|The great William Shakespeare|
William Shakespeare wrote:
“O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Romeo and Juliet
Well Bill, a name means quite a lot. Your name is your audible business card. It describes who you are.
Take my name, Murphy, for instance. It’s Gaelic for “sea warrior,” which, considering Ireland never had a navy until 1921, means my ancestors were pirates.
Okay may be that’s not the best example, but just the same, a name is important. Parents fester over names, hoping the chosen name frames the miracle of their child and avoids crippling them for life.
And yet, even the best of names get changed. Couples marry and in some form take a last name that emphasizes the union of the two. Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali to showcase his new faith. Prince changed his name to because…never mind.
The point is, a name is important. For people, it is their heritage. For sports franchises, it’s their civic pride and image. For companies, it represents their mission statement.
Which brings me to our University Program. Back in 2006 we chose to reach out to universities and, since that was the program’s function, the name University Program made sense. We began by donating our X_TRADER® trading platform to business schools, computer science departments, and engineering and math classes. While X_TRADER was the standard for anyone serious about trading, on college campuses we were the new kid in town. University faculty and students needed a formal introduction to Trading Technologies, the company. In addition, the products that made us successful, like X_TRADER, needed to be showcased to emphasize how they could contribute to the classroom.
And so it went. I contacted professors, department heads and anyone who I thought would be interested in who we were and the products we provided. Our products were installed on campuses and I followed up by training students how to use them.
It was only a matter of time until our partner schools began to ask for more. Were there ways students could write to our APIs? Can we help them develop projects and curriculum? Can we help them host a trading competition?
While the questions brought challenges, they also brought opportunities. Opportunities to expand our presence on campus. Opportunities for students to master our software. Opportunities to build stronger relationships with universities and help them prepare their students for the marketplace.
So much of what the program was, relied upon IT. Software needed to be installed, updated and configured. In addition to this, university IT departments needed to understand our software (in addition to every other piece of software on campus). The success of our program rested on installation, configuration and updates that were out of our control.
Then, suddenly a revelation: what if we took control of all this?
Enter TT, our new web-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) trading platform. Now universities no longer have to deal with all the IT hurdles they faced before, and students can view and trade the markets anywhere on any desktop, browser or smartphone app. The platform is fully hosted, which means no infrastructure and maintenance costs. Professors can now assign projects with TT, and students have the freedom to access the platform anywhere and complete the project. In the classroom, in the library, at home or in their dorm, if they have internet connectivity, they can manage their trading. Market access, automated trading, charting and risk management are all available with simply a username and password.
With stronger relationships and powerful tools, the future is bright. Most importantly, the link between the classroom and the marketplace is streamlined. This means we can assist both the schools and the marketplace by matching the talent of the former with the needs of the latter. What began with engaging universities has the potential to place their graduates within the marketplace.
The program has come a long way since 2006, and it continues to grow. It has become greater than the sum of its parts, and its new relationships, products and projects have given it a new identity. It deserves a new name worthy of its expanded identity.
The TT CampusConnect™ Program is more than simply donating software. Whether it is education, preparation or occupation, we do our best to assist universities as they equip the next generation of financial professionals.
As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.”
Posted by: Leo Murphy, TT CampusConnect™ Program Manager