For years banks, brokers and card processors have built their own external networks to service their clients.
It meant a 'spaghetti' of network connections with dedicated circuits for every application housed in a room full of hardware. For many organisations it was a complex and expensive operation. Add on staff costs and it represented a huge overhead.
But things have changed thanks to BT Radianz - an established shared market infrastructure which uses cutting-edge technology designed especially for the finance sector.
The rise of BT Radianz is a huge technology advancement as it consolidates all of a customer's external market connectivity onto a single connection ensuring fast, efficient, secure and reliable access to trading partners and services – all supplied by BT.
With responsibility for connecting markets in some 64 countries around the world, BT Radianz now plays a pivotal role in the financial sector. It also supports more than 145,000 financial sites and delivers application services for more than 400 leading service and content providers including the world's top banks, broker-dealers, investment managers and exchanges.
The power behind BT Radianz is cloud computing – a service which has taken the IT world by storm, quickly making its way up the list of technology buzz words.
Cloud computing works by hosting applications in a data centre. Customers request access to those applications over the internet through a self-serve portal on a browser.
BT engineering teams' design and manage all the connectivity of BT Radianz to ensure customers have the capacity and resilience needed to reliably receive market data, trade, settle and communicate with their counterparts in the industry. Capacity is also monitored regularly as market volumes grow or customers' requirements change.
Mark Akass, chief technology officer for BT Global banking and financial markets believes that innovative technology has helped set the BT Radianz 'cloud' apart from its competitors in an industry which always expects top quality delivery.
“Engineers can scale each customer's connectivity quickly and remotely, allowing customers to connect to new services and trading counterparts quickly so they can start generating revenue immediately.
“BT Radianz is a unique design resulting in low latency access to all the services applicable to the industry.”
It is also one strand in BT's strategy of becoming a leading provider to the 'digital networked economy'.
The company took the first step towards that goal in 2005 when it bought Radianz to allow it to specifically focus on the global financial sector.
It was an important move as the two businesses have developed a formidable partnership as Mark explains:
“The BT Radianz portfolio continues to make great strides in servicing the finance industry. Combine that with BT's world respected technical ability, its global reach and depth and crucially its network platform and it amounts to a winning formula.”
Innovative solutions designed for the financial sector add further to BT's plans for the financial markets community. The launch of 'BT Radianz Proximity Solutions' combined with 'BT Radianz Ultra Access' allows customers to have direct market access to stock exchanges around the world.
It combines BT Radianz connectivity to leading exchanges with customers' automated trading servers. In simplistic terms the technology is a series of 'black boxes' situated in one of BT's fully managed hosting facilities connected to BT's low latency links out to the trading venues.
Last June BT Radianz celebrated its 10thanniversary. The financial services world is a totally different place compared to a decade ago. But with ambitious plans in the pipeline and the use and development of cutting-edge technology, BT is fast building its 'stock' in the sector and confidently looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond.