To allow trading teams and their middle and back office staffs to communicate instantly from anywhere, IPC announced the release of Unigy Pulse Mobile, an app that puts hoot, intercom TV audio and speaker channels on the Apple iPad. The mobile app is now available on the Apple App Store.
While IPC is a leading provider of turrets and dealer boards for the trading floor, the Pulse suite expands the company’s product reach into the non-traders. “The majority of the non-traders are research analysts that would be consumers of the Pulse products,” explains Brett Berkowitz, IPC's senior product manager in an interview with Wall Street & Technology last week. It also allows a firm’s traders to communicate with the middle and back-office teams that support the traders in the rest of the trade lifecycle, said Berkowitz.
Regulatory factors such as Dodd-Frank and MiFID II are driving customers to include groups like compliance, clearance and settlement, earlier in the process, said Berkowitz. “The Pulse suite allows traders to talk to non-traders in a more seamless manner,” he said.
While the Pulse suite was originally introduced as a PC product, offering the mobility to connect with a corporate networks, with the popularity of the iPad and the nature of these users, it made sense that we went in that direction,” said Berkowitz.
The mobile app was designed based on feedback from users. “We heard two different trends,” said Mihir Parikh, IPC’s senior product manager. One trend is that employees are bringing their own mobile devices to work – "So there is an uptick in the 'Bring Your Own Device to Work” or BYOD trend and they want to connect them to the corporate network,” said Parikh. The second trend is that companies are purchasing a large number of iPads and giving them to their users, allowing them to be always connected.
However, there are requirements for security and recording that can be met through the Unigy Pulse mobile application, added Parikh. For instance, IPC offers a recording solution through its partnership with Nice Systems. “But allowing traders and non-traders to communicate in real-time while they were away from the desk or traveling, and having instant access to their communication, was definitely one of the key requirements he heard from customers,” said Parikh.
The mobile app also communicates with all different turrets and applications. “The other party can have any type of IPC turret or Pulse mobile application. This can talk to any IPC application on the trading floor,” emphasized Parikh. One of the key features is that the mobile app gives a presence indication, “So when a user intercoms someone, you know through presence who’s available through a call," noted Parikh.
Unigy Pulse Mobile also features native VoIP, eight speaker channels, presence, intercom directory and call history, favorites buttons and speaker and talk back groups. According to the company, Unigy Pulse Mobile expands IPC’s instant trading collaboration suite of integrated hoot and intercom devices and apps to four – joining the Unigy Pulse device, Unigy Pulse Enterprise app for the PC and the IQ/MAX Edge turret.
The intercom directory is important because it gives them a centralized system for all the individuals they can contact with a single button. “That’s another benefit of having an integrated off-floor trading solution,” says Berkowitz.
In the same way that hoot n’ holler is the lifeblood of the trading floor during a morning meeting call, the trader can use the turret to contact the off-floor user of the iPad. Alternatively, an analyst who is a user of the iPad could initiate breaking news from the mobile device or the PC client, noted Berkowitz. “Depending on the need to communicate, either trader-to-analyst or analyst-to-trader, a trader can initiate an intercom call to an analyst who has the mobile app with him wherever he is,” added Berkowitz.