As many global financial institutions (FSIs) begin to bring traders back to the floor, my goal as a trader voice executive and thought leader is to help consumers of trader voice technology make informed decisions about how to proceed.

I aim to help financial institutions’ leadership teams evaluate their existing trader voice decisions and processes to see if they are using the tools best suited to their firms’ needs. 

The hard reality is that your trader voice solution manufacturer and/or trader voice network service provider is not always forthcoming regarding what is best for your firms’ needs because their job is to sell. In other cases, the personnel employed to manage your trader voice technologies and voice networks often rely on comfortable, outdated technology and can be resistant to learning voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephony. We all have a tendency to retreat to comfort, but the trend makes voice communication on your trading floor a major risk saturated with various technologies that have been patched for years to meet the demanding needs of front-office users.

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden, legendary basketball coach

We’ve been here before over the last two decades.

A number of events caused FSIs to invoke their business continuity plans (BCP) that disrupted the operation of the trading floors trader voice communications: terrorist attacks, economic downturn, power failures, natural disasters, pandemic/epidemic diseases, and denial of entry to their offices.

Yet, here we are again in 2021.

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. Will FSIs take advantage of lessons learned during the pandemic? I’m concerned with the tendency to trust the existing trader voice providers and the solutions they offer. As we have seen in other technology fields, driving change in a large organization that has had success with older systems is hard. The reality of sales quotas, financial commitments, legacy investment—and yes, at times apathy—leads to an over-focus on quarter-to-quarter and year-after-year renewals rather than evolution.

Innovation often comes from entrants with new trader voice solutions and change often comes only when the industry demands it, forcing existing solution providers to change. Having worked on the inside for years, I’ve seen it first hand and have been witness to the all too pervasive mentality of: we have debt, sell anything even if they don’t need it.

Providing the right solution for your customer when it can impact your existing revenue can be hard. Moving away from what you know can be hard. Trader voice offerings are still struggling, even as the market demands flexible, cloud-based solutions to avoid the challenges of the past. The physical turret, soft turret, and cloud solutions continue to connect to TDM trading systems/private wires incorporating various manufacturers’ voice recorders that are inherently designed to be on a customer premise, because that is the model they know. It’s time to evolve. See Cloud Compliance & Trader Voice

“Specialists are people who always repeat the same mistakes.” – Walter Gropius, Pioneering master of modernist architecture

See Part 2 of 2 where we discuss what trader voice providers have learned…

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