AFTAs 2018: Best Trading Infrastructure Provider—IPC Systems

IPC’s second of three wins in this year’s AFTAs was down to its cloud-based Unigy 360 offering.

IPC Systems wins the best trading infrastructure provider category at this year’s AFTAs, taking the crown from last year’s winner, Cobalt. It also won the best communication infrastructure provider and best partnership or alliance categories at this year’s awards, held in New York on the evening of December 3.  

Unigy 360, the company’s trading ecosystem, featured a number of upgrades over the past year, including increased connectivity from analog to the cloud, greater integration between devices for traders on the move, laying the foundations for better metadata from voice communications, and various security upgrades.  

One of the most significant recent enhancements from IPC is around security. Don Henderson, IPC’s senior vice president for product, research and development, and IT, says security has been a high priority for IPC, particularly as critical information is traded within its ecosystem. But Henderson explains that the greatest innovation IPC has delivered is its initiative to enhance data generated by way of communication. He says this project will bring more strategic analytics to its customers and bolster Unigy’s position in the marketplace. “We are focused on the digital transformation and for our customers to interface digitally. Today, voice is categorized as unstructured data and is hard to formalize. We will formalize the metadata to create structured, smarter data for our clients,” Henderson says “Our customers built their voice data so we’re building solutions so they can use it better.”

Henderson adds that voice communication remains critical to trading, but that managing voice data is complex and has to evolve to become more digital so that firms can use it more efficiently. IPC is rolling out its data initiative during 2019 with beta testing happening now. Henderson says the data will be placed in a repository so that users can run analytics on it. IPC aims to create different feeds around the data but may also seek to partner with a third-party provider whose expertise is on analytics, as IPC’s core business is around facilitating communications and trading. 

IPC’s other large project is expanding mobile access to Unigy 360, something customers in Asia and Europe are looking for. Henderson says the goal is to provide a more efficient workflow for clients who need to access their dashboards wherever they are but still have access to the same information. Unigy 360, as a cloud-based platform, can be accessed through desktops, mobile phones and tablets. 

Henderson notes that it is initiatives like the firm’s data project, its focus on security and mobility that make Unigy and Unigy 360 stand out in a competitive market. 

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