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Kittredge Carswell

Kittredge Carswell

Vice-President, Trade and Supply Chain at CGI
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Bio Kitt is Vice-President of CGI's Trade and Supply Chain Solutions group and is responsible for the strategic direction of CGI's Trade360 global transaction platform and strategic business partnerships. Kitt has lead Trade360's evolution from a global traditional trade solution into a fu Career History Kitt Carswell has 30 plus years of experience providing trade technology for banks and their corporate customers globally, including five years running Corporate Banking for Europe.



Transforming your global trade business for the future

04 Oct 2015

Trade bankers know that, in a world running at Internet speed, standing still is not an option. The scope and scale of the changes they face is ever-changing, whether in terms of regulations, customer expectations, market conditions, supply chain innovations or a multitude of other factors. From a competitive perspective, a bank’s ability to manag...


Building a true global trade business model

26 Sep 2014

Banks have aspired to globalize their trade business for more than 20 years. However, building a true global trade business model involves more than just offering trade products globally. Most banks already do this. Instead, it means to run a trade business worldwide as one holistic and integrated business function. Typically, trade products are o...


Advantages of a SaaS model in managing global trade finance

18 Sep 2014

Banks need technology to remain competitive in the highly volatile global trade finance market. Introducing new offerings, meeting ever-evolving customer needs, delivering exceptional service and complying with new regulations depend on innovative and cost-effective technology solutions. Fragmented legacy systems and the cost and slow speed of tra...



Collateral management in the new regulatory landscape

12 Sep 2014

Global commodity trading has reached new peaks. New markets are emerging in Asia, Latin America and Africa, as countries in these regions and others increase their exports of commodities. The growth in commodity trading is creating new opportunities for banks focused on commodity trade finance. However, with these opportunities come challenges, e...

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Advantages of a SaaS model in managing global trade finance

  Ketharaman, a couple of further thoughts: Our Saas is a private community cloud, and may very well be different than other multi-tenant platforms that you know. Our approach is a collaborative one that gives the banks maximum flexibility in deciding what they will use on the platform and how they will use it. This is especially important for a global platform, like ours, where all the banks global locations are running on a single instance and where there can be significant system behavioral differences required from location to location. The platform must give each bank the flexibility to adapt to these requirements. It is not surprising that the SaaS platforms that you know do not do this, I know of no other in the trade finance market that does either. I use the term "Integration Architecture" in reference to the overall approach we provide to generate and send interface messages (real-time), how we standardize the structure of the interface messages (XML) and how we deliver/receive these message (MQ). Regarding the additional recurring costs for a licensed application you added 20%, which is less than most licensed trade vendors charge for their annual maintenance. To support a modern trade system requires much more than that due to the numerous types of technologies that are required, such as, imaging and workflow, robust reporting capabilities, portal technologies to name just a few. Perhaps this is due to the complexity of trade finance, but the internal recurring costs for a licensed system are much higher than you have estimated.

Advantages of a SaaS model in managing global trade finance

  Thanks for your comments Ketharaman, you bring up some interesting points. There is no magic in SaaS and it is important to evaluate the overall service offered not just the application itself. To your first point: Without a well thought out and highly collaborative approach, together with a robust integration architecture, the problems you mentioned could surface. This has not been our experience. For instance, our UAT release testing is collaborative across all clients forming a small army of testers. Each has their own test cases. This is an expense to the client, but a much, much smaller one than would be spent on a typical upgrade project for licensed software. New functionality may at times require additional training, but we make changes so that each bank chooses when to “turn on” most new functionality, thus letting the banks decide when, if ever, to introduce specific new capabilities. Given our integration architecture, it is rare to change an existing interface, and if we did, it is almost certain it would not require forced changes to a client’s downstream systems interfaces using them (unless the change was specifically for them.) Of course, a new interface to support new requirements, will require internal client work for those that choose to use it. Overall, the benefits of continuous evolution in a well-managed SaaS creates business advantages that far outweighs these costs including; competitiveness, customer retention and revenue generation. Compared to the cost of being years behind the market with a licensed product that has infrequent releases and then requires an expensive internal upgrade project to be justified in light of other bank priorities. Your second point: This is a really excellent point and one that requires a broader perspective to make a apples to apples comparison of TCO. In addition to the licence and maintenance that you rightly identified, one also needs to add all the other costs required to run the licensed software internally. For instance, but by no means all inclusive, hardware and its upgrades, 3rd party software and its upgrades, data center operating staff and allocations, internal support desks, IT staff with the right expertise and much more. Once one accurately identifies all the costs of owning the licensed system a very different picture emerges of the comparative TCO.  SaaS has the advantage in this calculation, because in the SaaS model these costs are shared across all the SaaS clients and the provider has the efficiencies of a dedicated and expert staff, whereas in the licensed model, the bank bears these costs and efforts alone and without the same level of expertise.