A number of high profile securities firms tapped ILX this year for the latest version of the market data vendors flagship ILX Workstation. Among those firms that gave the nod to ILX this year, representing both new and existing business, were the likes of Merrill Lynch, Scudder Kemper Investments, Fleet Securities, Ragen Mackenzie and Swiss American Securitiesto name a few.
While they may not be the largest market-data vendor on the block, and they might not have the horsepower of a Bloomberg or the functionality of a Reuters, ILX is certainly making some noise of its own this year. Since the beginning of 1999, the ILX Workstation has been installed on some 17,000 desktops in the securities industry.
Bernie Weinstein, president of ILX, says since the beginning of the year, the vendor has garnered a number of heavy hitters in financial services for the latest version, 7.0, of its ILX Workstation. "Weve been averaging about 2,000 per month," says Weinstein.
While larger competitors contend that ILXs Workstation doesnt offer comparable functionality, and is significantly less expensive, ILX is holding its own. And, while it doesnt come close to matching the market superiority of industry powerhouses Bloomberg, Reuters and Bridge, its 130,000 installed desktops make up just under 10% of the entire market.
Swiss American Securities, the New York-based broker dealer arm of Credit Suisse, recently swept out a number of proprietary data feeds, replacing them with the ILX Workstation.
"We were actually a little bit concerned, because our people were used to the look and feel of another set-up that weve had in place for the last five years," says Barry Haas, assistant vice president of trading operations at Swiss American. "Really, though, within a day and half people were fully up and running on ILX, partly due to training, but also partly due to the usability of the system."
ILXs smaller size was actually a draw for Swiss American during evaluations. "The main thing about it was as far as news and quote service provider, I found them easy to work with," says Haas. "Some of the firms really kind of attack you with a bit of arroganceconstantly knocking down the competition. These people were more into solving our problems and customization."
More importantly, though, Haas says he likes the constant upgrading ILX offers its clients. The vendor released at least a half dozen flavors of Version 6.0 before jumping up to 7.0a product debuted at this years SIA Technology Management Conference in New York.
"A key element of our strategy is staying ahead of the technology power curve, and the fact that we are constantly improving the product with new releases indicates that were doing just that," says Weinstein.
Market data services offered on Version 7.0 include the Magna Charter technical and fundamental charting service; News Pulse, a news service with full-text search capabilities with Boolean operators on multiple financial news and research services; ILXplorer, an embedded browser offering access to Web-based financial services and databases; Graphical Nasdaq Level II, which tracks Nasdaq stocks by individual market maker bid/ask; TradeWatch, which provides real-time time and sales on any security or option; and an Options Analysis tool, as well as a number of other features.