The recently publicly listed British Telecom (BT) company has announced in a press release the launch of a new product that caters to professional traders – the BT Netrix Hi Touch. The device is a hybrid between a communication turret and a tablet. It adds integration with the BT Radianz cloud and enables real time collaboration between traders, access to market information and order-flow, and ultimately order placing and trading.
It features an HD display with a touch screen to facilitate the way professional traders manage their order flow and numerous communications. The device supports voice and digital communications, while taking advantage of the touch screen to implement some gestures similar to smartphone functionality. A built-in camera, speaker channels and intercom complement the device to be viewed as a full featured tablet.
In reality there is more to it than a simple tablet interface – the solution is cloud-integrated with BT’s Radinz cloud. It is one of the biggest cloud services dedicated to establish and maintain high-quality links between clients, counter-parties, banks, brokers, exchanges and trading infrastructures. The service is specifically dedicated to the financial services industry and acceding to BT’s data is currently linking more than 400 service providers associated to the financial services industry.
An Integrated Solution That Brings Modern Technology to Traders
BT’s Netrix Hi Touch appears to be a complimentary product to this cloud service by the company to establish itself as a leader in the sector and try to cater to a multitude of needs that financial services industry players need. The app infrastructure is integrated within the BT Radianz cloud – a multitude of secure communication services, including multi-party conferences and order capturing and trading are adding to a professional’s arsenal.
According to BT, the device can be used in a multitude of ways as to the execution styles that they have chosen to use. There is a balance between control and flexibility that enables three modes of execution styles – “high-touch” trading, which involves a lot of human-to-human contact; “hybrid trading”, which is a mix between electronic trading and human interaction; “low-touch”, which is designed for purely electronic and algorithmic trading.
One more screen, which is fully accessible by a swipe of a finger – that’s the main point that BT is pushing to its clients, however is this really new? One might ask the question – why not simply use the best tablet out there and integrate some proper software features into it?
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This might be a niche worth exploring by software companies – the main hurdles are appropriate security certifications for the devices and the hardware infrastructure that will be necessary to support the software features – definitely not a small investment. With the right scalability of the software solution and the appropriate security certifications of ever more powerful devices in a handheld format it’s definitely a business opportunity worth exploring.
According to recent research by industry specialists, the capabilities of Apple’s new 64-bit chip that is running its latest mobile devices released in the second half of 2013 goes to a desktop level. In fact reports are suggesting that virtually none of the current applications that are built for the handheld devices made by Apple are taking full advantage of the hardware capabilities of the current generation of processors.
With Qualcomm joining the race for 64-bit mobile computations later this year, the space could become even more competitive.
In this context it’s worth mentioning that all of Apple’s iOS 6 devices and Samsung’s Android Devices which are running a separate secure function called Knox are certified to be used in the US military, which makes them more than capable to handle trader’s communications. Too bad the DoD is slow in certifying new devices, yet that shouldn’t be a big issue with the proper software design implementation.
There is no information about the hardware characteristics of BT’s device offered in the press release, nor on the website of the company. Forex Magnates reporters have contacted the company’s newsroom. However as of the time of publication no comment has been received from BT PLC representatives.
Revamping the Ways of Professional Trading
BT Global Services’ president of global banking and financial markets, Tom Regent has outlined in the press release that “as financial markets firms adapt to ever more stringent regulations and the need to retain more capital in reserve, traders are under increasing pressure to make the right decisions faster and maximise increasingly elusive investment returns. In response, trading strategies are becoming more complex, involving a greater mix of execution styles. On top of this, a new generation of trader is emerging, used to the speed and convenience of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets.”
He goes on to elaborate that “BT Netrix HiTouch’s new interface gives traders intuitive touchscreen control of their communications, with the same ease with which they use their smartphones and tablets in their personal lives, integrated with unmatched breadth and depth of the applications delivered by our world-leading BT Radianz Cloud.”
Rebecca Healey who is a senior analyst at Tabb Group, a financial markets’ research and advisory firm, added in the press release that: “as the industry continues to shift to greater automation, both buy and sell side now need to leverage their use of technology to optimise liquidity, relationships and resources. Only the combined interaction between man and machine will enable traditional brokerage services to re-emerge in a new and more cost efficient manner, delivering the next generation in trading.”