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The Independent Trader

CMEIndependent traders require smart technology to obtain the bleeding edge over the markets how ever that may be defined. Even the independent trader in a trading boutique or from home can not afford to make common mistakes. Some of these mistakes can include:

  • Trading over a cable modem or other non-business class Internet service. This can create latency or an unknown amount of hops between you, your public network and your exchange. I’ve just seen it too many times. When you’re using a non-dedicated ISP, you have no control over how many networks you need to pass through before reaching your destination and back.
  • All hardware is not created equal. A standard desktop with 1-2 video cards will not do. Depending on your trading platform you could be creating latency just by miss use of your screens. Even a slight overlap of a window can crunch a video processor to the extend that you’re looking at 3-4 second lag-time.
  • Wireless trading is never a good idea. A good old ethernet connection into a business class router is always more stable. If you have to make sure you’re using business class equipment and someone who knows what they’re doing. It could cost you!

Larger environments need even more careful planning. Many complexities can arise as soon as you add multiple markets and or execution platforms. They all work on very different technology. Each has its benefits as well as concerns. Knowing these applications and understanding the demand on properly engineered and implemented technology is key. This brings me to my next point. Not all consulting firms, professional services companies or other IT support vendors are created equal.

I wanted to touch on the independent trader since we have so many as valued clients. Next month I’m going to talk a little more about the larger environments that we support. In the meantime I wanted to share a story depicting yet another different between AMRCON on other support vendors.

For close to 2 years a trading floor in lower Manhattan struggled with problems with a software trading platform. Each time the firm would experience the issue it cost them money. Each time they had the issue they would report the problem to their IT support company who we will call ACME for the purposes of this article. They were a professional services company as apposed to AMRCON’s Manged services model of real-time preventative support. Thus the trading firm had to waite for them to respond on site to troubleshoot the issue. Both ACME and the trading firm played a serious game of cat and mouse. The client being upset that ACME could not pin-point the issue and fix it and the software vendor pointing fingers at the client network as the problem. Finally ACME stated that it was an outside issue that they did not support and the issue continued. Eventually ACME lost the firm as a client to AMRCON due to various support related and other issues. AMRCON was pleased to take charge.

AMRCON deployed its managed services model of support through its start up process which corrected many outstanding issues. Later the firm began to experience the issue with the software and AMRCON was able to capture real-time data about the problem. Now it was the first time the issue had happened while under our support model and in fact the first time we heard of the issue. Needless to say we were shocked to hear it was going on for years and was an accepted reoccurring issue. AMRCON quickly compiled the data and began aggressively monitoring all aspects of the internal network all the way through the connection to the host provider. Come to find out there was an issue with the configuration of the 3rd party software vendor. AMRCON was able to prove the issue through hard documentation, statistics, and reports. This made the vendor step up and fix the issue. Our client is no longer being represented by a support vendor who even thinks about not owning each and every issue as their own.

I’m pleased to say the that we have repaired many other fixes to their network. We’ve reduced their IT budget and AMRCON has received calls from their executives personally thanking us for the diligent work we have provided.