4.4 Jonah Experience Prev

Credit Vantage Network

The Credit Vantage Network is a system that model and manages the probability of default for companies, portfolios and peer groups. It provides a Business to Business (B2B) web interface using the Software as a Service (SAAS) model.

Jonah Group was brought in to stabilize the system developed by Algorithmics, add features and functions and prepare it for production operation. Jonah Group the following functions:

  • Add financial models for new management company types including: HPD C&I, HPD Bank, HPD-Insurance, FPD Western Europe C&I, FPD Asia, FPD Asia-Japan and FPD Asia- Korea.
  • Loading of managed company data
  • Define peer groups
  • Compute probability of default and value at risk

The Challenge

An existing web application had been developed by another vendor to expose credit models via a web user interface, but Algorithmics’ clients wanted more direct access to the underlying models, through an integration tier. With the project previously over budget, years in development, and the client’s management without much insight into the completion of major project features, there was mounting pressure to have a version of the product ready for sales and public use.

The application architecture needed to be revamped to concurrently support both the existing customer base (which was using the graphical user interface) and the new customer base, which wanted to interact with the system through a new group of web services designed specifically for external integration by their own staff.

The Solution

Jonah provided a project manager, a senior technical architect and 2 software developers to complete the CVN product and to introduce the new systems integration layer. In addition to preparing the system for production deployment, the following features and components were developed:

  • Calculation of the Probability of Default (PD) from a comprehensive suite of credit models. Integration of client-owned excel-based models without any changes to the excel file formats.
  • Upgraded web-based user interface to allow visualization of the financial health and risk of lending portfolios
  • Added daily update of all public traded companies' financial information and global stock markets
  • Designed and built a suite of Probability of Default Web Services to perform PD calculations and portfolio analysis without the user interface
  • Standalone Windows application to retrieve global market data and public traded companies' financial information from registered sites

The Results

Jonah successfully designed and built the Probability of Default (PD) group of Web Services, which enabled Algorithmics to expand their product offering to their clients, providing another revenue channel, without disturbing the existing channel. This change alone required extensive updates to the underlying architecture, which were invisible to our clients’ original customers.

The system was brought into a production quality state through refactoring and upgrades performed in the very first iteration of Jonah’s work.

With respect to areas of the original system design that required high throughput and concurrency, Jonah imposed a rigorous test harness to ensure the system's correctness. Two months after engagement, Jonah was successful in putting the system into production such that our client could begin to derive revenue from the product.

In order to demonstrate ongoing progress once the application was in production, Jonah planned semi-weekly integration build cycles along with two to three month go-live iterations. Increased responsiveness to client questions and concerns (relative to the former vendor) and a frequently updated project extranet - containing the weekly stable version of the software - provided the required visibility and confidence that the project was on the right track.

Jonah established a vertical development processes, allowing features for potential buyers to be released as they were developed, without sacrificing quality. This demonstrated success and new marketable features and usability fixes on a regular basis.


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