Data and trading technology vendor Fidessa will today launch a new Partnership Program to provide added value to its trading customers, and has named analytics provider OTAS Technologies as the first third-party provider to integrate directly into its trading workflow platform.
James Blackburn, global head of sell-side equities product marketing at Fidessa, says the program helps solves the vendor’s problem of wanting to add value to its customers day-to-day activities without having to embark on “ambitious” internal builds.
“News aggregation, structured and unstructured news and data…that’s something that really excites us. We knew that we weren’t in the position to build some of these exciting new applications but we thought that by bringing both sides together we could work out what our clients wanted and we could really just take in best-of-breed,” Blackburn says.
Specialized analytical content has become increasingly vital to investment strategies over the last two years, adds Tom Doris, chief executive at OTAS. However, trading platform providers have realised that it is not something they can effectively build in-house, so they need to look beyond internal builds to provide their clients with more granular data, he says.
Fidessa, which started looking at the partnership with OTAS about a year ago, is not the first investment platform to explore becoming an ecosystem of content providers. “Others have effectively said ‘if you have any content you can stick it in there’, whereas Fidessa have taken a much more measured approach to curate the content and integrate it into their workflow…. they are in the coal-face of understanding how a trader gets his job done and understanding what would be irritating versus helpful,” Doris says, adding that Fidessa understands “how to take the information that we can extract from the market data and how to put it in front of the users exactly when it’s most needed and most useful.”
Doris adds that while there will always be challenges when it comes to integrating content to a single system, OTAS benefits from its use of HTML5 technologies, which are becoming the norm. “Had we tried to do this five years ago it would have been a much more onerous task,” he says.
Not an app store
Fidessa is currently evaluating future partners for its platform, particularly companies developing news aggregation, social media and visualization, and has identified a number of companies who would add valuable content. However, Blackburn says the Partnership Program is “not an app store concept. We’re looking at two or three possible partners by the end of the year but we’re not going to turn on 150 third-party applications.”
Blackburn adds that the vendor is taking a hard look at HTML5 technology as well as unstructured data, where the challenge is filtering out the noise. “Opening up a firehose doesn’t solve a problem because too many source signals are almost worse than no signals at all. Our challenge is to find the best-of-breed in that sector that can filter out all the nonsense to just show me stuff that is relevant,” he adds.