Back office processing solution vendor SmartStream Technologies has upgraded its Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) Corporate Actions solution in order to realise cost savings and efficiencies by bringing it onto a common platform with the rest of its offerings. Paul Phillips, business development consultant at the vendor, explains to Reference Data Review that the upgrade has been ongoing for the last year.
“SmartStream took the decision to bring TLM Corporate Actions into line with the rest of its solutions by migrating its functional capabilities onto a common architecture around 12 months ago,” says Phillips. “The move was in response to overriding pressure in the market to provide a more integrated solution set across all our offerings.”
TLM Corporate Actions was, in fact, the last of SmartStream’s solutions to be added to the TLM Control platform and should represent further cost savings for the vendor as well as its clients. Obviously, by consolidating all its offerings onto one functional platform, the vendor can benefit from scale efficiencies. “Cost efficiency is also a benefit,” adds Phillips. “We can be much more aggressive in our pricing for solutions by using a common technical architecture for SmartStream and our client base.”
The new version of the solution also aims to provide a more intuitive front end for clients via the new diary-based view of events in real time, including both tasks and exceptions. According to the vendor, this exception driven approach ensures that appropriate actions are presented and escalated as necessary to deliver higher levels of risk mitigation and control. “The new solution’s interactive and intuitive diary function differentiates us from the competition. They may provide key dates but our solution allows users to look at milestones and exceptions and resolve any problems as and when they arise,” contends Phillips.
Much like its other solutions, TLM Corporate Actions also features a new browser-based interface that presents a range of corporate action information on a single screen. Its thin client delivery means that it’s possible to effect a rapid roll out across an organisation and reduce the cost of ownership, says the vendor.
Phillips highlights the popularity of the software as a service (SaaS) in the market as another key trend that will likely drive forward the evolution of the vendor’s corporate actions offering. “SaaS, business process outsourcing and centralised services are all part of the drive towards a consolidated service platform, which denotes low costs of maintenance and allows for process wide initiatives,” he explains.
Although TLM Corporate Actions is not currently available in a SaaS version, it soon will be. “The competitive landscape is constantly changing and it is always challenging to keep pace with developments. We need to keep on our toes and make sure we are providing the latest technology and functionality to our clients. This allows us to provide a more competitive level of pricing and more choice to our customers,” says Phillips.
The vendor is also unconcerned about the increasing number of vendors entering the corporate actions space, he continues. SmartStream differentiates itself by providing an end to end solution rather than focusing on one particular area, says Phillips. “The smaller players in the market are likely to be gobbled up by the larger players over time. It is a difficult market to break into because of the level of maturity of most of the offerings already out there,” he continues.
The main competition that SmartStream comes up against on a frequent basis is from vendors such as Information Mosaic and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Fiserv used to be more active in this space but seems to have dropped off the map of late, says Phillips.
SmartStream is looking to develop its corporate actions solution further still, he adds, including data tagging around ISO 20022 messages and XBRL. The vendor’s ambitions will also be extended in the proxy voting space, thus bringing it up against players such as Broadridge in the near future.