Sharekhan Evaluates SSL VPN Solutions

by Amit Tripathi    Jul 07, 2005

For a leading investment bank where a huge chunk of its business is transacted online, maintaining uptime and validity of services plays a crucial role.

Sharekhan, the retail brokerage arm of SSKI Investor Services Pvt. Ltd., through which the firm handles 1,20,000 retail clients as of now, will soon get another shot in the arm, as the company plans to move from the existing private VSAT network to a virtual private network (VPN).

Speaking to CXOtoday, Jaideep Arora, director, Sharekhan, informed, “All trading applications are mission critical for us since through those we handle a huge client base that is ever swelling (to touch 3,00,000 in the next three years).”

“Apart from the already existing redundancy that we built almost five years ago to maintain a consistent uptime, we are also exploring the possibility of moving over to SSL VPN mode of connectivity to allow clients more secure access,” added Arora.

Currently, the company is evaluating various offerings (for ex. from Tata Indicomm, Reliance etc.)

The whole idea is to ensure security of applications and client data. The company has 40 physical outlets and 250 business partners spread across 120 cities from where business transactions are conducted. Clients have three options to conduct business, namely, by directly contacting a branch, transacting through the Internet or by calling up the call centre.

Said Arora, “We have put a lot of redundancy to ensure uptime to clients. Two ISPs are set aside for the Speedtrade module of Sharekhan. The core risk management server that hosts the applications on the net (weblogic apps server) is also being upgraded.”

At present the company uses 64 kbps over leased lines, and private VSAT connectivity at certain locations. VPN connectivity, which will be up and running within the next six months, as Arora says, would allow the firm to segregate various types of clients (corporates, individuals etc.) thereby enabling better security in accessing applications through the net. The company has stipulated an estimated Rs 4 crore for these initiatives.

The company’s call centre is managed by Tata/Avaya solution, while back office processing is done on MS SQL server. At the central hub adequate back up facility in terms of routers and switches are also in place.

The company conducts 33% of its business online through Sharekhan Classic and SpeedTrade modules by offering research and account services to its clients.

Tags: network