In my role as a Customer Reference Manager at Juniper Networks, over and above how ‘cool’ technology is, of most importance to me are the benefits technology brings to our customers. By actively listening to our customers we get an even deeper understanding of organisations’ goals and drivers, and see the role of technology in enabling them to meet objectives - often exceeding their original expectations.
One company I’ve had the pleasure of working with recently is TMX Atrium. TMX Atrium provides low latency connectivity to the financial services community across Europe and North America. This connectivity and access to over 300 data sources, enables their customers to deal and interact during trading hours. Secure, high-speed connectivity is at the heart of their business. Without it, they simply wouldn’t exist. If a packet is dropped across the network, then a client loses a trade and the consequences are clear; they are at risk of losing substantial amounts of money.
The financial services community is very much focused on its availability, reliability and low-latency capabilities because of the speed at which people are trading. They face unique challenges given the volumes carried by the network. For example, a financial services infrastructure provider typically handles market data feeds of 2.1 million messages per second. A platform that was able to handle volume at this level, and beyond, was of paramount importance to TMX Atrium. Their customers need to consume relevant data and react to market events ahead of their competitors to increase the profitability of their trades.
TMX Atrium was clear in their intent to engineer their network infrastructure to meet the needs of their clients. They also had ambitious plans to expand to new geographies and asset classes, and any solution they looked to had to make the network more effective, streamlined and efficient. This allows their customers to benefit from a simple and effective method of connection onto the global financial markets. In evaluating solutions that would allow them to deliver them against their objectives, TMX Atrium had some clear ideas around how to achieve low latency connectivity 24/7 and they run a network completely separate to the Internet. This ensures they are able to deliver against customer expectations now, whilst being prepared for future growth and demand.
What interests me most about the way TMX Atrium approaches their business goals, is their culture of innovation and a pure focus on financial services. This means they are able to address client needs now, but also that they can anticipate and deliver against future requirements. They have adopted a best-practice way of working that enables them to meet very specific needs of a demanding market.
An example of this is how TMX Atrium has deployed MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers at the core and the QFX3500 Switch as an aggregation later device. With advancing future requirements in mind, TMX Atrium is now able to easily upgrade their network to support multi-gigabit multicast.
Through taking an innovative stance, and being clear on their business goals and strategy, TMX Atrium remains an extremely attractive provider to the Financial Services. They have been able to reduce the onboarding of new customers from 6 down to 4 weeks, increased network simplicity and have improved business agility to be able to penetrate new markets, and reduced the average failover time from 30 to 2 seconds.