PolarLake has joined the Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Council, the not for profit business forum for financial institutions involved in the EDM business. John Randles, CEO PolarLake, explains that the vendor has been keeping an eye on the activities of the group for some time but feels the time is now right to join.
“We have been looking at the activities and the topics under discussion at the EDM Council for a number of years and we feel that the focus has definitely moved from the high level topics of centralisation or not, to real practical implementation issues,” says Randles. “This is where integration comes in. And the council has been very active in helping firms to understand that centralisation itself is not a goal and that without integration, return on investment (ROI) is impossible.”
He reckons the EDM market has matured over the last couple of years and firms are no longer happy to concentrate on the collection and cleansing of reference data, but want the delivery of real ROI by integrating that data into multiple downstream systems. “That is why this is a great time for PolarLake to join the EDM Council. The EDM Council has done a great job in leading the conversation on ROI from EDM investments and the current focus on integration as a key enabler. The EDM Council will help us understand firsthand the concerns of the industry and contribute to the solution,” he says.
Randles feels the EDM Council has achieved a lot over its three years of existence: “We believe that the council has provided an excellent forum for companies to learn from each other and to measure themselves against their peers on their maturity in implementing EDM. It has also provided a forum for particular topics to be aired and investigated across the industry, ROI on EDM is one and now the approach to integration and EDM is another.”
Mike Atkin, managing director of the EDM Council, believes the vendor’s participation in the council couldn’t be timed better: “The importance of data management is fully recognised around the industry and many firms have made substantial progress on the ‘clean and consolidate’ objective. Almost all find themselves now standing at the precipice of integration into core applications and across the transactions process. Data integration is PolarLake’s expertise and where the value from the data investment realised.”
The most important thing for a software company to do is to listen to the market and deliver a solution for the areas of real pain, says Randles. “The EDM Council will enable us to have dialogue with a broader segment of the market and drive innovation for PolarLake. PolarLake is the only vendor in the market 100% focused on reference data integration and by continuing this engagement with the industry we will maintain our leadership position in reference data integration,” he claims.
On the flip side, he believes that PolarLake will bring something to the table for the council itself, namely, experience. “Very few firms have addressed the reference data integration challenge in a unified manner and we have been working with the majority that have. This will enable us to educate the EDM Council members as to the pitfalls of reference data integration that makes EDM a unique integration challenge,” he explains. “The parameters of the number of downstream systems, the number of asset classes and the number of markets all drive complexity and addressing these with traditional mapping, middleware techniques just isn’t going to cut it.“
This move therefore fits in with the vendor’s strategic plans going forward, says Randles. He sums up the proposition for both the vendor and the market: “PolarLake has established itself as the leading vendor in the area of reference data integration and in order to maintain this position we need to listen to the market and to have insights onto pain points as they are emerging. The EDM Council is an ideal way of doing that and in return we get to share our experiences as experts in the area of reference data integration.”