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Helping the financial industry meet tomorrow's challenges

By Geoff Houston, chief executive, Cable & Wireless Guernsey

Over the past 30 years, the development of telecommunications in Guernsey has consistently been driven by the requirements of the international business community. Today, demand for real-time information and a growing number of ways to access information and conduct transactions means telecommunications must deliver global reach, performance, reliability, security and value for money.

Access to financial markets depends on communications systems that enable information to be shared and transactions with customers to be conducted internationally. The experience of Cable & Wireless in financial centres across the world, from London to Hong Kong or the Cayman Islands, helps it to understand and deliver the requirements of financial institutions.

The fixed network in Guernsey delivers voice, data and internet services connected with Cable & Wireless hubs worldwide. Businesses can take advantage of network services, including private circuits, Internet Protocol (IP), voice and data services. Access off the island is provided by a combination of fibre-optic cable connections with the UK, France and Jersey as well as microwave technology.

Business models help to define specific solutions for different types of company, whether they operate from Guernsey as a hub for other locations or as a spur to a head office elsewhere. However, all companies tend to share a requirement for real-time information to enable data processing and management of funds.

The challenges facing the financial services industry today demand increasingly sophisticated solutions. Cable & Wireless Guernsey provides managed data services that can directly connect companies with offices in up to 80 countries via a cost-effective and resilient network.

Internet services in Guernsey are connected to the Cable & Wireless global internet backbone, offering connectivity to over 70 countries via one of the fastest and most extensive IP networks in the world. Three data centres at secure locations provide hosting and managed services.

IP technology is increasingly bringing voice, data and video together in a converged network. This enables businesses to interact directly with customers, suppliers and staff, reduce costs, and take advantage of new IP-enabled devices such as mobile phones. In Guernsey, mobile data technology allows users to work remotely with secure wireless access to e-mail, company and customer information.

The security of data is vital because of the threat of hackers, viruses and other malicious attacks. Cable & Wireless offers solutions to defeat the modern phenomenon of distributed denial of service attacks via the internet. Equipment in London can detect such attacks and block illegitimate traffic, while allowing the flow of legitimate transactions to continue and the web site to remain operational.

Advances in communications and in the requirements of financial services mean that telecoms supplied as a product add little value. A strategic partnership that delivers real value depends on deep industry expertise and understanding of the challenges it faces.
In the past, the Guernsey financial services industry has often relied on the skills of IT managers to assess business telecommunications needs. Increasingly, this role must also be met by telecoms supplier in a collaborative relationship that achieves corporate business objectives.

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