Sage introduces next generation of Prospero

Banking software is now on a hosted system, is fully modular, scalable and Islamic banking compliant

Tags: Banking and financeSage (www.sage.ch/)United Arab Emirates
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Sage introduces next generation of Prospero Fernand Rasetti, chief operating officer for Sage says the next generation Prospero banking software is fully Islamic banking compliant.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 1, 2011

Sage software has introduced a new generation of its Prospero banking solutions, aimed at mid-sized investment banks, which is fully modular and easily adaptable to individual bank's needs. The software solution is also Islamic banking compliant.

Prospero is based on a core model in the CRM to which different modules can be plugged into to create scalable banking solutions based around six different investment banking segments; asset management, wealth management, fund administration, independent asset managers, trading and portfolio utilisation.

"The biggest change [in the Prospero system] is the ability to separate the product into specific market segments; the second one is functionalities which are much richer. Another big one is the ability to handle funds down to the completion and calculate the asset value of the fund which can be very complex, as well as the ability to handle loans. We are also able to reduce the time for implementation on the system to the minimum, to as short as three months," Fernand Rasetti, chief operating officer of Sage told ITP.net.

By focusing on wealth management and the mid-sized banks in investment banking, specifically the ones that follow the six segments, Sage has been able pinpoint what the needs of the market are and develop a system that can be quickly prepared and respond to those needs.

The new Prospero system is a hosted front-to-back solution, which covers all aspects of investment banking, from placing the order down to accounting and execution.

"It [Prospero] will cover the entire aspect of the transaction for the customer and it is mainly oriented to portfolio management, the ability to concentrate different instruments into one portfolio and analyse this portfolio, when I say analyse it could be rebalancing, modelling, creating optimum portfolios down to the way that you present the results," said Rasetti.

Using the Prospero system, banks can calculate the value of the customers' portfolio based on whatever criteria the customer needs and is rich in portfolio features built to accommodate a customer with several portfolios or several actors beneath the same portfolio, according to Rasetti.

Banks can also analyse portfolio risks, present those risks using the Prospero system and can remodel portfolios to see what the impact of this is using simulations.

Rasetti said that there are two aspects of the new Prospero system that are important for the company, first, the modularity, the ability to scale down to the specifics of a defined market segment and second the use of new technologies.

"Sage has been in the banking business for about ten years, so we use recent technologies in how we structure the database, how we structure the product. The technologies used to give the interface; they are recent technologies that are capable of rapid development. The time for development of functionalities whenever needed is much shorter than what the competition will be offering," he said.

Despite the hype around cloud computing, Sage has decided against using this technology to deploy Prospero.

"These people talk a lot about cloud computing as being the latest trend; we have purposefully made the choice of not going into the typical cloud solution, but go into the hosted solution as we truly believe that the cloud technology is not mature enough to host data anywhere. The data should be hosted in a place where you know it is protected and where you can control who is accessing your data," said Rasetti.

Sage hosts the Prospero system in a secure site in Switzerland that, according to the company, respects the highest possible Swiss standards for data protection and accessibility. The fact that the system is now hosted means that it is more accessible for a wider range of companies.

"Previously we were selling the product as an on-site installation where the customer will have to have a good-sized IT department to be able to control a large server, while now we have evolved to a hosted solution where the customer will pay a rental fee to have access to the features that he wants. The benefit also of this, in addition to customers not having to have a sizeable IT, is that a customer can say I only need from you specific functionalities and we can quickly just build the environment to respond to exact needs and have a cost-effective approach," said Rasetti.

The price of the Prospero software is very aggressive and, according to Sage, there are no comparable products on the market in the same segment with the cost savings of Prospero.

The company is currently in discussions with banks in the Middle East and already has one client in Asia and two in Europe using the new Prospero software.

"It is proven as a technology and as a concept it is correct. There is interest in the market to pursue it. The Middle East market is growing for us and today it is one of the most important markets for Sage," said Rasetti.

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