Financial giant NASDAX OMX has transformed from a "semi-regulatory utility" into a forward-thinking, for-profit exchange, thanks to Dell's infrastructure solutions.

With supercomputers that can process more than a million messages per second, NASDAQ OMX enables today's lightning-fast pace of trading.

"Being part of an exchange means being part of the heartbeat of an economy," says Anna Ewing, EVP and CIO, NASDAQ OMX. "It also means being part of market events from a macroeconomic perspective. It is very exciting and continually keeps you on your toes."

But things weren't always so efficient. Not so many years ago, NASDAQ was a US-based equities market looking to go global.

When Ewing took on the role of CIO at NASDAQ 11 years ago, she was brought in as part of the firm's transformation. "Back then we were a single US equities market and part of our transformation was to move from what we were then - in essence a semi-regulatory utility - to a for-profit exchange that was really now operating in a very competitive landscape," she says.

When NASDAQ acquired OMX in 2008, the firm became the world's leading provider of exchange technology.

The exchange's for-profit environment needs to operate in a highly competitive landscape around the world. As the company started to transform, it partnered with Dell, gaining the right technology to power work behind the scenes.

By combining IT solutions and business knowledge, Dell and Intel's platform enables the exchange to continually innovate.

Speed is a competitive differentiator in trading, so it was integral that Dell's infrastructure matched NASDAQ OMX's high expectations. "We will process up to a million messages per second on any given day," Ewing says. "The ability to have a marketplace that is fast moving is really important to our customers."

Today, NASDAQ OMX technology is running in 70 markets and 50 countries. "Technology is core to everything that we do," says Ewing. "We have been using technology to really change what it means to be an exchange."

Storage and networking

In addition, storage solutions from Dell help secure NASDAQ OMX's position as the leading provider of exchange technology. Dell's storage and networking solutions securely power the exchange, allowing NASDAQ OMX to disseminate trading information without skipping a beat.

"Anna Ewing and her team at OMX have the biggest challenge in the world," says Ken Gazda, Global Account Manager at Dell. "They need to make sure that they are the fastest, and the best in the market."

And with Dell's solutions in place, NASDAQ can do what it does best; using technology to transform the market. Ewing says: "We are certainly very confident about the platform we have in place, but you need to continually innovate - you don't stop."