Post-trade solution vendor Information Mosaic is planning to launch a new asset surveillance solution later this year, in addition to promoting its upgraded client front end for its flagship corporate actions solution. Manmohan Singh, head of product leadership at the vendor and country head of its Indian operations, who joined the vendor back in October last year from Tata Consultancy Services, explains that Information Mosaic was prompted to begin work on the new solution following the financial crisis and the ensuing focus on risk management within the market, and began development work in earnest in June last year.
Although the vendor is waiting until the end of October to fully elaborate on the range of functionality of the solution, Singh indicates that it is currently in the pilot testing phase with two clients. He explains that the solution is aimed at providing more data to custodians on the location of their assets and those of their clients for risk evaluation purposes. “We used the fail fast approach to solution development at the start of the process, where we quickly developed a prototype and presented it to some of our clients. They indicated that the solution was something they would be keen for us to develop and then we began the testing and validation process,” he elaborates.
Singh reckons the solution is a first for the market, as there are no other vendors out there offering the same set of functionality (although we’ll have to wait until October to hear the full details). The solution has been in development for around 13 months and the vendor is already talking to a few prospects about possible implementations pre-launch.
As well as this new solution, Information Mosaic has also been working on its flagship corporate actions solution, cama, over the last two years in order to move from providing a user interface to providing a user “experience”, says Singh. Although this sounds at the outset like marketing hyperbole, Singh is adamant that the vendor has been focused on transforming its front end from something purely IT driven to something much more intuitive and interactive. “This is where we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the vendors in the corporate actions space: we focus on our clients’ experience and also the end clients’ experience,” he explains.
Singh notes that in the post-Lehman world, for example, there is much more of a focus on the risk related to corporate actions and the vendor has therefore integrated new dashboards into its solution to highlight this data. He explains that the development has been focused on the “push methodology” for this data, so that clients are alerted about the actions required as a result of this information and are given a prioritised list of actions to take. “We use a colour coded dashboarding system that highlights urgency in red, yellow and green. For example, red could indicate an election that needs to be taken for a high amount,” he explains.
This dashboard has been available to customers since December and Singh explains that the functionality has proved popular with clients over the last seven to eight months. So too has the introduction of new portals for data inputting such as those for elections data, which Singh indicates have been designed to be much more intuitive.
The vendor has also been working on its compliance with the changes involved in the move to ISO 20022 messaging; the recent drafts released by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) are a case in point. Vendors in the corporate actions space are all working towards compliance with the new set of messaging standards ahead of the planned move to 20022 in the future.
The next update for the solution will be in September, following its usual six month pattern of development: the vendor traditionally releases updates twice a year, in March and September.
Information Mosaic is also spending time to make sure it is conforming to the service oriented architecture (SOA) ethos, explains Singh. He notes that the vendor has been working on making its solutions much more of a ‘plug and play’ option for users, as well as its offering of both application service provider (ASP) and software as a service (SaaS) versions. The vendor has been in the SaaS space for the last three years and Singh reckons this has allowed it to penetrate much further into the tier two and three financial institutions.
“There is much more resistance to hosted solutions from larger organisations, but we have teamed up with one client to provide hosted solutions to its own clients,” he explains. This appears to be similar to a white labelling arrangement, where the vendor provides most of the functionality but the client provides the solution to its own clients.
Singh believes that after a fairly slow start to the year in the corporate actions market, things have picked up considerably and the vendor is on course for a good year in terms of client wins. Indeed, the last public win for the vendor’s cama solution was back in March last year, when outsourcing solution vendor Broadridge signed up.