Leader - Bridging the gap

Financial Solutions International, Herbst 2001

by Paul Meijer

Market leadership is no longer an analytical term unless one considers the global market. Local strength is becoming increasingly dwarfed by the international consolidation of the financial services industry. The Managing Director of the small suburban sayings bank in Karlsruhe needs to know exactly what his counterpart in Heslinki is up to because ha may just find his board has sold out to a Finnish conglomerate. The head of a Dutch life insurance company needs to keep a close eye upon the developments at his Austrian subsidiary because with rapidly fluctuating margins and more demanding consumers the tail might end up wagging the dog.

Technology plays a significant part in this process of fusion, both facilitating and forcing change. Fortunately, the vast scope and choice of technology caters for almost ever scenario. It is not the actual complexity of the "idea" IT infrastructure that causes a problem nowadays: specific requirements are continuously being addressed and pre-empted by astute vendors. The true problem for the dicisionmaker lies in the nature of the way the bewildering range of software and systems solutions is presented to him.

This is where the EBTF admirably steps into the breach. By providing a pan-European platform for financial solutions specialists, the confusing and fragmented process of IT sourcing can be concentrated into a few, well-spent days. In the same vein, FSI was conceived to focus the mind on what is really important and profile the leading providers in these critical areas.

The Best of Breed Showcase in this supplement section is an extension of what the magazine and the EBTF aim to do. We hope it will go some way to providing some transparency for those amongst you who are in search of a particular solution and in need of a nod in the right direction. Look an this as a springboard; an excellent starting point to maximise your time spent at the exhibition. We wish the exhibition every success and hope that it continues to grow, embracing a larger and larger number of international visitors.