IPC Information Systems, a New York-based provider of Voice over Internet Protocol communications to financial services firms, is touting the release of its new Enterprise Voice Services (EVS) -- an IP-based trader voice service -- at this year's Securities Industry Association Technology Management Conference and Exhibit.
EVS, which offers firms dedicated connections to multiple locations simultaneously, is a BCP-capable IP network for IPC (booth 1509) clients. The service initially is being offered in the New York metro area, but later this year, will be offered in additional financial centers. Eventually, the cities will be interconnected via IP transport.
Due to the simultaneous connectivity, chief executive officer Lance Boxer says, EVS will allow firms to transfer communications to a backup location during an emergency more easily. In the past, he says, transferring communications services to an alternative site required much work and coordination -- a process known as carrier redirect.
IPC, whose clients include Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, also is introducing an IP interface in the trading system switch to extend IP capabilities from the network into a client's enterprise. According to Boxer, IPC is ready to continue delivering service to its clients in any eventuality, as the company runs fully redundant network components housed in multiple central offices. The locations are monitored 24 hours a day by the IPC Global Solutions Operations Centers. Clients also have access to a Web portal to view their services and performance metrics to make sure communications are flowing properly.
The company also has partnered with Nice Systems, based in Ra'anana, Israel, to offer Enterprise IP Recording. As part of the system, recording resources are allocated to each trader when he or she logs on, ensuring traders are recorded regardless of which turret they wind up using on any particular day. "People are worried about compliance," Boxer says. "So -- like Tivo -- they want to be able to access a call that has been recorded and hear, for example, 15 seconds of it; pull it out by time, trade, etc."
The new offering also allows clients to host recorders in a remotely located data center, allowing the separation of the recording infrastructure from the trading floor. Also, IPC is offering an application to work in conjunction with the recorder that allows traders to play back their calls -- if they obtain the necessary management approvals. "This is a quantum leap forward in distributed IP recording," he says.
According to Boxer, the key to sound BCP architecture is separating the desktop from the computing power behind it. "We want to be able to take the CPUs and the processors out of the primary trading buildings and move them to hardened data centers that could be hundreds of miles away. So what you have are utility desktops -- and all the back-office processing sitting maybe 100 to 200 miles away in an underground hardened data center," Boxer describes.
The SIA Conference, he says, is an important opportunity to see clients. "I feel like we have an obligation to be there to demonstrate to our clients that we pay attention and listen to them, so they know that every year there is something new they can expect us to deliver," Boxer says.
"People at the show are also looking at the trustworthiness of companies and figuring out who has consistently been there every year and who is going to be there every year," Boxer adds, "because doing business with risky companies is not a place anyone wants to be anymore."