Independent for over 60 years, Milliman delivers market-leading services and solutions to clients worldwide, with no agenda, other than getting it right. They offer unparalleled expertise in Employee Benefits, Investment Consulting, Healthcare, Life Insurance & Financial Services, and Property & Casualty Insurance.
The pace of technological change is presenting the insurance industry with new opportunities; strategic partnerships can leverage technological innovation to create new products and services for different generations of customers.
During a 7-year partnership, endjin has helped Milliman Life Technology Solutions to create and evolve MG-ALFA Compute for Azure, the largest grid-computing solution in the industry and one of the largest workloads on the Microsoft Azure platform. But that was just the beginning.
Taking advantage of endjin's diverse set of expert services including Architectural Guidance & Support, Proof of Concepts, and Brain Trust sessions, Milliman utilized endjin to establish Portfolio Governance of all products and reusable architectural components, derisked technology adoption, planned the Technical Roadmap Development for the Integrate® platform, identified and fixed issues with team dynamics, processes & engineering practices, and provided mentoring & advice for the engineering team, from CTO down to individual developers.
— Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group
Since 1921, Hymans Robertson has provided independent pensions, investments, benefits and risk consulting services, as well as data and technology solutions, to employers, trustees and financial services institutions.
In 2013, Hymans Robertson partnered with endjin to start their journey to the cloud, initially because they were embarking upon the development of a new proposition - the Guided Outcomes (GO) platform - which required more computational power than their existing on-premise data centre could support. Following endjin's cloud adoption process, the first step was to assess the regulatory requirements Hymans Roberson operated within. We developed the Cloud Adoption Risks & Mitigations Analysis Swiss Cheese Model in partnership, to identify potential risks and put multiple controls in place (technology, process, people) to prevent those undesired outcomes.
As Guided Outcomes operates on personally identifiable information (PII), encrypting data at rest in the cloud was identified as a key risk that would need to be mitigated in order for the Firm to sign off on Azure adoption. Endjin ran a series of experiments using SQL DB and Azure Key Vault to prove how data could be securely encrypted, stored, queried, backed-up, and restored. Based on this experience, Hymans Robertson provided valuable feedback to the FCA's FG 16/5 - Guidance for firms outsourcing to the "cloud" and other third-party IT services.
With Azure adoption signed off, endjin helped the GO engineering team adopt Azure Service Bus and built a Proof of Concept reference architecture for doing distributed computation of the GO models, while offering the Architecture team weekly Brain Trust sessions to help evolve their thinking about distributed systems & big compute. Endjin also worked with the leadership team to produce a software and New Proposition Development strategy whitepaper, which led to the creation of software Portfolio Governance and an internal "InnovationHub" group to assess and invest new propositions generated within the firm.
As the partnership grew, endjin were involved in a number of projects: from the development of The Brain, a client facing hub for all of Hymans Robertson's products and services, to providing proof of concepts for a DevOps process for hosting actuarial models written in the R language in Azure Machine Learning Studio and DeployR.
In 2015, Microsoft invited Hymans Robertson & endjin to co-present at the Future Decoded conference about the cloud adoption journey thus far in a session called "The 100 year old start-up: Embracing Disruption in Financial Services". In 2016, Hymans were invited back to talk about their IT Modernisation, device strategy, and journey to the cloud.
As time progressed, new Azure Services became available which could be used to evolve and improve the now award winning Guided Outcomes platform; migration to Azure Batch enabled larger scale and reduced the support & maintenance and operational overhead, while adoption of Azure Data Factory and Power BI reduced the expert human effort required to validate the output of the Guided Outcomes models.
More recently, endjin were engaged to run an Process Efficiency & Scale assessment of the IT Apps Team, who are responsible for long term support and maintenance of much of the software portfolio.
Endjin are currently helping Hymans Robertson embrace the API & Algorithmic Economy, as the next step in their Digital Transformation, and look forward to a long-term relationship as one of three strategic vendors in their technology roadmap.
— Barry Smart, CTO, Hymans Robertson
Aberdeen Asset Management is an international investment management group, managing assets for both institutions and private investors across the globe.
They saw the strategic need to deliver their services to partners and customers through public APIs but the key to success was developing a centralized service layer over an array of disparate and heterogenous systems.
With help from endjin in the form of a production quality, Proof of Concepts, API Platform reference architecture based on Azure API Management, Aberdeen Asset Management eliminated the need for lengthy R&D and could hit the ground running on day one. By applying DevOps best practices to process and automation using VSTS, endjin left Aberdeen Asset Management with a frictionless path from feature development to production, allowing the team to deliver rapidly whilst ensuring the required quality at every step of the way.
— Michael Speed, Head of Core Architecture, Aberdeen Asset Management
Ambro trade globally in base metals and raw materials, and is a member of the London Metal Exchange. They provide commodity based Shari’ah compliant solutions to banks, financial institutions and major corporations in the Islamic banking and investment industry.
Over the last two years, endjin have provided strategic support around migrating their application into Azure App Services, executed DevOps and Delivery services to build a completely automated ALM solution with VSTS, and ultimately enabled Ambro to bring all future development, version control, and deployments of their solution back in-house with a small, high performing team.
As a result, Ambro are now able to run their solution at a lower cost and greater confidence, and are free to engage partners to help with strategic development projects while remaining in full control and visibility of development, progress, and quality.
— Alan Spangler, CFO, Ambro Limited
Smartr365 is an easy-to-use technology platform, aimed at Independent Financial Advisors, enabling them to give smarter financial advice to their clients, manage their portfolios more effectively, and ultimately grow their business.
Endjin were engaged by Smartr365 to re-architect existing intellectual property into a new industry disrupting multi-tenant SaaS platform: an all-in-one house buying, mortgage and remortgaging solution for Independent Financial Advisors.
Hosted in Azure App Service, with deep integration into Office 365, and Azure Active Directory enabling complex side-by-side B2B and B2C authentication options for both enterprise users and consumers.
RBS offers its clients a full range of foreign transaction services, from straightforward currency exchange to complete risk management solutions. It uses foreign exchange (FX) hedging tools to help reduce the risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations to give customers greater certainty over their future cash flows, enabling them to plan for the future with increased confidence.
Endjin worked with the architecture team to create a Proof of Concept for a highly scalable, ReSTful trading architecture which could make full use of their existing investment in grid computing, their quant libraries, and their database infrastructure, while enabling their development teams to easily plug new products and components into the system using popular technologies such as Java, Silverlight, WPF, and HTML5.
We also introduced new development methodologies and DevOps technology to help them to focus on delivering business value more rapidly, and with less friction. We reduced the dev/deployment/test cycle from 4 days to 45 minutes.
Risk management strategies require multiple layers of protection that limit the pathways that could result in a data loss or breach.
Endjin have worked with some of the largest companies in the world to create a security model and data privacy architecture for the Microsoft Cloud, which we subject to external audit by both clients and independent security consultants.
Leveraging Microsoft's impressive array of Azure certifications, and using technologies such as Key Vault and SQL Server Always Encrypted, we help you to employ the latest data encryption, replication and monitoring, ensure rigid access controls, auditing and application configuration within the organization.
To coincide with our Future Decoded talk "The 100 Year Old Start-up: Embracing Disruption in Financial Services", we produced a booklet where we examine the challenges and opportunities in the Microsoft Cloud for the Financial Services Industry, covering the following topics: