Two to three years from now, Sungard's
transfer agency platform, InvestarONE
, could be based on a different technology. That's because the software provider is in the initial stage of an internal review of InvestarONE's technological infrastructure.
What's the goal of the review? Sungard Investor Accounting Systems President Ken Kempf
puts it simply: "[We're] taking a look at where we want the technology to be in two to three years time." Also under review is the product's development cycle. Sungard officials are trying to determine where the cycle can be shortened without "suffering on the client side," says Kempf.
Currently, Sungard bills InvestarONE as a shareholder system "within a relational database supported on a client/server and mainframe architecture."
That could change in several ways. For one, Sungard is interested in developing a global system. Says Kempf: "[t]here is a clear market for a global system. If you're going to have global market, the product has to be somewhat portable."
In that vein, Sungard recently added multicurrency functionality to the product. The capability is being used offshore in Dublin, says Kempf.
The infrastructure review and desire to develop a global system go hand in hand with trends in the European market. As the European markets are moving away from mainframe technology, clients are increasingly becoming interested in the application service provider model or more portable, in-house solutions, says Kempf.
Despite the review, Kempf is hesitant to label mainframe-based systems as less flexible than their client-server based counterparts. "It really depends on the hierarchy and infrastructure of the system. If you have a relational database, then it's not necessarily true. It's still a very open system," says Kempf.
As part of the review, Sungard is considering partnering with several technology companies who have approached the TA platform provider hosting Sungard technology on their hardware, said Kempf.
"We're looking at it, over the next six months, we'll have firmed up our strategy," he added.
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