S&P Capital IQ has joined the open messaging network set up by Markit as part of its collaboration services in October 2013. Users of the company’s desktop platform will be able to use the network for instant messaging beyond the S&P Capital IQ community, while S&P Capital IQ plans to build access to the network and its directory into desktop collaboration tools it is preparing to introduce in September 2014.
Jonathan Reeve, executive managing director, Product & Content, at S&P Capital IQ, explains: “We are evolving our desktop platform to include collaboration tools that will help our clients work in teams. Joining the Markit network enables us to offer our subscribers a broader directory of users that extends their reach into a larger community of financial professionals from the S&P Capital IQ desktop.”
The open network is designed to go beyond point-to-point and private messaging groups previously built by vendors and institutions, and is based on a federated model and central directory. The federated model is supported by NextPlane, a provider of cloud-based unified communications services, and links disparate messaging platforms used across the industry. The directory element of the federated network comprises ‘phone book’ data that is contributed by firms and verified and validated by Markit. It allows people to find and contact one another using a request and accept mechanism similar to that of LinkedIn, and then to communicate and collaborate. The directory and messaging services can also be embedded in third-party applications.
Among the first to join the network were Thomson Reuters, which federated its Eikon Messenger, and financial institutions Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.
Markit says that as well as the addition of S&P Capital IQ to the network, it is negotiating with other firms large and small. Andrew Eisen, managing director and head of Collaboration Services at Markit, says: “The network allows users of a vendor platform to reach a much larger community than the vendor community without having to invest in additional technology. Platform vendors also have more reach and can build and monetise products targeted at clients that are not in their community.”
Markit says it is well placed between the buy and sell-sides to deliver large industry projects such as the open network, but from a commercial standpoint says it will make only a small monetary gain from messaging. Vendors and banks pay a fee for federation that scales depending on numbers of users of the directory and messaging. Those that want to use Markit application programming interfaces to embed the directory and messaging service in applications pay an additional sum.
If managing the network will not produce substantial financial gains, Markit expects it will deliver other benefits, perhaps a trusted source of identity data, access to new markets, and improvements in the applications and services it provides.
S&P Capital IQ acknowledges the commercial nature of its relationship with Markit, but also notes the user benefits of the network and the vendor potential to build apps that plug into it. Reeve comments: “Users of our platform will select whether or not to join the network, but without question, it does offer them added reach while also providing an ecosystem in which people can get their jobs done better with our existing capabilities.”
The collaboration tools being prepared by S&P Capital IQ aim to help market participants make better and faster decisions in a market characterised by the need to manage big data more efficiently and effectively. Reeve says: “Market participants need better tools to help them make smarter and faster decisions, so we are developing analytics built on our data franchise and extending our collaboration tools to allow our users to be more efficient.”
Among the apps S&P Capital IQ plans to release to users of its desktop platform in September are three-dimensional data visualisation and dynamic presentation creation, which will be achieved by linking the company’s PresCenter presentation tool and its data to automatically update presentations. These and any other new apps will include connectivity to the Markit network and directory, allowing users to message and collaborate both within and beyond the S&P Capital IQ community.
Reeve says clients encouraged S&P Capital IQ to join the Markit network and concludes: “As more participants join the network, the more useful it will become. We are in full support of the federation’s expansion and will work with Markit to expand the network.”