IBM iX: Bringing The Next-Generation To Life
State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) exclusively spoke to Business Chief EMEA in its August edition, and IBM iX was recognised as one of the company’s key strategic partners in this, as the businesses have worked closely together over a long relationship to create a customer-centric digital experience platform, capable of delivering more efficient, localised content.
SSGA, specialists in developing and delivering next-generation digital experiences, capable of improving EFT sales and propelling growth, have grown to expect the momentum in the asset management industry to change at a moment’s notice.
As demand for personalised content across its global practices, SSGA has grasped the opportunity to completely reimagine its digital experience, bringing its global presence together with unity, and making it more efficient and effective.
Creating this unified platform, with increased efficiency and effectiveness, is where IBM iX has played such a significant and important role. SSGA identified a need to improve its understanding of the needs of its users across the board. Without this, SSGA could never deliver a truly frictionless experience to its customer base.
IBM iX and SSGA partnered up, and set out to develop and build an integrated digital platform, ready to meet and support the needs of their customers. This solution was created, not only to support customer needs, but also to establish and help to grow the correct capabilities of content and digital centres of excellence, capable of supporting and driving measurable business value and ROI.
With a design-led, human-centred team and approach to business, IBM iX and SSGA were able to work together to create a unified global digital experience platform, which could be customised by region, language, and even investor types. This platform was further complemented by a platform for marketing data, which provided a 360-degree view on personalised data for customers.
Using the Adobe Experience Manager platform, IBM iX was able to develop and replace a number of customer legacy systems, all of which were proving to be costly to manage and were resulting in disappointing outcomes.
Since launching the platform, SSGA has been able to deliver significant savings, thanks to IBM iX. Enabled by Adobe Experience Cloud’s suite of solutions, services and applications, SSGA is now able to make its decisions based on actionable data insights, interacting with customers and their content, and unveiling what is most valuable to clients.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”