Moving into the ASP area to service a wider range of clients, Barra is announcing the beta version of its BarraOne product at this year's SIA Technology Management Conference and Exhibit. BarraOne is a browser-delivered-ASP application for distributed risk analysis, with risk analytics similar to its other applications.
"Users can connect in using their desktop browser, hit the Barra servers and access our interactive-risk analytics," says Mike Bishopp, vice president, product management at Barra.
BarraOne, which is targeted mainly at smaller asset managers, private banking organizations and hedge funds, can be delivered via the Internet, Intranet or a VPN extranet, says Bishopp. "It allows users to analyze the risk of their portfolio and to drill down and decide exactly where that risk is coming from and then use it for interactive capabilities." He adds that the risk tools enable users to tune their portfolios to minimize the risk.
The user's positions and portfolio information are transferred into the system with full encryption of the data, both into and out of the BarraOne system. BarraOne uses an XML document interface to connect the information and users can code the interface to retrieve and deliver the information from various other applications. "The holdings may come out of their record-keeping systems or their back office and then the user would use our analytics to analyze the portfolio and make any modifications to those trades that are generated. From there, they could then be connected back into their order-management system and off into the trade-execution process," says Bishopp.
When asked about concerns over passing along position information to a third party, Bishopp says, "Clearly users don't want to store positions on something that is insecure, but people that we've spoken to are happy with the security measures we've taken and the efforts we've made to ensure that their positions are safe." Bishopp adds that Barra is also working with Radianz for customers interested in accessing the application through an extranet. "That gives the user an extra layer of security and it's not actually exposed to the public internet because it's a private network," he says.
There are currently a number of users within its target audience that will be testing the BarraOne application, with the full production release expected towards the beginning of September.