Modernizing Banking Technology Architecture with MongoDB and Gravity9
The banking industry has historically relied on legacy, on-premises systems to store critical financial data in a secure and resilient technology fabric. Today, as transactions happen in real-time and customer demands soar, legacy systems fail to support accelerated modernization and restrict innovation. This change has driven banking enterprises to consider transitioning to newer technologies that can plug better capabilities into business-critical systems while preparing them for tomorrow's challenges. By leveraging MongoDB, Gravity9 enables customers to migrate from legacy systems to more sophisticated technologies in a planned and piecemeal technique. In its effort to modernize technologies that are slowly turning obsolete, Gravity9 recognizes and retains the prominence of legacy systems while migrating with minimal disruption to the status quo. This article describes how Gravity9 performed a data offload from a core retail banking platform to MongoDB using a digital decoupling approach, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1: Technologies used – Kafka Streams, MongoDB Kafka connectors, Apache Avro, Spring WebFlux, Spring Data Reactive MongoDB repository. The challenge Gravity9's client encountered many performance issues with their core banking platform, Temenos 24, backed by Oracle. Their attempt to offload frequently accessed data from the primary system to the Oracle database failed to give the edge of performance and scalability. The platform was being leveraged for analytical and transactional operations and could not cater to both areas as envisioned. In some instances, this approach resulted in customer transaction rejections. Additionally, the client faced the following challenges: The offload platform proved difficult to manage and extend with most of the logic for business processes written in the stored procedures. The data model within the core banking system was not inherently relational, which amplified the complexity of the platform due to the presence of only two columns: RECID for the ID or Unique Key of the record, and XMLRECORD to store the data. The complexities of the old data source compelled the client to adopt a migration strategy and gradually move into MongoDB, which offered better scalability and a flexible document data model while also migrating the corresponding business logic code. The client expected an improvement in overall performance, maintainability, extensibility, and the potential to deliver better customer experiences. The approach Gravity9 leveraged a digital decoupling approach to create message-driven microservices on top of the client's data. The approach was oriented to a continuous migration process executed in parts rather than in one fell swoop. Using this methodology, Gravity9 could help the client move from the old offload system to MongoDB by building fully scalable microservices for each business domain. The biggest advantage to this approach was that the client's legacy systems could continue as usual behind the scenes. Using a CDC pattern on the underlying Oracle database, the data from the core banking system was gathered, and snapshots modified in the core legacy system were published in real time. An event was generated every time a modification was made in the legacy/core system to keep track of changed data. Gravity9 built an application to learn about the new changes, transform the raw XML format into a structured message and refine it as necessary while broadcasting it as a message to other customers, who could process it or store it on the new MongoDB datastore. Specific dictionaries were developed for this purpose with clear directions about field markers and object structure for the transformed objects. The outcome Although the execution was intended to offload only a part of the data stored on the client's old system, the approach used helped build capabilities to support future migrations of larger volumes. The use of MongoDB Atlas for the implementation delivered efficiency and security in data offloading and met the desired level of performance. Consequently, it resolved scalability issues that would otherwise have occurred with on-premises systems. Although the migrated use cases work on MongoDB-based offload, the implementation left the remaining use cases untouched, allowing them to work on the older systems without handicapping the functioning. Seeking to modernize your banking technology environment? Speak to us today to learn how Gravity9 and MongoDB can help you make the best of new technologies and secure your performance-critical financial data.
MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions: Enabling Modernization for Public Sector Clients
Cloud-based transformation is now a must-have for federal agencies. And, in partnership with Clarity Business Solutions, MongoDB is making that transformation easier for government agencies, particularly those that work in closed, air-gapped environments and that require security clearances for their support staff. In this article, we’ll look at specific ways MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions are working together to support public sector clients. Cloud challenges IT teams within government agencies want many of the same cloud benefits that their colleagues in the private sector enjoy: better performance, the ability to outsource the management of their infrastructure, and a path to building more resilient applications. And government leaders, at the national level, are pushing for more cloud adoption. A May 2021 executive order from President Joe Biden called on all federal agencies to “accelerate movement to secure cloud services.” In the mission to support U.S. troops, Danielle Metz, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Deputy CIO for Information Enterprise, said , “It all comes down to harnessing the power of cloud compute and then being able to natively build applications continuously and often in that space.” For government agencies, security is an overriding concern. However, some of the precautions that enable the highest levels of security also make it more difficult to keep applications up to date, to modernize them, and to move them to the cloud. Government agencies often work in closed networks, without access to the internet. The need for security clearances makes it difficult for agencies to take advantage of support from software companies, consultants, and other members of the technology ecosystem. Even personnel with appropriate security clearances aren’t always allowed to go on-site to assist their government clients. These extra layers of security can also make it difficult for MongoDB to support public sector clients that require top secret clearances. Now, we’re pleased to announce that our ability to service these clients has been enhanced through our partnership with Clarity Business Solutions , a software and systems engineering company that focuses on data analytics, processing, and data flow. Clarity specializes in working with the federal government and understands the constraints under which government agencies operate — as well as the requisition procedures and security protocols unique to the federal government. The company has experience working in closed, air-gapped environments, and all but two of Clarity’s employees hold security clearances. Joint solutions In the first phase of our partnership, MongoDB and Clarity are jointly offering three unique solutions to better support our public sector clients: Application modernization Government Support Rapid start Let’s look at each of these solutions in turn. Application modernization Together, Clarity and MongoDB offer public sector clients a proven, iterative approach to application modernization. Clarity’s security clearances allow them to sit side-by-side with public sector clients when necessary, and Clarity has deep experience with the environments common to government agencies. Clarity and MongoDB leverage a strategic process for analyzing legacy applications and modernizing and migrating them iteratively, rather than trying to update an entire system in a “big bang” approach. This iterative approach allows clients to modernize without downtime. Legacy and modernized systems can run in parallel for a period of time, enabling troubleshooting and increasing confidence. Clarity and MongoDB combine the power of the MongoDB developer data platform with Clarity’s extensive client domain knowledge. This partnership allows teams to focus on the application feature development and quickly get the data platform operational. Public sector clients often operate systems with significant accumulated technical debt. Clarity and MongoDB are partnering to help clients increase efficiency, improve performance and scalability, and optimize maintenance as each monolithic application is modernized, rather than waiting years for an entire system to be replaced. Government support MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions are offering a concierge support service specifically for the public sector. Government Support engages U.S.-only technical staff, with appropriate clearances, to provide phone, online, or even on-site support for MongoDB government customers. Government Tier Support provides continuity between call-in support and support offered by individuals with on-site clearance. Clarity Government Support engineers are tightly integrated with the MongoDB support team and can rely on the expertise of the broader MongoDB engineering organization while ensuring that all necessary details remain confidential. Service-level agreements are twice the MongoDB published response times for commercial support. Rapid start This new service helps public sector clients get operational with MongoDB as quickly and efficiently as possible. This intense, short engagement ensures the following: Networking layouts are optimized and secured using appropriate firewall rules and TLS to encrypt all data in transit. Data storage is set up to meet applications’ needs. Backup and recovery are properly enabled. Agencies have the proper guidance to achieve environment security requirements. For example, data at rest is encrypted according to client requirements through disk encryption and/or MongoDB’s encrypted storage engine. Data in use can be protected with client-side field-level encryption. Additionally, Clarity engineers can consult and provide input on schema design, leveraging key MongoDB features and working with training staff on the best practices for using MongoDB. We believe these three new offerings will significantly ease the way for our government clients, enabling them to make the best use of MongoDB and cloud technologies and to better serve their end customer — all of us. Learn more about Clarity Business Solutions . For more information, check out our Solutions Briefs: Government Support for Secure Environments RapidStart: The Power of MongoDB at the Speed of Relevance Rapid, Predictable Modernization for Public Sector Clients
Forward Together: How MongoDB Invests in (and Helps Grow) Modernization Consultancies for Our Customers
At MongoDB, our partners are critical to our ability to care for our customers. For example, our Global Systems Integrator (GSI) partners help MongoDB customers modernize, migrate, and manage their data infrastructure in the cloud at scale. Notwithstanding the continued success of our GSI partners, many of our customers and the GSI themselves expressed the need for assistance that was highly tailored to their specific industry or that addressed an extremely complex technical challenge. As a result of this feedback, MongoDB has launched a modernization investment program focused on specialist system integrators, which we are calling Boutique Systems Integrators (BSIs). This post explains our rationale behind the program and offers key details on how it functions. Even though this article is focused on our system integrator program, our customers may also appreciate understanding our thought process behind a key partner initiative that strives to deliver continued customer value. Why did we create the BSI program? Many BSIs offer smaller and more specialized consultancy services, enabling us to expand MongoDB’s global reach in a focused and thoughtful manner. Furthermore, since these BSIs are specially suited to particular industries or sectors within those industries, they help us care for customers in businesses that have historically been difficult to move off of their legacy infrastructure. This approach has allowed us to improve the MongoDB customer experience while also creating beneficial opportunities for our partners. In addition to the need for industry-specific expertise, it was also evident that both our customers and our GSI partners (which tended to be larger corporations) were looking for smaller, more specialized organizations to complement their efforts. For instance, if a GSI didn’t possess the necessary expertise for a given use case, then a BSI could provide help to deliver and implement a solution jointly. Our BSI program immediately delivered value to our customers and GSI partners. It was a great solution to a difficult problem. However, we quickly realized that customer demand for BSI services exceeded capacity. We needed to determine how to accelerate our BSI program and scale our existing partners in order to best support our customers. In the winter of 2020 during some of the most difficult periods of the pandemic, we launched an initiative in which we directly invested and took equity stake in a handful of BSIs. Our investments allowed the BSIs to rapidly accelerate the onboarding of highly skilled consultants, launch additional go-to-market offerings, drive marketing programs, and remain maniacally focused on driving modernization value for our customers. How did we create the BSI program — and how are things going? To select the most appropriate partners to invest in, we created a simple but effective request for proposal (RFP) process. The criteria focused on straightforward qualifications; we sought out organizations led by founders or executives with extensive enterprise experience, established organizations with 50 employees or fewer looking to scale, and aspiring partners with existing MongoDB skills and a proven track record of success in modernization. The vetting process took a wide range of factors into consideration, including growth potential and customer references. Essentially, MongoDB screened for organizations with strong foundations, which took the form of seasoned leadership, finely honed business processes, and the ability to scale with us. We also assessed competence in related areas like training and team development, overall organizational alignment on goals, industry expertise, and recruiting. To take things one step further, the most promising companies were selected to become investment partners, a higher tier of the BSI program. Today, after more than a year of hard work, five investment partners have joined our program: PeerIslands, Exafluence, Gravity 9, Wekan Enterprise Solutions, and Clarity Business Solutions. In total, our investment partners can field over 300 modernization consultants — all of whom are thoroughly familiar with MongoDB — and empower customers to fully leverage the potential of the MongoDB platform. Where we are with each of our investment partners Let’s review some of the exceptional work these five BSI partners have done over the past year. PeerIslands won the BSI Partner of the Year Award in 2021. A strong organization that has excelled across all of our success criteria, PeerIslands possesses strong delivery skills in the independent software vendor (ISV) replatform and retail segments. The company has a very capable team of ex-Cognizant leaders with close alignment to MongoDB products. Customers love the company’s onshore-offshore model, and we are happy to empower PeerIslands to expand its headcount and organizational abilities — and thrilled to see where the team will go next. Exafluence is a leader in modernizing payments and healthcare platforms, with a particular focus on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Given the documented compatibility problems between healthcare information solutions, Exafluence is in an excellent position to facilitate the transformation of obsolete, legacy technology — and help improve vital outcomes for patients and providers alike. Wekan Enterprise Solutions , based in India and the United States, specializes in IoT, mobile development and modernization, and fleet logistics. This creates a natural alignment with Realm, MongoDB’s toolkit for application developers, which includes key services, app logic, and data sync. Wekan, the strongest partner in our ecosystem with Realm expertise, has excelled in reimagining mobile and backend data infrastructure for its customers. Gravity9 , headquartered in the U.K., has considerable expertise in accelerating clients’ transformation journeys by modernizing applications for the cloud, developing operational data stores, and creating single-view solutions. As a result, the company possesses deep technical capabilities and is well qualified to bring MongoDB to a new slate of enterprises. Clarity Business Solutions specializes in application modernization for U.S. government agencies. With its experienced team (many of whom already possess top security clearances and other federal qualifications), Clarity is well positioned to help public sector customers get more from their MongoDB and FedRAMP investments. How our customers have benefited from this program Our investment partners work with clients to: Accelerate their modernization journeys with MongoDB Provide access to highly skilled modernization consultants with expertise in the MongoDB stack and the cloud Bring in industry specialization for MongoDB use cases Deliver end-to-end solutions using MongoDB's products and services Dr. Narendra Kini, the chief medical officer at our customer VitalProbe Inc., says, “Converting an array of healthcare data (structured, unstructured, and semi-structured) across critical variables into formats that can be stored and accessed for advanced analytics to drive better health outcomes is the core competency of Exafluence." Further, says Dr. Kini, "They are able to achieve this interoperability through their MongoDB Atlas–centric data platform, with FHIR APIs being accessed through mobile apps that leverage MongoDB Realm sync technology. Our company is a great example of a customer that benefits from Exafluence’s expertise and more specifically from the FHIR platform built by them,” he says. “Three years ago, when we decided to transform our data engineering and ML workloads to the cloud and build the world’s best revenue cycle management platform for healthcare providers, we needed a partner who could step up to the challenge. PeerIslands came our way then,” says Sriram Upadhyayula, the CTO at CloudMed. “We have since worked with them for over three years, and I have been more than satisfied with the solutions PeerIslands has developed and delivered. They have grown to be recognized for their experience in digital transformation and for their expertise in MongoDB. The quality of talent at PeerIslands is among the best I’ve worked with,” says Upadhyayula. “They go above and beyond to deliver quality results, time and again.” Where we go from here Going forward, MongoDB looks to grow our modernization investment program for BSIs and continue to empower our existing investment partners as we seek to jointly care for customers. With the help of our talented partners, we aim to support MongoDB adoption — and provide a better data experience — for many more customers across various industries and time zones. If you are a customer interested in using one of our investment partners for a modernization project or would like to become one of our BSIs, please contact us at email@example.com . We look forward to hearing from you!