Lloyds TSB speeds trade processing

Lloyds TSB's corporate markets operation has cut the time it takes to complete overnight processing of trades by six hours after deploying a £3.5m converged network.

Lloyds TSB's corporate markets operation has cut the time it takes to complete overnight processing of trades by six hours after deploying a £3.5m converged network.

The network will also enable it to deploy new applications for brokers.

The bank went live last month with the data and voice network from Cisco across three central London sites.

David Morely, senior manager responsible for strategy and architecture at Lloyds TSB, said faster processing of trade-related data was a crucial benefit of the 40gbps network.

This has enabled the bank to complete its batch processing of trades by midnight rather than by 6am the following day.

Morely said that before the network was installed the bank had been more exposed to the risk of mission-critical applications not being able to process rising data volumes.

The combined voice and data system is also enabling brokers for the first time to record, archive and play back all conversations about transactions with customers instantaneously.

This means that in the event of a trade being called into dispute, audio logs can be replayed straight away rather than requiring tape back-ups to be retrieved.

Morely said a key challenge in installing the converged network was prioritising the quality of voice services against data services. He said parameters were initially set to give priority to data applications, but after testing this was adjusted to give more bandwidth to voice services.

Morely said fine tuning these applications to get the balance right between voice and data would help speed deployments of more bandwidth-intensive services, like video, in the future.

"Our increased capacity and experience will enable us to easily overlay video in applications, which is something we plan to introduce," he said.

Design, testing, implementation and user acceptance testing were all carried out in partnership with communications specialist Affiniti. The corporate markets operation has a three-year agreement with Affiniti to cover breaks and fixes, but the bank has retained responsibility for disaster recovery.

"The data we process over this network is so important that if it failed the bank would come to a halt. We decided it was essential to have the competencies for disaster recovery in-house, rather than outsourced," said Morely.

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Lloyds TSB website >>

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