This morning Thomson Reuters and Markit announced the integration of Markit’s Collaboration Service network directory into Reuters' Eikon Messenger. The collaboration will make it much easier for more than 250,000 financial professionals across 180 countries to find each other and communicate across an open and secured network.
Markit, a provider of global financial information services, launched its open messaging network, Collaboration Services, in collaboration with Reuters nearly one year ago. The network allows financial organizations to more efficiently and securely connect disparate chat platforms.
Markit’s network of 40,000 individuals will now be added to Reuters’ directory of roughly 210,000 end-users.
Yvette Jackson, global head of collaboration services at Thomson Reuters, explains it is to the industry’s benefit that it promote open communicate with counter-parties and customers, regardless of their front ends. Messaging is a powerful tool for the industry, she argues. It’s extremely efficient, allows for multi-tasking, and users can manage alerts around it and blast out messages to hundreds of customers that seem like personal messages. There are also compliance controls that can be added to chat that have proven difficult with voice and video.
For an industry-wide solution to be successful the chat must be open, compliant, and effectively decoupled from any commercial offer. To that end, Eikon Messenger is available as a part of the Eikon service, or as a standalone, which offers the same features and functionality. This allows, for example, someone in the front office using messenger to connect with colleagues in the middle or back office who don’t necessarily have a use for the fuller market data platform, but still need to be connected.
Demand for open networks
In the aftermath of the FX collusion scandal last year, companies began a massive internal review of all the instant messaging channels coming in and out, and it was found many firms had upwards of 10 chat solutions. “From the perspective of risk management, alias management, and controlling your channels of communication, it wasn’t a good idea,” says Jackson.
Many used the events as a catalyst to do a cleanup, and one of the things customers reiterated then was that, while they embraced messaging services like Eikon, they need to be more open so they can still leverage their own messaging systems for traffic that is flowing internally.
Jackson says financial firms have spent an lot of money on building out enterprise messaging systems, typically something like Microsoft Lync. “Customers said, what would be really powerful for us is if we can connect those to Eikon messenger and thus benefit from the broader directory that Reuters built up globally, and also connect our versions of Lync to another version of Lync, and manage all of those federation opportunities.”
Now multiple institutions can choose to have their users connect to Eikon Messenger via their own versions of Lync, and access all users in the directory. “Integrating with Markit was a great way to extend something we were already doing around open messaging networks and take it to the next level,” says Jackson.
“Thomson Reuters has been a key part of the open messaging network initiative from the start,” said Brad Levy, head of collaboration services at Markit, in the press release. “Our vision has been to bring best in class assets from multiple vendors together in an open environment, to benefit of the broad financial industry. Our integrated directory service shows how service providers are working together to create an industry-wide solution.”