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Trading Technology

06:14 PM
Tina Whitney
Tina Whitney
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FROM THE SIA SHOW: BT Syntegra Opens Up the Trading Floor With Its ITS Hotlink

Addressing the frustration expressed by many trading system users, BT Syntegra (booths #3106, 3107) has teamed with Cisco Systems to offer a solution.

Addressing the frustration expressed by many trading system users, BT Syntegra (booths #3106, 3107) has teamed with Cisco Systems to offer a solution. BT Syntegra incorporates Cisco's Internet protocol phones in its new multimedia desktop device designed to connect the trading floor with the outside world. Typically, off-trading-floor telephone users do not have access to hotlines or private wires on the turret system.

BT Syntegra's new ITS Hotlink acts as an off-trading-floor extension of trading turrets by providing the ability to manage all communications channels on a single device. "It's extending the flexibility of the trading floor across other divisions, giving the business more flexibility in how they deploy a trading system," says Peter Skoglund, director of product management and systems engineering at BT Syntegra. Trading-system users have been frustrated "that they couldn't share their lines with non-trading-systems environment lines, like PBX, and the back office."

The ITS Hotlink addresses this issue by integrating ITS Turrets and phone lines within the trading consul with Cisco Call Manager phone lines off the trading floor. Users have the ability to make and receive calls from both the trading-system phone lines and the Cisco lines. "If a trader doesn't have a trading consul in the office, he can put in a Cisco phone and monitor the lines and answer trading-system phones," says Skoglund. "This gives the customer the flexibility so they don't have to deploy trading [turret systems] for non-trading personnel ... Now they can deploy what is traditionally a less-expensive phone and still have the ability to access the phone coming into the trading turrets."

The ITS Hotlink uses an open-application program interface (API) and takes advantage of the open Cisco API for easy integration and setup. "The open APIs allow us to send the communication pieces back and forth," Skoglund says. When integrating the Cisco Call Manager with the trading system, it is a matter of setting up a QSIG -- a digital link interface protocol between the two phone systems.

In addition to freeing up head traders and managers so they can be involved while off the trading floor, ITS Hotlink also provides business continuity benefits, says Skoglund. He points out that in the case of an evacuation or limited-site access, if a user has an infrastructure over a Wide Area Network (WAN) environment and a separate facility away from the main production trading floor, the firm is able to go to the alternate site and use the Cisco phones as a remote or home-based environment and still have access to the lines in the trading environment.

Compliance issues are also addressed, as the lines actually reside within the trading system and the Cisco Call Manager is simply accessing them through the link. "The lines are always recorded in the ITS system -- even if an off-floor person conducts a trade, it is recorded in the voice archive," Skoglund says. "This is very important to the users."

Skoglund says there are currently customers using the ITS Hotlink in a beta environment, and other customers have expressed interest in extending its capabilities for use with other PBX providers. "We are currently in the early stages of working with Avaya and Nortel, and from our experience with this integration, we believe we should be able to accomplish this with other PBX vendors as well," he explains. Pricing for ITS Hotlink is set up as a licensing fee by site, not by the number of users. Skoglund adds that if a customer already has Cisco Call Manager and the trading system in place, the ITS Hotlink capabilities can be implemented overnight. <<<

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