Thomson Reuters bets on billion dollar IT platforms

Thomson Reuters is betting heavily on new global IT platforms, costing billions of dollars, as it raises targets for operational efficiency gains from the 2008 merger that formed the group.

The combination of Thomson and Reuters had so far delivered $1.1 billion (£722 million) savings, the group said, as it raised cost operational efficiency targets to $1.6 billion (£1 billion) by 2011.

The company is driving hard two major new projects. WestlawNext, a revamp of Thomson Reuters’ online legal information service, which receives over a million searches a day, launched earlier this month.

Building the new service took over a thousand Thomson Reuters technology, legal and information specialists. It uses "advanced algorithms and back-end technology to advance significantly the speed, simplicity and productivity of legal research", the company said.

The company is also betting on Project Utah, a global desktop product for access to its markets data, launching this year, after a billion dollars' worth of development. The product took two years to build, and aims to create a single platform to support around two hundred Thomson Reuters financial products.

The product is expected to receive a high profile launch, when it goes live in spring. In a demonstration to investors last year, Thomson Reuters said the Utah system would be "easy to support and maintain", running on an "open, flexible platform" with easy customisation.

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