In an effort to expand its customers' trading options, Brown & Co. is getting geared up to roll out a natural language voice recognition module for its Infocom Systems Services-supplied trading system. Brown, a Boston-based discount brokerage firm, plans to make the voice recognition front-end available to its clients-comprised mostly of active day traders and retail investors-by June. The voice recognition module will be the latest in a line of trading system modules Brown and Infocom have teamed up to release.
Thus far, the Iselin, N.J.-based Infocom has supplied Brown's customers with three front-end trading options: a PC module, a touch-tone module and a Web module. The touch-tone module enables customers to trade with Brown via a series of telephonic keystrokes, while the Web front-end enables customers to tap into Brown's trading system via the Internet.
Bob MacDonald, chief information officer of Brown, says that through the voice recognition module, Brown's customers will be able to orally request quotes and "input their executions." The module will also give customers the power to orally ask for a list of open orders and determine the value of what each of their positions are.
Today, about 78% of all of Brown's customer orders are routed and processed through its Infocom-supplied trading system. The touch-tone and PC modules account for a combined 17% of that figure; the remaining 83% of Brown's electronic orders originate from the Web module.
That said, Brown doesn't have any preferences for the mechanism a customer uses to send orders to the firm. Rather, by offering its customers multiple interfaces to its trading system, Brown is hoping to attract all the order flow it can. "Whatever way we can have a customer communicate with us, we are going to avail ourselves of that technology," says MacDonald.