Johannesburg, 09 Feb 2016
Nationwide Building Society, the UK's second-largest provider of household savings, and a top three provider of mortgages, has improved month end process by 50% by implementing the Progress DataDirect product to provide a critical link to its SQL databases and keep its analytics apps running seamlessly.
For Nationwide, the analytics system is critical to keep the business running smoothly. With more than 300 developers working on the system and a large number of departments across the organisation depending on the data it produces to complete their daily tasks, the analytics system must be highly available.
However, system monitoring in 2013 showed that the growth of the Society and the demands of regulators and management for more sophisticated, faster analysis, could not be accommodated on the existing system for the long term. That system had limits to its scalability, particularly the input/output throughput.
"We had problems connecting to our SQL data on Windows servers," said Paul Matthews, Head of Transformation, Nationwide Building Society. "It was a complex link that presented tremendous technical issues. We needed standard, and most crucially, supported software to resolve the problem.
Through its partnership with SAS, Nationwide was able to leverage the Progress DataDirect product and now has a reliable, secure, supported approach to access Windows SQL databases from SAS 9.4 Grid Servers running under Unix. On the new system, average jobs are running in 25% of the time they used to and there are significantly more sophisticated analytic tools, system monitors and controls available.
"We are getting our month-end processes done in five days instead of 10," added Matthews. "And we have not experienced any unexpected reliability issues with the Progress DataDirect product, which is especially important in this business-critical environment."
Rick Parry, CEO of local Progress distributor AIGS, says that South Africa's financial institutions have similar needs.
"DataDirect offers a unique data connectivity solution for businesses needing to better manage and integrate data across relational, Big Data and cloud data sources. It provides proven, high-performance connectivity despite demanding data migration, integration and management scenarios," he explains.
"Due to the nature of their business, financial organisations place intense pressures on their IT departments. With highly visible corporate brands and a need to establish trust with the public, they face numerous security threats and operational challenges that can undermine reputations and alienate clients," said Mark Armstrong, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA at Progress.
"The rich data sets that power the industry are both essential and vulnerable. Progress DataDirect is the only data connectivity suite capable of supporting the significant needs of the financial services sector, with connectors for any data source and a proven track record of success."