Dutch asset manager Robeco has migrated to a hosted version of the INFOmatch market data inventory management software from Dutch vendor Screen Consultants, in a bid to trim the firm's overall cost of supporting the software.
Robeco migrated to the ASP version in March, which involved transferring market data invoice information, covering data services from around 50 vendors, from Robeco's in-house database servers to Screen's hosting center in Amsterdam, and setting up Citrix connectivity so that the five market data administrators using the software at Robeco's Rotterdam headquarters could securely access the application.
The firm had licensed and hosted the INFOmatch software for a number of years, but determined via a recent business review that it could reduce the total cost of ownership for the application by moving to an ASP version, while also allowing the asset manager to offload the management of software updates to Screen, rather than consuming its internal IT resources.
"We had been using INFOmatch for a long time as an in-house application," says Kai Jilesen, a market data specialist at Robeco, who managed the migration project.
"We had typically upgraded the software about once every several months to make sure we had all the latest functionality, but it was always quite a time-consuming process and incurred internal ICT (information and communications technology) costs," Jilesen says.
In addition to reducing its overall cost of supporting the application, Robeco has also been able to reap other benefits, including improvements in functionality and performance, as a result of moving to the latest release of INFOmatch-version 3.5.0-delivered via the ASP model.
"Although we now pay a slightly higher fee to Screen for the ASP service, what we save on our internal ICT costs more than makes up for that," Jilesen says. "Migrating onto the latest version of INFOmatch has also meant that processing times have been reduced, so we are seeing clear improvements in the time taken to run reports," he adds.
Clients Asking for ASPs
In recent years, Screen has seen the majority of new clients sign up for the ASP version, while existing clients have largely migrated to the ASP as they have grown comfortable with outsourcing the hosting and support for the system. "We automatically create a back-up of all the information in our databases at the end of each hour, each day, and each month," says Michael Wouters, account manager at Screen, who manages the Robeco account.
Wouters adds that in addition to improved cost and ease of support, ASP solutions can simplify support for international market data administration operations at firms with offices around the globe. "We can also manage user permissions, so if your headquarters are in the Netherlands, you might want regional administrators to only have access to data for their local office," he says.
Although Robeco has no plans yet to roll out INFOmatch to its satellite offices in Paris and New York, Jilesen says that moving to the ASP solution could facilitate such a rollout, should the firm decide to do so in the future.