Traditionally, enterprise data management (EDM) has revolved around centralizing sources and processes in a single organization. But this year’s winner has taken EDM to a new level. SmartStream’s launch of the SmartStream Reference Data Utility (RDU), a shared service for cleansing, consolidating and normalizing data, has won the vendor the award for the Best Enterprise Data Management Initiative in addition to its win in the Best Reference Data Initiative category.
The utility is a collaboration with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. “The value proposition it represented was understood upfront. There were questions about how and when we’d see the benefits, but once we saw the benefits in terms of numbers, it was decided to proceed,” says Thomas Dunlap, managing director, operations at Goldman Sachs. According to judges, it was about time a true utility like this was introduced in the reference data industry. Reference data should be the same at every firm, which means it makes sense to share responsibility for getting it right. By taking EDM not only firm-wide but industry-wide, the utility promotes standardization and consistency in the marketplace.
The first three clients have also praised the offering for being innovative and valuable to customers. “This utility will greatly improve the quality, timeliness and consistency of reference data used across our firm to better serve our clients,” says James Trait, managing director, JPMorgan Chase.
Considering the focus on moving to shared services in recent years, it is clear many industry professionals are impressed to see SmartStream bringing a reference data utility to the market. The question now, according to judges, is: “Will they live up to the hype?” And, considering the discussions that are already under way with future clients, it sounds like a promising road ahead for the RDU and EDM at an industry level.
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