LANsense provides real-time network monitoring for HSBC Global headquarters

High Performance FTP cabling system and LANsense intelligent network installed at flagship headquarters of one of the worlds largest banks

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is a world leading international financial services organisation with 170,000 employees based in 81 countries.  With multiple sites located across the City of London, HSBC recognised that business efficiency could be increased by reducing the number of buildings they managed.

The project planning process for a new HSBC headquarters began in 1998, with the formation of the IT Team, headed up by Roy Culligan as Senior Manager, IT, New Headquarters Project.   A site for the new building was chosen at Canary Wharf in the heart of Docklands, London's new financial district, directly adjacent to the existing Canada Square tower. The building is solely occupied by HSBC and is their new Group Headquarters. Designed by architects Foster and Partner, the building's specification makes very impressive reading; 44 storeys high with four basements including three trading floors and back office operations, with some 1,200,000 sq. ft of office space. The building accommodates in the region of 8,500 bank staff. Indeed the building is so large that the logistics of efficiently moving that many people, onto and off of public transport, justifies it's own entrance into the new Canary Wharf station on the Jubilee extension line. 

Independent EMC tests

It was HSBC's stated intention from day one of the project that the installed communications infrastructure would comprise a fully guaranteed and warranted structured cabling system. This was required to meet the banks immediate and future needs, minimising the provision of future bespoke or ad-hoc cabling. The envisaged lifetime of the cabling solution was planned to be at least 15 years with the system needing to demonstrate to the HSBC project team, within reasonable expectations, that it would meet this requirement. Also due to the building's location and proximity to London City airport and the River Thames, independent EMC tests were carried out before the commencement of construction to determine any potential effects of air and ship radar, or other surrounding electromagnetic disturbances on the communications infrastructure when installed.

"We've made a significant investment in the new offices, so it is common sense that we track the infrastructure's performance and maximise service to the building's users,"    Roy Culligan, NHQ IT Senior Project Manager, HSBC. 


Cabling Infrastructure 

The building's core communications infrastructure design consists of:  - 

  • 12,500Kms of Low Smoke screened copper cable
  • 120,000 voice and data outlets
  • 6,000 copper patch panels
  • 450Kms of OM3 fibre cable

The horizontal copper cable is capable of supporting future data rates of up to 1 G/bps and the fibre backbone cable up to 10G/bps.

Building and operational efficiency 

In addition to housing the HSBC Group Headquarters, the building also centralises the bank's London operations, offering operational efficiency increases, a modern user-friendly environment and low ongoing cost of ownership.   The whole building infrastructure and ethos is based upon minimising staff movement costs within the building - an operational overhead that  is difficult to contain and very common in the financial services sector.  Not only does the design of the power distribution, lighting and air conditioning have a major influence on the ongoing cost efficiency of the building but the flexibility, future proofing and reliability of the IT cabling is a major contributing factor to the overall building environmental design.

Significant return on investment

"We selected this solution because of its combined effectiveness and also because the system will pay for itself within three years. In a project of this size, accountability is paramount, so to be guaranteed a rapid return on investment ensures that we can focus our energies on more pressing areas. Furthermore, similar functionality, if required, can be implemented in our other existing major sites due to the iTRACS system's retro-fit capabilities,"  said Roy Culligan. 

In the high pressure world of global finance, this type of up-to-date market information and technological understanding can deliver real competitive edge and value.


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