                                                         Shepherd, business development director        adversely affecting latency or other
                                                                                         at category sponsors, Invest Northern          operational parameters.
                                                                                         Ireland, stepped forward to hand the trophy        In a small but closely fought category the
                                                                                         over to director, Scott Wisker. The new        judges liked all of the submissions for the
                                                                                         service orientated architecture and            Best payments deployment but they felt that
                                            Security / anti-fraud strategy of the year   workflow-based Point of Sales (POS)            one particular initiative in the payments
                                                                                         platform is used on credit sales financing     arena had the scale and the importance to
                                                                                         and has improved the decision-making           win recognition; the UK Faster Payments
                                                                                         process and cut operational running costs.     Scheme. That is why they awarded a highly
                                                                                            Our tenth category of the evening was for   commended certificate to RBS for its UKFPS
                                                                                         Outsourcing partnership of the year,           compliance scheme but, ultimately, they felt
                                                                                         sponsored by GMC Software. A huge              that the builders of this new scheme in the
                                                                                         number of strong entries were received for     UK deserved the coveted FST trophy, which
                                                                                         this category, all of them showing real        is why Jonathan Hebbes, sales director of
                                                                                         evidence of working together in a true         category sponsors, Actuate, handed the
                                                                                         partnership so the judges decided to award     prize over to VocaLink’s IT director, Nick
                                            Compliance project of the year               another commendation. This went to Co-         Masterson-Jones for the VocaLink – UKFPS
                                                                                         operative Financial Services who took the      infrastructure. Working in partnership with
                                                                                         decision to outsource its administration       13 participating banks, including RBS, the
                                                                                         operations to Capita in order to build a       firm implemented the hub of the UKFPS.
                                                                                         more efficient, customer-focused life and      Launched last year, it operates on a 24x7
                                                                                         savings business. Project Signature was        basis providing near real-time interbank
                                                                                         supported by the eg operational                transfers for internet and telephone banking
                                                                                         intelligence software suite, which was used    in the UK, eliminating the previous three-day
                                                                                         to provide management information for          payments clearing wait that used to be in
                                                                                         initial contractual benchmarking and to        place in the country. For all of these reasons,
                                                                                         monitor ongoing service levels. One entry      and many more including the clarity of their
                                            Systems integration project of the year      stood above all others in this category        submission and the figures used to support

                                                                                         however for its innovative business model      it, VocaLink’s UKFPS infrastructure project
                                                                                         and the way it points the way to the future,   also won our Overall winner category at the
                                                                                         so our winner was the VocaLink – BGC           FST Awards 2009. This is simply the judges’
                                                                                         partnership. The payment transaction           pick of what they considered to be the best
                                                                                         specialist, VocaLink, signed a deal with       entry received this year, across all the
                                                                                         Bankgirocentralen (BGC) to process the         different categories (see final picture on
                                                                                         majority of Sweden’s automated payments;       page 30).
                                                                                         this is the first time a national payments         Another new category, our second of the
                                                                                         scheme has been transferred a non-             evening, quickly followed with Barclays
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                                                                                         domestic provider. Rhys Morgan, managing       Wealth winning for its Managed print
                                            Outsourcing partnership of the year
                                                                                         director of sponsors GMC gave away the         network. This has saved £1.25 million

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                                                                                                                                           FST Awards winners
annually and lowered print-related energy            Just three awards left to go as we ask
consumption by 73,000 kWh. In addition,           who is the IT team of the year? The judges
paper use has dropped by 20 million sheets        were looking for evidence of real teamwork
and carbon dioxide emissions have been            and excellence in the delivery and/or
cut by over 500 tonnes. Jason Scott-              support of IT services here and had a tough
Taggart, head of service support, accepted        job getting the double-figure amount of
the prize for Barclays Wealth.                    entries down to a manageable shortlist.
   The Data centre excellence award is            Jeremy Suddards, FSI sales director at
designed to reward the financial institution      category sponsors Hewlett Packard, came
that has used optimal spatial design and          to the front to announce the winner of their
technologies, such as virtualisation, to          deliberations as Lloyds Banking Group’s        Networking-cabling project of the year
improve the performance, security and/or          process design & solutions team. The
resilience of its data centre. This facility is   group of 70 at LloydsTSB as was, have been
the engine of many firms’ operations and          busy designing forms, letters and new
ensuring sufficient capacity and flexibility      procedures for end users as usual, but a
is a vital requirement for growth. The            newly introduced online draft approval
judges felt two projects met this                 process has cut delivery times by 11 per
requirement so they awarded our fourth            cent. Assessment periods for new work
and final commendation of the night to            have been reduced by 50 per cent and the
Fidelity who recently opened the first of two     efficiency of the task management system,
Tier 4 data centres to ensure enough              which directs customer requests, has been
computing power for the next decade.              overhauled. Specific large task undertaken     Best Payment deployment
Richard Biss, sales director at sponsors,         over the last year include providing the
Sybase UK, stepped forward however to             complex business processes necessary to
hand out the winners trophy to Carol              incorporate the UKFPS into the bank and
McCusker from NAG. The second data                ensuring better navigation across the retail
centre programme at National Australia            division’s library of 6,800 procedures. Of
Group, owners of the Clydesdale and               course, the challenge of integrating HBOS’
Yorkshire Banks, involved building a new          operations into their own is also now just
Tier 3 data centre that has enhanced              beginning. Ian Peters, a senior manager of
network capacity and continuity, while            the team, received the award.
demonstrably providing cost savings and              Our penultimate award of the evening,
operational benefits.                             sponsored by RSA, was for the                  Environmental Initiative of the Year
                                                  Outstanding contribution to the industry
The home straight                                 by an individual. This category is designed
The award for Best business continuity            to recognise someone whose contribution
implementation went to Newcastle                  to financial services throughout their
Building Society for their Secondary Site.        career has been truly noteworthy. It takes
The mutual built a data centre and                into account the delivery of successful
synchronised secondary site that can              projects and especially collaborative work
accommodate 500 people with high                  that will be of benefit to all of us. Last
availability telephones and computer              year’s recipient was Rob Close, the CEO of
systems, replicating applications as needed       CLS Group, but this year the judges
to satisfy the Society’s, and its third party     decided to recognise Graeme Whippy,            Data Centre excellence award
                                                                                                                                                                FST MARCH/APRIL 2009

clients, requirements now and in the future.      senior manager, IT accessibility, Lloyds
Steve Watchman, general manager of IT at          Banking Group. With over 16 million
the Newcastle Building Society came up to         personal customers and 70,000 staff
the stage to accept the accolade. The             LloydsTSB, now of course part of the
judges were especially pleased to see such        enlarged Lloyds Banking Group, has a
strong evidence of a company incorporating        legal, business and social responsibility to
business continuity planning and systems          ensure that its services and workplace
into their everyday operations, and warmly        applications are accessible to people with
applauded Steve as he passed by their table       disabilities. Graeme Whippy has been
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at the front of the Nine Kings Suite at the       responsible, over five years and often in
                                                                                                 Best Business Continuity Implementation
Royal Lancaster Hotel.                            his own time, for creating a wholesale

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                       FST Awards winners
                                            FST AWARDS WINNERS

                                                                                                        change in the bank's approach to IT            the UK and Ireland at category sponsors,
                                                                                                        accessibility, introducing a widescale         Verizon Business.
                                                                                                        governance and education standard,
                                                                                                        backed by accessibility testing and many       To the casino
                                                                                                        other initiatives to ensure accessibility is   With the final pictures taken and the
                                                                                                        now merely ‘business as usual’. Graeme         formalities over, our host Chris Barrie
                                                                                                        has also worked with the Employers'            invited our “glorious winners” to lead the
                                                                                                        Forum on Disability and addressed the          way towards the adjacent bar and fun
                                                                                                        first-ever EU e-accessibility forum in         casino; many of our guests did not need a
                                            IT team of the year                                         Paris, as well as undertaking extensive        second invitation! Shouts of triumph and
                                                                                                        collaboration work. Additionally, he is a      despair continued to be heard throughout
                                                                                                        member of the BSI committee IST/45,            the night at the roulette wheel hit black or
                                                                                                        which has created the BS8878 British           red. Meanwhile, the DJ started up back in
                                                                                                        Standard for creating accessible web           the main ballroom shortly after the tables
                                                                                                        experiences for disabled people.               had been cleared away and the dance floor
                                                                                                           The final trophy of the night went to       soon became packed. The festivities
                                                                                                        VocaLink – UKFPS infrastructure as our         continued long into the night.
                                                                                                        Overall winner for the evening. Quite             To all those who attended I would like to
                                                                                                        simply, this was the best entry we received    say a huge thank you for making the evening
                                            Outstanding contribution to the industry by an individual   this year across all of the different          so special and I congratulate you on your
                                                                                                        categories. As mentioned previously,           achievements over the course of the last
                                                                                                        VocaLink was recognised for its sterling       year, in what has been perhaps the most
                                                                                                        work introducing the technology backbone       difficult period in living memory for the
                                                                                                        that supports the UK Faster Payments           financial services sector. Whether you were
                                                                                                        Scheme, which clears internet and              winners or not, just to be shortlisted was an
                                                                                                        telephone banking transactions in near         achievement and all of the projects this year
                                                                                                        real-time, eliminating the previous three-     showed enterprise and imagination – the
                                                                                                        day wait (having earlier won the best          future of the industry, and the fondly desired
                                                                                                        payments deployment award). The 'best of       recovery, look to be in good hands. Here's to
                                                                                                        the best' 2009 trophy was presented by         a great year ahead and I look forward to
                                            Overall winner
                                                                                                        Keith Stentiford, area vice president for      seeing many of you again in 2010.
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                                       Thanks once again to all of the sponsors of the FST Awards 2009. For details about how to sponsor the FST Awards 2010, please
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