Major technology suppliers are seizing the opportunity to get into the pensions market. This is the view of Rob Walsh, senior consultant at UK-based DCE Consultants, which recently undertook its two yearly survey of software providers to the pensions and insurance marketplace.
“Big companies like Oracle, a global database supplier, and SAP, an enterprise resource planning vendor, are keen to move into the pensions area. SAP have already launched its Dutch pensions module, whilst its UK version is under development. Basically they are saying that they have the resources and technical know-how to break into an opening pensions market, even if it is new ground.”
This meant not only a shake up of the player market but also of product lines. “Many products are going by the wayside, with others earmarked to be discontinued,” says Walsh.
The survey concentrated on customer requirements rather than the technicalities of the software itself. Customers are “embracing messaging technology.” and looking for more uniform applications. “Many customers are demanding standard interfaces, and these are being met quickly.” he adds. “Two years ago, we were certain that integration would become the big issue, but now vendors are happy to open architectures to standard messaging interfacing and integration tools so the best breed of architecture can be chosen by the end user.”