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Kyndryl: Key Lessons in Moving a BFS Provider to the Cloud

On December 15, 2021, Kyndryl and Viewpointe announced a cloud migration, modernization and management contract. The engagement provides insight for BFS executives into how banking services operations vendors are moving to the cloud to simplify operational delivery and enable business model change to expand and improve their business.   

Current state

Viewpointe provides content management services for its owners, leading U.S. banks that include Bank of America, Truist, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Viewpointe also delivers services for banks that are not part of its ownership structure. It delivers its services from two data centers (operating as primary and backup) in the U.S. It employs a proprietary platform to deliver services, which are heavily customized for each client. The primary content stored and managed by Viewpointe is mortgage/loan and checks/payment documents. Banks and their customers can search, access, and exchange content. Viewpointe develops and maintains the software platform. Kyndryl has been providing infrastructure orchestration and management services to Viewpointe since its inception in 2000.

Each client requires customization of the content management software to deliver a differentiated customer experience for each bank client. This has meant that each solution instance and sub-environment is unique and monolithic, on top of fixed infrastructure.

The engagement

Viewpointe wants to transform its application portfolio into a microservices delivered platform where:

  • Clients can customize their platform, but platform management can be applied in a standardized fashion (e.g., patches, updates, management, and security will be rolled out rapidly with standardized solutions)
  • Environment management will be handled by third parties (i.e., cloud delivery and environment orchestration)
  • Viewpointe can develop new functionality and easily roll it out across heterogeneous client instances
  • The entire environment can scale rapidly for new clients, markets, and product lines.

To achieve these goals, Viewpointe and Kyndryl have agreed to an engagement with steps including:

  • Lift and shift to Azure cloud:
    • Kyndryl and Azure design a landing zone to take the Viewpointe platform from its on-premise centers to the Azure cloud
    • Kyndryl moves the platform to the Azure cloud, setting up orchestration and management services to manage the infrastructure environment
    • Kyndryl and Azure partner to adapt to the changing cloud environment daily using best practices  
  • Transform the platform:  Viewpointe implements solution changes to introduce new product lines and/or client feature customizations 
  • Scale the engagement: currently, client operations supported are all based in the U.S. In the future, Viewpointe expects to adapt its platform and delivery to support clients in additional markets with additional product lines and functionalities.

The journey will take three years, including:

  • Year 1: migration to Azure cloud with new cloud-based orchestration and management capabilities implemented by Kyndryl
  • Years 2-3: Viewpointe rebuilds the content management platform to fully adopt a microservices approach.

The engagement is expected to result in cost savings of 20% to 30%. 

Conclusions and benefits

Cloud migration has been effective for highly seasonal or cyclical businesses, where volumes spike and the client only pays for capacity as it is used. Static workloads typically cost more in a cloud environment. This engagement highlights a use case where cloud delivery is more cost-effective than internal delivery. Features that must be present to make the case for cloud include:

  • Heterogeneous environment by client: each member of the client base has high levels of platform customization resulting in each instance being materially different from all other instances
  • Expanding the set of product offerings: rapidly expanding product offerings requires the client to deploy new solutions into the environment frequently. These solutions must rely on core functionality in the existing platform to deliver service 
  • Expanding markets: rolling out support for clients in additional markets that can be more easily supported from a Hyperscaler’s data center network
  • Highly regulated industry: security and compliance requirements in highly regulated industries are frequently updated. A standardized microservices environment allows clients to rollout standardized updates across the entire environment faster, with greater accuracy.

Ultimately, the case for the cloud is that it allows Viewpointe to accelerate new product launches and standardize its operational delivery, while still enabling its customers to customize their platform instance.

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