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Cristina McEachern
Cristina McEachern
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Financial Technology Expo Showcases New Products

Vendors at this year's annual Financial Technology Expo in New York City presented a sampling of new products, from research tools to XML platforms.

Several vendors are riding the Internet wave into the new millennium with new and enhanced Web-based products. Omega Research, a provider of investment analysis tools, unveiled its integrated real-time data-decision support product for the new millennium, TradeStation.com. The Internet portal will be a browser-based version of Omega's current TradeStation software, which incorporates prices, volume and related movements in the markets to enable traders to create strategies, back test those potential strategies and automate them as well. Expected to launch early next year, the site will feature streaming real-time data capabilities made possible following Omega's recent acquisition of Financial Data Cast Network.

MultiLogic is taking its personal finance advisory applications to the Web with a new Online Financial Advisor product suite, expected to be released in early 2000. The Online Advisor uses a software engine to ask customers a series of questions and develop a course of action based on their responses. Custom advice systems can be created for various areas that financial firms cover, including employee stock options, estate planning, mutual funds and compliance, through the Online Advisor products. Firms can provide consultation services to clients and advisors immediately and at all hours of the day or night, resulting in a consistent experience and freeing up financial advisors for other tasks.

Communications Tools

New York-based Net Technologies featured its latest product to hit the audio communications arena, DoTell Interactive, which lets users publish instant audio messages onto the Internet. DoTell was specifically designed for the needs of financial services firms, says Linda Meyer, founder and CEO of Net Technologies. DoTell can be accessed through any touch-tone phone and allows users such as CEOs, research analysts and portfolio managers to enter a PIN number, record their message and broadcast immediately onto the Web to reach their audience. DoTell can also be used to broadcast conference calls and messages can be routed for compliance checking, or be posted directly onto the site. Currently the system is being installed at "a top-tier investment bank" and is in use at Commonfund, which plans to go live with the service bureau version of the product before the end of this year.

The Countdown to T+1 Continues

SS&C Technologies showcased its latest stop on the road to straight-through processing with its new XE for Asset Management application platform for cross-enterprise messaging. Using Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and Message Queue (MSMQ) technology, the XE platform links SS&C's Antares trade order management and modeling system with its CAMRA portfolio management and accounting system. XE utilizes XML messages to enable users to route trade information between the front and back office via the Internet or a virtual private network. Officials at SS&C say that a couple of clients are working with the new release but would not specify any of the firms. The XE platform is an updated STP model from SS&C, which previously relied on batch processing. Current Antares/CAMRA clients can replace their batch interfaces with the XE platform in less than a day, says Mike Morini, senior vice president of the asset management business at SS&C.

Risk Updated

In the risk management arena NeoVision HyperSystems announced the launch of the latest version of its real-time data-visualization decision support tool, HeatMaps Version 2.1. The enhanced features include active hierarchical data navigation, analyses of integrated data from real-time data feeds and corporate databases, expanded customization options, more color mapping and display schemes and an improved ability to export data from Microsoft Word and Excel. The core HeatMaps product organizes financial instruments in a matrix of color-coded cells, which the user can custom define and track color and intensity changes as data relative to market fluctuations. At the FTE show, NeoVision also announced an arrangement with Bridge Information Systems to integrate HeatMaps Version 2.1 into BridgeStation and Telerate workstations.

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