In a series of presentations Linedata Services announced its commitment to increased R&D investment and expanded on its plans for Icon between 2004 and 2006, starting with a schedule of developments over the next 15 months. This will not only allow it to capitalise on its core competencies over the next three years, but also to continue to meet the changing needs of the market.
More specifically, Linedata Services will be focusing on new functionality, market data and system inter-operability with a "toolkit" approach, providing more flexibility to meet an even wider range of requirements. The extra investment will allow the company to increase its development significantly to maintain and extend its market leading position, while continuing to improve the quality of its system and associated services.
Julian Baines, Investment Servicing Manager at Royal London Asset Management and the Chairman of the Icon User Group, commented, "The news of Linedata Servicesâ investment in Icon and the content of the 3-year plan was well received by the Icon User Group. It is good to see the owners of Icon take a proactive approach to planning for the future, responding to its customersâ needs and increasing the possibilities of the selling of their product, which can only be good news for its current user base."
Capitalising on the success of its content-driven release strategy, Linedata Servicesâ 3-year plan is designed to make sure that each new release of the product brings significant benefits to its customers.
The latest major version of Icon was released last year and included, amongst other new features, a Data Integration Platform to improve the flexibility of the system for market data acquisition and providing more intelligent exception handling. A rewarding 40% of the Icon customer base is already live or in the process of testing this release. This level of success can in part be attributed to Linedata Servicesâ innovative Early Support Platform (ESP).
Katrina Hamilton, Project Manager at Liberata Life, Pensions and Investments Ltd, addressed the User Group to explain how ESP has benefited Liberataâs upgrade to the latest version. She summarised, "The ESP made the upgrade very easy for us at Liberata. Two of the key areas that really made a difference were the project planning assistance beforehand and the ongoing additional support during our acceptance testing."
Paul Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at Linedata Services, concluded, "Linedata Servicesâ proactive approach to developing and maintaining the Icon product, working closely with its customer base, has proved to be very successful. We look forward to continuing to demonstrate our commitment to Icon and our customers in the future."