Mumbai: According to the results of a survey on business continuity and IP readiness in the trading room unveiled early this week, organisations have not yet implemented fully converged voice over IP (VoIP) trading environments, in which voice and data are carried on the same network.
The survey was conducted by BT and Finextra, an independent newswire and information source for the global financial technology community.
But with more robust VoIP now available, 54 per cent of trading organisations plan to implement fully converged VoIP in the trading room in the next three years. Respondents found that the main business requirements driving this change include business continuity planning (BCP), greater operational efficiency, compliance with industry regulations and cost effective provision of services to remote users.
Given the current importance attached to BCP, the survey sought to get a snapshot of organisations' current arrangements and found that:
58 per cent of respondents rely on separate local trading systems and/or non-local operations to cover their positions in the event of a disaster.
42 per cent of organisations rely on trading positions with a third party provider, and this is set to rise slightly in the next year as 12 per cent of organisations look to outsource BCP support.
39 per cent have distributed trading systems across the main site and alternative facilities and a further 27 per cent plan to adopt this approach to BCP within the next two years.
29 per cent of the organisations surveyed are already capable of allowing traders to trade and be voice recorded from their homes or other remote locations in the event of disruptive incidents or denial of access to the main trading building. And of the organisations that don't yet have this ability 54 per cent are actively considering it.
It is expected that VoIP technology will play a key part in enabling organisations to re-route calls across distributed systems, as well as delivering the most flexible and cost effective support for remote/at home users.
Rod MacDonald, Managing Director, BT Trading Systems, Global Financial Services said: "The survey shows that the majority of firms recognise the value of migrating to VoIP, both in terms of business continuity planning and operational efficiency. Interestingly, most would like to take a phased approach to implementing VoIP on the trading floor rather than take the risk of removing legacy networks and systems in a big bang approach. BT recognises the importance of allowing firms to migrate gradually, and interoperate with their existing PBX and TDM voice networks while also ensuring that they are ready to benefit from a fully converged IP environment at the time of their choosing. We are already actively working with a number of trading organisations to achieve this."
Elton Cane, author of the report, said: "The survey demonstrates that despite the potential of VoIP, trading organisations have yet to capitalise on its benefits. Today's robust VoIP technology overcomes the issues of reliability and latency associated with early experiences of this technology. By taking a fully converged approach to VoIP, organisations will be able to realise benefits such as IP re-routing for business continuity purposes."