EDM specialist vendor Asset Control officially launched its new compliance focused solution, AC Invest, this week with a little help from former British Olympic champion Sally Gunnell. Reference Data Review first covered the news of the launch at Sibos, but the vendor decided to dedicate an evening of networking, cocktails and Olympic tales to elaborate further on the benefits of its new solution to its key current and future clients.
AC Invest is aimed at providing more transparency and control around reference data, with a view to improving firms’ compliance and audit functions, explained Asset Control CEO Phil Lynch to attendees. “It is clear in the current market that financial data has become higher profile because it is fundamental to being able to manage risk, compliance and reporting functions,” he added.
Thus far this year, the vendor has bagged nine new clients (one of which, ITG, was announced at Sibos) and Lynch is confident that AC Invest will attract yet more customers keen to tackle a more targeted area with an EDM approach. “There are two main applications that the product is suitable for,” he elaborated. “One is to act as a utility or internal service bureau for data but providing an added level of control for the end users. The other is as a web-based solution tool for enabling natural language queries in order to make data management functions available to a wider range of users, such as those from the business.”
Jean Williams, who up until now has been primarily focused on the vendor’s Tapmaster solution, discussed her own work on the AC Invest solution, which Lynch described as her “baby”. Williams has been engaged in developing the solution over the last year or so and she described the process of fine tuning in detail. “We think of AC Invest as a front office focused data and compliance solution,” she said. “It has been designed to provide data management functions in a compliance like framework. The structure and control mechanism therefore complements firms’ compliance systems.”
The decision to provide the solution in a web deployment format for the front end was not taken lightly, she added. “There was a lot of debate about this decision internally, as you gain and lose things when you make a decision such as this. But we have made sure that we have dealt with any issues that have historically arisen from providing a web-based front end, such as those around security and control.”
The vendor has heavily focused on the visualisation aspects of the front end and ease of access to the underlying data, according to Williams. “We have tried to ensure that the GUI is easy and secure to use for those in a distributed environment, whether that be geographically or departmentally,” she added.
In order to demonstrate exactly how the front end looks and feels, Williams’ colleague Rick Enfield, product business owner of the AC Plus solution, later provided a quick product demo for attendees, as they refilled their glasses. He explained that the AC Invest solution has been integrated with the AC Plus solution in order to allow a federated approach to data management.
On the social side of things, Gunnell was on hand to discuss her achievements as an Olympic gold medallist in the 400 metre hurdles during the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona (see Gunnell posing with Lynch in our snapshot above). Although she’d have been hard pressed to relate the subject matter directly to the world of data management, she did elaborate on the long hard road to victory in the four years running up to the Games. This long arduous struggle should be familiar to the data management community, after all, EDM projects are rarely without their challenges!