Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Crossing the divide

Analyst firms such as the Aite Group have been critical of the Enterprise Data Management or EDM Council, formed in 2005 by BearingPoint, Cicada, GoldenSource, IBM and SunGard, saying that its success depends on expanding its current user base. Well, someone appears to be listening.

Today the Council announced three new sponsors; ADP Brokerage Services, Deutsche Bourse/Avox, the first exchange to join the council, and the first market data vendor, Standard & Poor's. The three have become organisational sponsors of the Council, which has increased its membership from 45 firms to 76.

Leading financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Pioneer Investment Management, Franklin Templeton Investments, State Street Bank & Trust, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America feature among the more than 70 financial institutions from all segments of the industry that are participating in the Council.

The Council stated that each new sponsor firm brings substantial experience in "various aspects of data processing, including client and counterparty, back office and clearing and settlement data issues that will prove invaluable as it evolves from EDM analysis to implementation of its four prioritised work streams: business metrics, best practice implementation, supply chain management and regulatory tracking.

But will it be enough to appease the analysts that say given the complexities of implementing an enterprise data management framework, EDM to date has been all talk and little action. Aite Group predicts high adoption in the EDM market this year and next, but to date, there have been few real world implementations and examples to draw on.

One glaring absence from the EDM Council is Asset Control, one of the most established providers in the data management space. Asset Control prefers the term Centralised Data Management (CDM), which has put it at odds with the Council's EDM terminology.

How significant Asset Control's absence from the EDM Council is will perhaps become clearer over time. But as Aite Group states, whilst the formation of the EDM Council is a good first step, it does not currently represent key players. "Those issues need to be worked out," it states in its Crossing the Data Management Divide 2006 report, "because the idea of a united front through a standardization council is a good one."

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