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Ecliptic: Thoughts and insights from the Blueprint 2 Market Event



By Paul Bermingham, CEO – EclipticTech

#TomMcArthur and I attended the #Blueprint2 Market Event on Monday this week (26th Feb), and I wanted to share a few initial thoughts.  #Ecliptic is one of the eighteen technology partners involved in BP2.  We have a view from the market, customers, and the technology vendors trying to support the program.

 

#BP2 has been in discussion for around three years now.  Despite the amount of ‘noise’ and general market communications over the years, very little actual progress/change has been made.  With a poor track record of market modernisation and several prior initiatives failing to deliver substantive change, there remains a high degree of scepticism in the market as to whether anything would get delivered.

 

There is now a determination from the BP2 team to deliver the first release of #IPOS & #ICOS in July 2024.  The session on Monday, and the last session in December, focused on telling everyone that they need to be ready for the change.  As ever, with these large-scale changes (and with the lack of demonstrable track record), many market participants have so far taken a ‘wait and see’ approach.

 

Everyone is now realising that there is a lot to do to be ready to receive the change that has suddenly become imminent.  The healthy scepticism has, in some cases, been turning to unhealthy panic and defensive behaviours.  In parachuting terms, we are now experiencing the ground rush effect.  The ground seems a long way off at twenty thousand feet, but as you get to the last five hundred feet everything starts to feel very rushed!

 

With the clock counting down and with the realisation that this is really happening, there is a rush of questions and clarifications being raised.   Inevitably, with a project of this size and scale, there are gaps in functionality being identified later than would be ideal. 

 

This late engagement and problem identification, compounded with some self-confessed ‘own goals’ in communication and delays in testing by the BP2 team is creating tension ahead of release.  This is leading to questions as to whether the “we will go live in July” reflects the reality of the risks and gaps identified.

 

The session this week accepted the above points.  There was acknowledgement of the poor historic track record, the delays in testing and substandard communication.  It also gave a couple of reassuring fundamental messages. 

 

Firstly, that the lack of engagement will be rectified. 


Secondly, that increased engagement will directly include the key system providers in the Market who must deliver on behalf of their market participant clients. 


Thirdly, that there is an iterative process of problem identification and resolution that will run alongside test to address identified gaps and that this, alongside bug identification and resolution with be shared with the entire market to give confidence to all. 

 

Finally, the reassurance that if each critical gate is not achieved and that 90%+ of the functionality is not there and/or 90%+ of the market is not ready, it will not be forced through. 

 

With many of the high-level concerns addressed and assurances given, it seems that focus must now be given to the detailed process of remaining gap identification (to incorporate vendors), testing and bug identification.  Sharing of gaps, bugs and fixes to all parties so that we can get through the gates and achieve something long overdue – delivery of a market modernisation initiative.

 

Change is hard, especially at this scale and complexity.  There is genuine willingness from all the parties involved, the market, participants, and technology vendors.  There is also a lot of knowledge, and innovation that can support and enhance the program. 

 

We should all consider ourselves as partners in the program, rather than market/participants/vendors.  With transparency, timely communication, and collaboration we can achieve the goals of BP2, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for customers and everyone involved.

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