ASX Takes IBM Tack

IBM has belatedly let the world know of its $3.4 million software sale to the Australian Stock Exchange. Despite IBM announcing it on October 16, ASX deputy managing director Angus Richards has said the deal was signed at the end of June.

The contract sees the ASX using IBM's WebSphere software to develop e-commerce initiatives. It also includes IBM's MQSeries Integrator, IBM Business Intelligence Tools, and software from business intelligence company Business Objects.

While the ASX has 300 - 400 IBM PCs, Richards said this is the first time it has struck a major software deal with IBM. Existing ASX suppliers include Oracle, Computer Associates, Compaq and Sun.

The first project using the WebSphere software is for the electronic lodgement of company announcements, and Richards said he'd like to see all ASX business-to-business activity go through the Web.

The ASX will also move its B2C site from a Net Dynamics' system to WebSphere. This is scheduled for early 2001.

With MQSeries a linkage system with the Singapore stock exchange is set to be implemented in July 2001.

"This will mean an Australian investor can submit their order through their broker and have it routed and executed in Singapore. Then it will come back and be settled here in Australian dollars, [and vice versa]," says Richards.

This will be a prototype for other foreign market deals with the USA "definitely" being a target.

Richards says the ASX has tended to "roll it's own" middleware. The use of MQ Series will allow development of activities such as global straight through processing and set the ASX up to deal with external parties such as banks, large brokers in consortia.

"We hope we're positioning ourselves to align with them. They're talking about using MQ messaging as their standard," he said.

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