Following the management shake up that took place at the start of the year, data management outsourcing solution vendor Netik has kicked off a strategic review to better understand what the vendor has historically done well and where it can improve its solutions for the benefit of its user community, explains John Mason, who joined Netik as its new chief operating officer this month. Mason has been tasked with leading the sales, customer services and business functions from the vendor’s New York operations and although he is only a few days in, is already speaking with clients and prospects about next steps for development of Netik’s solution set.
Mason indicates that the fact that the new management team hails from the front office user community – CEO Rob Flatley and Asian head Ishan Manaktala both joined from Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn Equity division – means that the vendor has a better insight into the downstream requirements of a data management system. “They have a thorough understanding of how data is used within an organisation, which means we are no longer agnostic to the data that we provide,” he explains. “Rob and Ishan both understand how the ultimate consumer uses the data and therefore how we can add value to what we currently offer on the market.”
As a result of the new hires (including Mason himself), the vendor now has a fairly even split of experience from the front, middle and back office community, which Mason reckons should stand the vendor in good stead in an environment where a more integrated approach to data management is required. “There has been a move from just supplying a solution to the data management team to looking at the business requirements that are driving the needs of the data management function,” he says.
Mason explains that the added value Netik could add to the mix could come in the form of more analytics capabilities or a move towards a more service oriented and real-time data solution. However, the plan is not to move directly into the tick data space, rather to improve the speed and delivery of the data the vendor already provides, especially in the exchange traded funds (ETFs) and index space.
This is a different strategy at the outset, seemingly, from rival EDM vendor GoldenSource, who earlier this year launched a market and reference data solution in partnership with Xenomorph. Netik seems to be focusing on a quieter approach to the market by developing from its current front office focused solution in the ETF and index space and seeing where it can go from there. The addition of new research tools and real-time information is a logical first step therefore, using the data that the vendor is already providing and providing it to customers in new, more consumable and efficient formats.
However, given the experience of its management team, a move into the market data world is an inevitability, especially given that the vendor’s owner Symphony Technologies Group has been eyeing this space for some time. Mason, though, indicates that it is too soon to determine the approach the vendor will take to the tick data space, for now the focus is on being more proactive and making better use of the data that Netik already provides.
As for the future of the reference data solution set, Mason’s experience at SmartStream and its utility subsidiary DClear should help him to direct Netik’s “next phase” of evolution. The development of improved delivery models is an obvious win in a market where software as a service (SaaS) and low total cost of ownership are key, and Mason indicates that this is very much on the minds of the new management team.
“Symphony wanted Netik to move forward and drive onto a new dimension of development and that was the reasoning behind the management changeover. Rob understands how these products are used within the industry and this will help us to develop better products in the future,” says Mason.