Like many of the leading ﬁnancial institutions around the world, the corporate and investment banking arm of this large U.S.-based ﬁrm used the robust Calypso platform for running its entire front-to-back ofﬁce derivatives (OTC and ETC) business. While they had been using Calypso v10.x since 2009, they had delayed upgrading to the latest version of Calypso for several years, including the essential v14.x upgrade. This was primarily due to the complexities involved, and the perceived impact of the upgrade on the business, among other technical reasons.
Unfortunately, this inaction over a period of time reached a critical juncture and the division was compelled to upgrade. Top-of-mind was Calypso’s policy that only provides support for two back versions. In addition, substantial new functionality available in Calypso v14.x could not be leveraged without an upgrade. Finally, the custom code that was written to ﬁll in functional gaps in Calypso v10.x increased the TCO of the platform and had to be phased out.
However, this was no simple upgrade with some signiﬁcant challenges
With an existing solid working relationship with this ﬁnancial institution for six years, Quinnox was selected to help their division execute this critical upgrade. Leveraging our deep understanding of the challenges, and rich expertise with the Calypso platform, a team was put together to ensure a smooth transition to the latest platform using a two-pronged approach: 1) leverage a proven upgrade methodology 2) put an intense focus on regression testing.
The ﬁrst goal was to deploy a like-for-like upgrade. This would ensure that all currently available functionality was available and unchanged to the users to the greatest extent possible. This would also eliminate the operational risk of implementing new functionality parallel to a massive upgrade. Another priority was to ensure that the upgrade would result in an enterprise level application server architecture that would be scalable.
With these two project drivers top-of-mind, the solution included
With the expert help of the specialized Quinnox Calypso team executing a custom solution, this complex and challenging upgrade was executed ahead of the typical 18-month schedule by four months. This aggressive timeline was especially important, not just from a productivity and functionality perspective, but in terms of avoiding additional costs. In fact, a delay of even one week would have resulted in a go-live delay of at least one month, with a cost implication of over $200k.
A major contributing factor to this success was the “battle-tested” Quinnox methodology for executing Calypso upgrades, which has been validated across multiple upgrades over several years and many engagements. This methodology helped us successfully deliver on the aggressive upgrade timeline with zero downtime post-upgrade.
There were other important cost-based results for this project, including