Most of us spend the day in front of a computer trying to get our work done as our e-mail indicator pings and messages flood our inbox. Whether we love it or hate it, we generally realize and acknowledge that we can't live without e-mail.
Relegence Corp. (booth 1429) knows it, too, and is launching a new tool with the goal of gaining some control over e-mail. The real-time financial-services news engine is offering MailTrack to mine and harness the necessary information that arrives each day via e-mail.
As Edo Segal, Relegence's chairman, founder and CTO, sees it, there are three categories of necessary information for a financial-services professional: sources from outside your firm, such as newswires, regulatory feeds and television; internal content such as proprietary research; and your personal information domain (that is, e-mail). "We're trying to couple all three - have one front end to all information that may be relevant, or critical, to your job," he says.
"There is such a desire in the trading area to bridge the data versus content worlds," adds Mary Knox, research director of investor services for Gartner, a Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy.
Relegence's flagship product, FirstTrack, already addresses Segal's first two points using artificial intelligence technology to gather, analyze and filter information, as well as alert the user based on its importance. Using similar technology, MailTrack adds the user's e-mail to the list of information sources. "When we interviewed our customers on the buy side, they told us that 40 percent of the research they use comes through their inboxes, not their terminals," says Segal.
And that's just the information that users were able to find amongst the clutter of messages being transmitted. "If you're running a fund and have 300 companies in it," proposes Segal, "it would be impossible for you to find all the information on all of those companies within all the e-mails you get. Right now, you miss a lot of critical information and spend a lot of time trying to find the information you need."
MailTrack searches each e-mail that arrives in a user's inbox in real time for any reference to a given company. According to Segal, the tool can detect the mention of a company anywhere, whether it's within the body of the e-mail's text; in the To, From or Subject lines; or even in any attachment, including PDFs, Microsoft Excel or Word files. MailTrack then provides alerts based on the user's interests. Users can even establish relevancy beyond just a company mention to further filter out the most useful information.
While the product seems well suited for any industry, Segal contends that Relegence's intimate understanding of Wall Street has helped tweak MailTrack for a financial-services professional. "There are a lot of e-mail search tools out there, but none of them are focused on the needs of the financial world," he says. For example, MailTrack is intelligent enough to detect not only company names, but ticker symbols as well, Segal points out. Users could range from retail traders to institutional investors. "Organizing e-mail is a universal problem that is faced by everyone in the financial services industry," Segal notes.
Gartner's Knox points out that a tool like this one could also help cut down on trading fraudulency by monitoring e-mails, even if it wasn't the intended purpose. "There's certainly a desire in this industry to be able to better monitor behavior."
MailTrack will be offered either within the ASP-enabled FirstTrack or embedded directly in a client firm's own platforms, such as an order-management system or CRM platform.