In 2012, Mobile Order-Entry Will be the New iPad

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Anthony Malakian, deputy editor, BST

Today ConvergEx Group's RealTick officially unveiled the latest version of its flagship product, RealTick 11. BST spoke with the company's CEO, Stuart Breslow, prior to the release, so please click here to see the many enhancements that have been made since last year's release.

The one upgrade I do want to comment on is the product's mobility. Last year, with RealTick 10, users could view a basic watch list and monitor their orders remotely via their iPads.

With this release, not only can users click through an enhanced news list with additional P&L checks, but they now have the ability to cancel individual orders or blocks of orders via their iPad. Think of it as a mobile "kill switch."

"This was intended for those traders that pull away from the desk and are monitoring their orders that are in the market. If, all of a sudden, the market moves away or some sort of groundbreaking news happens, they can pull themselves to the sideline," Breslow told BST.

What RealTick didn't add was the ability to enter orders. Breslow says that the industry is just not ready for that kind of mobility...yet. He adds, however, that we're not that far away from smaller hedge funds crossing this new frontier.

"I would envision that by the end of 2012, some segments of the institutional community will be originating orders from their iPads or other mobile devices," he says. "I think that it's mostly some of the smaller hedge funds that seem ready to take that leap. I think the larger hedge funds that have more requirements around compliance will be a little bit slower to embrace it."

Breslow also says that his firm will be ready to roll out mobile order-entry functionality as soon as there is a viable market for that capability.

"By the time the market is ready for it, we'll have the functionality," he says. "It's not one of these things where we'll have to go back to the drawing board ─ we'll be ready with it during 2012."

Looking ahead to 2012, I think that this is going to be the fun tech-topic of the year. From what I've heard, I'd have to agree with Breslow that by the end of next year, were going to start to see a push into the mobile entry space.

And once those flood gates open, it will be a race among vendor organizations and buy-side firms to see who can differentiate their product ─ and who has the most secure offering with the fewest glitches. This is a major opportunity to be on the leading edge of a new technological revolution. But remember that when you're on the leading edge (or should that be bleeding edge?), the chances for disaster increase exponentially.

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