Symphony’s President & Chief Commercial Officer, Brad Levy facilitated a panel discussion with guests from, AXA IM, Bank of Singapore, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs during Symphony Innovate 2020 [Digital]. Read on for the full transcript of the discussion below and see what industry leaders are saying about the challenges and opportunities in the financial services industry today.
Workflow Automations and The New Normal Paradigm
Workflow automations are at the centre of how financial institutions operate. Aligned with this new normal, Symphony hosts hackathons in New York, London, Paris and Asia (Hong Kong or Singapore) in order to promote the development of innovative automations in a competitive setting. Earlier this summer, Paris hosted its third hackathon – completely digital, of course- with the participation of six teams, including sell side, buy side and partners, for a total of 40 participants.
Each team was composed of business analysts and developers, who bring both macro and technical inputs. At the end of the event, each team demoed their project, with deliberation being carried out by our internal Symphony jury. The teams were judged according to the degree of innovation, technical nature and the potential commercial impact of their project.
The winners of this year’s hackathons will qualify for a global event in 2021 that will aim to gather the winning teams from all four locations. These hackathons are an opportunity for the Symphony Developer Community to gather and to develop unique and innovative solutions in order to optimize the way they work.
Paris Hackathon Winners
Out of all the participating teams, three earned awards. The fintech company Finastra won the award for “Most Cutting-Edge Technical Development”. The team developed the SettlementOptim bot, an automation workflow to optimize and secure the settlement process of securities transactions by allowing users to proactively manage possible settlement fails.
The company’s Lead Solutions Consultant Xavier Crepin-Leblond explained “Finastra is always very keen to participate in the Symphony Hackathon, as it gives us an opportunity to leverage Symphony advanced solutions to initiate new projects; allowing us to bring high value to our customers benefiting from the Symphony multi-party secured communication tool, to propose end-to-end automation workflow dedicated to resolution of post-trade tasks.”
Accenture Group’s two multinational teams received the other two awards. The Accenture Post Trade Processing & Sell Side Client team was awarded the “Best Work From Home Workflow” award for their APTP Buy-Innov bot which structures and industrialises the flows of the buy-in processes between APTP and a major sell side client. By facilitating people identification and securing exchanged data via archiving and audit trail, the bot allows for streamlined interactions between front, middle and back offices, ahead of the implementation of the new CSDR regulation that will significantly increase penalties beginning on February 2021.
On the other hand, the Accenture Capital Markets team was recognized with the “Most Progressive Business Workflow” award for their Accenture Post Trade Settlement virtual agent AskCaly, a fully automated, interactive bot solution powered by Symphony. The bot interfaces with Calypso – a capital markets software providing solutions for trading, risk management, regulatory reporting, controlling and accounting – to streamline trade settlement break resolutions. In the context of high market volatility and larger traded volumes, AskCaly enables business and IT users to work more efficiently, especially in the remote virtual world where speed and time to market are key. Accenture Group notably has 40 Symphony certified developers, the highest number among Symphony’s client and partner base.
Commenting on the award win, Anastassia Khomenko, Accenture’s team captain at the Symphony Paris Hackathon, said: “To manage disruption and create new value in a rapidly changing world, financial institutions need to change in order to become more innovative, agile and human. We’re thrilled to be recognized for the ‘Highest Value Business Automation’ award, showing the benefits of automation for easing workflows and improving productivity in the workplace. Technology plays a key role in transforming financial services, particularly during a time when the industry is weathering a tough global economy and helping their employees and customers in a fast-paced digital age.”
Symphony Developer Certification Program
In addition to these developer events that enable the community to gather and learn more about Symphony toolkits and best practices, Symphony has created the Developer Certification Program, a solid developer journey which consists of three-level training courses and a certification exam.
Along with the training, Symphony walks the developer community through all different technical aspects of the Symphony platform, with a primary focus on its automation capabilities, allowing developers to progressively deepen their expertise on the platform and leverage all tools available to them.
There is also a need for user friendly and interactive solutions (chat bots) as technology and innovations should serve the clients’ needs without dramatically changing their habits. As a result, we will see automations break down external barriers – between companies – but also internal – between front, middle and back offices.
“Hackathons are the best way for developers to either showcase their skills or have a first experience with developing bots with Symphony. It is also the perfect event to practice what they learn on the Symphony Developer Training Center and therefore be fully prepared for passing the Symphony Developer Certification” said Olivier Poupeney, Symphony Head of Developer Relations, who globally coordinates the program.
To date, there are 210 certified developers, including 40 developers from Accenture which ranks them first among the organizations certified in Symphony’s developer community.
Even remotely, hosting the Paris Hackathon was a great experience! Symphony congratulates Finastra and Accenture Group for their amazing innovations and creative solutions!