We’ve moved!

We have moved to Victoria!

Our new address is:

Audley House
13 Palace Street
SW1E 5HX
London

Our phone numbers and all other contacts remain the same.

 

 

XMon new release 1.3

We’ve just released XMon version 1.3, a major update to the previous release. This version brings new features, extends existing functionality of XMon and improves end user experience. Version 1.3 was made available over the weekend as a seamless client update.

New Features

Bloomberg bill adjustments and discount factors

Clients are now able to adjust invoices using agreed discount factors or static adjustments on invoices. Bespoke customer agreements can now be modelled in XMon for real-time calculations and customers can also run simulations to see the effects of potential discounts on invoices and spending.

Xmon discount factor screenshot

XMon discount factor user input screen

 

BVAL

XMon now supports Bloomberg BVAL type requests with full calculation of prices and categorisation of requests.

OpenFIGI integration

OpenFIGI provides an open symbology repository to facilitate instrument identification over all global asset classes. XPansion is now an OpenFIGI facilitator and provides native integration with the OpenFIGI API. Through this integration, our customers are now able to identify instruments across references and perform more detailed and precise reports within the system. For more information about OpenFIGI and facilitators see:

List of OpenFIGI facilitators

 

Feature enhancements

Alerts

We’ve greatly improved our Alerts engine in version 1.3. Clients can now subscribe to more types of real-time alerts and have the ability to filter and look for past alerts more easily.

New pricing matrix

We have extended our Bloomberg real-time pricing engine to include the latest iteration of the Bloomberg per-security pricing matrix. This involves changes in how Credit Risk instruments are priced and categorised and changes to prices for other categories as well. Clients who are on this new model can now configure XMon to calculate their invoices using the new prices by modifying their contract settings in XMon.

OpenAPI extensions

We have increased the scope of our OpenAPI methods to improve integration with client systems and in-house reporting dashboards.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, do reach out if you need more information about this release or for any other enquiry about the product.

To cache or not to cache?

In situations where the source of the data is distant, expensive and/or slow, the storing of frequently accessed data in a central repository close to the data consumers can reduce cost and data access time. The principle of caching is ubiquitous and the concepts are used across industries, applications and designs.

On the surface, caching is a simple concept: a consumer fetches data first from the cache, if data is not available, the consumer or cache fetches it from the source, and populates the cache for the benefit of other consumers. In practice however, caching involves complex mechanisms for holding data, scaling the repositories, managing data lifecycle and so on, all of which are beyond the scope of this post.

For our applications in the world of Market Data, this caching principle can be used to store reference/static data. This, at least in theory, will have two advantages:

  1. It reduces the cost of data pulled down from vendors
  2. It centralises storage of data and therefore improves data operation tasks and data quality

Caching and data storage are at the core of EDM solutions on the market today. The two points above are what EDM vendors preach and practical uses have been the subject of numerous debates and conference topics. Themes that generally come up are:

  • In a centralised data architecture, who owns the data and who determines the best data ‘quality’?
  • Who pays for the data cache / EDM platform?
  • Who pays for the data?

Using XMon to understand caching ROI

It seems intuitive that reducing the number of data requests to vendors would reduce associated costs. How much will these costs be reduced by depends on the data vendor’s pricing, data categories pulled down and asset classes requested. Quantifying the saving however, can be a tricky question to answer.

XMon provides a Data Analysis report which can be generated on-demand and answers just that.

XMon analyses all requests for data made over a given period and generates a report to help understand how much cost savings and caching solution would provide and to provide optimisation recommendations in order to reduce data spend, even without a data caching solution.

Understand how much cost savings a data cache solution would provide

  • XMon identifies duplicate requests for data, their associated costs and where they originate from.
  • The screenshot below illustrates this in action, and suggests that for this particular month, a saving of up to 8% on the data bill would have been achieved through the use of a data cache, solely on the basis of duplicate requests.
XMon_DataCache_Analysis_1

Costs attributed to duplicate requests

Optimise data requests to reduce costs

  • XMon will make recommendations as to how savings can be made by suggesting optimisations to the data requests sent to vendors. These recommendations can be brought up with the business for validation with the aim of reducing costs.
  • The screenshot below shows how XMon identifies low volume / high cost requests, which can lead to data cost optimisations. In the screenshot below, 31.4% of monthly data cost is caused by two data fields. Whether these fields are required or just ‘nice to have’ can be discussed with the data consumers.
XMon Data Cache Analysis

XMon identifies low volume / high cost requests

 

XMon provides the evidence needed for a proper assessment of a caching infrastructure, specifically related to cost reductions and cost optimisations. The XMon Data Analysis report is available to all XMon customers.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your requirements for data spend transparency and optimisation or to get a live demo of the product.

Are you ready for SFTP?

When Bloomberg introduced the Data License service several years ago, access was done through FTP. Since then Bloomberg have extended the service to support more secure protocols such as HTTPS and SFTP. FTP is now considered a legacy, highly insecure transport protocol and the company has been urging its customers to migrate to the more secure SFTP protocol since March 2015.

Bloomberg have given clients time to consider the implications of moving internal systems to SFTP as such a move can be complex for larger customers with legacy internal systems. The deadline to migrate to SFTP is set to 31st March 2016.

Along with the migration to SFTP, Bloomberg are reinforcing account password strength by setting a minimum length of 16 characters on Bloomberg SFTP passwords. Previously passwords were 8 characters long. This can also have an impact on internal systems and clients must test to ensure their applications support this functionality.

XMon fully supports Bloomberg’s SFTP protocol and secure 16 character password length. This switch can be achieved in a few clicks: navigate to your defined Bloomberg FTP data source and select the protocol to SFTP, set the new password and server name (see screenshot) and all communication to Bloomberg will now done over SFTP.

Change XMon source to SFTP

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about the Bloomberg SFTP migration and how we can help with the transition.

Come and say hello: ALFI Luxembourg

The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry is the official representative body for the Luxembourg investment fund industry and was set up in November 1988 to promote its development.

 

We’ve been selected to present XMon in the Fintech Corner of the ALFI conference in Luxembourg next week.

Do drop by our stand at the entrance of the conference if you’re around!

Check us out here

IMG_0840

 

 

XMon Festive Update 2015

It’s been a very busy period here at XPansion. As we gear up for the festive season, we thought we’d mention a few highlights of the last few months:

 

fima_europe_logo

FIMA Europe

FIMA Europe                                                

FIMA is the ultimate event for CDOs and senior-level data professionals from global leading banks and asset management companies. We attended this year’s event in November and met with the industry’s top thought leaders and shared our vision on the architecture for market data usage analytics.

 

Improved Rule and Reporting Engines

Want to be able to control market data spend over weekends? No problem.

We’ve improved our rule engine and throttling rules can now be applied by day of week if needed.

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XMon rule applied by day of week

We’ve added new reports to our standard export templates and extended our analytics. For example, clients are now able to visualise data usage across the enterprise by time of day.

xmon_request_by_time_of_day

XMon breakdown of data requests by time of day

API Integration

We’ve also greatly extended our REST API functionality over the last months and XMon now supports a range of integration capabilities into existing and legacy systems. In addition to advanced auditing of data requests, clients are now able to integrate real-time data usage analytics in their own dashboards and in-house systems. We will be releasing an OpenAPI early next year, so watch this space!

Season’s Greetings!

 Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and business partners for a great 2015 and from all of us here at XPansion, we wish you a wonderful festive season and an amazing 2016!

Introducing Thomson Reuters DSS Support

Two weeks ago we released support for Thomson Reuters Data Scope select (TR DSS). With this module now in production, clients can track the consumption of static data from Thomson Reuters Data Scope Select.

Thomson Reuters Volume Based Costs

Unlike Bloomberg Data License where data is priced per-request, TRDSS pricing is based on pre-agreed ‘tranches’ per asset class/data type. This means that clients pre-agree volumes with Thomson Reuters and are billed a fixed monthly cost as long as consumption remains within agreed limits.

XMon and TRDSS

XMon provides the ability to have a real-time view on the agreed tranche utilisation. XMon can be configured to send alerts when a quota is reached (or nearly reached) so remedial action can be taken.

On top of this, XMon will identify data consumption patterns and identify optimisations that can be made to reduce tranche size and therefore help take decisions to reduce overall monthly data spend.

Dynamic Excel Dashboard

With the latest release, we also shipped to our customers an Excel dashboard which merges real-time metrics from XMon with Excel’s powerful charting and analysis functionality. On top of reports from XMon, clients can now generate and analyse data cost information, straight from Microsoft Excel.

XMon Excel Dashboard

The latest release of XMon increases our coverage of market data vendors as we aim to simplify and improve control over market data spending for our clients. Do reach out if you would like a live demo of the product or to speak to one of our experts.

Come say hello: AWS Re:Invent

We’ll be at AWS re:Invent on Thursday October 8th, 2015.

AWS re:Invent is a great place for us to connect with fellow developers, IT managers, and tech leaders who are delivering, scaling, and managing applications in the cloud.

 

We hope to see you there!

Come say hello: Misys Connect

We’ll be attending the Misys Connect event on Wednesday October 7th, 2015. MisysConnect

Misys Connect is a comprehensive suite of value-driven programmes that deepen the relationship between Misys and its clients.

More details of the event can be found on the Misys website here: http://www.misys.com/discover-misys/misys-connect/

This year’s event will take place at the Andaz Hotel in London.

We hope to see you there!

XPansion FTS Adds TR Monitoring to XMon Data Request, Cost Management Platform – WatersTechnology