Hargreaves Lansdown | Uniface
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Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s leading independent financial service providers, was established in 1981.

The self-described “one- stop shop,” Hargreaves Lansdown is a fund supermarket, a fund manager, a discount broker, a stockbroker, a pensions specialist, an annuity specialist, a wealth manager and a financial adviser, all in one. An award-winning company recognized for delivering exceptional services to its clients, Hargreaves Lansdown appears virtually every week in the UK national media. To achieve this reputation in the market, Hargreaves Lansdown relies on stable, well-performing IT systems.

Customer Overview

As a long-term Uniface customer, Hargreaves Lansdown has built a customized, in-house CRM/Marketing application, Spidermail, used on a daily basis by over 500 employees. Spidermail is a mission-critical application to the business and performance is a key requirement for Hargreaves Lansdown. As Kevin Darbin, Uniface Development Manager, explains “the daily work using Spidermail is key to our business, our employees rely on the application to work predictably and quickly.” Over the 15 years that the application has been in production, this has been the case.

Why Uniface?

The trend in the industry to moving to packaged apps is one that Hargreaves Lansdown decided not to follow. Their business philosophy is to control their own destiny and by having an in-house application they have the ability to both proactively expand Spidermail with new functionality and react quickly to requests and change. “This approach gives us a lot of flexibility and allows us to customize the application based on what is best for Hargreaves Lansdown, and not changing our business model based on the available packaged apps on the market,” says Kevin.

“The way Uniface works, it gives you a lot for free and it does a lot of the work for you which helps get our projects deployed based on our projections.”

– Kevin Darbin, Uniface Development Manager

Uniface’s robustness is a major benefit to their business. Spidermail is a very stable and reliable application, one that employees count on to work for their daily work. Spidermail has a solid track record in the company and the development team can credit Uniface for helping them to achieve this.

Working with Uniface, the Hargreaves Lansdown development team has been able to gain the confidence of the business to deliver key functionality and support strategic processes.

Key Benefits of Uniface

“We are positive about the direction that Uniface is moving in. The product roadmap looks very good and it’s nice to see Uniface technology building on its product strengths, while at the same time moving to support the most current technologies and development practices.”

– Kevin Darbin, Uniface Development Manager

A development team made up of 5 Uniface developers are able to support, maintain and expand the Spidermail application. Because Uniface applications are easy to maintain, most of the development team’s time is spent adding new functionality and features.

Another benefit of Uniface is its technology independence and interaction with multiple database platforms. Hargreaves Lansdown are confident knowing that their Uniface application would not be affected by any future strategic shifts to alternative database platforms.

The Hargreaves Lansdown development team has found the Uniface community helpful. “We’ve been attending the last few user events and it’s nice to meet other Uniface developers and exchange experiences,” says Kevin. They also use www.uniface.info on a regular basis to interact in the forums and access various samples that are placed online.

Future Projects

Having a strong relationship with Uniface is also important. The companies talk regularly to share ideas and cover any issues. Hargreaves Lansdown also visited the Uniface lab to have in-depth discussions about both the company and technology. For example, they discussed how their development labs work and shared ideas about which development methodologies Uniface supports, such as the agile approach.