/ / DIGITAL

Developing a Blockchain COETranslating early adoption to functional expertise and innovation

In early 2016, Synechron identified Blockchain as a technology capable of tremendous industry disruption and growth. As an emerging technology which at the time, had just theoretical applications, a broad scope of unique platforms, and for which adoption would require a fundamental shift in the way firms do business, Blockchain presented an extremely complex implementation challenge. However, with a strict financial services background and end-to-end services across Business Consulting, Technology and Digital, Synechron decided to push the limits of the technology by building real financial services, use case-driven applications using Blockchain. With this in mind, Synechron established its Blockchain Center of Excellence (COE) which sought to define the use cases that would help solve real financial services business challenges while simultaneously enhancing the platforms that could ultimately reshape the financial services industry.

Synechron set out to achieve this by establishing a COE to work on Blockchain proofs of concepts (POCs) across each of the leading open source blockchain platforms, initially focusing on Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, and Ripple. To build the COE, we assembled business analysts (BAs) from across our global offices to identify problems facing the industry as a whole. Next, the COE insourced a diverse set of talent across consulting, technology and digital. Based on the use cases provided by the BAs, the team developed six Blockchain Accelerators – proto-type applications – addressing industry challenges such as KYC, insurance claims, mortgage financing, trade finance, payments, and margin calls. With each platform requiring different skillsets, coding languages, consensus mechanisms, and more, Synechron established dedicated teams for each platform, and expanded to Corda and Quorum based on client and industry demand.

To further expand its presence within the Blockchain ecosystem, the COE established strategic partnerships with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance as a member of the Banking Working Group and leading the Architecture sub-working group, the invite-only Microsoft Azure Blockchain Council, as well as partnering with R3 on the largest, global Know-Your-Customer (KYC) project in the world, with 15-banks building a self-sovereign KYC Utility. The project uniquely took learnings from Synechron’s Industry KYC Utility Accelerator built on Fabric for the fundamental business requirements and modified the application architecture to build instead a self-sovereign KYC use case with GDPR compliance in mind. This required significant advisory for consensus building and governance among the consortium for application design and agile, iterative development on Corda for a light-weight infrastructure with interoperable nodes.

Since the COE’s inception, it has expanded from an initial 30-person team to 100+ dedicated business consultants, technologists and digital experts. Synechron has pivoted from lab-driven development to client-driven pilots and has advised clients on project scoping, building business cases with a high probability of entering production. Additionally, we are advising clients on how to run parallel production for a seamless future transition to Blockchain. Based on our work developing the COE, building applications in pilot and on the path to production, and running blockchain training programs, we are also working with clients to advise them on how to set up their own Blockchain COEs that align with their respective business goals. Given the success of the program, Synechron has received 7 awards and accolades.

Key Team Member Tim Coates, Principal Consultant
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Establishing industry leadership in Blockchain through knowledge and innovation

/ / WHAT WE DELIVERED

We provided the following services and expertise to deliver success

Blockchain Application Development

Business Consulting

Strategic Project Mapping

Multi-platform Expertise (Ethereum, Quorum, Corda, Fabric and more)

Extensive Specialist Network in Financial Services Blockchain Ecosystem

User Interface and User Experience Design (UI/UX)

/ / Results

Long-term approach and depth yields success

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