Seeking a cloud solution with flexibility, agility and resilience
Founder and CEO Mark Bradbury spotted the potential for a reliable cloud-based service that would streamline and automate what was traditionally a time-consuming, laborious manual process. His business – verifying that account numbers and bank branches match and are current – relies on a global database of bank information that spans 240 countries and holds details of some 870,000 bank branches plus more than 440,000 corresponding bank account numbers. Keeping this vast volume of data up-to-date involves handling up to 5,000 changes daily.
Aware of Sungard Availability Services’ heritage and track record of delivering high availability solutions, Apply Financial approached Sungard AS to be its technology partner. The company was originally seeking a colocation environment but on discussing options with Sungard AS it recognised that a cloud solution would give it the flexibility, agility and resilience it needed.
“It’s scalable at the flick of a switch, supports PCI DSS compliance and many of our European clients like knowing their data is hosted within Europe rather than the US,” explains CEO Mark Bradbury. “What’s more, it’s a very cost-effective solution as we benefit from a world class infrastructure we could never otherwise afford.”
According to Bradbury, “The cloud was a revolutionary concept for the financial sector at the time” and although at the start he faced initial resistance from some ultra cautious companies wary of storing sensitive data in the cloud, the Sungard Availability Services name with its fabled “five nines” availability provided the reassurance they needed. As Bradbury points out, “How can a company’s internal systems be more secure than Sungard AS, which has spent millions ensuring its infrastructure and cloud services are resilient?”
As a start-up funded by venture capitalists, Apply Financial faced tight financial constraints on its monthly operating expenses. During frank and open discussions it found Sungard AS to be a flexible and adaptable negotiating partner.
“We sat around a table together and were honest with each other about what we needed. Very quickly we were able to arrive at a solution that suited both of us, which was what we needed. You don’t have a lot of time to sit and debate as a start-up - you’re moving fast,” says CEO Mark Bradbury. “We double our volumes every year. We agreed on a package that allows us to scale up to accommodate this growth without a dramatic increase in cost.”