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TRADECOM: Trader communication, collaboration and compliance system

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - TRADECOM (TRADECOM: Trader communication, collaboration and compliance system)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-07-31

When complex trading decisions need to be made fast, the ability to communicate instantly and clearly with others is critical. On financial trading floors, deals have traditionally been carried out by direct voice exchanges – from open outcry to voice trading by phone. Despite the ever-increasing volumes of electronic trades, voice trading is still going strong. Particularly in volatile times, with more complicated deals, traders want to have a conversation with trusted people in order to get real-time advice before committing to a trade – which then may be done electronically. These ‘relationship-based’ deals offer a way for the best traders to provide value compared to automated trading. Traders need to collaborate verbally with multiple parties, and loop-in off-floor support from analysts, researchers, risk managers, economists and private wealth managers to discuss each stage of the trading process. These conversions may be one-to-one or one-to-many, and call groups need to be pulled up and dropped at the touch of a button – no time to dial and wait for connection.

A ‘trader voice’ industry has evolved to service the particular voice communication needs of financial traders. Incumbent trader voice suppliers (such as the dominant market leader IPC Systems Inc., and BT PLC), have made good business from supplying and maintaining proprietary and dedicated technology to trading floors. These companies are increasingly moving from an equipment supply business towards managed services, in which trading firms outsource their trader voice services to single vendor. However, this approach can involve big infrastructure changes and disruption to operations, and can be expensive over the longer term. Client adoption of this approach has been slow. TRADECOM will use a different approach, by providing a solution which is lower cost, lighter-weight, and easily implementable, that can be scaled according to trading floor size and budgets.

To provide the solution to these emerging needs, the project partners, led by Speakerbus, are developing a new generation of IP-based communication solutions aimed specifically at the trading markets. These new products and services will maintain Speakerbus’ vendor and network-neutral approach and provide interoperability with legacy and emerging communications infrastructure and services. This will enable organisations to integrate TRADECOM solutions with best-of-breed services and applications from a variety of vendors. The TRADECOM project is developing and implementing hardware and software product prototypes that will form an innovative business offering to the trader market. This will include:

• The development of a new SIP-based hardware communications turret that includes group telephony services (via a headset) and hoot’n’holler intercom.
• The development of seamless Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) services (Middleware) that improves trader workflow by linking the trading turret to the trader’s desktop computing and display equipment and services.
• Developing scalable and resilient call routing from the trader turrets via cloud-based communication and media servers, including the ability to support the emerging IPv6 communications protocol.
• The integration of a multi-function soft communications turret that enables trader voice services to be replicated and accessed via a web-browser on trader desktops, back-office desktops and mobile devices, for the ultimate in trader mobility.

Well-functioning financial markets are critical to overall economic development at a national and international level. Global finance markets are driven by trades i.e. exchanges of securities (stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, derivatives or any valuable financial instrument). Essential to this exchange is the need for communication between trading parties and access to real-time price and decision support information. Trading floor communications systems enable dynamic and complex communications that supports information gathering, decision-making, negotiation and transaction processing. The TRADECOM products and services will enable IT network planners in Financial Services organisations to respond to traders’ ever-increasing need for instant, secure and flexible multi-party collaboration, while catering to the long-term sustainability and compliance goals for their organizations.

The project deliverables and objectives have been met, giving Speakerbus a new SIP based Hybrid Turret with Touch Screen technology which seamlessly integrates with the centralised management system. Computer Telephony Integration to enhance trader work flow and a resilient / scalable call routing solution. The project has also allowed us to bring to market a soft client application supporting mobility for remote workers, all with the ability to support the emerging IPv6 communications protocol.
Completed in RP1 (Months 1-15):
- Market applications and generic requirements definition (D1.1)
- High level design proposal (D1.2)
- Management Portal Specification (D4.1)
- iCMS Code (D4.2)
- Server Resiliency design, code, and test reports (D5.3)

Completed to date (Months 16-20):
- Prototype printed circuit board computer files (D2.1)
- Enclosure design (D3.1)
- Directory Server and interfaces documentation, code, and test reports (D5.5)
- CTI/Middleware specification (D6.1)
- Dissemination plans (D9.1)

Completed to date (Months 21-28)
- Hardware/software interface specification (D2.3)
- CTI/API code (D6.2)
- Integration testing (D6.4)
- Pilot opportunities (D8.1)
- Dissemination activity update (D9.3)
- Intermediate market analysis and commercialisation strategy (D9.4)
- IP records and protection plan (D10.3)

Completed to date (Months 29-36)
- Development prototype (D2.2)
- ROM based code (D2.4)
- Functional turret prototype (D2.5)
- First Prototype turret (D3.4)
- Fully assembled turret (D3.7)
- Final hardware and mechanical documents (D3.8)
- Completed Management portal test reports (D4.3)
- Call Routing design, code, and test reports (D5.2)
- IPv6 interface and management documentation and code (D5.6)
- Integration testing and regression suite (D5.7)
- Turret software (D7.1)
- First phase validation report (D7.2)
- Final validation report (D7.3)
- Pilot equipment available (D8.2)
- Pilot report (D8.3)
- Pilot collateral available (D8.4)
- Business innovation plan (9.2)

We will create master messaging to support sales presentation and customer facing groups. Develop a range of external publications and communications using varied dissemination mediums including press releases, videos, webinars, social media and our corporate website.
The Sales and Marketing teams are planning strategic launch events in the UK, New York and Singapore with smaller regional launch events where we have a presence.
Specifically, we have identified two trade shows that we are in the process of gaining budget approval to attend, these are TradeTech 2019 and ETOT 2019.
Completion of the project and associated objectives, has enabled Speakerbus to realise a far greater range of commercial opportunities, disrupting the large incumbent technology suppliers, providing high growth opportunities.