SS&C Technologies, a provider of front- to back-office portfolio management solutions, has developed a handheld solution for its trade order management system, Antares.
In its current incarnation, the system allows portfolio managers to access a good amount of the functionality found in Antares via a wireless Palm VII, but the vendor intends to roll that out to further devices in the near future. The system does not currently allow for electronic trading, but a portfolio manager can transmit trade data to his traders, who many then transact via their desktop running Antares.
The key, according to Jeff Faber, vice president of trading systems development at SS&C, is the vendor's newer XE platform-originally showcased last year-and particularly its Microsoft MSMQ messaging architecture. Faber explains that MSMQ parses up the data and the application's functions into usable workflow components, which can then be ported over to any number of front-end interfaces.
"The MSMQ-based messaging architecture, which uses workflow and case logic, allows you to do a lot of stuff with the data, including analysis and integration," Faber explains. "Once we extended that to work with Web browsers, getting the PDA capabilities was pretty straightforward."
SS&C is actually reviewing two methods of getting data and functionality found in Antares up to the Palm platform. One requires using a "commercially available" handheld browser, although Faber declines to name which one. The other method utilizes a Web-clipping application that draws data directly from a Web page and reformats for the smaller screen of Palm-like device. Only the browser-based version is available today, but Faber stresses that the company is actively reviewing both methods for the production-ready product.
Although the product is only being tested on the Palm VII-Palm's only wireless PDA-Faber says the system will work easily with any other device running the Palm operating system, and could be easily ported to any other handheld OS.
He adds that the product is most definitely not for the active trader working away from his desk, but for the travelling portfolio manager who wants to remain in touch with his trading team. "The idea behind it is for portfolio managers-whether they be at their ski houses in Aspen or on their Yachts-to get some information across quickly and easily," Faber quips. "They can request a 5,000-share trade and pass that along to their traders instantly."
No firms have beta-tested the product, but Faber claims it has received a good amount of interest from parties who have seen the demo. "The problem has been that some shops don't want us to demo the product for their guys because they're afraid...afraid that they might just want to play with it," he adds.