To capture market share outside its core geographies, InstaForex needed to be certain it could deliver swift, reliable service to customers regardless of their location.
InstaForex migrated its core trading platform to the IBM Cloud, harnessing IBM data centers across three continents to minimize latency and cut response times for customers.
3x fasterperformance of the core trading application
25% cutin total cost of ownership (TCO)
50% growthin client base and 20% higher revenues
Business challenge story
InstaForex is a brokerage services company that thinks big. Having won a healthy share of its core markets, the firm is now looking to win more clients in other regions to reach its growth targets.
To raise its international profile, InstaForex first needed to clear some IT-related hurdles, as Ildar Sharipov, the company’s president, explains: “In the world of securities trading, success depends on making the right decisions fast, as exchange rates can rise or tumble in the blink of an eye. To maximize their profits, investors count on instant insight and rapid trading.
“In the past, we provided our trading platform to customers across different geographies using IaaS [Infrastructure-as-a-Service] solutions from several third-party cloud providers. Unfortunately, we found that customers outside of the regions where the applications were hosted often experienced high latency – making it difficult for them to react fast to exchange-rate fluctuations. What’s more, service quality was variable, so it became hard for us to give our clients the consistent, high performance they demand. Finally, relying on multiple cloud providers resulted in a high TCO.”
To boost the quality of its brokerage services, InstaForex decided to consolidate its trading platform and core applications with a single cloud provider that could offer a global IT presence.
After evaluating proposals from several leading vendors, InstaForex decided to move its core trading application to the IBM Cloud.
Ildar Sharipov recalls: “Initially, we thought that IBM Cloud was more expensive than the competing proposals, but when we did some digging, we found that the other platforms came with significant hidden costs. For example, most cloud providers levy a charge on internal traffic, but with IBM Cloud that’s included in the headline fee. Once we factored in the surcharges and performed an apples-to-apples comparison, we found that all fell into the same price category.
“Next, we conducted Proof of Concepts in which we ran our trading platform on cloud services from IBM and two other leading vendors, and found that IBM Cloud delivered three times faster performance than the other options. The deal was sealed when we saw that IBM also had a superior process for escalating and resolving problems.”
Working with IBM, InstaForex performed tests that revealed that its trading platform performed best on hardware without virtualization technology. Next, InstaForex and IBM moved the trading application to a private-cloud environment comprising 300 IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers running Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. The trading solution is hosted at IBM data centers around the world – including locations in North America, Europe and Asia – helping InstaForex provide low-latency trading for customers in all geographies.
“Our experience working with IBM was great,” says Ildar Sharipov. “The people were very friendly and helpful. Between the helpdesk, support tools and training services, we had everything we needed to complete a smooth transition to IBM Cloud.”
Today, the trading platform on IBM Cloud supports around 400 InstaForex employees and seven million clients worldwide, who between them complete over a million transactions daily.
Delivering first-class service
InstaForex didn’t have to wait long to reap the benefits of moving to IBM Cloud. As the performance of its trading application rose three-fold, customers across the globe noticed a marked improvement in service quality – helping them buy or sell the right securities at the right time to maximize profits.
Word has clearly spread fast, as Ildar Sharipov explains: “Since moving to IBM Cloud, InstaForex has expanded its client base by 50 percent and hiked international sales by 25 percent – boosting revenues by 20 percent. Now, up to 10,000 clients join InstaForex every day.
“IBM Cloud gives us stable performance, world-class security and a truly global presence. Furthermore, by consolidating from multiple providers to IBM Cloud, we reduced compute resources and cut TCO by 25 percent. We are reinvesting the savings in our business to help us provide superb customer service and stay at the top of our game.
“As times change and customer requirements evolve, we can customize the private-cloud environment to suit our needs. We are confident that with IBM’s support, we will be able to meet our customers’ demands on our trading platform for years to come.”
Continuing on its journey to boost service quality, InstaForex plans to use and IBM Watson® and IBM Blockchain solutions to analyze customer sentiment. By developing a better understanding of how customers feel about its offerings, the company hopes to deliver even more positive customer experiences, and react swiftly and appropriately if things go wrong.
Ildar Sharipov concludes: “IBM gives us access to leading-edge technology to help us deliver superior customer experiences and outshine our competitors. Moving our core applications to IBM Cloud is just the start, and we look forward to exploring how we can take advantage of other IBM technologies to improve further in future.”
Headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, InstaForex is a brokerage services company that facilitates the trading of stocks and other financial securities for investors around the world. Founded in 2007, the company employs more than 400 people at 100 offices across the world. With up to 10,000 new accounts opened each day, it has served more than seven million customers since 2007, and offers clients over 300 trading instruments. Since it was established, InstaForex has won a range of awards, from organizations including the UK Forex Awards, International Finance Awards, ShowFx World and European CEO Awards.