Alfa Systems 6
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Release 4: Scalability (May 2024)

Truly always-on, financially coherent operation - without restriction.

Header image for Alfa Systems 6, Release 4: Scalability

Delivered in a series of six releases, Alfa Systems 6 helps finance providers tackle the significant challenges they face, and seize the lucrative opportunities that lie waiting.

Existing Alfa Systems customers who take upgrades can subscribe to this functionality as it is released.

Why Scalability?

Scalability in Alfa Systems 6 presents leading-edge functionality designed for providers looking to scale their business with flexibility and speed.

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This applies to providers looking to expand within their current markets, or breaking into new regions and business lines, but who need to maintain high levels of flexibility while minimizing capital expenditure.

Building on Alfa Systems’ stable, performant platform, long-term investments by Alfa have delivered the Scalability pillar, equipping finance providers with everything they need to:

  • Optimise and flex resource expenditure: Alfa Cloud’s adaptable resource model offers automated deployments, serverless databases, and SOC1-certified processes - as and when required.
  • Onboard new portfolios: Powerful new tooling makes the transfer of acquired portfolios onto Alfa Systems 6 quick and painless.
  • Expand into new markets: Through business rules and advanced configuration management, Alfa Systems 6 gives you the power to roll out operations with flexibility and speed. Use the same configuration in multiple countries, or as a seed for rollouts in new regions or business lines.
  • Harness true 24/7 operation: New ‘rolling close’ capabilities deliver uninterrupted round-the-clock operations and superior performance - a first in the market. Portfolios progress smoothly to the next day with zero downtime, enabling always-on digital self-service for all operations (not just quoting).

Discover Scalability in Alfa Systems 6:

Scalability in Alfa Systems 6

"Scalability, the fourth pillar of Alfa Systems 6, allows finance providers to plan efficiently and confidently for extensions to their operations, without worrying about increased capital spend. This allows them to make use of economies of scale, and mitigate the risk of higher cost bases."

Emily Hammond, Head of Product

Introducing Scalability in Alfa Systems 6

In recent years, the environment for finance providers has not been easy. Escalating costs, a shortage of skilled talent, and evolving global regulations have compelled finance firms either to withdraw from markets, or to expand their operations to leverage economies of scale. 

The delayed implementation of capital requirement increases in Basel IV (aka Basel 3.1 and Basel III Endgame), coupled with some high-profile bank failures, has underscored the need to move risk off the balance sheet. It has also demanded more robust risk measurement and asset type differentiation. This situation presents both an opportunity and a threat, in the form of mergers and acquisitions, with larger portfolios potentially consolidated by established banks with the requisite optimized processes and controls in place. The victors will be those leveraging technology to scale, who can react quickly and astutely.

with the right technology model, you can scale your business with flexibility and speed

The industry has already seen much in the way of consolidation, in both servicing and ownership of portfolios. To manage these newly expanded, potentially global portfolios efficiently - and ensure they are the ones to capitalize on economies of scale - finance providers require:

  • 24/7 operations, always-on and always available
  • A fast, highly performant technology landscape with a higher baseline and an ability to scale to meet performance demands as they arise, ensuring sustained efficiency
  • Easy, pain-free methods to expand their portfolio within the current system (even with different processes and products)

Alfa Cloud: The cloud-native hosting solution, integral to Alfa Systems 6

Alfa Cloud - the standardized, single-tenant, cloud-native SaaS solution - is designed for customers looking to scale their offering efficiently, both dynamically and on demand.

A cornerstone of every Alfa Systems implementation, Alfa Cloud has seen considerable investment for the Scalability pillar. Leading-edge technologies and automated services empower customers to roll out innovative solutions to the market, ensuring optimal performance - not just for daily operations, but also during peak times when running intensive processes.

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Scalability brings important new features in Alfa Cloud:

Dynamic database autoscaling

Harnessing the power of AWS Aurora serverless technologies, Alfa Cloud introduces dynamic database autoscaling, to leave behind the traditional approach of planned database upgrades. Gone are the days of committing to a fixed database size to accommodate peak demands, such as end-of-day processing. With infrastructure-as-code and serverless clusters, database scaling occurs automatically when needed, ensuring optimal efficiency and performance. Whether you're rapidly onboarding 1,000 new dealers, or executing an expedited portfolio migration, Alfa Cloud delivers where other solutions can't.

Testing of these new technologies and automated capacity management has revealed an improvement of up to 3.3x in real-time performance, compared with a similar portfolio deployed in a legacy data center.

Application scaling

The integration of technologies in other areas (such as the Render framework-based Compose, enabling server-driven rendering within our preconfigured Alfa Start products or Total Originations) empowers Alfa Cloud to support application scaling. This capability ensures our customers can take advantage of dynamic scaling - up, down, and across servers - with confidence in retaining crucial session information.

Variable OpEx

Alfa Cloud allows our customers to move away from rigid, fixed-cost structures towards a variable operational expenditure (OpEx) model, with costs incurred when - and only when - required. Through strategic investment in people and processes, such as zero-touch patching procedures, we enable our customers to capitalize on economies of scale, and tap into the pool of Alfa Systems management expertise.

24/7 processing, with entity-level close

Alfa Systems' ongoing product development continually finds new ways to enable our customers to scale both vertically (by contract volume) and horizontally (across regions). Our investment in 24/7 processing allows our customers to access a single, always-on, global application*.

The enhanced efficiency of a rolling close, managed at the entity level, delivers a host of advantages. Beyond its superior performance and reduced strain on the database, this approach facilitates uninterrupted 24/7 operations. Portfolios progress smoothly to the next day with no disruption, with clear signaling both in the UI and through web services. 

This enables always-on digital self-service for all operations (not just quoting); access to offshore customer service for the full working day; as well as multicountry operations, with each running its own rolling closing process.

* subject to data sovereignty restrictions

A single multicountry application

Renowned for its continually evolving flexibility, Alfa Systems enables highly effective deployment across multiple countries or states, accommodating varying regulations, product types, GAAP reporting standards, and operational processes. Powerful business rules and workflow, alongside parameter segregation and customized invocation of external services driven by business logic, ensure that the same base application can serve diverse jurisdictions.

Alfa Cloud's dynamic database and application scaling, variable OpEx, and always-on operation lets you serve diverse jurisdictions, and capitalize on economies of scale.

Scalability: Further enhanced in Alfa Systems 6

Scalability in Alfa Systems 6: Truly always-on, financially coherent operation - without restriction.


Alfa takes great pride in the dedicated team and robust processes it has established to deliver a secure, performant hosted application that adheres to stringent GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) processes. These are the standards required of software services that represent the backbone of major financial institutions.

Our dedicated information security and data protection teams ensure data remains secure, and compliance obligations are met, to the satisfaction of the most rigorous auditors. Alfa has secured ISO 27001 and 27018 certificates*, and has SOC 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II** reports maintained by external auditors.

To provide transparency and support customer audit requirements, we offer SOC 2 Type II reports and quarterly bridging letters for download via Alfa Cloud's self-service portal. To reduce the costs of auditors both internal and external, customers can request a SOC 1 Type II report on demand, making use of economies of scale within Alfa.

* ISO 27001:2022; ISO 27018:2019
** SSAE 18 SOC 2 Type II; SOC 1 Type II

minimize capex, forget downtime, maintain the edge, scale with confidence

New tools: Portfolio Load, and Migration

Although the initial data migration is typically carried out as part of our implementation projects, Alfa's customers often need to onboard substantial portfolios from legacy systems for various reasons: a new Banking-as-a-Service offering for other finance providers, undertaking a scaled migration strategy from incumbent systems, or simply through acquisition.

Leveraging their deep understanding of customer requirements, Alfa's consultants have developed innovative tooling to expedite and automate these migration processes. Several options are available for customers, tailored to suit various product types, portfolio sizes, and desired information and behaviors on Alfa Systems.

Change data capture through Data Pipeline

Through substantial investments to enhance data and messaging scalability for external systems, Alfa introduces the Data Pipeline module, providing change data capture (CDC) capabilities for Alfa Systems' Operational Data Store (ODS).

By leveraging Apache Kafka to provide an event-driven API, the module enables smooth integration into our customers' data pipelines using an event streaming pattern. This allows customers to receive data streams into their own data storage solutions, efficiently and in near real-time.

Events are placed on a dedicated topic per ODS table, allowing the logical grouping of related data, and topic consumers to scale independently. Additionally, we now support Kafka as a destination for Alfa Systems' event notifications, facilitating Kafka-based consumption as an integration pattern for highly interconnected systems operating at scale.

Performance and quality

As asset and contract volumes increase, there's a heightened demand for high-performance infrastructure and refined tooling and processes. This is to ensure that performance criteria are met, and that regressions - to both functional and non-functional requirements, stemming from new deployments - are minimized. Alfa has proactively invested in a dedicated team to enhance tooling, infrastructure, and processes, aimed at facilitating the growing need for scale.

Scalability: Meeting challenge and opportunity

Alfa Systems 6 can transform your business, open up new revenue streams, and bring heightened productivity to your operation.

Opportunity: Banking-as-a-service provider

As regulatory requirements become more demanding, smaller finance providers are finding it increasingly expensive to maintain the necessary software, resources, processes, and capital. This presents an opportunity for larger providers to monetize the efficiency of their platforms, and capitalize on economies of scale by servicing or acquiring additional portfolios. With streamlined portfolio upload and migration capabilities, coupled with automated and flexible workflow processes, Alfa is well positioned to facilitate this transition.

Opportunity: Growth in the securitisation market

As larger financial institutions navigate capital requirements, they may seek to reduce risk exposure on their balance sheets. This might entail syndicating risk from deals, or securitizing entire portfolios to sell on to other institutions. In this dynamic market, those who show innovative approaches stand to generate substantial revenue.

Challenge: DORA

In Europe, the DORA regulations mandate that finance providers and banks certify that their software providers meet stringent expectations of scalability, reliability, and performance, alongside the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) standards set by the providers themselves. With its superior, verified ISO 27001 and SOC 1 and 2 audited GRC processes, as well as its scalable, secure platform, Alfa can enable financial institutions to meet their DORA requirements with confidence.

Challenge: Competition

When times are more challenging and products become more homogeneous, finance companies are compelled to vie for market share based on price, speed, or both. This intensifies the demand for high-performance systems built on modern technology and architecture. By continually investing in its base-level performance standards, Alfa and Alfa Systems continue to lead the way in the market.

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