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FT Interactive Redesigns FTS; Considers New Content for 2005

FT Interactive Data has redesigned its core European product FTS to provide easier and faster access to its data and is aiming to move clients to the ‘new look’ version by the end of Q1 2005.

The redesign of the online portfolio administration tool offers faster data access by reducing the number of requests for data related to a security that clients have to make. Says Tim Fox, product marketing manager for FTS, “Clients now can put in a single request to receive the full complement of data related to that security. This improves on the previous version where they had to put in individual requests for each data type, like corporate actions or pricing, before seeing the full picture.”

Users can define their watchlists and the attributes they wish to see on the screen, and when data is requested, users can view a summary screen, and additional screens defined by data type are opened in a new window that can be expanded or reduced depending on requirement.

The presentation of the product has also been upgraded. Fox says, “The navigation has been simplified. We’ve increased the screen footprint by repositioning the fixed menu that was on the left-hand side to a drop-down menu across the top so viewers can see more on a single screen. And as part of our rebranding, we have introduced the new Interactive Data logo and the corporate blue.”

FT Interactive Data is taking a soft approach to clients migrating, a conversion process that takes ‘minutes’, says Fox. “The response from clients so far has been positive and we anticipate that within three to four months clients will have moved over to the new version.”

Following the upgrading of the data access and presentation of data in FTS, FT Interactive Data is considering content additions for 2005. The first, and perhaps most obvious, addition will be data from ComStock. FT Interactive Data’s parent company Interactive Data Corp. acquired ComStock in early 2003 from Standard & Poor’s as part of its drive to extend into real-time and near real-time data provision. Such an addition to FTS would be a good step towards this goal.

Content that is likely to be added includes derivatives data from exchanges like Euronext liffe and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). It is also considering adding terms and conditions data from North America.

Fox says, “We are going to be more proactive regarding the addition of new content sources. We work based on client feedback and industry initiatives to prioritize content additions in our weekly review, results of which go into our Enhancement Requests (ER) system for development.”

This would be added to FTS’s existing intraday and end-of-day pricing – across equities, debt, funds, indices, foreign exchange, derivates, commodities and futures – as well as fixed income evaluations and corporate actions data. As well as the web-based interface, this data can be downloaded into a clients’ in-house or third-party software.

Behind the scenes, Interactive Data has been working on a three-year programme to consolidate its previous seven ticker plants into core centres including Boxborough, MA, Hayward, CA and London, with regional data collection and backup worldwide. This migration is part of an effort by Interactive Data to streamline its backend infrastructure to support its increasingly integrated product line.

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