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Bloomberg Partner Program Lowers Hurdles for Vendor Connections

The enterprise solutions program gives third party tech providers new opportunity to connect with and use Bloomberg data. Integration helps cater to customer demands and industry shifts.

Select third party applications are being added to Bloomberg's new Enterprise Solutions Partner Program. The program collaborates with providers to integrate applications with Bloomberg data. For many of the firms joining the program, it's a prayer answered.

For years providers could tell stories of jumping through hoops to integrate with Bloomberg's data and technology, both for the marketing value and for the benefits of clients already using Bloomberg, and were therefore burdened with multiple data systems.

According to Bloomberg, the goal of the Enterprise Solutions Partner Program is to ensure efficient and compliant integration with select third-party applications, ultimately benefiting customers’ data workflow from front-to-back-office.

"In the past clients were willing to live with systems that didn't work well, manually moving data around. But they are not willing to do that anymore because of the regulatory risk," says Gerard Francis, Bloomberg's global head of enterprise solutions. "We are focused on making sure our systems are open and helping clients to connect all their systems together."

There are currently over 125 partners enrolled in the program. Francis notes the most common vendor types integrate applications for OMS and EMS systems, portfolio management, risk systems and technical analysis. They are increasingly seeing a need for consistent data with workflow type applications.

While Bloomberg has been working with third party firms in some shape and form over the years, this is the first formal program to help software vendors use Bloomberg data as part of a consistent process. To participate, Bloomberg's team has a set of standards for firms to comply with, in addition to a review process to understand the application's data workflows and controls. "We want to know what problems our customers are solving with the application, how do they use it, and what data rights are required." Once understood and approved vendors are given a package, which includes a software development kit and consultative services, to help them engage in the application development process. After an integration review, firms are issued a "Bloomberg Ready" badge.

"Everyone is excited."

Vendors have long understood the significance of connecting into Bloomberg's data feed, and presence in the terminal. By opening up the potential to more vendors, lowering the hurdles to onboarding, interest and excitement in the community has been instant, claims the company.

The savings for clients who can cut down on systems streaming data are significant, from tens to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. "We're getting some 'Yippee' and 'Hooray' emails from clients, they are so happy," says Steven Harrison, president and COO of Imagine Software, a provider of real-time portfolio and risk management solutions that is certified as Bloomberg Ready.

Imagine's Bloomberg offering is running in beta with 3 clients. "We're holding them back," explains Harrison. "Everyone is excited. We started with 1, but due to the demand we opened it up to 3. We're holding it back because it's so new and we want to prove it with 1 before we go to 100."

He adds that there will, of course, be certain clients for which this change is not economical because of different pricing. "There are clients happy with Reuters and there will be clients that absolutely want to be with Bloomberg. From our perspective, this is something clients want and have been asking for a long time, it's also a matter of what makes sense from a business perspective."

Think application development, not data integration

Francis says Bloomberg's partner program will help customers better track the data management process and get applications up and running faster.

"When we think about applications, the easy part is writing the program. It's perhaps five-fold more difficult to get the data to feed that program, and every time there's a shift [vendors] worry more about the data because it slows down integration with the application."

By making the data accessible and usable as part of a standardized process, providers can react to industry shifts and quickly rollout new applications. "They worry less about the data challenge and focus more on the application. It gives them more time to innovate." Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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