The buy side — and in particular hedge funds — continually is looking for new ways to enhance trading technology without the headache of having to manage it, too. As a result, BT (booth #1509), a provider of communications solutions and services, has announced that it is deploying Virtual ITS, a fully managed in-network service for converged trading communication.
BT's new service, targeted in particular at firms with less than 25 trading positions, enables financial firms to enjoy all the benefits of BT's ITS Netrix trading turret without the overhead associated with installing and supporting on-site equipment, the vendor says.
Virtual ITS provides a virtual system in which all connectivity and infrastructure are hosted and managed within BT's network rather than on-site. "There has been an explosion of hedge funds without the desire or the skills to manage their own implementations," says Tim Furmidge, head of product marketing and management for BT Global Financial Services. "They look to BT as a service provider. They say to us, 'Just give us the devices — you worry about connectivity and voice recording compliance.'"
Furmidge says the new service enables BT to provide levels of redundancy that aren't typically affordable to small firms. He points out that Virtual ITS also has been designed with the aim of enhancing business continuity. When the London bombings paralyzed the U.K. capital markets for most of the day on July 7, 2005, Furmidge says, people were unable to commute and therefore couldn't participate in the market.
But with Virtual ITS, even in a worst-case scenario, traders would still be able to work from remote locations, including from home, as the technology supports a range of BT user devices and applications, including ITS Netrix; ITS Anywhere for IP phones, the Web and mobile devices; and ITS Myriad.
"The service offers clients multiple resilient connectivity paths so that clients have an alternative if they're looking at the loss of the system itself, in the case of a flood or a power failure, [for example]," says Furmidge. "If clients are denied access to the trading floor and can't sit in front of their turret — because of a terrorist attack, a pandemic or, say, bad weather in the Northeast — they would still be able to work."
The Virtual ITS service is provided through the BT Radianz Shared Market Infrastructure. All management and support services are provided by BT's 24-hour specialized Global Financial Services support team. The service is offered on a pay-as-you-go monthly service basis, according to the company. It initially will be offered in the New York metro area and subsequently will roll out elsewhere, BT says. Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio