Symphony and Markit join forces to promote Collaboration-Platform-as-a-Service
Symphony, a new instant messaging service, and Markit have partnered to promote the adoption of a Collaboration-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS), “to enable richer workflow and collaboration throughout the financial industry and other sectors”.
As part of the agreement, Markit will develop hosted applications and data delivery services, which will be made available via the Symphony service.
Brad Levy, Markit’s head of processing and loans and CEO of MarkitSERV, believes the newly launched Symphony “will become a critical part of the fabric of the financial industry”. It is “highly complementary to the spectrum of services provided by Markit”, he adds.
Together, Symphony and Markit will distribute data and deploy technology apps, such as advanced charting, he explains.
Symphony will be “weaved into” Markit’s platforms and products to enable real-time collaboration among its customers.
And there is more. “In addition, it’s exciting for us to contribute open source code to the Symphony Foundation and develop new ways to access data and improve workflow in partnership with the industry,” Levy says.
California-based Symphony is the brainchild of David Gurle, who worked at Skype, Reuters and Microsoft.
It was set up to challenge Bloomberg and Reuters, which currently lead in instant communications. Bloomberg has 320,000 financial sector workers around the world using its Instant Bloomberg platform. Reuters’ Eikon Messenger has 240,000 users.
In 2014, Goldman Sachs merged its in-house messaging product with Symphony – and 14 other financial firms invested $70 million to get it going. These companies included Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan.
Later that year, Symphony purchased Markit’s messaging service.
Symphony’s messaging and workflow software uses a cloud-based/Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) subscription. It can also use existing cloud-hosting technologies or stand alone.
In terms of costs, the company says it will charge larger clients $30 per user per month. Smaller firms will get a cheaper option later this year.
Bloomberg users pay about $20,000 per year to rent each terminal.
Earlier this year, asset management firm Blackrock has started trialling Symphony’s financial messaging app.