Mercator, a provider of application-integration software, has teamed up with BEA Systems to offer an out-of-the-box solution for financial-services firms trying to achieve straight-through processing.
The union will see Mercator products, such as Mercator GSS for GSTPA and Mercator GSS for SWIFT ISO 15022, integrated with BEA's application server, which supports the BEA WebLogic Enterprise Platform. The non-exclusive integration agreement should give Mercator customers a 50 percent greater return on investment (ROI) than they would have achieved by integrating with an application server on their own, says Roy King, Mercator chief executive officer.
"Previously, we would have had to do custom deployments for customers interested in joining Mercator and BEA," he says.
BEA specializes in application servers, which can serve as the backbone for many different and disparate applications. Mercator's integration software can be used to link those applications together so information can flow from one to another. That is critical for financial-services firms that need to achieve straight-through processing in light of potential industry (and possibly Securities and Exchange Commission) mandates, such as the move to a one-day-trade-settlement cycle or the requirement that firms convert from SWIFT's ISO 7775 messages to 15022.
The 15022 conversion is quickly coming to the forefront of people's consideration, as SWIFT's deadline for the move is November. At that time, firms will no longer be able to communicate using the familiar 7775 format. According to Francis Remacle, head of SWIFT's Securities Industry Division, many firms are not on track to make the switch.
King says that such news is not shocking to him and attributes any foot dragging to the events of Sept. 11 or the economy in general. "I concur with the statement that customers aren't moving quickly enough," he says.
There are many things happening in the straight-through-processing world, which should encourage firms to embrace 15022, adds King. "The GSTPA, in its reconfigured state, is planning to go live this fall. Omgeo is planning to go live with its CTM (central-trade manager) this fall and Mercator is offering connectivity to both. If we lay on top of that the fact that the SEC is considering mandating a T+1 deadline, it gives customers a real need to think over their STP strategy," he says. "SWIFT's 15022 is really preparatory to STP and becomes a prerequisite to do STP initiatives."
As for the growing technology of Web services, King describes them as an additional integration strategy, which Mercator is embracing, not one which will quickly replace other integration technologies, such as traditional middleware.