Asset Control has launched an upgraded front end for its AC Plus financial and reference data management software solution, which it says enhances the speed and operational efficiency of the desktop interface. Rick Enfield, product business owner, Asset Control, explains that the core development process of AC Plus Desktop 3.0 took 15 months.
“Organisations are drowning under vast data volumes flowing within their environments. New investment strategies, business expansion and changing regulatory needs place demands on infrastructures that require the ability to turn data into actionable information. AC Plus Desktop is a natural extension of our enterprise class data management solution to help financial institutions tailor the acquisition, cleansing and enrichment processes to their internal business functions,” says Enfield.
Phil Lynch, Asset Control’s president and CEO, adds: “The need for traders, portfolio managers and operations staff to have access to accurate, high quality reference and market data in a timely fashion is more urgent than ever, in order to quickly measure and manage risk and exposure, gain insight into opportunities, comply with new regulations, and increase operational efficiency. Our new AC Plus Desktop makes the cleansing and workflow process faster and more efficient to ensure that the highest quality of data is available to users and downstream systems as quickly as possible to meet urgent business needs.”
AC Plus Desktop 3.0 is aimed at helping to ensure data is accurate, complete, consistent, and rapidly made available to downstream portfolio management, trading, compliance, risk, and other financial management applications, he says. The upgrades were based on an examination of the manner in which financial institutions process data, Enfield explains.
“We obtained feedback from our customers, prospects and domain experienced staff in designing the interfaces and workflows. We developed a core testing group around a targeted subset of our existing client base to ensure that our functions met general business needs within different types of representative client business structures. Our beta programme was an intensive effort on behalf of this targeted client group to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their participation,” he says.
Enfield explains there were no real difficulties to overcome during the development phases of the project. “As in any functional development effort paralleling live customer environments, we took a lot of care to ensure that existing functions provided a smooth migration path to the new desktop product. We wanted to ensure that it worked well with existing client environments to resemble more of an upgrade effort rather than a new installation. Within the company itself, our goal was to improve functionality and usability, and not be trapped by existing paradigms. Planning, training and external input all were part of the cooperative development effort that helped to overcome these challenges and meet our objectives for the product,” he says.
AC Plus Desktop 3.0 was designed to support full cleansing and validation workflows for differing organisational requirements. In addition, AC Plus Desktop 3.0 displays full transparency on the data’s origination and change history during processing.
AC Plus Desktop attempts to provide operations and data cleansing specialists with an intuitive view of data as it enters AC Plus from multiple data sources. Its data browsing module lets users create sets of bookmarks and searches that can be re-used or modified at any time, as well as instant reports on data for exporting to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, says Enfield.
It also provides tailored views based on an individual’s specified criteria of specific asset classes. AC Plus Desktop’s data cleansing module manages the user’s daily tasks for reconciling inconsistent data from vendors. Its workflow module highlights items of interest as workflow items and distributes these workflow items to different users according to customer set criteria like resolution priority, instrument type, region and other attributes.
Enfield reckons the attributes of its upgraded front end allow users to meet the requirements of the current market environment more effectively: “The events in the financial markets over the past several months have resulted in increased focus on exposure, risk and compliance. Numerous systems exist in the industry to support these needs, but the common denominator for effective management is a solid data foundation. The functionality of AC Plus enables our clients to get the most from their existing systems by providing timely, clean, accurate, and consistent data. The workflows and functions of AC Plus Desktop are tailored to allow our clients to efficiently process data – quickly and accurately.”
He believes that despite the competition in the market, Asset Control’s offering is sufficiently compelling to garner a healthy share of the data management market. “While there are other data management software products in the industry offering similar functionality, AC Plus has the advantage of having been designed from the ground up as a data management platform – built by data management professionals for data management professionals. Our ability to offer efficient workflows and functions to support accurate, complete, consistent and timely data management is second to none,” he claims.