All posts by Drew Shields, CTO

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On July 14, I gave an address to interns at the 2016 MarketsWiki World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series. What follows is an extended version of my remarks.

drew shields john lothian news marketswiki world of opportunity intern series 

Trading Technologies has spent the last few years working on the next-generation TT® platform. Through the process, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a good team and how a product needs to challenge the status quo if to make a long-term impact.

It’s fair to say that any great accomplishment has as its first ingredient the people themselves. This is absolutely the case at TT, and growing our team over the last two years has been one of our major focuses. When I think about the type of people we’re looking to add, the most important question I have about any individual is: are they hungry?

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Hong-Kong-skyline 

In the last two months, we have accomplished a significant milestone in the development of the TT platform. We’ve rolled out access to 16 new markets, bringing TT very close to market parity with X_TRADER®.

Adding new markets to a trading platform is not necessarily newsworthy. It’s what a software provider like us does multiple times a year, year after year. However, this mass rollout over the last two months has been unique in the way that 10 of those markets were integrated into TT.
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In January, I was invited to speak at FIA’s InfoNet event in London on the subject of the challenge of innovating while facing commercial demands for near-term commercial success and the resource constraints every firm faces. This post is a version of that presentation.

Drew Shields speaking at FIA’s InfoNet event in London

In technology generally and fintech especially, there may not be a more inescapable word than “innovation.” It tends to get thrown around like a magic cure-all—if you just innovate, your business will find success and you’ll be able to change your company, your industry or even the world for the better.

Innovation can certainly be a powerful tool for good, but we rarely discuss how to do it. And it’s easy to forget that spending time and money on innovation can often run counter to commercial success, at least in the short term. Balancing the need for innovation with short-term and long-term commercial demands has been top of mind for all of us at Trading Technologies for the last two years.

I arrived at TT almost two years ago as we were putting our primary focus behind bringing the new TT to market, built from the ground up without dependencies on our legacy platform. I have certainly been humbled by that challenge, but I’ve also learned about the nature of innovation and some keys to sustainable innovation in a challenging environment defined by cost cutting, tighter regulation and a demand for near-term commercial success.
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Few things are transforming software, business, and nearly every aspect of our lives like cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS). It’s easier than ever to build and deploy new applications, and the result is a plethora of new companies vying for our attention across nearly every domain. The cloud revolutionizes data collection and analysis and empowers SaaS, making it simple to distribute software to anyone, at any time, in nearly any location.

It’s no surprise, then, that the cloud is finding its way into trading systems as well. TT was an early adopter of cloud technologies in the trading space. We began talking about our next-generation trading platform in early 2014, but a year and a half later, and particularly with new entrants using similar terms, I think it’s important to ask: what does it mean to be a “cloud trading platform,” is there a difference between SaaS and “cloud,” and where does TT fit into the mix?
Next-Gen TT Trading Platform

New technologies such as HTML5/Javascript make the next-generation TT platform accessible to users via the internet, mobile device or desktop client.

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Last week on Twitter, #PreviewTT looked at how the TT platform architecture allows us to deliver unprecedented benefits, combining the best of X_TRADER® with enhancements that make TT even easier to use, more accessible and more performant.

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model eliminates the need for software installation, which means all users get access to the latest functionality on the day it launches regardless of where they’re located. Our customers say this makes TT a game changer.

SaaS also makes it possible to rapidly deliver that functionality virtually anywhere—whether you’re trading from a multi-monitor desktop workstation at the office, from a MacBook at home, or even from a phone while you’re on the go.

SaaS also enables the same workspaces, algos and configurations as well as your Audit Trail and other data to go wherever you go.

The TT platform’s back-end architecture and performance are equally impressive. Tests show latency of under 150 microseconds, while we’re building hot failover and full network path redundancy to ensure the network will be there when you need it.

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