Intellect Design Arena speeds data analysis with AWS
Intellect Design Arena is a multinational company that creates financial technology software for banking, insurance and other financial services. With a singular focus on products, Intellect Design Arena addresses the needs of financial institutions at varying stages of technology adoption. It offers a suite of vertical and integrated products that enable financial institutions to act as the principal service provider to their customers.
Intellect Design Arena began as part of Polaris Consulting Services, which handled software development and back-end operations for the American bank Citibank. In 2014 Polaris Consulting Services demerged itself into two new entities: a services company, and a product company focused on software as a service (SaaS) and enterprise products for banking and insurance, which became Intellect Design Arena.
Financial institutions utilise Intellect Design Arena for digital transformation initiatives across global consumer banking, central banking, global transaction banking, insurance, and risk, treasury and markets. As its name suggests, Intellect Design Arena’s key differentiator is its championing of the use of design thinking to create cutting-edge products and enable digital transformation for banking and insurance.
Intellect Design Arena’ products manage the needs of its clients by leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, delivered through APIs and an omnichannel UX, to provide more than 1,000 user journeys that span the full complexity of banking and insurance as microservices and UI components. This enables financial institutions to accelerate customer self-service and both upsell and cross-sell their services by providing clients with context-aware recommendations on the best-next action or best-next offer to meet their immediate objectives.
Intellect Design Arena generates annual revenues of more than USD169 million, and serves more than 240 customers across more than 40 countries.
AWS helps us build products and services in an exponential way because of its flexibility, wide range of features, and ease of use.”
Mr. Sarat Dara
Vice President, Solution Architecture / Head - Cloud & DevOps, Intellect Design Arena
For its insurance clients, Intellect Design Arena has to evaluate risk by analyzing thousands of data sources, and it needs to determine which are relevant, genuine and contain the most important information. The amount of analytics required to do this can be costly and time-consuming, yet providing rapid results is crucial. “If we can provide our clients reliable real-time data, it reduces the risk for them,” says Mr. Sarat Dara, Vice President, Solution Architecture / Head - Cloud & DevOps, Intellect Design Arena.
If it was to build the analysis infrastructure itself, Intellect Design Arena would need to contact vendors, get quotations and enter into contract negotiations, a process that typically takes four to five months. “It’s a race against time because the products must be built and ready for market in just two to three months, but your infrastructure build in traditional Data Center takes four to five months to be provisioned, which is a huge gap,” says Mr. Dara.
Innovation was another key challenge for Intellect Design Arena. The need to build the entire stack, harden it to meet regulatory security requirements, configure it, then mold it into production for developers to use meant it was more difficult to implement new features and improvements. The return of investment visibility was another issue, with the financial benefits of innovation not being seen for a significant time.
Why Amazon Web Services
Intellect Design Arena turned to AWS for an out-of-the-box solution that would allow them to analyze data sources and evaluate risks quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. It found what it was looking for in Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service for building, training and deploying machine learning models. “My data scientists can push an algorithm onto SageMaker, train it for around 15-20 minutes, get the analysis, come back and redo the algorithm, train it for another 15-20 minutes, and then it properly adheres to the methodology,” says Mr. Dara. “We have seen cost savings of 80-85% just by moving to SageMaker.”
SageMaker also helps Intellect Design Arena standardize all of its tools, engineering teams or data science team across different product lines, so they know to use a particular algorithm in a particular set of defined guidelines and work within the guardrails.
To label its data into specific groups of particular data elements, Intellect Design Arena uses Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth. “We need to move them into different data models which the subsystems can accurately use, so we need to label one data element as belonging to a specific model, and another other data element to another model,” says Mr. Dara. “To do that implementation on our own, we’d need around five to six developers and a testing team. With Ground Truth, it’s fast and easy to achieve the required output in few hours.”
Intellect Design Arena also moved much of its workload onto Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, which lets it take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud. Spot Instances’ predictable vendor analytics help Intellect Design Arena determine where an instance is in a particular region and realize a 50% cost reduction by moving workloads automatically to that instance, without impacting application availability or product availability.
With AWS, Intellect Design Arena reduced its build times for new product implementation from around six months to just one month. It also helped speed up its process path by removing its dependency on vendor delivery systems and licensing, and avoiding vendor lock-in.
Another advantage was access to support. “Our ease of access to AWS technical architects or the product engineering teams has been very, very successful,” says Mr. Dara. “With AWS there are multiple channels of engagement, be it operations or solution architecture, so customer-centric support is always available.”
Also, Intellect Design Arena can now publish its products on the AWS Marketplace, and aims to gain an advantage against our competition by offering 50-60% of its SaaS-oriented products on AWS Marketplace in the future.
“The major reason why we are aligned with AWS is because it’s very easy to implement AWS products and plumb them into our own product roadmap, which is vital for our growth,” says Mr. Dara. “AWS helps us build products and services in an exponential way because of its flexibility, wide range of features, and ease of use. These factors, combined with its security and cost optimization advantages, make AWS a winner.”
To learn more, visit Amazon Web Services.
About Intellect Design Arena
Intellect Design Arena creates financial technology software for banking, insurance and other financial services at varying stages of technology adoption. It offers a suite of products that enable financial institutions to act as the principal service provider to their customers.
Benefits of AWS
- Time to market cut from 6 months to 1 month
- New tools don’t impact existing customers or products
- Wider exposure with AWS Marketplace
- Continuous cost optimization
- Improved security & regulatory compliance
- Access to AWS technical support & architecture teams
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