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SWIFT Opening up?

The final full day of Sibos, and at last I get to the subject of standards. It had to come eventually!

Today, I went to a very interesting session on implementing SWIFT standards, which included panelists from SunGard, Clearstream, Oracle, IBM and JP Morgan.

For years, vendors have been asking SWIFT to make their standards easier to implement – FIN and XM included. And for years, SWIFT has been stating that they believe vendor solutions to be very expensive. So, there has been something of a stand-off between the two -  harmonization (a theme for the week, as you will know) has been a long time in coming.

But now SWIFT have realized that they need to open up. And as a start, they have just launched the SWIFT Standards Development Kit (SDK) – something that SunGard has helped to pioneer with it’s Ambit Messaging Hub solution. The SDK is admittedly a giant leap forward for SWIFT kind, but I do feel that there is still work to be done. For instance, what about cross-field validation? What about smart test data? All areas that could be improved.

In my view, when it comes to defining new standards, SWIFT should be creating standards workgroups comprised of all three concerned parties – SWIFT, the end users, and the vendors. Not only people with the business domain knowledge as the technology aspect cannot be underestimated – these standards need technologists to advise and guide new proposals so that they are both feasible, realistic and implementable.

What’s encouraging is that this panel appeared part of a new, brighter future, where SunGard and others can help to guide standards as they are developed. Hooray!

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