Next stop Sydney

As the Copenhagen conference winds down, what can be expected and seen at SIBOS 2006 in Sydney.

As SIBOS 2005 winds down and prepares to set sail from Copenhagen all eyes are now focused on SWIFT’s 2006 conference. From the Danish capital, SIBOS 2006 will move to another harbour setting, with Sydney again chosen as the host city for the world’s most visible financial services event.

Australia’s largest and most international city will welcome SIBOS between 9-13 October 2006 with the city winning the rights just as it is predicted to become the number one destination in the world for holding conferences.

According the New South Wales state government, SIBOS will attract roughly 3,500 finance and information technology executives from around the planet and inject over $30 million into the state’s local economy. To be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 2006 event marks the second time that SIBOS will be held in the harbour city in the past decade. The city also played host to a successful conference in 1997.

The theme of transformation, hatched by SWIFT for the 2005 Copenhagen conference is again expected to be high on the agenda.

Evidently, the implementation of SWIFTNet Phase 2 will be a large talking point in Sydney as the next phase of migration is expected to come online in early 2007. The second phase will allow users to access all SWIFTNet services a single security protocol known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology. Other new features will include a new relationship management application (RMA) and the system-wide introduction of new tamper-resistant hardware devices, known in SWIFT parlance, as hardware security models (HSMs).

With a large strategy boost imminent the next year, the conference will undoubtedly focus on the cost advantages of establishing a single platform that combines both security mechanisms and relationship management tools.

In light of the 2007 rollout of SWIFTNet Phase 2, delegates attending SIBOS 2006 can also expect to hear more about SWIFT2010, the service’s new strategy. Described by CEO Leonard Schrank as more “transaction management” or “business process messaging” than its traditional designation of “messaging,” SWIFT2010 rests largely on technological upgrades to existing systems and promises to offer a service that tracks a transaction from beginning to end and all between.

Those attending would also anticipate learning about the pilot results for the SWIFTNet Phase 2 upgrade and tips on setting up the appropriate infrastucture and receiving adequate training.

The five-year plan will be formally presented to the company’s board and the finance community at the end of 2006, which evidently points to a sneak preview in Sydney. 

Outside of the conference, attendees will immediately walk out to the foreshore of Darling Harbour with views of the celebrated central business district and trendy waterside district.

Food and drink are no more than a stone’s throw away either. The Sydney district is home to scores of restaurants and cafes offering everything from seafood and sandwiches to authentic Asian and contemporary Australian cuisine. Darling Harbour is also awash with several watering holes ranging from theme-based to classy.

Away from Darling Harbour, visitors to the city can easily wander over to The Rocks and catch a glimpse of Sydney’s iconic double act, the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The more adventurous can also score bragging rights by participating in the popular Harbour Bridge climb. Lasting three and a half hours a pop and crossing 1,500 metres of steel, the climb is a must for the daring traveller and a perfect way to experience a Sydney panorama.

SIBOS 2006 visitors who plan to extend their stays in Sydney can also find other authentic Australian experiences at the world famous Bondi Beach and nearby Blue Mountains.

Regardless of individual agendas, SIBOS 2006 will undoubtedly be every bit as memorable and educational as this year’s Copenhagen jaunt.