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Bloomberg PolarLake Brings Managed Service for EDM to Market

Bloomberg PolarLake has rolled out the enterprise data management (EDM) managed service it proposed after its May 2012 acquisition by Bloomberg. The service will initially support security master and pricing data processing with more options to come later this year. Swedbank is its first user and SIX Financial Information its first data provider.

PolarLake did not have a managed service for EDM before the acquisition. But with significant investment from Bloomberg, it has built out a managed service that combines Bloomberg’s expertise in managed service platforms with its own data management software capability.

PolarLake data management software deployed in-house by customers before the acquisition will continue to be maintained and evolved, with some customers expected to transition to the managed service.

John Randles, Bloomberg PolarLake CEO, explains: “The managed service takes what people have done on premise and solves the data supply chain problems around EDM, such as multiple data sources, data management, exception handling and the crucial last mile of data distribution. Demand is escalating for a comprehensive service that reduces operational costs and standardises data processing for global financial firms.”

The EDM service acquires and manages large volumes of financial data that is then distributed to risk, trading and regulatory reporting systems, the aim being to help firms manage enterprise data processing and administration without the costs of data integration and management, hardware maintenance and software upgrades.

The service model can be adopted in its entirety to process and distribute data to applications or it can be used to distribute data to a landing point within a firm’s data infrastructure for onward distribution to apps tied into the infrastructure. Randles points out that Bloomberg PolarLake will work case-by-case with clients, combining the processing of data feeds that is common across the industry with specific client requirements.

“The process of gathering and managing data is repeated over and over again across the industry. By doing this once, in one place, we can offer efficiencies and economies of scale,” he says. “For example, where there is a large data set, a firm is constantly loading data, parsing, exception handling and managing onboarding. We can do that centrally and the firm can focus its effort on adding value to the data.”

The company’s first EDM client, Swedbank, is using the service for security master data processing. The bank’s business rules and local data formats are applied to the company’s master data feed at its EDM centre in Dublin, where data for 22 asset classes is aggregated from multiple data sources, and it is then distributed to Swedbank’s internal systems.

Torbjorn Ericsson, chief operating officer of Swedbank’s large corporate and institutions division, says: “We selected Bloomberg PolarLake’s EDM managed service because it enables us to avoid redundant data costs and channel resources toward client needs, as well as manage operational risk and regulatory requirements.”

Randles says more customers, including some seeking pricing processing, are in the pipeline, as well as other service elements. He explains: “Security master and price data processing are the core of EDM. With a managed service infrastructure for these we can add other related elements.” Randles chooses not to disclose what these elements will be, but does say there will be additions to the service later this year.

With SIX Financial Information on board, he also says the company is talking to more data providers that will join the service and be announced soon. At SIX, head of global sales Fritz Hediger says: “The Bloomberg PolarLake solution delivers significant advantages in terms of onboarding new data and managing that data in an intelligent way. This enhances the structure and linkage of our data services for security master, regulatory compliance, corporate actions and more.”

Randles suggests data vendors working with Bloomberg PolarLake will gain a new channel to market that has lower barriers to entry for data provision to clients than direct input to typical IT projects. From a client point of view, he says: “EDM has changed over the past 20 years, but solutions have not. We are addressing the challenges of EDM with a managed services model. We can invest more than individual firms and we can help them get off the treadmill of software and hardware upgrades and integration projects so that they can offer their consumers world-class services from us and become agile and responsive to change, perhaps responding with more speed to new initiatives in the organisation.”

Randles acknowledges that Bloomberg PolarLake is joining a competitive market trending towards managed services and cloud solutions, but says the company’s scale of investment, including plans for more data centres beyond the Dublin base, as well as its technology and ability to scale the service make its EDM solution compelling. He says: “We have built the service with a focus on large sell side and buy side firms, large hedge funds and the general banking community. With a managed service we are in a great position to address a broader market segment than is possible with on-premise software.”

As noted when Bloomberg acquired PolarLake, the EDM business will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Bloomberg with separate facilities and operations staff so that it can provide required levels of security, privacy and permission for the data it receives.

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