A consortium comprised of Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corp. and SWIFT has held preliminary technology partnership talks with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Specific details of those talks remain cloudy, but NYMEX has, over the past few months, received at least a handful of joint venture proposals regarding the creation of an over-the-counter energy electronic communications network (ETW, 2/07/00).
Thus far, sources say, the consortium of Sun, Oracle and SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) has yet to deliver a formal proposal to NYMEX. But the consortium, which has retained New York City - based RMA Inc. as its consulting firm, has outlined its "strategy" to the exchange, says a source close to RMA.
According to the source, the consortium is "prepared to put forward a gameplan" for NYMEX that would stipulate how the firm could run and maintain "a real cyber exchange." The consortium, would act as NYMEX's Application Services Provider (ASP), the source adds. But, while asserting that NYMEX would provide the clearing services for the "cyber exchange," the source declines to specify what role each member of the consortium would play.
An official at Oracle, while conceding that the consortium members have had a running "dialogue" with NYMEX, also declines to provide any specifics about the potential technology alliance. However, he notes that Swift--a standards body that is owned by its large member banks--has a proven transaction-processing network. Moreover, Oracle could provide NYMEX with Internet software to "manage its transactions" and Sun could potentially supply hardware and integration tools, says the official. A NYMEX spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment by press time.