As part of a complete revamp of its equity-trading room, Dresdner RCM Global Investors is now running a pilot of a Reuters-supplied instant-messaging application. The instant- messaging system is the latest in a group of applications Dresdner has rolled out in support of its full complement of 10 equity traders. Earlier this year, the firm installed programmable-trading telephones from IPC Information Systems and flat-panel-display monitors from Eizo Nanao Technologies.
Jeffrey Wood, Dresdner RCM's director of IT infrastructure, says the firm's equity traders are expected to go live with the Reuters instant-messaging application before the end of this year. "It's another communication channel that (enables traders) to get in touch with people throughout the company ... (or) throughout the Reuters network," he says, noting that the application also allows the firm to record conversations for "compliance reasons."
Prior to deploying the Reuters pilot, Wood says, Dresdner gutted its equity-trading room, installing ergonomic flat-panel-display monitors from Eizo Nanao in place of bulky cathode-ray-tube PCs. "We use to have three PCs on (each trader's) desk .... But (when we overhauled the room), we went to a rack mount solution. We bought a whole series of slim rack-mount servers, moved all of the (traders) applications onto the servers, and put those in a separate-network closet. Then we ran remote video and keyboard cables to their desks. So essentially all they have on their desks are their flat screen monitors, a keyboard and a mouse," he says.
As part of the overhaul, traders also had their IPC-supplied turrets upgraded. The traders, Wood says, had been using an "eight-to-ten year old" analog IPC turret system. But they are now equipped with the latest digital turrets from IPC. Before making the upgrade, Wood says, Dresdner "briefly" looked at the turret "specifications" of other vendors, including British Telecommunications. But the firm ultimately decided to stay with its incumbent, he says, because IPC had the best technology and offer the most "stability."