Prometeia Launches New Wealth Management SaaS Platform with Support from AWS SaaS Factory
By Tomaž Perc, SaaS Business Lead – AWS
Humberto Somensi, Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
As with most industry segments, financial services are experiencing a shift towards the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business and delivery model. AWS SaaS Factory works with partners from wealth management, banking, payments, capital markets, and insurance to help them achieve global coverage, unlock new markets, become operationally efficient and enable faster innovation to their customers.
Morgan Stanley & Oliver Wyman 2020 report states that 70% of wealth management (WM) customer interactions will occur via a digital channel by 2024. This drives WM software providers to embrace agile technologies and platforms so they can serve customers evolving requirements and have the ability to pivot product strategies accordingly.
Prometeia is a leading provider of advisory services, tech solutions, and research insights. A unique combination of skills has made Prometeia a leading European company for risk and wealth management solutions, as well as services for institutional investors. It is present in more than 20 locations serving more than 500 customers across all economic segments.
Working with the AWS SaaS Factory team, Prometeia created a new platform as a SaaS solution on AWS.
Prometeia’s modular service-oriented wealth management front office SaaS platform called PFTPro enables users to digitalize the entire investment and pension process, and currently supports the management of more than €2.5 trillion in assets under management (AuM) across 30,000 branches, 80,000 relationship managers, and 50 million portfolios ranging in size from hundreds to hundreds of millions of Euros.
Q&A with Prometeia
We recently spoke with Massimiliano Capaccio, Head of Wealth & Asset Management Technology Infrastructure Unit at Prometeia, to learn more about the new digital wealth management SaaS platform based on PFTPro and the value it brings to customers.
Massimiliano shared insights from Prometeia’s move to SaaS that can help other software providers planning to adopt this delivery model:
“The partnership with AWS helped us build a highly scalable and performant solution, and delegate the management of the underlying infrastructure by leveraging managed and serverless services,” he said. “The AWS SaaS Factory team reviewed all our architecture designs, proposing best practices related to managing access to data, and the optimal services to implement them. These techniques are now ingrained in our development processes and standards, which not only harden security, but also expedite time to market.”
AWS SaaS Factory: What benefits did you see in partnering with AWS as the cloud provider given you operate in highly regulated environment?
Massimiliano Capaccio: AWS provides us the tools and services to meet the needs of a highly regulated environment such as financial services. In particular, AWS allows us to adhere to the GDPR policies, EBA requirements, and has enabled us to achieve the ISO 27001 certification of our services provided as SaaS solutions.
AWS is responsible for the security and compliance of the cloud services, which simplifies certifications, as we only need to certify the areas which we are responsible for in the Shared Responsibility Model. Within this model we are able to change the level of AWS service responsibility that AWS takes on by selecting different service options (for example, Amazon EC2 vs. AWS Fargate).
AWS SaaS Factory: Can you tell us about yourself and your role at Prometeia?
Massimiliano Capaccio: I have been working in the software development field for 20+ years. In Prometeia I’m leading a division of cloud solution architects and DevOps engineers who are responsible for facilitating the cloud transition of our Wealth and Asset Management (WAM) Division products and supporting the delivery and day by day operations of our SaaS solutions.
AWS SaaS Factory: Can you describe which products and solutions Prometeia has built on AWS?
Massimiliano Capaccio: We have built several Wealth and Asset Management solutions on AWS: data warehouse solutions for asset managers, our open banking & open data APIs and others, but above all the SaaS version of our PFTPro platform, a complete wealth management SaaS cloud platform is modular WM front-office software suite designed to support the entire investment process.
AWS SaaS Factory: Your application consists of several modules: – what criteria did you use to choose the ones you brought to the SaaS deliver model?
Massimiliano Capaccio: We have chosen to start with those modules that were best suited to migration and modernization, in particular those on which it was possible to standardize and offer in multi-tenant, cloud-native mode. On other components, such as the front-end, we preferred to maintain a customization approach, because our customers usually need to comply with their own user experience (UX) design guidelines and user journey structure.
AWS SaaS Factory: Who are your customers and what are some key customer benefits?
Massimiliano Capaccio: We have several key customers that can benefit from our PFTPro solution:
- Banking institutions
- Insurance companies
- Asset managers
- Financial advisor networks
Our customers benefit from an always up-to-date solution that can lower their overall total cost of ownership (TCO), and provide faster time to value.
AWS SaaS Factory: What does PFTPro deliver to your customers?
Massimiliano Capaccio: PFTPro supports relationship managers, planners and end-investors throughout the investment and financial planning process. This includes client profiling, wealth and portfolio analytics, construction of investment recommendations and financial plans, as well as monitoring and reporting.
Based on a modular and layered approach, it is usually integrated with banking systems to provide its users with end-to-end, easy-to-use MiFID-compliant workflows to serve clients more efficiently.
AWS SaaS Factory: Which customer requirements drove adoption of a SaaS model?
Massimiliano Capaccio: Our customers have increasingly expressed the need to have our solution fully managed by us, to reduce the effort they put into managing and maintaining the infrastructure and the whole application environment necessary to run it within on-premises environments. Furthermore, there is an increasing demand for great scalability, performance and innovative technological solutions, objectives that are currently difficult to achieve in an on-premises environment.
AWS SaaS Factory: What were key wealth management customer objections and how did you overcome them?
Massimiliano Capaccio: In the world of financial services there is particular attention to data protection and a widespread mistrust in the outsourcing of data management. In recent years, also with the support of AWS SaaS Factory program, we have dedicated great attention to designing cloud-native solutions that guarantee the protection and security of our customers’ data.
Today, we are able to offer cutting-edge services in terms of cryptography management, tenant isolation, and code quality.
AWS SaaS Factory: Can you share key technical challenges you addressed when moving to a SaaS model?
Massimiliano Capaccio: First of all, a revision of our architecture was necessary in order to make our modules cloud native. Over the years we have transformed a monolithic architecture into a microservices architecture that fully leverages the services offered by AWS in terms of serverless computing, scalability, resilience and agility.
We then concentrated on standardizing our product, moving from a solution customization logic to a configuration logic, thus making our software configurable according to customer needs. This has also improved the operations, deployment, and update management processes.
AWS SaaS Factory: Were there any regulatory challenges that you needed to solve when building the solution?
Massimiliano Capaccio: We spend much of our work finding the best way to manage our customers’ data and to best isolate one customer’s data from another’s. Another important challenge for us was the management of data access permissions based on the principle of least privilege.
We have learned that by working with the best practices of the SaaS Factory program it is possible to create multi-tenant solutions that guarantee the maximum possible isolation of data without the need for physical segregation.
AWS SaaS Factory: Can you walk us through how the SaaS Factory team supported these efforts and the value you got from the team?
Massimiliano Capaccio: The SaaS Factory team has reviewed all of our architectural proposals, suggesting best practices related to managing access to data and the best services to implement them. For example, showing us the best ways to manage the fine-grained access control to databases, or how to apply tenant isolation to the logging management. These techniques are now ingrained in our development processes and standards, which not only harden security, but also expedite time to market.
AWS SaaS Factory: Does the new SaaS model impact your ability to innovate faster?
Massimiliano Capaccio: Of course, today we are able to focus our efforts on a product that we constantly innovate, so much faster than before: We have greatly reduced the timespan from the original idea to the go-live phase. Our customers expect constant innovation, and the SaaS model is the main enabler of this. With SaaS, we can now make innovation available to our customers in a matter of days instead of months.
AWS SaaS Factory: Can you walk us through the architecture? What AWS services are key to understand?
Massimiliano Capaccio: Our architecture is heavily based on serverless technologies and used the following core AWS services:
- AWS Lambda – Host workload for real-time fraud scoring calculations, and host AI/ML workloads with Lambda container images.
- Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate – Run containers without overload of managing servers or clusters.
- AWS Glue – Discover, prepare, and integrate all your data at any scale
- Amazon DynamoDB – Fast, flexible NoSQL database service for single-digit millisecond performance at any scale.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) – Manage tenant-specific object data at scale.
- Amazon EventBridge – Built for event-driven applications at scale across AWS, existing systems, or SaaS applications.
This allows us to have a highly scalable and performant solution, and to delegate the management of the underlying infrastructure to AWS. We have put Amazon API Gateway at the heart of our infrastructure to have a single standardized access point to our APIs and services.
AWS SaaS Factory: What were the main technical challenges when designing your SaaS solution?
Massimiliano Capaccio: Definitely rethink our services in a cloud native and multi-tenant perspective, create high-performance services with great attention to costs and create an ecosystem that would allow us to update and add new services in an agile way.
The option for serverless services, and the adoption of SaaS best practices related to these services, were key factors in our success. Serverless technologies greatly simplify cost and performance efficiency, which are complex challenges to deal with in multi-tenant SaaS environments.
AWS SaaS Factory: What advice would you share to other software providers as they navigate their SaaS journey?
Massimiliano Capaccio: The SaaS journey brings countless technical, organizational and commercial challenges. It is critical to have external and specialized points of view that allows you to investigate aspects otherwise difficult to see. For sure, working with AWS SaaS Factory has been one of the best ways to take advantage of the collaboration with AWS.
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Prometeia – AWS Partner Spotlight
With almost 50 years of experience in economic research, quantitative analysis and model development, Prometeia is a global provider of advanced analytics, software solutions and consulting services focused on Wealth Management and Risk Management for the financial sector.