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Eagle Underpins Core Businesses With Reference Data Plan

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Eagle Investment Systems’ ReferenceManager platform is expected to play a strategic role in the company’s plans for 2004. In an interview with Reference Data Review, David Palten, president and chief executive officer, outlined the importance of the reference data management platform’s function in bringing together Eagle’s various application products, including those in the accounting, portfolio management and performance measurement areas.

ReferenceManager’s significance for Eagle is underscored by its adoption as the platform used to supply Eagle’s Pace, Star and performance measurement products with the reference data they need to operate. Palten says a major initiative for Eagle this year is promoting the entire Eagle suite as a cohesive solution for the enterprise.

Palten expects this initiative to involve a positioning push during the first half of the year, with product and content development combined with the promotion of the overall offering to educate clients and prospects. Palten reckons that Eagle has the opportunity to be the first vendor to offer its clients this range of functionality from the same core platform of products.

The vision here is to offer banks, broker/dealers and mutual funds a broad range of services via software license, application service provider (ASP) delivery or outsourcing, all underpinned by the same technology platform and reference data management and sourcing. Getting that message across will be one of the main challenges for Eagle during 2004. Palten expects to see results – in the form of true enterprisewide sales traction – to emerge in 2005.

For 2004, that means solidifying the existing product line. Palten says Eagle is actively adding to the reference data sources ReferenceManager can handle. He says work is under way to improve the system’s messaging capability. The end goal is for ReferenceManager to be able to support all of Eagle’s products in all of its target markets. Palten illustrates the point by suggesting an institutional client that acquires, say, a hedge fund will be able to use ReferenceManager to support the new business without any technological upheaval.

At the moment, Eagle’s target markets are the U.S. and the U.K. Palten says the company’s main strength is in the domestic U.S. market for its core accounting capability. He says, though, that the company operates as a local vendor – i.e. as a self-standing entity – in its overseas markets, primarily London. He says that outsourcing of reference data among London clients is a growing trend that Eagle hopes to take advantage of.

Palten says Eagle will build out its existing product line with help from its client base. He says that after the initial implementation at a client site, Eagle develops interfaces to additional data sources based on feedback from users. It then simplifies the users’ experience of the system, by improving usability of the application where appropriate. Meanwhile, its development activities are mindful of the need to offer reliable support for between 10 and 10,000 users. Offerings are available in both Unix and Wintel environments.

Within the core applications themselves, Eagle’s development is focusing on additional functionality in mutual funds in response to new regulatory and tax reporting requirements, and in insurance.

Palten says the company is seeing good new traction – he cites particularly strength in professional services, and mentions new projects with a couple of clients.

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