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Data Infrastructure Investment on the Cards for 2011, Says SunGard’s Crowley

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A desire for greater data transparency and consistency is driving firms to invest in their data infrastructures, according Janet Crowley, general manager of SunGard’s data management solution, Fame. Crowley, who has long been a proponent of managed data services, indicates that SunGard saw an uptick in interest in the vendor’s Fame solution set last year and she is confident that this will continue over the course of 2011.

Speaking to A-Team back in 2007, Crowley noted that firms were taking a “cautious” approach to outsourcing at the time, likely due to the high profile failures of a number of outsourcing contracts. However, regulatory pressures and a new level cost consciousness across the market have caused this reticence towards managed services to fade over the last couple of years. “Firms are revisiting their data infrastructures in light of the new regulatory reporting and transparency requirements in the market,” says Crowley. “Fame is able to act as a centralised source for firms’ market and reference data and we have been investing in our solutions over time to make sure this data is more easily accessible.”

In order to ensure its offering is competitive with others on the market, SunGard has been investing in Fame’s data storage capabilities, recently adding tick level data and SQL access level data, and there is a continued focus on application programming interfaces (APIs). “This removes the need to use a proprietary data interface from a client’s perspective and provides them with a single interface for data underlying multiple systems in order to make the reporting process much simpler,” she continues.

The vendor has added cross symbology capabilities to its solution set in order to be able to take in more data feeds from multiple data vendors and proprietary data from customers and store it in one place for reporting purposes. Crowley indicates that the closing of a recent deal in the Asian region has also meant SunGard has added new local language capabilities to its offering.

After all, as one of the more established names on the block, SunGard’s Fame has to ensure it is keeping up to speed with new client requirements. However, Crowley indicates that in terms of competition, she sees the same names cropping up across the different verticals at which the solution is targeted. In-house builds persist to some extent also, which she concedes often results in a longer sales process. “Internal build remains our biggest competition, as it takes many firms a while to realise that this is not the most efficient use of resources,” she adds.

The vendor already has a fairly healthy list of clients using SunGard solutions already, hence the plan is to do more with current customers, she explains. “Larger financial institutions are looking at using Fame for its access layers and integration capabilities, as well as the benefits of cross symbology mapping,” claims Crowley. “We also need to keep one eye on meeting future requirements and ensuring the platform is flexible enough to meet the storage and aggregation requirements down the road.”

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