WorldStreet, simply put, is on a roll. Since last year, it has installed over 1000 screens of its sell-and buy-side eCRM solutions, WorldStreet Sales and WorldStreet Wealth Advisor, at Deutsche Bank Securities, ING Barings, and J.P. Morgan. Bruce Fador, CEO, claims it is contracted for three times that. Now, the vendor is giving both the buy and sell side another reason to check it out, and it's a big one. WorldStreet Net, set to be released at the SIA Technology and Management Conference, plans to link both sides of the Street in a collaborative, integrated and information- rich manner.
Whereas the Sales product is really an intranet that tightly couples the internal communications of a brokerage so it can better serve its clients, WorldStreet Net will allow institutional salesman to send their clients integrated packages of news, information and research. The buy side, for its part, will be able to screen all incoming messages, including voice mail.
WorldStreet Net is broken up into four major subsystems: the Global Communications Network (GCN), XCA Integration, Trusted Relationships and Active Messaging. The GCN is comprised of aggregation servers that reside either at WorldStreet's data centers or at the firm. Information packages that are sent out from the brokerage actually reside behind the firm's firewall, and when a money manager retrieves it, he or she is actually channeled into the sell-side firm's servers.
"The value of this is that if the brokerage needs to make a retraction, it's only in one place, and they don't have to go out sending retractions to everyone," says Rod Hodgman, senior vice president of marketing. "The benefit to the buy side is that all their profile information sits behind their firewall. There have been issues about security with industry portals, and this way all the information stays on your site and you determine how much you want to share with anyone."
The XCA platform, which utilizes both Active X and XML controls, allows firms to integrate their own content into the system, and, conversely, embed the entire system into their own applications. "With Reuters, we're talking about providing a whole set of Active X controls so that they can integrate this into Reuters 3000," Hodgman explains by way of example. XCA also automates a number of processes, affixing additional news and research to an information package if it is so predefined by the particular money manager.
The Trusted Relationships layer provides the sell side with an easy means of directing the flow of information to the appropriate clients, while the buy side can dial in exactly who they want information from and what type of information they want from them. The Active Messaging layer, coupled with a virtual desktop Java application, allows the money managers to screen all incoming messages, and identify them by type. "When the plug-in is in minimized real-estate mode, it will tell me that I have five new packages, of which there are four pieces of news, three pieces of research and three new earnings estimates," Hodgman explains. "Scrolling across the top is the headline of some of those packages. I can click on that at any moment, and jump right into the information."
A money manager can also chat with the transmitting broker immediately by clicking on a simple icon. Hodgman explains that Active Messaging is also multi-platform capable, so a money manager can access it from a desktop, PDA or cell phone.
WorldStreet Net will be put into limited production this summer with the vendor's current clients, and then rolled out to the market in the fall. "This isn't just another content distributor," exclaims Fador. "This is a way for the broker to really get into the shorts of his customer. And the client gets to see exactly what they desire."