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RBC Capital Markets Modernizes Operations with the Alfresco Digital Business Platform

Over the course of three years, the leading investment bank has increased operational efficiency and shortened development cycles with a flexible platform for automating business processes.

 

Digitizing Post-Trade Activities

RBC Capital Markets is a global investment bank that provides services in corporate and investment banking, equity and debt origination, and electronic trading. The investment bank is part of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the tenth largest bank worldwide and the fifth largest in North America.

RBC Capital Markets adopted the Alfresco Digital Business Platform in 2015 to modernize the systems that support post-trade activities, including confirmations, payments, tax provisioning, and meeting regulatory obligations. 

Three years later, the organization has built and deployed 14 new applications supporting 3,500 business users, according to Jim Williams, Managing Director, Head of Operations and Shared Services Technology. The diverse solutions have helped the investment bank increase operational efficiency, tighten internal controls, and strengthen regulatory compliance.

 

Better Together: Process and Content

One of the first use cases for the Alfresco Digital Business Platform was to facilitate the process-intensive workflows required to comply with tax-related regulations following a trade. 

Alfresco fit the bill as a next-generation platform that combines process automation with rich document management capabilities. “The business needs to understand the details behind a document, not just the fact that we have the document,” Williams explains. “That’s where the Alfresco Platform came into the forefront.”

 

Flexible and Future Proof

RBC Capital Markets has since addressed a variety of business needs with applications that integrate Alfresco Content Services and Alfresco Process Services (powered by Activiti). The investment bank has developed solutions to confirm equity trades, maintain job mandates, control market data requests, allocate payments for research services, and manage and track responses to regulatory audits. 

The breadth of these use cases underscores the versatility of the Alfresco Platform, which RBC Capital Markets is taking full advantage of. “A lot of the platforms we are moving away from are very difficult to maintain and keep evolving,” Williams declares. “What we’ve enjoyed, and have really been able to expand on, is the flexibility of the Alfresco Platform and how we can make it work with our various requirements.”

 

Rapid Time to Value

Another benefit of the Alfresco Platform at RBC Capital Markets has been the ability to keep pace with the needs of a rapidly growing business. “We can meet the business requirements and have a faster turnaround,” says Ruchi Saraswat, Director, Global Head of Tax Operations. She also credits Alfresco’s Customer Success team with helping RBC Capital Markets get up to speed quickly. “We can easily take on new challenges because we know we’ve got Alfresco backing us up.”

RBC Capital Markets leverages the Alfresco Application Development Framework (ADF) to accelerate solution onboarding. ADF allows IT to develop applications rapidly and iteratively using reusable pre or custom-built components. “It’s like LEGO® pieces, where we build all the modules and put them together,” Saraswat explains. “Reusable components really help the team a lot.”

The open, cloud-native Alfresco Platform is also well-suited to modern DevOps practices. RBC Capital Markets has established a CI/CD process for Alfresco-based applications that uses popular tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Helm, Maven, Jenkins, and Git.

 

Consolidation Enables Commonality

RBC Capital Markets runs bespoke solutions within the Tax and Confirmation space. By consolidating applications on the Alfresco Platform, Williams’s team is driving an internal alignment that benefits developers and business partners alike. “We have a common platform with a common workflow and a common look and feel,” says Williams. “It’s very, very important.”



Saraswat agrees. She says the user-friendly solutions have been well received by the business and that consistency—the same screens, the same experiences—“gives users operational efficiency.” Alfresco’s seamless integration with e-mail, reporting, and core banking systems further streamlines workflows.

 

Demand Everywhere

Positive outcomes with the Alfresco Platform have generated significant interest and several applications outside Tax and Confirmation. After integrating Alfresco Content Services with a Know Your Client (KYC) solution for new accounts, Saraswat says “a lot of teams reached out to us to understand how the document repository works.” A new requirement on the equity trading floor resulted in an application to manage risk limits, and Human Resources is expanding their use of the Alfresco Platform to manage employee onboarding. 



“As we showcase the flexibility and usability of Alfresco, we are getting demand everywhere,” says Williams, who believes there are a multitude of ways to leverage the platform across RBC.

 

Capacity for Growth



Now that RBC Capital Markets has standardized on the Alfresco Digital Business Platform, the investment bank can quickly spin up applications to overcome a wide range of business challenges. The solutions are more stable, scalable, and supportable than those built on legacy platforms.

In 2018, RBC Capital Markets expanded its Alfresco license capacity to accommodate future growth. Looking ahead, Williams sees a significant pipeline of projects that includes migrating more applications from Pega to Alfresco. “I am a big fan of success breeding success,” Williams concludes.

 

“We can meet the business requirements, have a faster turnaround and can easily take on new challenges because we know we’ve got Alfresco backing us up.” 


- Ruchi Saraswat, Director, Global Head of Tax Operations