Rob Graham, who represents the interest of Global software house Avanquest in the region, respects the qualities of such high end technology. Having said that, this broadcaster and author on banking related issues, has a rather unorthodox view of the way forward. âThe big boys will be there again this year, selling large ticket technology through fame or fear â but there is another way forwardâ.
Avanquest markets world famous report mining software Monarch in the region. Graham believes this recent launch will prove significant in the long term.
âWhat our customers really need are solutions, not yet more technology. They wish to function in an efficient manner, without daily recourse to I.T., and to provide a better service to customersâ. Graham believes that rolling out user friendly Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) makes more sense than writing a procurement note for another multi million dollars spend. He respects the vision of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who constantly calls for excellence in process.
âThe big âSolutionsâ each have their attractions and, if you are a career I.T. professional, you will love them. But what about the rest of the organisation; how do you make SOA function in the real working environmentâ? Graham explains that there is a big brother to Monarch, ES, which can facilitate the entire bank at a fraction of the cost of alternative strategies by collecting, merging and storing reports in a functioning format. âClients reach a certain usage with Monarch where I point out that the bigger ES solution is more cost effectiveâ.
Graham explains that most banks carry their data in more than one system and the common problem is storage of and access to the information contained in such disparate fashion â and how such data can be combined and made available to the business users around the organisation while preserving vital security systems and without constant recourse to valuable I.T. time. Compliance is at the top of the banking agenda now and Graham believes that 90% of that issue revolves around how an organisation stories its information.
He believes the answer lies within the hundreds and thousands of reports banks generate nightly, weekly and monthly. âOf course the information needed to function exists, albeit held in different fashion from more than one origin. It is there in those old green bar reports. Monarch can merge information from such static reports, already security cleared and tagged, combine them and, through a Windows session, turn them back into live dataâ.
It may sound to good to be true but Graham points to the fact that there are around 500,000 Monarch users globally in more than 23,000 organisations. He believes nearly 70% of the worldâs banks hold Monarch licenses.
His early gains in the region include some local household names as well as branches of existing international banks. He is very excited about the launch of Version 9 of Monarch.
Monarch allows business users to easily extract, analyse and export data from existing reportsâwithout programmingâputting an end to flipping through thick reports and re-keying data into spreadsheets, or waiting for IT to provide access to needed data. Monarch Pro Version 9 allows users to combine and import data from additional data sources, such as databases or spreadsheets, as well as extract data from HTML and PDF files.
âMy customers are especially interested in the new Excel related features in Monarch V9, including exporting Monarch summary data with sub-totals and grand totals as Excel formulas," said Graham, "Monarch V9 is a leap forward on many fronts: new Excel functionality, new collaboration tools, and new report mining power to mine data from more complex reports. Monarch V9 will expand their productivity even further,"
Graham believes that what his customers need is not yet more technology but business solutions. Not bad coming, as it does, from a software seller!