Community Blog

Community Blog

Member spotlight: Frank Tarsillo of IHS Markit on open source, the Foundation and the value of collaboration

December 16, 2016

Member-Meeting-Frank.pngFrank Tarsillo, Managing Director and Head of Architecture for the Financial Markets division at IHS Markit, has been an integral member of Symphony Software Foundation.

Through his contribution of projects, IHS Markit’s gold membership, participation in working groups and his role in the Engineering Steering Committee (ESCo), he has helped shape the Community and continued to drive collaboration.

After 17 years at Thomson Reuters focused on large-scale platform initiatives, including a good portion of time delivering and supporting the Reuters’ messaging collaboration platform, he joined IHS Markit to run development of Collaboration Services.  

Post-sale of Markit collaboration assets to Symphony, Frank now leads all architecture functions within IHS Markit Financial Markets and has been a champion of the need for open source across financial services.

For Frank, being involved in the Foundation has several benefits - from his personal affinity for collaboration development to having an industry network that allows his company to reach customers. As he explains, he’s “very hands-on,” as he’s always been a technologist and engineer. But with his role in senior management, he now gets to “work with great people who are achieving great things in a shared environment enabled by the Foundation.”

Leveraging open source is, of course, a big part of creating value for members as well. Frank  said that “accelerated network adoption is driven by the availability of contributed source code delivering capabilities that satisfy most common use cases.” Leveraging shared code to satisfy these common problems reduces company investment in solving the basics and focus on creating real functional value.  

“We can make it easier for customers to adopt and grow the network by leveraging some of these common building blocks created in the Community,” he said.

With his extensive knowledge of the space, he’s seen similar collaboration initiatives fail numerous times. However, as he explains, the core difference today is that open source changes the model as there is a common focus to build capabilities that establish the network itself. His focus is “to actually help the industry along to avoid some of the historic pitfalls of the past.”

“We’re building capabilities, not products. It’s like-minded people who can work through ideas that need to be shared. This creates value for those involved in the process,” he said.

Frank emphasized that the way the Foundation has been formed has been “one of the most professional setups he’s seen in some time.” He added that the industry needs to understand that the Foundation is a support mechanism for contributing high-quality code, and that participating in this type of organization is extremely positive.

Finally, he said that seeing the Community grow has been exciting, and that the Foundation has “done a good job of getting contributors engaged.” On top of that, he is eager to see participation continue to grow.

Looking to the future, he would like to see more projects implemented at a production level soon, and is “excited to see more projects go from ‘incubation’ to ‘active.’”  

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