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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
          – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Late last year, a group of us convened to tackle a formidable task: the naming of our next-generation professional trading platform, which we’re preparing to release later this year. We came armed with brainstorming supplies including a long list of names generated by an employee contest, ideas submitted from our agency partners, a thesaurus, many internet-connected devices and a bunch of exercises designed to spark creativity.

That initial meeting yielded a shortlist of contenders. In the weeks that followed, we continued to evaluate the options and narrow the field. We agreed that the perfect name not only needed to be catchy, unique and memorable but also reflective of what our brand is all about. Eventually, we rallied around a name that was derived from our flagship product, X_TRADER®.

People responded positively and liked what they saw in the new platform. Traders were very happy to learn that the new platform was expected to be significantly faster than our existing technology. They really liked how the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model would make it possible for them to view and trade the markets on the latest version of our technology from practically any internet-connected desktop or mobile device. They were also eager to gain access to technology like the “forever audit trail,” which allows them to search and gain insight from their trading activity dating back to the day their TT account was created.

Our institutional customers were enthusiastic, too. They were excited about the new, dramatically simplified user setup process. They were thrilled to see how our flexible new risk model would allow them to configure their risk in a way that aligned perfectly with the way they run their business. They were also glad to learn that, because of the SaaS model, they would no longer need to host and maintain an internal trading network, which would allow them to slash capital expenses and redeploy IT resources to other mission-critical business functions.

But while we were preparing to make the platform available to a select group of users for alpha testing, our plans to make the name official hit a bump: we discovered a potential intellectual property conflict with the new name we had planned on using.

Just as we value our right to protect our intellectual property, we also value the rights of others to do the same. So, even though we didn’t think we would have violated any IP rights had we proceeded with the name, we decided to pivot to an alternative.

In retrospect, this was a good thing. It led us to question our original approach to naming the new platform. We wondered if adopting a name that was similar to our flagship X_TRADER brand would imply that the new platform was just an iterative version of the existing product. We further questioned whether the new platform even needed a separate name—after all, we are moving away from the idea of discrete software versions and packaging and toward the concept of an always-on, always-available ecosystem.
 
The turning point for us came when someone observed, “When I’m in the field, I always hear people say, ‘I use TT,’ not ‘I use X_TRADER.’” If people already consider themselves users of “TT”, why don’t we just call the new platform “TT”?

Plus, we have 20 years of equity in the TT brand, and we are passionate about what the name TT means in this industry and proud that it represents quality, reliability, innovation and expertise.

From the user’s perspective, we believe the name “TT” makes perfect sense. The SaaS delivery model effectively blurs the distinction between company, technology and products, making them one and the same. A user will go to our website, log in, and immediately access the most current version of our technology to connect to the world’s markets. TT is no longer a piece of software, it’s an ecosystem. By eschewing a separate brand for the new platform, we are reinforcing this differentiation.

So we are officially calling our new platform, simply, TT. You can learn more by watching the introductory video and reading the FAQs. If you like what you see, you can apply for early-stage access to the platform. We expect to start onboarding users in October, and we will continue expanding access as we enter 2015.

We’re excited about the new direction we’re taking. We will be talking more about the new TT platform throughout the month and making several announcements, starting later this week. Keep an eye on our @Trading_Tech Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute news.

Posted by: Rick Lane, CEO

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