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Making Financial Software Easier In The Hybrid Cloud

This is a guest post written and contributed by James Crowley, co-founder and CTO at FundApps, a Rackspace Hybrid Cloud customer that brings cloud based compliance and risk monitoring to the fund industry.

The finance sector takes longer than most industries to warm to new technologies – they’re typically not early adopters.

When we founded FundApps, a cloud-based compliance, risk and regulation monitoring service for the fund industry, we knew some prospective customers would question its security. To combat this, we built a hybrid cloud solution with Rackspace, which delivers the flexibility and other benefits of the cloud without losing the trust of technologically conservative customers who demand dedicated hardware.

We’re competing against the traditional dinosaurs of the industry – they have heavy, monolithic architectures that take ages to install and configure. In contrast, we offer the ease and utility pricing of a true SaaS. A customer can start using our service, try it for three months and turn it off again, without the upfront costs and long integration phases of our competitors.

We track international regulations, which change constantly. Before FundApps, fund managers either needed to wait months for software updates or continually monitor websites themselves to maintain compliance. Our software reflects regulation changes within hours, not months.

As a startup with ambitions growth plans, we need the cloud’s flexibility to bring on new customers and add server capacity quickly. However, working in the finance sector, we know that security is a key point we’ll always be grilled on. It’s very important to our customers that their data is protected. While some of our customers understand the concept of cloud-based computing, others see it as a shiny new technology and are wary of it. That’s why we also rely on the proven security and performance of a dedicated hardware environment.

Our Rackspace Hybrid Cloud solution uses RackConnect to bridge our scalable cloud with secure, dedicated databases. This architecture, combined with the Rackspace brand name and reputation, goes a long way toward bolstering customer confidence in our solution.

Rackspace also gives us confidence, because its managed services let us focus on improving our product as opposed to our infrastructure. Banks should do banking, software companies should build software and hosting companies should host. Everybody has a core competency, and they should stick to it.

Rackspace gives us the best kind of technical support we could possibly get – Fanatical Support. When you compare the cost to managing your own kit and bringing in the expertise full-time to look after that, there’s no comparison.

Very few companies out there offer a true hybrid cloud, and Rackspace is the clear winner among them. A hybrid cloud gives us the performance and reliability we require at an affordable price. Long term, we see everything moving to cloud, but short term, as a startup with customers with very specific requirements, we’ll be pragmatic. We see the hybrid cloud model as a stepping stone to full cloud when our customers’ attitudes evolve. It’s been working quite well for us and our customers.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by James Crowley.

James is co-founder and CTO of FundApps. Whilst a teenager he set-up Developer Fusion, which has since become the largest online resource for software developers in the UK. He's been involved in web projects of all kinds from startups to blue-chip clients, utilizing a whole range of technologies. James is responsible for the overall architecture of the FundApps suite and has a eagle eye on the scalability and performance of all components. When not barefoot running through Victoria Park, James can be found falling off a surfboard in Cornwall or plotting his next triathlon.


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