5th international BOX User Forum in Freiburg, Germany

The 5th International BOX User Forum took place from May 18th to 20th in Freiburg, Germany.

Over 100 people met in this beautiful location to share their experiences with BOX, to get the latest news from INTERCOPE, and to learn about new trends in the industry. Along with BOX customers, major players such as Atos, EBA CLEARING, Equens, IBM, Oracle, and SIA participated in the Forum.

Andreas Goerlich from s IT Solutions, chairman of the BOX User Group, and Olaf Grossler from INTERCOPE, welcomed the audience and emphasized the continuity of activities of the User Group.

In his keynote speech Tom Essex, from Citi in New York, gave an impressive overview of the vast application landscape his company has integrated with BOX and explained that this complex MERVA replacement exercise will be completed during the current year.

Reinhart Laumer, CEO of INTERCOPE, talked about INTERCOPE’s ongoing strategy to focus on large financial institutions and also on service providers, market infrastructures, and central banks. He then presented the rejuvenated executive management team of INTERCOPE and explained how the company guarantees continuity in further development and support of BOX.

Stefano Pizzera from SIA talked about the propositions of his company to reduce operational risks in accessing SIPS systems (Systemically Important Payment Systems) such as T2S and EBA STEP2 by putting redundancy into the network infrastructure.

Subsequently, Andreas Kelb from INTERCOPE, gave insight into a new configuration management tool currently under development. With this new configuration management tool, one can collect several individual changes in a “change set”, review them, and then approve or reject the complete set of changes in one step.

Marina Ghigeanu from s IT Solutions shared her experiences with the SWIFT Cold Start exercise conducted in April 2015 with BOX and was happy to conclude that no messages were lost or duplicated.

On day 2 of the Forum, Jens Huser from INTERCOPE provided insight into both already completed and planned development activities of INTERCOPE regarding T2S support, completion of SIANet protocols, Business Application Integration, Single Sign On options, and several other product enhancements.

In the next presentation “What lies ahead in payments” Daniel Ferchland from Deutsche Bundesbank informed the audience about the status of SEPA Card Clearing, SEPA Cheque Clearing, and the new initiative for Instant Payments.

Gert Ulott, Commerzbank, explained how his organization completed the BOX infrastructure by deploying 4 BOX instances to handle the very high FIN and FileAct traffic for 39 Commerzbank BICs in 25 countries as well as a White-Label-Service for corporate customers. One of the major next step will be the implementation of connectivity to SIANet to guarantee redundancy in the network infrastructure for the SEPA traffic.

Following that, Gianni Bianchi, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, talked about “BOX as a Complete Financial Messaging Solution” and explained how the system is implemented in the oldest bank of the world. Initially BOX is used for T2S via SIA/Colt and for RMA. In further project steps the connection to RNI (National Italian Network) and file transfer via SIA as well as SWIFT FIN, FileAct, and InterAct will be migrated from several legacy systems to BOX leading to system consolidation and significant cost savings.

Marie-Therese Stanciel from Diamis gave an overview about Cristal “Pro Active Liquidity Manager” and Cristal “T2S”. Subsequently her colleague, Olivier Michaudet, explained in detail how Cristal has been integrated with BOX for T2S connected to SIA/Colt.

Dr. Ralf Schopohl from SIZ – a joint venture of the German saving banks – gave insight into the usage of ISO 20022 in SEPA payments, SEPA Card and Cheque Clearing and the migration of TARGET2 to ISO 20022.

The day concluded with crossover sessions covering the usage of the Intraday Switch Facility of SEPA CLEARING, a technical discussion about SWIFTNet Browse Services, and a session about the new configuration management facilities of BOX.

The final day started with the presentation of Dr. Frank Schubert and Matthias Unterschuetz from IBM about the functions of IBM “Liquidity Manager” and how the product has been integrated with BOX for T2S connected to SWIFT.

Kerstin Schwengbeck from Finanz Informatik explained how her company successfully went through the complex procedure to obtain the “Certification as a SWIFT Service Bureau within the Shared Infrastructure Program” and concluded: “Finanz Informatik is currently the only certified Service Bureau with SWIFT infrastructure and BOX worldwide”.

Olaf Grossler gave an overview of the “BOX Health Check” – a new offering from INTERCOPE to ensure security, correct configuration, and optimal performance of BOX.

Following the coffee break, Jens Huser and Olaf Grossler from INTERCOPE continued with a summary of completed and new change requests.

Katja Heyder, EBA CLEARING, provided an update about the message volumes handled by the STEP2 system and about already implemented or planned changes and enhancements. She continued with an overview about new initiatives, and in particular about the Task Force on Instant Payments, which was launched by the EBA CLEARING Board in February 2015.

At lunch time the BOX User Forum concluded with the re-election of Andreas Goerlich as chairperson of the User Group.

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