Sybase spin-off heading for NZ

Sybase has brought a new entity to the online financial services market with the formation of Financial Fusion.

Sybase has brought a new entity to the online financial services market with the formation of Financial Fusion. The company represents a spin-off of the Sybase unit supporting its Financial Server, and the previously private company Home Financial Network (HFN).

Financial Fusion is rolling out worldwide, with a New Zealand presence likely to be established three to six months from now, says Adam Johnson Australia/New Zealand managing director of Sybase.

Each national financial market has "its own way of doing things", and national operations of Financial Fusion must be attuned to that and prepared to provide appropriate interfaces, he says.

As a private company, HFN specialised in Web-development allowing consumers unified portal access to a range of financial services.

HFN was building its own middleware to facilitate these when it saw Sybase's product and realised "this is all we're trying to achieve", says director of strategic alliances for Financial Fusion John Palladino.

The financial server end of Sybase was not achieving great visibility, as a million-dollar entity in a billion-dollar company, says Johnson.

With its combination of skills, Financial Fusion aims to be "a single-source global provider of e-finance applications, along with middleware, tackling both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets", says Palladino.

The company also has a Web and Wireless division, handling delivery of services to non-PC devices like cellphones and PDAs. Web and wireless has developed software known as Automatic Interface Optimisation, "so whether you've got a Palm VII or a WAP-enabled phone, the network can detect what you're using, your operating systems and the applications you have", Palladino says.

Financial Fusion will be offering its services to banks, sharebrokers, insurance companies and others in the financial sector, allowing them to set up an efficient and responsive e-commerce presence.

In the service of this are not only software modules for basic tasks like bill presentment and payment, but also for CRM - enabling the financial services organisation to put promotions up on a particular customer's page reflecting his/her interests in the financial world. "Collaborative filtering" will infer possible interests of a customer from the previous online activity of those with a similar demographic profile.

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