Monday Nov 03, 2008

Sun Ray in FS

In my new role at Sun, I've started to shift my focus toward the desktop end of the datacenter spectrum. Very often I get asked the question of who is using Sun's thin client/desktop appliance technology, Sun Ray, in Financial Services. So how do Sun Ray and Sun's VDI offerings apply to Banking, Trader's desktop, Branch modernization aspects of the financial services industry?

Here are a few public successes stories particularly around FSI.

1)Bank Improves Customer Service using Sun Ray Technology. Sparkasse Haslach-Zell is a savings bank headquartered in Zell,
Germany. The bank has 11 branch offices, employs 230 people and manages EUR 900 million. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/software/sparkasse.xml
2) Netsol/Chelsea Financial Services: Sun Ray Desktop Solution Success Story. Details: http://www.sun.com/sunray/docs/TeamNetsol082703ss.pdf
3) Savings and Credit Bank Kuwait. Kuwaiti Bank Gains a Scalable Architecture with High Availability and Efficient, Centralized Desktop Management. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/storage/scb.xml
4) World's oldest financial services institution, in Italy, chooses Sun Ray. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/software/banca_mps.xml
5) Reuters use of Sun Ray and Secure Global Desktop in China. Details: http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2006-10/sunflash.20061026.4.xml and http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/105/1/ClientSystems/17123

Additionally of interest should be the following:
Toronto's Center of Excellence, joint work with Sun's partner - Scalar Decisions - highlighting Sun Ray/SGD technology for next-generation trading systems. Details: http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/102/3/ClientSystems/16759

Sun Ray is not a new technology. It has been evolving over the last 10 years and arguably first appeared way ahead of its time in the early mid-90's. It has been featured in the financial services/trader press specifically:

http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/it-infrastructure/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208402360
http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1889496/
http://www.cio.in/news/viewArticle/ARTICLEID=5098

And of course we have a number of financial institutions that are not comfortable being public about what they're doing. If the latest mergers and acquisitions activities in the financial services industry are of any indication into activities that happen as crucial business and IT components (datacenters, desktops, employee integration and onboarding, mobility) are undertaken, rest assured that the big names in the industry are doing quite a bit. That should read: "Quite A Bit" actually. And all for a number of good reasons:

1) Network performance vs. the competition, particularly around WAN deployments (think: Singapore to London to New York). A number of banks have done (some are doing) their own testing to see for themselves. Yes, the kind that involves serious WAN latency simulators (Shunra comes to mind). We would love to help you with yours.

2) Cost [not just acquisition but ongoing large user base management]: the per user cost for a desktop client is much less then a PC. It has a very very very very small firmware footprint, essentially NO OS running, meaning that it doesn't have to be managed for updates against viruses/malware/anything. And yes, it operates very well with your favorite Operating system and delivers awesome access to applications (Windows, Solaris, Linux, etc.). "Zero-administration" is what my next Sun t-shirt ought to say.

3) Multimedia enhancements - in cases of VDI integration, quite a bit of work has already been done using VMware's and Sun's brokering technologies to deliver access to RDP sessions - and more is in the works! There are of course a number of non-financial use cases (Verizon, Time Warner) that, although aren't part of the financial services umbrella, do resonate with the types of business units that banks have been eyeing dekstop appliances for (customer-facing counters [read: branch tellers], call centers [read: customer service agents]). Been to swap or upgrade your cable/modem service recently? At Sun, of course, we've been doing it for years, saving millions in infrastructure & maintenance (power, cooling) costs.

And, if you're ever in Singapore, please do stop by Sun's office at 1 Magazine Road for a peek at a local "Bank on Sun" showcase, featuring Sun Ray's integration with many branch-focused input devices.

Don't turn a blind eye and don't judge Sun by where we were 6-7 years ago. Instead, judge us by what we've got up our sleeve now ;-)

More soon!

About

Isaac Rozenfeld is a Product Manager for Oracle Solaris; current responsibilities include the portfolio of networking and installation technologies in Solaris, with a focus on easing the overall application deployment experience


You can follow Isaac on Twitter @izfromsun

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