The client

Established in 2006, Intrinsic Financial Services have grown to become the UK’s largest distributor of financial advice. The company operates across all markets, from wealth management and retirement planning advice through to dealing with property wealth and clients’ personal and business protection needs.

The challenge

As Intrinsic have grown in size, the amount of electronic documents associated with their clients had grown to over 4TB, increasing by 40Gb a month. This was proving challenging from two perspectives: the total size of the documents was proving problematic for the company’s disaster recovery project; and the storage costs in their traditional data centre were becoming prohibitive. Intrinsic engaged TrueNorth to develop a solution that would reduce storage costs and minimise disaster recovery times, while not requiring any change to their legacy back office system, and having minimal impact on users.

The solution

TrueNorth designed and implemented a bespoke system for Intrinsic that has transformed the company’s disaster recovery capabilities. The system is designed to archive documents from the legacy OfficeWeb system to low cost Azure storage. The documents in the source system are replaced with a ‘stub’ document containing instructions and link to access the archived document. All links are secure, ‘one time only’, with robust management features ensuring documents can only be accessed appropriately. This design offers end users seamless, easy and secure access to the archived documents, with minimal disruption to their workflow and with no code changes to the legacy system. The solution has been designed in such a way that it can be easily extended to archive data from alternative sources. Intrinsic have since leveraged this flexibility and the archiver is currently archiving data from multiple sources, including a number of other legacy back office systems and legacy file shares. Granular configuration of maximum throughput on an hour-by-hour basis is catered for. This allows the archiver to be throttled during peak hours, when there priority processes competing for bandwidth resource. The web UI’s powerful search features actually exceed the each capabilities of Intrinsic’s legacy back office system. For instance, it includes the ability to index and search the full content of the archived documents, a feature that has proved very useful in the context of GDPR.

Benefits to Intrinsic

  • A decrease in storage costs of £0.5/GB/month to <£0.05/GB/month, which is forecast to save the company around £20,000 per year.
  • Reduced disaster recovery load, resulting in the timely completion of disaster recovery data transfers.
  • Document search is easier and more powerful than in the legacy source system, saving the company time and enhancing customer service when archived documents are required.
The team at TrueNorth have been fantastic to work with. They designed and implemented a solutionthat was implemented with the minimum of disruption to our business and whichhas radically improved our disaster recovery capability. I would definitelyrecommend TrueNorth’s services to anyone planning a cloud-based project andlook forward to working with them again in the future.”

Jacob Frankham, IT Director, Intrinsic Financial Services