A-Team Group has named IPC Systems as the winner of its award for the the Most Innovative Operational Resilience / Business Continuity Initiative in its Innovation Awards 2023. The awards celebrate innovative projects and teams across vendor and practitioner communities that make use of new and emerging technologies to deliver high-value solutions for financial institutions in capital markets.
IPC’s operational resilience and business continuity solution was selected as a winner by A-Team’s independent, highly experienced advisory board in collaboration with the company’s editorial team.
David Brown, President and Chief Commercial Officer at IPC, explains how the company’s innovative solution, Unigy Soft Client, addresses communications challenges faced by traders and helps them remain agile in times of volatility. He also discusses the solution’s specific use cases, the benefits it can deliver, and next-steps development.
A-Team: David, please tell us a little about IPC Systems and the types of capital markets clients you work with
David: IPC is a technology and service leader powering global financial markets. We leverage 50 years of experience in delivering specialized communications solutions, helping clients anticipate change and solve problems, and setting a standard with our industry expertise, exceptional service, and comprehensive technology.
We support traders and participants across the entire trade lifecycle including sell-side and buy-side firms, inter-dealer brokers, liquidity venues, clearing and settlement firms, and market data providers.
With a customer-first mentality, IPC brings together one of the largest and most diverse global financial ecosystems spanning all asset classes and market participants. As the enabler of this ecosystem, IPC empowers the community to interact, transact and react to market changes and challenges, and we collaborate with our customers to make them secure, productive, compliant, and connected.
A-Team: What challenges do global financial firms face at the moment?
David: Operational resilience and efficiency are a huge challenge. Lower-cost operations and product development are key competitive differentiators in an increasingly competitive business environment. As part of this, it is essential to be able to quickly and efficiently onboard new customers, providers and, increasingly, new digital asset classes.
Additionally, the challenges resulting from Covid brought the movement of digital solutions into the limelight and a marked shift in how trading floors operate. As a result, today’s traders demand mobility and flexibility.
A-Team: How does IPC work with clients to provide solutions to these challenges?
David: From talking to clients and the broader industry, we know that investment in new trading-related technologies, systems and platforms will be a key business driver for all market participants in the next few years. At its core, this means efficient access to a fully connected, fully integrated trading ecosystem that links together all participants in the trading supply chain, including sell-side and buy-side firms, platforms, exchanges, clearing and settlement systems, custodians, and market data providers.
A-Team: What is the role of the company’s award-winning Unigy Soft Client solution in addressing the challenges?
David: The past few years have proved that it is possible for traders to work remotely – and securely – using mobile phones and in-home offices, while remaining fully compliant with trade surveillance, security, and data protection obligations set by employers and regulators. IPC’s Unigy Soft Client application provides traders with the same functionality, consistency, and flexibility regardless of location, device, or application.
Using IPC’s suite of business continuity planning solutions, Unigy Soft Client helped users minimize disruption to business performance amid the unprecedented necessity for remote work during the pandemic. By adopting the application early, clients were able to seamlessly access their IPC Unigy system – a state-of-the-art, service-orientated architecture based platform for trading communications and applications – from a remote setting.
A-Team: What use cases does IPC’s solution support?
David: For trading firms particularly, the solution provides the ability to trade anytime, anywhere, from any device in a secure and compliant manner. This is an enormous competitive benefit in today’s uncertain and ever-shifting environment.
Financial institutions typically trade across multiple time zones and locations, with a diverse set of counterparties. Further, they want a software trading solution that can switch seamlessly between a turret on the trading floor and a soft client on a mobile or desktop device. Additionally, they have an obligation to capture and record user activity, using existing internal channels to support enhanced communication between the trading floor and associated support functions.
A-Team: How does Unigy Soft Client work and what technologies does it incorporate?
David: Unigy Soft Client and Mobile Client solutions, compatible with any iOS or Android device, transform laptops or mobile phones into powerful and compliant communications devices. Unigy Soft Client is a full-function, soft trading platform flexibly deployed, managed, and maintained from a centralized infrastructure.
A-Team: What are the benefits of implementing this IPC solution?
David: Powered by Connexus Unigy, a dedicated, private cloud delivery of the industry’s leading platform for compliant trader and regulated user communications, Unigy Soft Client provides users with the same access to the very best tools, irrespective of a crisis. Unigy Soft Client maintains secure, reliable and compliant communications with trading counterparties and permits users to source liquidity while maintaining the same trade lifecycle workflows as they would on the trading floor.
A-Team: Please provide a short case study of Unigy Soft Client
David: As one example, a large bank based in Buenos Aires was looking to enhance its trading floor functionality with state-of-the-art communications technology and voice recording capabilities. The deployment of IPC’s Unigy Soft Client gave the traders the freedom and flexibility of mobile access to support trading activity. While a particularly key feature during the pandemic, Unigy Soft Client was also an enormous benefit to traders and other bank employees when responding effectively at times of market stress and volatility.
A-Team: How will you develop the solution over the next year?
David: Some of the key enhancements and developments for Unigy Soft Client include:
- Multitasking of individual turret applications; windows can be resized and moved anywhere across a user’s entire desktop
- Support for deployment within a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment (Citrix, VMWare), enabling customers to deploy the solution easily into existing VDI solutions
- Simultaneous talk-paths (left handset, right handset and speakers) to replicate the number of active talk-paths available on a physical turret
- PC-based soft turret
- Support for up to three USB audio devices
- Full Blue Wave API support
- Up to 18 voice recording streams.
A-Team: Finally, what does winning this award mean to IPC?
David: In a volatile market, the key thing for any business is to ensure good continuity of their systems and capabilities and, on top of that, businesses need to work with the right partners to ensure integrity of operations. This award win for Unigy Soft Client reflects both the flexibility and efficiency of our remote trading solutions and the competitive edge we can deliver to users.
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