After only 11 years in business, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), a leading asset management multi-specialist, now ranks among the world’s top 20 asset management companies. The company, which has a presence in 17 countries worldwide, has enjoyed profitable and sustained expansion in recent years due to mergers and acquisitions, as well as organic growth.
The success of AXA IM, which aims to become the world’s leading asset management firm by 2012, is largely based on its multi-specialist structure. In this business model, dedicated product specialists work closely with customers to meet their specific asset management requirements. While geographically distributed AXA IM professionals offer specific expertise, they all share a single sales force and centralised information resources.
To manage this de-compartmentalised business model effectively, AXA IM decided to integrate its operational areas with a new, consolidated IT directory service. In doing so, it hoped to enhance IT service delivery to its 2,400 worldwide employees and help them work more effectively. Additional goals of the project were:
- Enhanced global e-mail communications between operational areas.
- Integration of IT systems internally.
- Full systems integration with British company Framlington prior to takeover by AXA IM in 2005.
- Enhanced confidentiality of key business information.
- Improved searches for identity information, such as employee contact details.
- Improved collaboration and information-sharing between employees.
AXA IM deployed a new, centralised IT architecture based on Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003. The new system, which was deployed with support from Microsoft Certified Partner Kernel Networks, also incorporates Active Directory®, Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), and Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) 2003.
Kernel Networks was chosen as the project implementation partner based on its extensive experience of delivering similar identity management solutions. Henri Echaroux, Engineering and IT Production Director, AXA IM, says: “Kernel Networks took responsibility for data flow modelling, configuration of synchronisation agents, deployment of the platform, and transfer of skills to the AXA IM engineering team. All this represented just 30 person days of development during December 2005 and January 2006.”
Using Active Directory and MIIS 2003, the AXA IM IT team has been able to integrate global business information from a range of systems quickly and effectively. Echaroux says: “MIIS 2003 helps us integrate internal messaging and information management functions with IT resources at new companies. As a result, we have quickly created new synergies between operational areas, overcoming traditional interoperability constraints between technical environments.”
Active Directory, ADAM, and MIIS 2003, have already been used to connect the central AXA IM computer platform with information systems at AXA Rosenberg, the AXA IM quantitative asset management subsidiary in the United States. Echaroux says: “We synchronised information, such as contact details and distribution lists, held in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, using Active Directory and MIIS 2003. Users at AXA IM and AXA Rosenberg can now collaborate and communicate effectively using e-mail.”
In addition, Active Directory and MIIS 2003 were used to integrate AXA IM systems with the IT environment at British company Framlington. This work was carried out in just 10 days before the takeover of Framlington by AXA IM in 2005.
The new Microsoft architecture has accelerated the integration of new companies with centralised AXA IM information systems. In addition, it has ensured that all data stored in the centralised corporate directory service is accurate and up-to-date, and helps to ensure the confidentiality of strategic business information. The deployment has also enhanced IT services for AXA IM specialists working all over the world, providing better access to shared information resources and helping them work more effectively. Benefits delivered by the new architecture include:
- Data sharing that can be managed securely based on centralised user permissions.
- Enhanced integration of internal systems resulting in better information sharing and new levels of collaboration between employees in previously disparate operational divisions.
- Improved access to and searching of employee identity data, such as staff names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers, which are now available in centralised, authoritative directories.
- A unified directory service that will support next-generation IT tools such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing.
- Improved delivery of IT services to employees, who can now work effectively from any geographical location.
For more information
about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: www.microsoft.com/resources/casestudies
Software and Services
- Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
− Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003
− Microsoft Windows Server 2003
− Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
− Active Directory
− Microsoft Windows 2003 Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM)
© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Document published June 2006