Last week, the latest Eclipse Banking Day was held in London . With the recent Eclipse Financial Platform project proposal, it seems Eclipse is finding it's way into the banking and finance domain.
I spoke with Jörn Weigle of WeigleWilczek, one of the main sponsors of the banking day, about the success, and further potential, of Eclipse in the financial industry.
James Sugrue: What does an Eclipse Banking Day cover?
Jörn Weigle: Eclipse Banking Days are business focused conferences. All talks address rather decision makers from banks than software engineers. Banking Days typically cover presentations about Eclipse as a platform and ecosystem for professional open source application development, presentations by banks about their experiences with Eclipse and presentations about Eclipse projects with relevance to the banking industry.
Sugrue: How long have they been running?
Weigle: The first Eclipse Banking Day was held on Sept. 11, 2008 in Frankfurt.New York City followed on December 9, we've just had the third one in London.
Sugrue: Do you find that non-financial companies turn up to these days?
Weigle: Besides attendees from banks we saw people from technical companies working for a bank at the events. I believe this is valuable since these companies often influence technological decisions of their customers to a high degree or are even actively involved in projects of banks.
Sugrue: What is the adoption rate of Eclipse like in the financial market?
Weigle: I don't have statistics about the adoption rate but from the Banking Days and our BOF at Eclipse Con we know of the following banks:
- J.P. Morgan
- Morgan Stanley
- Dresdner Kleinwort
- Santander Bank
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Schweizer PostFinance
- Degussa Bank
- Bank of East Asia
- la Caixa
Sugrue: WeigleWilczek is a sponsor of the event - what is your companies interest in the banking day?
Weigle: The banking industry is one key industry for WW. As Eclipse specialists we are interested in promoting our Eclipse projects, getting feedback to them or even new interested parties.
Sugrue: What are the typical tasks that an Eclipse consultant does for a bank?
Weigle: Quite frequently WW is supporting with introductions to existing Eclipse projects and with identifying appropriate components / projects for that bank. WW is also very often involved in the architectural decisions during a project as well as in the software development. We also offer professional Eclipse support for our customers if our team is not present on site to quickly answer questions or solve issues during the development phase.
Sugrue: Given the state of the economy is this a good time for banks to change technologies?
Weigle: Absolutely. The current market environment increases the pressure on cost reduction also in IT. Open Source in general is a good option to achieve that. But we believe beyond the immediate cost effects collaborative development between banks offers additional interesting opportunities for banks. Obviously these options are limited to components or areas which can not contribute to the competitive differentiation of a bank. Imagine how many banks have implemented their own counterparties management or business date calendar. They could have focused their energy on more crucial tasks if these components would have been available as open source.