Coforge implemented an API based solution to facilitate integration with external clients to consume data coming directly from the source accounting system.
The client required an Enterprise API gateway solution to offer integration capability to its customers and also to make some aspects publicly available. The gateway solution was intended to expose APIs that could deliver real time critical revenue generating data points to customers. The platform empowered customers to build applications and collect usage analytics to understand what data points are most valued. The API platform was also intended to make the client’s company mobile ready and to unite market units.
The SEI API platform implemented allowed external customers access to the client’s backend APIs over the internet. API consumption was monetized with each recorded transaction. Global policies performed security checks thus preventing malicious attacks
About the Client
The client was a leading wealth management and business process solutions company that catered to the investment industry. The company continuously tried to improve operational efficiency and lower risks. The Investment Manager Services Market unit catered to clients to improve their investor experiences. The company was founded in 1968, had approximately 4000 employees worldwide and 11,300 clients across the U.S.
The most valuable services offered by the market unit were portfolio management and accounting services. The internal operations team executed portfolio accounting for customers and this data was further processed and fed into the warehouse. Investment managers leveraged a suite of proprietary reporting applications to analyze processed warehouse data or other traditional methods of data delivery to receive reports from the accounting engine in a secure way. The core accounting platform could not be accessed by external customers. The system was secured within a different network accessible by internal authorized users only.
A generic API flow allowed clients to retrieve any desired data that the source system supported.
The API was REST API and returned either a JSON response or a CSV response based on the request. Data retrieval was split into sequential API calls made by the external clients:
Token – In the token API call the client received an oAuth Token to access the APIs. Access to API resources and data points was controlled by the oAuth Token.
Metadata – Coforge devised the metadata API to provide all details to a context agnostic application developer. It returned a list of entitled reports and all mandatory/ optional parameters needed to run the report.
Run Report – Using the information from the metadata API, the client could begin the execution of any desired report.
Retrieve Report – The client could poll this API to retrieve data after the execution of the report.
The client realized that it had to focus on its core business for profitability and long-term survival and therefore decided to outsource Coforge to enable the policy dashboard for agent partners, fast, easy and seamless integration APIs and simplified and fast onboarding for partners. This allowed the client to focus on customers, simpler and fewer integration points for a streamlined integration experience and meta data and classifications available as additional functions.
An API Program is bigger than just building an API Platform. A technology tool was implemented that allowed end users access backend services like Rest, SOAP, Webhooks, GraphQL etc. over the internet. This was useful for end users to build their own processes / applications. In addition, the processes below are needed to help formulate a successful program:
- Educating product owners on the value of the digital economy
- Educating business stakeholders about APIs and finding good use cases to build business intuitive APIs rather than service layer APIs
- Defining the vision for APIs to be generic and technology use case agnostic i.e., mobile apps, web apps, processes etc. should be able to use the API to solve the same business use case
- Defining the vision that an API serves a business use case and not a technology need
- Defining a security model for APIs
- Defining a pricing model for the usage of APIs
- Defining monitoring and availability solutions for APIs and the API Gateway
- Identifying collaborative partners for the program rollout
- Defining client onboarding procedures
The most important factor was identifying API products as a business service and not a technology artifact. This facilitated a successful program roll out with standard APIs that promoted reusability and easy adoption.
Delivering More Value
By engaging with Coforge, the client could focus on its core competencies and maintain its leadership position in a highly competitive industry. In addition to technology and digital support, Coforge improved the client’s operational efficiencies and digital experiences. The client was empowered to provide standardized and consistent business services across their business. Coforge also assisted by providing oAuth 2.0 support and reusable solutions for use by both internal and external teams. A centralized glossary that identified and defined data in the same way, monetized API usage and a self-service oriented adoption were other positive outcomes of this project.