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Bloomberg and Markit Exchange Reference Data to Bolster EDM Services

Bloomberg and Markit have responded to market demand for a wider choice of vendor data for enterprise data management (EDM) with a non-exclusive agreement to distribute each other’s pricing and reference data through their EDM platforms Bloomberg Polarlake and Markit EDM.

The companies report increasing interest in choosing and consuming broader datasets as customers and prospects begin to migrate from deployed to partially or fully hosted EDM solutions that can reduce costs and improve data quality. John Randles, CEO of Bloomberg Polarlake, which rolled out an EDM managed service in February 2013 after the May 2012 acquisition of Polarlake by Bloomberg, explains: “Since the acquisition, we have been building out a multi-tenant platform. We manage data for clients using our hosted solution or deploy our software for clients to manage the data. EDM is about as much content as customers want to consume, so we are already working with nine data vendors and Markit makes that 10.”

Among the data vendors Bloomberg Polarlake has signed up and whose data it preloads into the hosted version of Polarlake are Six Financial Information, Fitch Solutions and Exchange Data International. Randles says the company is engaging with all data vendors and will announce more in 2014. He adds: “The agreement with Markit gives us critical mass around data. Customers select data vendors and have commercial agreements with them. We do as much common processing across as many data vendors as possible to provide cost efficiencies and then the customer defines its preferences around issues such as hierarchy and tolerance. The aim is to deliver a managed service that maintains the customer’s DNA.”

Since the roll out of the EDM managed service, Randles says customers have opted for co-managed solutions that combine the use of the hosted service for some data and use of the company’s deployed data management software for other data. He expects to have signed up 10 customers for co-managed solutions by the end of this year and says the company will be working with customers on fully-managed services next year.

Daniel Simpson, managing director and head of enterprise software at Markit, sees a similar movement towards managed services in Markit’s installed base of about 100 EDM customers. He explains: “Over the past few years, some firms tried to move their EDM into the cloud, but data vendors did not always play ball. Markit and Bloomberg realise customers need choice, so we sat down and agreed how to consume each other’s data in a managed service. A handful of our customers already use EDM in the cloud and demand is growing as the market seeks cost efficiency and good quality, scrubbed data.”

Simpson suggests companies moving to hosted solutions are comfortable with a managed service for reference data, but remain hesitant about data such as the trading book and customer data, leading most to favour co-managed solutions, at least for the moment.

For Markit, Bloomberg adds to a long list of data vendors it works with and to its own market data. Simpson says the Bloomberg pricing and reference data is largely complimentary and has little overlap with the Markit data, and notes that a few customers with Markit deployed EDM solution are talking to the company about moving to the hosted solution on the basis of using both the Markit and Bloomberg datasets. He adds: “I expect a sub-set of our existing 100 EDM users to migrate to the managed service. They like our technology and want to carry on using it, so we will manage the hardware for them and deliver a hosted service.”

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