Financial Tools Ease Data Handling

Vitria tackles swift network, while ascential tracks risk exposure.

Two application integration software developers, Vitria Technology Inc. and Ascential Software Corp., last week introduced new offerings for transforming and reconciling data in financial institution applications.

Vitria unveiled its SWIFTComplete solution, a business process integration tool kit that enables financial services organizations to comply with changing standards from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications financial services network while maximizing their straight-through processing capabilities.

The solution lets IT managers at any of the 7,000 SWIFT financial institutions consolidate control and management of their SWIFT network interfaces without disrupting existing applications. Members of the SWIFT network found out how difficult upgrading message interfaces could be when the organization last year mandated a change from the ISO 7775 message standard to ISO 15022. Later this year, the institutions will have to ensure that their business-to-business messages conform to the Message Type 100 standard.

SWIFTComplete lets business managers view message data transformations by increasing visibility into multiple systems in native data formats, said Vitria officials, in Sunnyvale, Calif. The software also allows managers to centrally manage message mapping and transformations.

Separately, Ascential last week introduced Ascential Solution for Basel II Accord, which is a software and services package to help banks and other financial institutions meet the New Capital Accord, known as Basel II. The regulatory framework requires all internationally active banks to track and publicly report their exposure to operational, credit and market risks as a prerequisite to doing business.

Ascential Solution for Basel II Accord helps institutions map, standardize and transform data that could be pertinent when reporting risk exposure. A key feature is the ability to automatically profile systems that are the source of required data and identify missing data. It also sets standards for data quality and data transformation methods as well as performs those transformations. The software provides an audit trail necessary to meet regulations, according to officials at Ascential, in Westboro, Mass.

Coming into compliance with Basel II is no mean feat, said Terje Dahl, chief consultant in data warehousing at SpareBank1 Gruppen AS, an alliance of Norwegian banks based in Oslo. "We had to build something new; it is not very simple," Dahl said. "The rules are quite complicated."

SpareBank1 is using Ascential software and services to come into compliance with Basel II. Some of the projects complexity comes from the fact that SpareBank1 needs to pull a lot of data from outside the organization. Thats where Ascential data quality tools and data extraction, transformation and loading tools are helpful, Dahl said.

"There is a lot of different data involved that we havent used before," Dahl said. "We had to mingle data from other vendors."