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Greater Performance via Migration

T.C. Seow | Sept. 27, 2011
Already offering the longest trading hours in Southeast Asia, the Singapore Exchange aims to achieve even more by migrating its ageing IT infrastructure to newer, open systems.

Who are the key people involved in the migration?

The key people involved in the migration are the SGX team members across the technology and business units, Clerity for performing the application and data migration and finally HCL Technologies for production infrastructure support.

How extensive and thorough was the planning process? Why was planning for the migration critical?

Before we decided upon the migration approach, we performed reference checks via teleconference calls and followed by site visits to both the vendors as well as their customers in the US. The analyst firm, Gartner, was also consulted for an independent view.

We have gone through an extensive selection process. We conducted an evaluation with two potential vendors to assess their products as well as their ability as a system integrator. We also conducted a level of financial due diligence on their companies. 

The system we are migrating provides 44 percent of our revenue base and it is crucial we ensure a successful implementation. We do this through a risk-averse culture, meticulous planning and testing using a tried and tested methodology used for all key projects within the Exchange.

What contingency or failover procedures is SGX planning for in case the migration doesn't go smoothly?

A significant portion of the timeframe of the project is taken up in testing (more than 50 percent). This testing will not only include a thorough set of internal verification tests, but will include a series of industry wide tests and parallel runs with all customers. Finally, we will obtain a certification from all customers that they are ready to proceed to production implementation. These testing activities with customers include fallback scenarios to ensure that the industry can cope with a problem that may occur during implementation. This is all part of our standard methodology. While one can never say that the implementation will be error-free, we will do everything we can to ensure the system is ready for use before we go live.

What would you say are the key factors that will make the migration a success?

  1. Senior management and business owner commitment and support
  2. Choosing the right product and system integrator
  3. Working with and treating the solution and service provider as a valued partner;
  4. A strong project governance process;
  5. Constant and deep engagement with the business community; and
  6. A comprehensive test plan.

What was the cost involved? What benefits are SGX expecting to achieve?

The costs of the Clerity portion of the project are around US$3 million. However, there are hardware and other software and consultancy costs not included in this amount. When the migration is complete, we will have future-proofed our securities clearing and depository platform and will be able to leverage off the refreshed infrastructure to deliver new and innovative products to support future market needs.


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