Two years ago, IPC Information Systems (booth #1509) led the charge in adopting voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) for trading turrets. This year, IPC is taking it to the next level by demonstrating trading turrets as native IP-devices that can talk to any device with an IP-address.
"Turrets can communicate with PCs," explains Chris Miller, vice president of strategic marketing with IPC Information Systems. This paves the way for traders to send voice, text messages and graphics and to route calls over alternative IP-based networks. "Because you're on the same network as my PC, it's easy to do whereas I couldn't do that with the classic PBX (private-branch-exchange) switch phone," adds Miller.
This has implications for disaster recovery and business-continuity planning (BCP) because a financial-services firm can start to deploy turrets remote to the trading floor. "Customers say this reduces the planning process and cost efficiencies with traders that move place to place," says Miller. Firms "can break up the trading floor - whether it's one building or to many (locations) - and they can be more flexible as to where they can deploy the traders," he adds.
Last February, IPC introduced the enterprise edition of its IQMX Trading System - a voice-over-IP-based turret system - which can be plugged into a firm's corporate network and then find its way back to the switch in the back room.
But this year, the next step in the evolution of VoIP is native IP-devices. "We want to make them capable of making calls on their own," Miller explains. What IPC did is insert a protocol stack in the turret - The two most popular protocols that all IP devices use to communicate with each other are session initiation protocol (SIP) and the other is H.323.At the show, IPC will operate MXIQ turrets with both of these protocols inside, making phone calls independent of the back-room switch or independent of the central-office switch at the phone company.
"With IP, the turret in London could reach the IP address of the turret in New York, (and) the public-switch-telephone network didn't even know it happened," says Miller. The value, he claims, for financial houses is that they can now start to use alternative networks and methods for routing calls.
For example, "If a firm has the Reuters data service streaming over the Radianz IP connection, the firm could route calls over Radianz, or Cable & Wireless or the Bloomberg network," says Miller. "This makes you a lot more flexible and powerful no longer relying on a single voice network to make all the connections." It also means that if a firm has to move to its disaster-recovery site, the IP address is the same, he notes. Robert Iati, director of research at TowerGroup's Securities and Investments Practice, says "IPC was very aggressive in adopting this technology - whereas its competitor Syntegra did not embrace it early on. "It's not new technology per se, it's new to this framework on the trading floor."
The downside was that VoIP is not as reliable for keeping a quality connection so traders were a little apprehensive, says Iati. But, "Reliability is less of an issue now," he says. Though some people were skeptical, "IPC pushed it, saying the future of trading technology is leveraging IP," Iati recalls. 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