Challenge: Address the increase in demand for analytics capabilities while also dealing with scalability and time-to-market issues.
Solution: Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho Business Analytics automate data processing and provide instrumental business insights.
Objectway embeds Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho solutions, empowering wealth managers to give clients great advice.
Objectway Financial Software is a fast-growing Italian company and a European supplier of innovative software and services for the financial industry. The company develops and markets Objectway Financial Suite (OFS), a modern, proven, modular front-to-back integrated software platform for wealth management, investment services and asset management. Its headquarters are in Milan with offices in Belgium and London, and it employs more than 400 business and software specialists.
Objectway has more than 100 clients worldwide including Allianz Bank, Barclays, Rabobank, Investec, CNP Assurance, Credit Suisse, ING Direct, UniCredit Fineco Bank, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and many others. Celent (Oliver Wyman) market analysis ranks Objectway as one of the top-10 software providers for the wealth-management sector in Europe.
Objectway’s OFS Advice software gives wealth managers a holistic view of their clients’ holdings, which enables them to set appropriate goals, create and execute investments plans, provide the highest quality advice and recommend appropriate and suitable products. In December 2011, Objectway’s management noticed that a growing number of its customers were asking for analytics capabilities to be included with OFS Advice. This uncovered two major obstacles:
Time to Market: When the company’s managers decided to introduce analytics capabilities, they wanted to act fast to be responsive to customers. However, this would involve complex Java development and raised concerns that it could take too long to deliver new analytics capabilities to customers.
Scale: Some of Objectway’s customers have very large-scale installations with thousands of financial advisors, each of whom typically has thousands of clients who make multiple transactions throughout the year. This means that OFS Advice needed to be able to analyze millions of transactions. To effectively serve customers at this scale and prepare for even larger implementations in the future, Objectway management realized that they needed to evolve their underlying technical architecture to make it more open and scalable. They then needed to find an analytics platform to fit into the new architecture, one that would meet functional requirements.
Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho Business Analytics is scalable and able to meet Objectway’s high transactional requirements, and fits perfectly into the company’s new open standards-based information architecture. This new architecture better prepares the company for a future that is very likely to encompass nonrelational big data sources, such as MongoDB.
Although Objectway had previous experience and relationships with several large proprietary business intelligence vendors, the company opted against them because of its move to a new open standards-based architecture. A proprietary analytics solution would have been difficult to fit into this new infrastructure, prohibitively expensive and would not have been flexible enough to support future requirements. Objectway had been using a competing open source analytics tool, but switched to Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho solution because of its superior OEM program, customer support services and innovation in key technology areas such as big data analytics.
Objectway entered into an OEM partnership with Pentaho to embed analytics capabilities into its commercial software applications, including OFS Advice. OFS Advice with Pentaho Business Analytics is deployed through a web browser and also on iPads. Pentaho Data Integration is used to connect the company’s Oracle-based SQL servers. The company has plans to incorporate big data sources, such as MongoDB.
Although most financial advisers using OFS Advice are unaware that Pentaho is embedded into the solution because it is so well integrated, Objectway gives power users access to the full Pentaho environment so that they can create their own advanced reports and analytics.
Pentaho Business Analytics is scalable to meet Objectway’s high transactional requirements and also fits perfectly into its new open standards-based information architecture. Pentaho, with its support for big data analytics, was chosen as a key technology to support the company’s future growth.
Objectway’s hardware includes IBM, HP and Oracle. Their operating system is primarily Linux; however, they also have Oracle and HP. Their database is Oracle and SQL Server®. Their application servers are JBoss and Oracle WebLogic.
Objectway decided to move forward with Hitachi Vantara’s product for a myriad of reasons. They found Pentaho to be a highly scalable solution with a fast time to market and low cost of ownership. This embeddable solution allowed them to keep their solution’s look and feel, and added the power of real-time analytics. The solution helps them connect to any data source, which supports Objectway’s analytics goals and strategies.
“Our success is about much more that what we’ve been able to achieve so far. By building on top of the Pentaho Business Analytics platform, we have increased our potential to provide even more sophisticated analysis services in the future that are better looking and faster than what our competitors can offer.” - Georgios Lekkas, Chief Technology and Product Development, Financial Software Division, Objectway.
Objectway embedded Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho on time. The implementation process only took three months, and was well within budget. Today more than 2,000 financial advisors are using the new analytics capabilities through web browsers on PCs or iPads. The software is available to customers as a hosted SaaS application, or can be installed on premises.
The ability of advisors to monitor for irregular events in near real time enables them to diagnose client problems before they have a chance to escalate. Objectway believes that this granular level of operational intelligence is essential for wealth management firms that need to know precisely where performance problems are occurring at any given time.
Thanks to Pentaho, Objectway is positioned competitively today and prepared better for the future.