Symphony Blog

Symphony Innovate 2017: Operations Panel

Katherine Kilpatrick

Global companies have had to quickly adapt to the fast-paced marketplace filled with countless tools & processes. The Operations Panel at Symphony Innovate 2017 discussed the current operations workflow and evolving technology. Customer and partner panelists shared their experiences around leveraging Symphony, extending the platform with bots and integrations, and the changes in their operations workflows. Read the full transcript below.

Brian Steele, Goldman Sachs (Moderator): Today, what we will talk about as part of our panel, we’ll talk about the current state of operations communication in the industry and workflow in the industry. The problem set that we all deal with. And then, what are the technologies, with the help of Symphony, that can certainly alleviate many of the bottlenecks and challenges that we have as an industry to communicate and ingrain workflow as part of communication in the industry? By way of introduction my name is Brian Steele. I'm the Global Head of Market Solutions at Goldman Sachs and I'll be your moderator here today. I hope what you take away from today's panel is a better understanding of the technologies that are available via Symphony and use that to obviously drive decisions for your own firm around what the right path towards better communication and workflow is for our industry. Our panelists today come from a cross-section of the industry so I'm using Symphony, some developing technologies that integrate well within Symphony, and certainly come with it a myriad of different views and perspectives. We're certainly interested to hear that. In addition to the panel, we’ll also see a demonstration of a collaborative workflow tool that was an inter-bank workflow tool, that was developed as a result of the collaborative efforts between Bank of New York Mellon and Goldman Sachs. And then following the demonstration, we'll open it up to this group for questions. So before we get started, maybe I can ask the panelists to introduce themselves and I guess in addition to their name and their role at their respective firms, if they could talk a little bit about how you're using Symphony today or how, you know, how is your firm associated with Symphony?

Jean-Thierry Dupuy (Wells Fargo Securities): Hello, so I'm going to say my name once. I always do this. And then “JT.” So my name is Jean-Thierry Dupuy and everybody tries once to pronounce my name and, then “JT” really just clicks. It's always like this. So I managed to detect this. So I work at Wells Fargo in the securities business and specifically, I manage this technology across the investment bank, research, and sales. So immediately, when we use these three words, it means regulated, security, compliance, e-discovery, this, that, just name it. So we've been using Symphony now for about a couple years, I would think. We kicked it off. I've been really starting to prop up the product when we, at Wells, almost I would say almost three years ago when from the first day we saw an alpha version to the day where we finally had our pod that was up and running. And the key things, it's like just, I always think of basics. And the basics about the platform, for me, are that there's always a new product that people come to me with around communication, collaboration. And the word “investment banking” and “collaboration” are kind of like enemies. You say that word and compliance comes in and arrests you. And so it's really more about, I want to not worry about the encryption of the data, the data at rest, the discovery, the storage, the communication, so that's the basics. But 90% of the platforms don't have that, so I need to have all controls on information barriers, and I need to be able to have the compliance officer to go in and say, “Let me just check this chat room.” And if I have all those checks then I can start my job. And so that's really basically what starts with Symphony, so we don't worry about those things. Then, where we go next, it's more about, how do we use the platform? Well it's more around the easiest definition I have, and then you can add all the other apps which I thought that the sources of news was really interesting, is more around how to have an internal and external, secure social media. Which is very simple. How do I have a chat with an external person or an internal person and all still use the same tool, have it on my mobile phone, having it everywhere else? And then this is where we take our users to the 21st century, which is very hard for operations and trading, is teaching people to use hashtags. And it sounds very simple, but 90% of the users are used to Bloomberg, are used to Lync, are used to emails, and we don't use hashtags on all those. That's what I have a Facebook or a Twitter for, where I do it. But once you go through these basics, you discover that, and this is how we're using it, where it takes off, is that the natural usage is that you can do from an operations perspective, that doesn't have a Bloomberg, that just has email, that just has Lync for internal, is now suddenly they can chat with their respective technology teams on our side for their support. They can chat with external users and they start understanding that they can use signals for very, very simple usage. And from there the evolution of the platform is, from there I want to share a screen, I want to call a person. So that's pretty much how we're using Symphony. And in just very layman's terms. I look at it as a communication tool, as a productivity tool, because I don't have to look back at my emails very often. And in operations really, the way they get structured is they get structured by rooms, support rooms, back office rooms, and really just interactions with the other broker leaders as well. So that's in two sets. And then once you're done with the basics, you can start building around APIs and start building your apps within it, but we're at the point today at Wells where we're getting the core platform out and the word is part of the furniture.

Laurén Robbins (Salesforce): Okay, I have the second difficult-to-pronounce name on the panel. My name is -- and unfortunately I don’t have a nickname for it, but my name is Laurén Robbins. I lead the Institutional Banking and Markets business unit at Salesforce in our industry’s organization. So I'm responsible for, in essence, how Salesforce goes to market with industry solutions in the space. I'm also responsible for the partner ecosystem that we choose to work with and I do a ton of engagement with our customers and our prospects in the space to understand what the next-generation capabilities and roadmap should be for our business and our product. So it's great to be here with you all. Symphony is an incredibly important and incredibly strategic partner for us in this and we too are a partner of Symphony as well. And I think we are in very early stages of laying the foundations of the partnership but it manifests itself in a couple of different ways. The first is, the way Salesforce and Symphony work together is, if you think of Salesforce, it is that single pane of glass view into your customer. So everything that your customer is and cares about, their preferences, your history of interactions, Salesforce is meant to be that single pane of glass that stores all of that. Whether it’s data that resides in Salesforce or data that resides in other third-party platforms or back office systems or an open platform, as is Symphony, that can do that. And the importance of the Salesforce-Symphony partnership, is that that context is so incredibly important when you are leveraging the next-generation collaboration platform of Symphony to interact with your clients or interact with your front, your middle, and your back office. And it has a lot to do with the way we're structuring the partnership and some of the capabilities that we're bringing to market together. The second is, it's so important that the two speak together because any interaction that happens in Symphony ties back to a record, whether it's a client record, an account record, a contact, an opportunity or lead within Salesforce. So that's really important for things like regulatory purposes where you may have to track your client interactions and be able to report on them and to surface them and make them transparent. So this is the beginning, we're excited about what's to come and really looking forward to being here in the discussion. Thank you.

Josh Carroll (RBC):  Hi I'm Josh Carroll, Global Head of Market Data for Royal Bank of Canada. I also additionally run the Symphony platform within the bank and all the chat bot development that goes around that. For us, we've been trying to, sort of, I'm coming at this from a technology perspective rather than the front office, and we've been trying to review technology processes and look at how we can simplify things. So if I take a processor we have at the moment where, if we have a technology incident, an outage, the processes around that are very slow. They're using other systems where I might have to do multiple things when I have an outage. Using Symphony and bots that we've built onto the platform, we can streamline some of those processes down to minutes as opposed to 20 minutes. So that, you know, we're looking at front to back how we can streamline our IT processes and we've been heavily investing in chat bot technology around that space. Whether it's NLP bot or just sort of decision tree bots, we've got a lot of work going on in that space. The other thing we've also been using heavily is things like the webhooks. So the webhooks have allowed us to take, say, other systems and feed data into Symphony in a very, very easy integrated manner. So we've got external companies looking at feeding webhook information to us, our own internal operating systems from an IT monitoring perspective feeding data into Symphony, and just trying to take away all the other panes of glass you might be looking at, and using Symphony as that sort of central focal point. So yeah, really quite interesting times at the moment, the chat bot development stuff is really taking off within the bank.

Craig Butterworth (Nomura): Hi, so my name is Craig Butterworth and my role is a Global Head of Client Eco-System at Nomura. I've been with Nomura for nearly four years now and funnily enough, previously I ran European fixed income sales at RBC. So the Client Eco-System program, it's a business-led digital transformation project launched back in November of just last year, 2016, and really it's focused on leveraging the latest, best in breed technology to help address many of the challenges which our industry faces and hopefully in many cases turn them into opportunities. Whether those challenges be regulatory, profitability-driven, etc. So our focus is very much on improving client service, boosting the franchise profitability, and, at the same time, delivering a real improvement, I think, to technology agility. Just so that we can adapt as our clients and the industry continue to evolve. So Symphony is one of 14 sub-projects which form part of the overall client ecosystem portfolio. Our initial objective for Symphony was to roll out to all of wholesale globally. So wholesale for us is, you know, corporate finance, investment banking, markets, and then all the related support functions that sit around that: operations, IT, HR, etc. And having started to roll out in the spring, we're now up to eleven thousand users so we've made some really great progress over the year. And yeah, you know it's super exciting to be here. Maybe I could explain a little bit how Symphony and Salesforce, we see them as kind of integral parts of the ecosystem actually but maybe I should save that for questions just in the interest of getting through introductions.

Matthew Cheung (ipushpull): Hi I'm Matthew Chung, CEO of ipushpull. We're in the Symphony Market. We’re the first workflow tool that's on there. All the other apps have been very much focused around content, we’re workflow. So we're a data-sharing and collaboration platform. So we allow interconnectedness of data to come into Symphony, so you can connect data in your desktop applications, your internal systems, your cloud services, any of your data that could be viewed consumed, shared, and collaborated with inside of Symphony. So Symphony is looking to replace email; we're looking to replace file sharing and file attachments. So using ipushpull, you can make any data live, you can collaborate on it in real time, and the attraction that we're getting is around back-office workflow, operations workflow, particularly around reconciliations in any form, trade breaks, you know, status reports, anything where there may be some live data that's necessary. Instead of having for someone to email the guy on the back office asking about this trade or a status, they can pull that data in real time inside of Symphony and everyone can be looking at one golden source of data. We also have workflow around front office, around the distribution of internally-generated securities prices, bringing that into Symphony as well, being able to share it, and essentially we're looking to improve productivity based around workflow across, you know, front to back office. What's interesting for us as a young company? Symphony has been great in pushing us to their customers and clients as some of the comments we saw this morning from David Gurlé about bringing in content and applications into an open source project. We're essentially one of those providers and Symphony, they've been pushing us hard, which is great. What's also very interesting for us and why Symphony is attractive to us as a business, as opposed to Slack or Lync or Skype for Business, is the richness of content and the functionality and the ability to connect data that could be pulled into our system and then put it into chat bots, put it into other systems as well, and Symphony offers that far, far beyond what Slack and other counterparties can, alongside, obviously, the security angle. End-to-end encryption key management systems, audit, compliance, all of that it's kind of taken care of with the Symphony platform as it was something they did from the start. Again, it's very useful for us and for us to be able to talk to all of the big banks where that's, I think, the most important factor.

Mary Jane Ajodah (BNY Mellon):  Hi, I'm Mary Jane Ajodah with Bank of New York Mellon and I'll be fairly brief since we have the luxury here of showing rather than telling some of the stuff we're doing with Symphony. But I work within a group called Client Service Delivery, which is essentially our operations strategy group for the bank. So Bank of New York Mellon is one of the investors in Symphony. We have, you know, internal usage of about four thousand four hundred people today, and with Goldman as well, we've been exploring applications within Symphony for workflow and better management there, which we'll probably talk at length about.

B. Steele: Thank you Mary Jane. And actually maybe I'll stay with you and kind of building upon what you just said. What do you see, kind of, having worked and working in operations today? What do you see as some of the pain points that we're dealing with as an industry as it relates to communication and workflow?

MJ. Ajodah: So I think BNY Mellon sits in a very unique place in the financial services ecosystem. So as a custodian, we interact with buy-side, with brokers, with market infrastructure, all of whom want to communicate with us in very different ways and have their own preferences on how they do that. So as many of you probably deal with on your own, you know, your own space, we work in over 100 markets, over 35 countries, so when we interact with folks, we're looking at different time zones, different types of data, different services that they consume from us. And, you know, by the way, we have very tight SLAs, and so a lot of the responses that our operations teams have to field have to be done by market close or market deadline. And that exacerbates and that really kind of sets the stage for where we see new technologies helping us out. So we've invested very heavily over the past few years in workflow, in automation, in robotics, machine learning, in open API infrastructure, through our Nexen gateway to be able to process more efficiently. But I think one of the things is, that we can only do so much as one company, and so we found it very encouraging to see this industry push around intercompany collaboration. And we'll go through the demo, but one, you know, one particular use case or one particular example of this is that our operations teams field are around questions around reconciliation, around trade settlements, around trade breaks. So we find that, within our own walls, we have well-defined work flow we have very tight processes and it tends to be the same within our clients walls. But when we interact with each other, this structured task and the structured communication, which we both see, becomes an unstructured piece of information. So it becomes an email, it becomes a phone call, it becomes a fax. And when you think about just the sheer volumes we deal with: so we have $31.1 trillion in assets under custody. It's a lot of questions that we, you know, field. It's very difficult to tie back an email or a phone call, the contents of that, back into a structured task and back into workflow. And so where we see Symphony, you know, particularly useful for us is not just as a channel for chat but as a secure collaboration channel that fits within our existing risk and controls framework that we can build new applications on top of to make things easier for both internal processing and then also dealing with clients. So one of the things that's most exciting for us is, from a strategy perspective particularly, is the analytics side. So right now, we have great analytics on what we're doing and what we believe our clients are doing and sending to us. But it would be great to sit down and say, “Well end-to-end we're seeing the same, you know, we're collaborating over Symphony, we can see the interactions, we can see the work that we're doing together, now let's forecast, you know, things that you may need in the future, services that we might, you know, think of offering as a new product.” And that's where things become very exciting for us. And I think, so the efficiency story and the productivity story is one thing, but on the other side I also think from an employee's perspective, employee productivity, and employee engagement, Symphony is just a tremendous opportunity. So, you think about a new person who's just joined an Operations team from university or from another industry and, you know, they come into the bank and they're spending a lot of their time and, industry-wide, I'm looking at well, “I’ve got to pull information from five different applications.” Some of them are green screens, some of them are, you know, it's just drastically different, and disparate systems that aren't inter-linked together. So Symphony provides one way and has this push towards a clean UI and a clean user interface to help our operations teams focus on the service they're providing to the client rather than, “How do I navigate and do my research and kind of get things to where they need to be?” So, as you guys will see in the demo, I think Symphony is one way in which we're looking to meet our clients, you know, wherever they are in terms of their digital journey but definitely as the ecosystem to launch more use cases.

B. Steele: And JT maybe I'll send it to you. At Wells, do you see similar challenges, has your operations teams experienced similar challenges?

JT. Dupuy: I guess we all have the same issues. I mean what you're describing, we haven't got that level of automation on the operations side but that's definitely what I mean that's the Holy Grail: not just to replace emails and everything, but it's more just to, within your chat, can you have access to, in one shot of what's going on with the customer and the customer has access to the same information at the same time so they can speak the same language? That sounds like CRM right?

B. Steele: Which is a good point. All right, we should maybe turn to you actually. What value do you see in integrating Salesforce and Symphony? How can Salesforce eliminate kind of some of the problem points that we talked about today?

L. Robbins: Yeah so we heard both from Mary Jane and JT about some of the common challenges, right? So just to highlight that your clients are demanding different channels of engagement and interaction from you and a seamless experience across all those channels and engagement no matter where they are in the world, no matter what part of their business they're engaging you with, no matter what device they're using to engage you with. We also heard that there's some resistance and cultural resistance to being able to do this, especially as it pertains to company-to-company interactions, buy-side to sell-side interactions. That there's still traditional methods, phone and email, that are being used to do that, and that there's an opportunity to provide analytics and data and put it in the hands, right in the hands, in the moment of engagement, of the people in the front office that are interacting, or anybody in the middle and back that's touching the client experience. So they can make those interactions more meaningful, more informed, and ultimately, be more productive. And that's what Salesforce and Symphony, I think, see as the opportunity for us, right? As I mentioned earlier, to really put context in the midst of all these collaborative interactions and to make them seamless across all the different channels that your clients are using to with you. So again, Salesforce is that, can be that, single pane of glass view. And that's what we see kind of as the trend across many of our customers in the space, that it's the place that shows that unified view of your clients. And as an open platform, we’ve been surfacing data intelligence that allow you to see all that. Secondarily, Salesforce can be a connective platform in conjunction with Symphony across the entire client lifecycle. So it's really important to understand who your customers are but it's also really important to understand where they are in their journey, because that's going to then determine what your next best action with them will be. And then lastly, what happens, right? Initiate that action. So then leverage that information to then initiate a workflow. And that's really important. So whether it's Salesforce that you may use as a workflow engine or it's another system which can very easily integrate, leveraging rules and controls and process across all the different channels of interaction that your client may prefer to make that experience seamless. And I think that's the incredible power of our partnership, to be able to do that. And it results in a lot of efficiencies: taking paper out of very manual processes things that are done in spreadsheets for instance, making them more collaborative and transparent across your front, middle, and back office, making them more transparent, ultimately, to your clients, and being able to do that incredibly collaboratively. If you look at some of the capabilities that we are that partnered with Symphony in integrating, and again these are out-of-the-box capabilities that you can get, no investment on your part, it's things like embedding a chat on a contact record within Salesforce to be able to link right into Symphony. It’s documenting chats back into Salesforce, it's being able to tie how the two systems talk to each other and update each other as those interactions are taking place. So you have a real-time, in-the-moment-of view of what's happening with your clients.

B. Steele: Perfect. Matthew I know you and I have spoken about the solutions ipushpull has created that integrate well with Symphony. What about Symphony really drew your company to make those investments and think it's the right platform for integration?

M. Cheung: I think one of the key elements was the richness of content and the ability to link that into other applications. Because that's something we do as a company at ipushpull, with bringing it into the Symphony environment. For example, you could have around a trade break there may be an Excel spreadsheet, or someone is talking to another counterparty with bringing that conversation, which could be a far-away conversation, receive someone in the back office and a trader, a PV, a counterparty. If you had a conversation on email, that gets messy very quickly. Bring that into a chat, you get a chronological order of what's going on. You can see the thread, you can jump in anytime, you can see what's happened. What we bring to it, and to answer the point, is because we can embed the rich functionality of our application, instead of then uploading a file or an excel file or a spreadsheet into this chat you are having with five other people, and that other person then has to download the file, they may view it, they may change it, they may upload it, backwards, forwards. That's because you're using files. And what Symphony allows us to do is bring in our kind of no-files approach to sharing data into Symphony. So in that regard, you would get your range of data that might be in Excel. That would then appear inside of a Symphony chat, and people can collaborate on it. And then another thing which Symphony then allows you to do is add, you know, what we're putting into place now is an approval button. So say if you had five different people talking about a various number that might be in dispute, they can hit a button to approve that and then after that, again because of the Symphony APIs and so on, that can, after you've collaborated on it, you've then agreed and acknowledged it. And at that point, I can go out to another system and the trade can be cleared or settled all over it may be. So that's one area. Another side where we kind of invested heavily in Symphony is, since Symphony’s gone through all the pain so we don't have to as much, because Symphony is a cloud company as are we. And I know you know, Salesforce is obviously, you know, kind of came up with the idea of cloud. And I know some banks have spent, you know, kind of years getting that inside of their infrastructure. So we've come at a very good time where Salesforce is kind of going in, Symphony’s gone in, but because of us and we're essentially, you know, complementary to what Symphony is doing, we can kind of piggyback on their level of security and encryption and audit trails. That's another area that's been really good for us and that security side. There's a level of security which would take a very large investment for us as a small company, to looking to, you know, our own key management systems, to get other banks to comply with key management and end- to-end encryption, that's a big task. Symphony’s already done it so we could kind of plug into that.

B. Steele: Perfect and Josh I think we'd miss an opportunity if we didn't talk about bots in this session. So I know RBC has made investments certainly in bots that integrate with Symphony. Can you give any color into maybe some of the investments that you've made and what impact they've made?

J. Carroll: Yeah so we're talking taking a long-term view on this too, on the basis that, okay we start off with five bots, but how do the users know about these bots? So we've actually built a framework around that where we have a room on Symphony where each of the bots have to post into that room every 30 minutes. What they do, what their function is, metadata around them. So then what we can do is abstract them away from the users. You can have a single bot that the user has to be aware of, you could ask that bot, you know, “How do I do X?” That bot is aware of all the other bots on the platform, so you don't have to then know if we add 10,000 bots in the future, like about any of the other bots. We tell the users about one bot and then they deal with that from there. So we call that the Coliseum, and we have Centurion who looks after the Coliseum for us. But then sort of other things we've done around the bot space... we've got so many things in development at the moment, one of the ones that I was talking about earlier today is we've created an enterprise email account called “email to Symphony.” And you add that to an email thread that you already have going on, it takes that thread spins it up on Symphony for you, the chat room it creates is the same name as the email thread, it adds all the people who are on the email thread to the chat room because frequently you're having these kind of email conversations, like this is a chat why are we having an email conversation? But trying to get people to move over in this transitional phase of people understanding we should be doing all this and Symphony, takes away the heavy lifting of them doing that. So if someone continues to email on the thread, it will actually keep posting into the room and if the thread at some point splits as sometimes emails do, it will actually create a new room and a pin like a number to the room name, so therefore, you know, if certain sensitive information is going down one thread and other people shouldn't see it, it takes care of all that for you. So it attaches the email as an attachment, any attachments get attached to the room. So it's just trying to change people's workflow and today so many workflows are embedded into email distribution lists. So I talked to a lot of the business users like, “Well, you know I want to get away from this but our clients email this distribution list?” Well now, we could add into that distribution list our “email to Symphony account.” That way, when you get that email to a distribution list, you don't even have, you could probably take all of your users out of that distribution list and just leave our “email to Symphony,” put a rule in there that says, “Okay rather than spin up a new room actually post it into this specific room for this specific client,” and then you could action that based on the chat bot.

JT. Dupuy: Could you sell the product?

J. Carroll: So it's funny, I was talking to Peter from the open source foundation because there's nothing in that bot that is, you know, proprietary to RBC. So trying to figure out some way...

JT. Dupuy: So I've just been thinking about research analysts that want to blast their customers through emails and they blast them, they don't know what's going on with them, and everything where it's just, boom, would be nice.

J. Carroll: Yeah so, and then some other sort of integrations we're trying to work on at the moment is, the other common issue is, so you've got your distribution lists. You've got all the people in those that you know. When people come and join you always add them into there. If you created a room on Symphony today, it’s static based on the number of people you've added to it. So we're doing integrations through Active Directory to say, “Okay well if this Active Directory group gets updated, update the people in the chat room.” So then that way you've got the same functionality you have with all distributions. You need to think in the same way you did on email but now on Symphony. So those are the kinds of things that we're trying to do, starting with IT processes and you know workflow and then once we move through that piece then you can start to get through the business, you know, business starts to understand okay what other things could be possible? Talking to a group who is doing like a thousand manual trades based off emails that they're getting and they're saying, “If we could take those emails and just, you know, #hashtag the content in some way, we could potentially auto-book those trades and we just saved a thousand manual things were doing a day that can then potentially double our workload or whatever.” So that for me that, you know, it's an infinite amount of things we could be doing and I say we've structured ourselves in such a way, if we have 10,000 bots in the future we're already able to deal with that.

B. Steele: Great, so this has been a great dialogue. I think we should pivot towards the demo. So I'd like to introduce my colleague Jonathan Simmons from Goldman Sachs and Mike Fraietta from Bank of New York Mellon to orchestrate the workflow demo. Just has a bit of a lead-in, as we talked about kind of at the start, this is a collaborative effort between our two firms over a period of many months to work towards an interbank workflow solution that leverages Symphony as the network and connectivity between our kind of domain workflow tools that we each use at both Bank of New York Mellon and Goldman Sachs. So John and Mike maybe I'll turn it to you.

J. Simmons: Sure, I’ll open it up, so this has kind of stemmed from, as a product manager of Symphony at BNY Mellon, hearing from the operations folks, from Mary Jane's team, and then from Brian's team at Goldman, we've all heard the story before of, you know, “We're trying to do workflow and we've got emails, we've got faxes, we've got phone calls, and who's keeping track of all these different places?” And I said, “Listen, maybe Symphony could be an answer to that.” So yeah, it is good for the chat room at that, but what about the actual workflow? And considering all my best friends are bots I said, “Maybe we could use bots to connect those firms and connect tasks between each other.” That's the only choke I had. It’s a true story though, sad story but it's true. So the idea behind this, and I'll try to explain the slides as they do come up here, is ok here we go. The challenge is that diagram and that you can see in the very small corner there, how do we connect these? So we basically use Symphony as the pipes to connect. We've got My Task -- it's called My Task System which is a company-wide system -- it's got an open API. It connects to our platform, our internal platforms and Goldman has Etask, a very similar system. So we each have a task system that we use internally and the idea was to connect those through Symphony.

M. Fraietta: Sorry, the thing that's going to stymie us at the end, is the display on the screen. So if anyone actually wants a demo of this working afterwards because we're hit by the curse of the demo, I think, then please come and see it at the end. So what we've done is built, I think this is the first example, I've been listening to a number of these presentations, of actually a bot - bot communication between two firms. So what I'm going to try and demonstrate live on stage is -- yeah you've gotta control you're actually controlling the mouse over there which is... So what we’re actually going to try and do is send a message from the Goldman Sachs task management system, Etask, via the Symphony chat room which will then be picked up by a bot on the Bank of New York Mellon side and post into the Bank of New York task management system, which you can actually see on my colleague’s display in large size. We’ll then approve that and we’ll see the message then flow back through Symphony back to the task management the system on the Goldman side. So I think just one thing to highlight from a business perspective is when we looked at this proof of concept, you know, our task management systems are integrated into some of our legacy systems and some of our, you know, books and records and other applications that we're using internally. So we don't want to move to something entirely new, we want to keep the teams working in the way that they generally do. But Symphony is providing really a translation layer between tasks that are coming in from Goldman and coming over to us. So we can totally automate this process and if you think, you know, in an ideal future state any sort of research that needs to be done can also be done through an API framework. So if we need to pull information from our books and records or from a pricing provider or some other third-party data feed, we can feed that in, you know. We've invested in an open API framework to pull this information back into the task. So a lot of the research functions can also be automated.  

B. Steele: Yeah I think the only thing I would just add is --

M. Fraietta: Should we give it a shot?

B. Steele: Yeah please go for it.

M. Fraietta: Right yeah, so thanks to Carla who swapped in a different computer. I'm now going to try. So on the screen is a mocked up demo of a trade proposal. That's the kind of thing that's absolutely done by email and by phone all the time. What we've done by configuration -- so this is not where we're going in and making large changes to our internal systems -- the tool that you see on the right is used in Goldman Sachs every day by operations people. The tool you see on the left is used by Bank of New York people every day. All we’ve done is added a thin layer to fit in with the existing workflow solutions in both companies and so the idea is, I'm now feeling I've said enough so I’m actually going to actually try it. Okay I'm going to hit that. So it's completed on that side, so now that's a success with a digital delay. The message has now popped up and so we've converted the workflow message into a Symphony chat room message in a standard format, which we're going to open source as part of an open API so others can plug into this. We then send that message to the chat room we have and to Matt's point earlier, actually using the the secure messaging system is a massive boost for us because one challenge about workflow, one challenge about email is knowing who actually actioned the thing on the other end. So Symphony solves that problem for us. It's appeared on Bank of New York side and then even on our side we have the trade confirmation. So the point is, as I say, the point of this it's a proof of concept but the technology's here, we want to build this out, we want to get a lot further with it, we think it's something we can really do collaboratively across the industry. As I say we're looking to open source our APIs, looking to open source the messaging format in collaboration with the Symphony Foundation as well, and we think this is something we can use as a sort of a baseline across the industry.

B. Steele: Perfect thank you both, I know we're nearly at time...

Audience Member: Sorry just a quick question: could you explain just a little bit what it is that Symphony does that allows you to do this that let’s say like a general protocol couldn’t do?

M. Fraietta: Yeah actually one huge benefit is actually that security. So as I say the problem with email is it's very easy to spoof, right? I don't know if you say that you are from Bank New York Mellon, you're saying yes to a trade, yeah it looks pretty good right. And in fact the way that that tends to work is on a trust basis. Yeah okay I recognize that person, right. And that's okay except that person's out of office and then it's their colleague who's responding, well now I don't know who it is, you know? You get on to that trust cycle, and Symphony removes that [lack of knowledge] completely. And then the other thing too, I think to the point, I guess, that we're all making: we're trying to get these interactions out of email. Email is not really a good place to manage tasks and manage things to do, it's very easy to get things lost, it's very easy to move away from a structure, it's very hard to prove that I've actually done the thing I said. So you know, we don't want to use email for this type of interaction.

B. Steele: And the only other thing I would add is, I think in future iterations of this, what we envision is actually pulling out the chat functionality from Symphony and putting it into the domain workflow platform that the operations users are using today. So someone who's using Etask or My Task at each respective firm today, doesn't need to leave that platform for them to send a work item, an exception digitally across to their partner on the other side, and chat alongside that exception, have all the traceability, and archive ability that you'd have from email alongside in a chat that lives domain in that workflow platform. So I think, you know, from our perspective, we see this as transformational from a communication and workflow and integrated workflow across the industry.

C. Butterworth: Can I just chip in on something because it’s relevant? And also to Laurén’s early comment. So, you know, I think on top of all the other good things we've talked about already, the obvious kind of use cases from front to back office and all the support functions and BOTS and obviously we're really focused on that as well. I think, to the point around the Salesforce for Symphony integration, actually ironically pre-dating the partnership right. So when we founded the ecosystem project a year ago, it was really the view that there were, you know, the way the world was going, that connectedness and first of all, you need a single hub and for us Salesforce is more than a CRM system, but Salesforce are our integrated client harbor because it's built with that API-first architecture. It's so quick and easy to connect to lots of other systems and give us that 360 degree review of clients, but at the same time, Symphony is more than just a messaging and collaboration tool because it can act as that window into that single pane of glass. So you know, some of the things that we're thinking in terms of with Salesforce by integrating all in one place we can then apply predictive analytics to the entirety of that connected data set, so that we can kind of systematically apply kind of client service best practice throughout the firm, front to back. But then at the same time, if you think about an example how have an integrator with Symphony, you know, imagine I'm a salesperson, I'm about to go into a client meeting and I think, “Oh shoot, you know, the first thing the client’s going to ask me is, you know, where's the latest ‘is there onboarding’ status?” or something like that. And actually, yeah, maybe I could go to Salesforce on my mobile device and have a look that way and that could connect to our client lifecycle management tool and pull that data. But equally, I might just want to go to a Symphony bot and just ask the question, you know, “Where's the latest ‘is there onboarding’ status with X or Z client?” And Symphony will going to Salesforce, Salesforce pulls that down from other systems, and then it will text me back two, three seconds later. And I think, you know, that's how then all these different threads start to come together and that's really the whole idea behind a loosely coupled client ecosystem. But really with, I think, both Symphony and Salesforce’s absolutely integral ingredients as part of that. Yes they're two of 14 projects but they're two of the most important I guess.

B. Steele: Great. Thank you for that. We’re at time so I wanted to thank all of our panelists for being here today. Thank you all for joining us and hopefully you found the session useful as it relates to operations and how Symphony can certainly change communication and workflow.

This panel was recorded live at the Conrad Hotel in New York City on October 4, 2017.

Moderator: Brian Steele, Global Head of Market Solutions, Goldman Sachs


- Mary Jane Ajodah, Vice President, Client Service Delivery Strategy, BNY Mellon

- Matthew Cheung, CEO, ipushpull

- Craig Butterworth, Managing Director, Global Head of Client Eco-system, Nomura

- Josh Carroll, Global Head of Market Data Operation and Engineering, RBC Capital Markets

- Laurén Robbins, Global Head, Institutional Banking & Markets, Salesforce

- Jean-Thierry Dupuy, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Securities

Share This