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Suresh Kumar- CIO Pershing

Imran Shahnawaz
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Imran Shahnawaz
“Existence of information technology is to serve the business; if it can solve business problems then the work is done,” says Suresh Kumar, Chief Information Officer of Pershing LLC. Blending the usual formula of business and technology, Jersey City, N.J. based Pershing provides online securities trading, clearing, information management, financial products and services.

Though the company is not a pure play software developer, it works on platforms of other companies to develop applications. Pershing has adopted various technologies to improve the online trading experience, but being a technology-oriented firm, the most important challenge was to deliver products and services by leveraging technology at optimal costs, Kumar says.

In 2002, the company’s technical expenses were at 42 percent of its total revenue, which was brought down to 30 percent in 2005. The company struggled to diminish these expenses along with the dotcom bust. “One of the challenges that we faced was to reduce our technical expense and convert our fixed expenses into variable expenses to bring the cost down,” he added.

To shrink the technical expenses Pershing adopted methods of delivering innovative technology at an optimal cost. These efforts have proved fruitful when it won the best-practice award from Technology Managers Forum in the category of “technology innovation” in the year 2005. They bagged the award for their “ResetExpress,” which was designed to automate the process of password reset using biometric authentication via telephone. In 2003, Pershing secured first place in the “project management category” under the banner of same forum. Here the idea was to put multiple management metrics into one place, which was tracked with multiple tools. Besides using multiple tools in processes, it also deals in strong architecture background.

Service oriented architecture, which is now in high demand, had already been adopted by the firm in late 80s as message oriented architecture, says Kumar.

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