Case Studies

Reed Business Information

Reed Business Information (RBI) provides business information, data and marketing solutions to an audience of millions of worldwide decision makers. RBI is part of Reed Elsevier, a world-leading publisher and information provider targeting the science and medical, legal, risk management, and B2B sectors.

RBI is the leading provider of professional information solutions, and includes the recently-merged BankersAlmanac and BankersAccuity, premier data services that have been providing solutions to banks and businesses worldwide for over 175 years. BankersAccuity sets the global standard for payment efficiency and compliance solutions.

Challenge

Ixxus was initially approached by RBI when investigating options for delivery of a Document Management System; however, due to an urgent rising business need, it was decided that Ixxus would be ideally suited to deliver a large-scale database project as part of their recently-initiated Know Your Customer (KYC) service; part of the BankersAccuity (BA) branch of the business.

In a sector as heavily regulated as finance, regulatory compliance and comprehensive risk-management are key. Financial institutions are required to compile extensive information on counterparties; a labour-intensive process which takes up a great deal of resources in order to ensure that all data is accurate and up-to-date.

KYC is a powerful due diligence solution which allows RBI to provide its clients with comprehensive, up-to-date and verified information on their existing and potential counterparties, empowering them to make better decisions and thus ensure cost-effectiveness, risk reduction and proper compliance with regulations. As well as improving accuracy and comprehensiveness, the KYC system ensures that clients can access information in the most timely and resource-efficient manner, which increases the speed of decision-making when it comes to beginning or reviewing relationships with counterparties.

RBI maintains a store containing all the official documents which financial institutions are legally required to be in possession of: the Due Diligence Repository (DDR). This store offers a single source of critical bank intelligence and documentation, saving RBI clients’ time and allowing them to create accurate and thorough KYC due diligence reviews for both potential and existing counterparties.

Prior to Ixxus’ intervention, financial institutions would approach RBI with a list of counterparties, in order to ensure that any given counterparty they might do business with is trustworthy and meets all necessary legislation. RBI would then manually assemble a report on these potential counterparties, allowing their clients to progress and invest safely.

RBI was seeking a transaction processing system which would automate and streamline the report-building process, and which would be powerful and scalable enough to deal with storing vast quantities of data and carrying out real-time analysis.

Solution

Reed Business Information screenshot

Ixxus was enlisted to build a solution which would automate and streamline the process of counterparty report creation and delivery, freeing up administrative time and resources and ensuring accuracy and comprehensiveness of information. Open-source CMS Alfresco was selected for orchestration and report and account management, alongside MarkLogic integrated as a Big Data XML store.

A series of workshops were carried out with the client in order to define the full scope and requirements of the solution. Utilising an Agile, interactive approach, Ixxus held regular fortnightly meetings with RBI, allowing continued revaluation and readjustment of priorities throughout the project.

The Ixxus implementation integrates Alfresco and MarkLogic with RBI’s legacy data-feeds and repositories. KYC source data was migrated from RBI’s legacy data feed into a MarkLogic XML database. Now, when creating a KYC report on behalf of a client for any given counterparty, the end-user simply sends an email request into Alfresco, containing pre-set identifying information. Alfresco then automatically pulls all related information from the MarkLogic XML database and assembles the aggregated reports as Word documents according to a predesigned template. Report documents are then stored within Alfresco, and an email notification is automatically sent to the user to inform them that the reports are ready.

Alfresco’s Activiti workflow engine was heavily utilised to orchestrate event sequencing. Manual quality checks were also built into the workflow as part of necessary quality assurance, ensuring that every report has been reviewed properly in order to guarantee accuracy, legibility and regulatory compliance.

PDF reports were generated using the Alfresco Transformation Server (ATS), and Puppet provisioning software was also leveraged into order to carry out configuration management, allowing automated building and maintenance of multiple environments using multiple technologies (MarkLogic, ATS, MySQL, etc.).

The solution was deployed into the cloud using the Amazon Elastic Cloud Computer (EC2) web service, delivering a flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution with a high speed of provisioning. Following delivery of the solution, Ixxus provided on-site training as part of the project.

Results

In an industry as tightly controlled as the financial sector, regulatory compliance is of the utmost importance if organisations are going to carry out business safely and securely. Ensuring that due diligence reports are obtained and kept up to date must be a major aspect of any financial institution’s risk management strategy.

The solution which Ixxus has built for RBI provides a streamlined, automated transaction processing system which allows staff to easily carry out comprehensive due diligence. Manual administrative processes have been stripped away and reduced to a minimum, making the service more low-maintenance from RBI’s perspective; meanwhile, enabling end-users to initiate workflow processes via email keeps their interaction with the Alfresco platform itself to a minimum, allowing a lower barrier to use and increased user-intuitiveness.

MarkLogic’s flexible XML database and Amazon EC2 allow the service to scale with ease, providing a powerful way of managing the Big Data required for the vast amount of financial documentation and reports which are essential to counterparties and clients.

Overall, the Ixxus solution means that end-users at RBI enjoy the benefits of more automated, user-friendly and efficient processes, whilst their clients are served with a more timely, accurate service.

“KYC and the Ixxus report management solution together have revolutionised the data gathering process for RBI”, said Matt Bye, Head of Architecture at RBI, “In the future, we’re looking to achieve extended revenue opportunities from that new revenue channel, ensuring that we can expand and extend the offering that we give to our customers using the system we built with Ixxus.”

Date Published : 28th of October 2014