Case study

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets:

Investors make the right decisions faster, as BT helps research data race around the world

Overview

Investors make the right decisions faster, as BT helps research data race around the world

Consolidating 20 servers from across Asia Pacific into a Hong Kong data centre helped cut management costs for CLSA. But it provided Edward Scheckler with a different set of problems.

Email and applications slowed down. Research data could take an age to arrive. And that was unworkable for a company whose investor clients live and thrive on split-second decisions.

But with the help of BT Connect Acceleration, daily billion-dollar trading information is flying again. Clients worldwide get the fast service CLSA is famous for. And Edward has saved 35 per cent on his IT budget into the bargain.

Our key product is research, so people who trade with us expect to get fast access to that information. As such, a high-performance IT infrastructure gives us fundamental competitive advantage.”
- Dr. Edward Scheckler, Head of IT Infrastructure, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets

Challenge

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets is Asia’s leading independent brokerage and investment group. It has headquarters in Hong Kong and over 1,500 people in 15 Asian cities together with Dubai, London, New York, and Mauritius.

The company has a strong international reputation for its equity research and economic analysis. It’s consistently voted the best in Asia. And CLSA people around the world use email to share huge volumes of financial and market data with corporate and institutional clients, and colleagues worldwide.

Our company relies upon email for billions of dollars’ worth of trading activity every day,” says Head of IT Infrastructure at CLSA,
- Dr. Edward Scheckler.

To carry those precious assets, each CLSA office had its own Microsoft Exchange server. But this satellite approach was expensive to run and maintain. So the company decided to consolidate all 20 servers from its Asia Pacific offices to its BT-built Hong Kong data centre. That created another problem. Despite investments in WAN bandwidth upgrades, email transmissions and applications slowed down noticeably.

Solution

CLSA asked BT for help. The team recommended a trial of BT Connect Acceleration using Riverbed Technology Steelhead devices for WAN optimisation across the branch offices that had suffered worst from the slow-down. They included Mumbai and Jakarta. The Riverbed devices inspect the data in transit and if they find it’s been sent across the network before, they stop it in its tracks. They also monitor the performance of the network, servers, and applications 24/7 and spot and diagnose problems fast.

The results were instant and dramatic. There was a 90 per cent drop both in the volume of messaging traffic and web browsing traffic on the CLSA network. And people in trial offices found their emails and applications moved at LAN-speed again, just like the days when they had local servers.

Convinced by the power of the technology, CLSA opted to put Riverbed Steelhead equipment into action in every office worldwide, combined with dual IP Connect global links. They’re all managed from the CLSA Hong Kong data centre by an on-site BT team.

Value

CLSA has cut costs by consolidating its IT assets. Yet it’s also maintained the high service pace that clients demand and employees depend on. And the business advantages of Connect Acceleration go beyond speed. CLSA people can work together more easily no matter where they’re located, both in the office and on the move. That helps them get more done. And the IT team’s free to concentrate on other goals like regulatory compliance, information security, and cloud computing.

There’s also been a fast payback for CSLA on its investment in Connect Acceleration. It’s helped the company avoid costly upgrades in places like the Philippines and Indonesia where bandwidth’s at a premium.

WAN optimisation helps us deliver improved application performance, while making savings through reduced bandwidth needs,” concludes Dr. Scheckler. “I estimate that we have cut costs by 35 per cent overall, while deferring costly IT projects by extending the life of our IT infrastructure.”

Core BT Services

  • IP Connect global wide area network
  • Connect Acceleration WAN optimisation service managed by a Hong Kong-based BT team
  • Network design, construction, and management of Hong Kong data centre

Resources

Case study

CLSA case study

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