Company of the Year Nominee Global Relay Leads Information Archiving in Financial Sector

Instant access, total security, and complete archives of emails and digital communication are critical to financial companies, not just from a business standpoint, but from a legal one.

Vancouver’s Global Relay is the leading provider of cloud-based electronic message archiving, supervision, and eDiscovery solutions for the global financial sector, and has been nominated for the Company of the Year award at the BCTIA 2015 Technology Impact Awards

The company’s solutions are hosted and managed entirely in the cloud, and designed to meet the complex requirements of highly regulated industries.

Founded in 1999, the company arose from the notion that the move to digital communication for business was creating a need to store and keep track of a large volume of electronic data. Long before ‘cloud-based’ became a common idea, the founders imagined that the Internet could be used to provide hosted archiving for a monthly subscription fee.

The initial idea was that the construction industry’s adoption of computer design would make email archiving a valuable tool for keeping track of communication, changes, and modifications on projects.  Unfortunately, this was not a problem for which the industry felt in need of a solution.

“We had originally planned to target the architecture and construction industries, where my background was, but we struggled to gain traction there,” said CEO Warren Roy.  

However, in 2003, the infamous accounting scandals involving Enron, Arthur Andersen and Worldcom shook the business world.  In the aftermath of these scandals, U.S. regulators mandated new compliance regulations for financial firms and public companies, requiring the preservation and supervision of company records and business communications, including emails and other electronic messaging.

This immediately created a pressing need for a compliance archiving solution. Global Relay pivoted to enable financial firms to meet these regulatory requirements.

The company has since been able to amass 18,000 customers in 90 countries. This is all the more impressive when considering their competition includes multi-billion-dollar tech behemoths such as HP, Microsoft, and Symantec.

“We’ve always known that we had to play to our strengths in order succeed. One key advantage for Global Relay is our focus on the financial sector. We knew from the beginning that we couldn’t try to be the next Microsoft and take on the whole market at once. We found success by growing within our niche. With that focus, we’ve been able to develop unparalleled expertise in finance. Some of our biggest successes, such as our eight-year partnership with Thomson Reuters and our selection as FINRA’s Compliance Resource Provider for Message Archiving, have come directly out of our ability to provide services that are designed to meet the precise needs of the financial sector,” said Roy.

The company is committed to developing the best technology for the industry in-house. Global Relay invests heavily in research and development, which gives the company control over their technology extending through the entire stack. 

“Because we invest so much in development, we have some of the most powerful and scalable technology on the market, and the agility to quickly adapt and improve it, all at a comparatively low operational cost,” said Roy.  This emphasis on creating technology has also resulted in their $24 million state-of-the-art green data center, which was launched in 2013.

Now, in anticipation of larger enterprise organizations moving to the cloud, Global Relay is planning on taking the competencies honed after extraordinary success in the small- and medium-sized segment of the market, and delivering them at scale to large enterprise organizations with thousands of employees, as well as to new verticals such as health care and insurance.

“The key trend in the market right now is that the big banks and other large enterprise organizations are finally making a definitive shift to the cloud for their archiving. They’re finding, as the small and medium sized businesses did several years ago, that maintaining aging on-premise archiving systems isn’t economical or efficient, and that cloud solutions can actually offer better security overall,” says Roy.

He continues,“To meet the needs of those organizations, we’ll be continuing to scale and evolve our technology.  We’re also in the process of launching a messaging system for the financial sector that has the integrated security and compliance capabilities that other IM systems lack.”

After several years of refinement, Global Relay is introducing the next generation of its flagship offering, Global Relay Archive.  Roy says, “It is tailored to the needs of enterprise customers, with scalability and speed that none of our competitors can match. A single archive can support over 400,000 users without any degradation, and searches across terabytes of data can be completed in seconds – as opposed to the several hours that comparable searches take on competitor systems.”

Global Relay employs 175 developers in its Vancouver and Halifax offices, and continues in its search for talent.  “We’re growing so fast that we can barely find the space to put everyone. Along with technical jobs, we’re always looking for people who can contribute on the business side, be it in sales, customer support, administration or one of our other teams. Our headquarters in Vancouver is truly a great place to work. It’s a beautiful office in a great location, and we have a really exciting environment of ambition, creativity and collaboration,” said Roy.

Tickets for the BCTIA Technology Impact Awards can be purchased here.