Traditionally buy side focused enterprise data management (EDM) vendor Cadis has bagged itself a new securities services firm customer this quarter and is planning to expand its reach in the sell side further still this year, says Stuart Plane, the vendor’s sales and marketing director. The sell side firm is one of the seven new client wins the vendor has so far announced this year, which also include its first large French financial services institution client and the asset management arm of a large insurance firm.
The move into the sell side is a “logical extension” for Cadis, says Plane, and the vendor has seen quite a bit of interest from this side of the market over recent months. “The appeal of the Cadis solution for the securities services firm is our successful implementation record; not many vendors are able to cite a 100% success rate,” contends Plane. “Our entire approach to data management is different from the rest of the market as a result of our openness combined with our strong data governance environment.”
Plane reckons that fundamentally both buy side and sell side are looking for the same things in terms of solving their data management challenges. “Both want to improve data quality, tackle data silos and bring down operational costs,” he explains. The securities services firms also sit fairly close to their buy side customers and Plane sees this market as a “natural progression” for the vendor.
Geographically speaking, one particular client win has come from a relatively new market for the vendor: Continental Europe. The vendor established an on the ground presence in Luxembourg last year and the recent success with a French client was as a result of that move, notes Plane. “We invested significantly in geographic expansion last year and this has now paid off for us,” he says.
Of course, the vendor’s other wins come from its more established markets, such as North America and the UK, including a big ticket win with a large buy side firm with more than US$300 billion assets under management. Three of the wins were also for the vendor’s Security and Price Master Management offering, which has also proved popular with its buy side demographic, notes Plane.
Last year, the Cadis also bagged a regulator as a new client and although names cannot be named, it is safe to say it is a large player in the regulatory space. This is another potential avenue of client expansion for the firm to add to what Plane calls its “impressive pipeline” for 2010. He is hopeful that, Eurozone recovery pending, Cadis will see a similar number of client wins for the next three consecutive quarters as the seven bagged in the first quarter.
“The macroeconomic environment continues to affect the number of deals signed significantly but if all goes well at a European economic level then we could well replicate the successes experienced in our first quarter throughout the rest of the year,” he contends.
The vendor pitches itself as an alternative to what Plane calls “big schema-based solutions” offered by the competition. However, he notes that the biggest competitor by far remains internal builds, which he attributes to the fact that firms are wary of project failures and thus wish to keep more control over the process. “There remains a high degree of project failures in the data management space with increased project costs and time over-runs. Key to our success is keeping to reasonable timescales and costs,” says Plane.
To this end, earlier this year, the vendor launched a new certification programme aimed at enabling clients to self-install Cadis implementations. Plane reckons this initiative has proved popular in the current climate given the desire for more control over data management projects within financial institutions and the need to keep costs down. The programme therefore purports to build on users’ competency levels, decrease project risk and reduce the overall cost of implementation. “It is our low footprint in terms of consultancy by allowing firms to become certified that has appealed to so many in the market,” he explains.
Plane reckons that rather than a drawback, the current focus on cost is healthy for the data management space. “It brings a sense of reality to projects and also highlights the high cost involved in internal builds,” he explains. He also believes that the current regulatory environment, although a positive force for raising overall awareness around data management issues, is not the driving force behind EDM implementations. “Internal audits and compliance teams often wield more authority over project implementations such as these and firms are already aware of the data management challenges facing them,” he says.
The rest of this year will see Cadis focusing on investing in both its processes and people, says Plane. The issue of speed of implementation will remain a big part of this and the vendor aims to bring down latency as much as possible.