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Tullett Liberty Ensures Uptime

Tullett Liberty is monitoring its trading turrets overnight with a remote-management service from IPC Information Systems that catches faults and resolves them.

When brokers go home at night leaving their trading turrets behind, it would be nice to know someone is watching over their voice lines.

To avoid any outages, Tullett Liberty - the global wholesale-market-broker - has gone live with a new, remote-monitoring service from IPC Information Systems in its 450-position London dealing room.

"It monitors the dealer-boards and also the voice lines by which our brokers talk to their counterparts," says Geoff Chapman, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Tullett Liberty, headquartered in London. "It's not unusual for lines to out of service over night," says Chapman, who notes the firm has thousands of voice lines to its customers and a dozen different telecom-carriers. "Everyday you get a number of minor problems and glitches," he says.

The 24-hour hour, global service known as Advanced Fault Management, detects any outages that occur in its trading turrets over-night and then dispatches a technician to repair them in time for trading to begin on-time the following morning.

Tullett has been testing the service since July, and provided feedback to IPC on what it liked and did not like so that IPC could make improvements, says Chapman. The process is now complete and IPC plans to launch the service next week to its broad-base of customers. One of the main benefits is that financial-trading houses can avoid hiring someone to monitor their trading turrets and connections to telecom-carriers overnight.

Since Tullett doesn't run a full 24-hour operation - its technical staffers arrive about an hour or half-hour before the trading room opens. Now, the errors get picked up as they occur. "By the time our guys arrive, the faults are resolved or are on their way to being resolved," says the CIO.

Chapman has seen "a material reduction in the number of faults that usually impact the business," he says. If a fault occurs at 2:00 a.m. and doesn't get picked up until 6 a.m. in the morning, the glitch can delay the trading room from opening. Now if a fault occurs in London, analysts who are monitoring Tullett's trading systems from three regional operations centers in New York, London and Sydney-would pick up the error in Sydney.

According to Marianne Leitch, IPC's vice president of service development, "IPC analysts are viewing in real-time all of the conditions of IPC trading systems as well as any carrier digital access circuits that are connected to those trading systems."

The systems' center controls where all the information about the health and configuration of the entire IPC environment resides on a trading floor, says Leitch. If an unusual event is detected, such as a failure of any component or a statistical error in a card, or a failure of a carrier switch, this triggers various alarms. Based on the type of event, "It will be prioritized and we will take action toward the appropriate resolution," she says. This could entail dispatching a field engineer to replace the part, notifying the carrier about a broken part, or trouble-shooting something over IPC's own network.

A daily report is delivered to the trading floor by 7:00 a.m. each morning, showing the customer anything unusual that happened overnight, such as a system resetting. In addition to the written report, customers can retrieve the information from a secure customer portal, or it can be emailed or faxed, says Leitch.

The report provides a level of detail and analysis that would be difficult for the customer to compile on its own, adds Leitch. For example, if a failure occurred in a T1 circuit, which supports 24 voice conversations, the report would identify the list of traders who are affected, the circuits affected as well as the customers whom the traded is connected to.

Customers must have newer IPC turrets - either TradeNet MX or the Alliance MX platform - to qualify for the service and they need a current maintenance contract in place. The service is offered as an extension to their maintenance contract. "There is an uplift," says Leitch but she declined to say what the price increase was.

Asked if there was any cost savings over Tullett doing this on their own, Chapman says, "It's fair to say, it would cost us materially more to get the same level of service than doing it this way." In response to whether there is any cost savings, Chapman says, "The benefit is really the improvement in the availability that we are able to give our brokers, rather than the cost savings." Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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