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MongoDB Supports Merrill’s Agile, Fast-Moving Technology Transformation

Thomas Fredell, Chief Product Officer, Merrill Corporation | July 17, 2017

Scalability. Agility. Speed. These are all the buzzwords we hear around technology and platform development these days – and you certainly hear them in the hallways and Skype conversations across Merrill’s global operations. But they are more than just words here, they have become the way we do business.

Recently, I was asked to participate in MongoDB World in Chicago. We’ve been working with MongoDB for about a year now, and they’ve seen how quickly we are evolving in the technology space with scalability, agility and speed at the core of our growth. I was excited to share Merrill’s story about fast-tracking technological innovation.

When we started talking about creating the next software iteration, we took a good look at our existing technology stack. It was the true definition of “monolithic” – with slow release cycles, cumbersome code base and increasingly difficult to scale. It was clear that the nimble, responsive technology we were looking for wouldn’t be found in those millions of lines of code.

We looked to microservices as the philosophy for deliver our three priorities:

  • Agility
  • Faster business impact
  • Robust, reliable, scalable and secure

At the same time, we knew we wouldn’t get there alone. Forming partnerships is not only the way of the future for technology development, but the fastest way to put highly focused segment experts to work on the most important problems while ensuring other experts were taking care of the day-to-day. It’s a modular, deeply integrated approach at Merrill. To start, we brought Microsoft Azure cloud hosting platform on board, along with Pivotal Cloud Foundry. And, for our database provider, we selected MongoDB.

With MongoDB, we found an organization that was highly compatible with how we were thinking about the future, but also a partner that allowed us to be faster and more efficient in how we worked. We knew that they had the right mix of experience and expertise to support Merrill’s global reach and heavy user volumes.

Speaking at MongoDB World was a really energizing experience. The room was filled with people from companies at a variety of points on their transformation journeys as well, which was clear from the questions they asked – with the recurrent themes of agility and speed.

My advice to them – or to others exploring forming technology partnerships as they evolve – is simple.

  • Find partners who will help you achieve your business goals – look closely at your challenges and learn how a potential partner can support your success.
  • Microservices are great – but they don’t solve everything. As with any other part of your business, be deliberate in how you apply the microservice approach, and who you work with.
  • Make sure when you are pulling in new partner technologies that they are secure, safe and have high operational standards that are compatible with your company’s culture. Depend on your in-house experts, but stay open to new ideas.
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