Eikos Partners Framework Enables Rapid Delivery of Next Generation Applications
EPCATALYST is a rapid development platform created to deliver a stable platform, with all the display, communication, data, process management and integration tools needed to build sophisticated applications.
EPCATALYST helps you speed up development by offering you, not just a mere set of controls, but a carefully thought out application. It allows you to start with a shell, choose professionally designed themes, and add widgets to produce your own unique portal.
Creating a “One Pane of Glass” vision of the Enterprise Systems Infrastructure
Infront Consulting Group and Eikos Partners have announced a joint agreement to deliver a monitoring tool with a highly configurable visual interface to the Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) technology branded “Infront InSight”. The product, based on Eikos Partners UX Framework – epCatalyst, interacts with data from the SCOM database, and provides a fast, interactive interface with the monitored services displaying. This fully customizable and extensible dashboard is built using Silverlight and exposes data through a set of selectable and configurable widgets making the presentation and organization of data limitless to the customer. The product has been built to allow for integration with other monitoring and information gathering tools allowing a customer to build a One Pane of Glass view that incorporates data from System Center, third party network monitoring tools and web analytic tools as well as in-house line of business tools. The firms plan the initial launch for June, 2012.
The pre-release version was shown and generated great interest at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas in April.
For more information or to schedule a demo of the Infront InSight dashboard solution, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infront Consulting Group is a global Systems Integration and Management Consulting organization. We assist our large enterprise customers with the technical implementation and operational processes required to successfully deploy Microsoft System Center technologies. Our mission is simple. We strive to provide the brightest minds in the industry to our customers to allow them to effectively and efficiently deploy and operationalize technology that supports and empowers their business.
One of our core organizational values is community. Our roots are deeply integrated into the System Center community. Infront Consulting Group is a founder of http://www.systemcentercentral.com, one of the most popular community sites targeted at System Center. We employ significant number of Microsoft Valued Professionals (MVPs) who are recognized by Microsoft to be thought leaders in the industry and who regularly present at industry conferences like TechEd and the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) as subject matter experts. (SMEs)
Eikos Partners is a New York based consulting firm built around proven domain expertise serving the financial industry. Partners have real world experience at the C-level and our team each have a track record of delivery to the industry. Eikos is an expert in using “Agile” techniques that rapidly drive the determination of a user’s requirements and deliver from an early stage a continuous stream of capability.
The firm has a deep and varied technology background, with extensive knowledge and use of Silverlight, making them a leader in deploying this for real-world business applications.
Eikos Partners has been involved in delivering front, middle and back office applications for all asset classes, as well as for credit and market risk. Clients include well-known Wall Street names, as well the hedge fund industry and retail brokerage.
203 434 4290
Eikos Launches New WordPress powered Website
Eikos launches its new website now powered by wordpress, making it easier to add content that immediately integrates into the great look and feel that we have applied to our website, we are continuing to work on providing further integration with WordPress so that we can integrate with social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter.
If anyone is interested in the Windows 8 Metro inspired theme we have applied to WordPress for our site, then please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Numerix & Eikos Partner to Offer Numerix Powered Solutions for epCatalyst Platform Users
Partnership to provide Eikos clients with interactive access to Numerix CrossAsset pricing analytics and risk management capabilities within Eikos’ epCatalyst platform dashboard
NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 23, 2011 – Numerix (www.numerix.com) the leading provider of cross-asset analytics for derivatives valuations and risk management, along with Eikos Partners (www.eikospartners.com), a specialist in trading and risk applications for the financial industry, today announced their partnership to offer integrated access to “Numerix Powered” interactive pricing, analytics and risk display solutions within the Eikos epCatalyst platform dashboard which is available now.
Users of the Eikos epCatalyst platform dashboard, based on the powerful and flexible Microsoft Silverlight technology, which includes portfolio managers, traders and risk managers, will be able to access the extensive Numerix CrossAsset library of independent pricing models and methods to price and generate risk sensitivities across all asset classes. The flexibility of the Numerix CrossAsset library coupled with the rapid development capabilities of epCatalyst, will allow developers to tie into the Numerix pricing and risk environments to create robust solutions. Eikos epCatalyst enables front and middle office professionals to do deal structuring and trade entry on the fly, as well as calculate pricing-risk analytics and drill down on the aspects of virtually any Numerix defined or structured deal via a high impact GUI dashboard and series of interactive display gadgets.
“The tight integration of Numerix analytics within the Eikos epCatalyst platform offers users a powerful and robust pricing and risk solution. The wide variety of display solutions and available models means users can now value virtually any deal type using Numerix’s different methodologies and custom model calibrations. We look forward to a successful partnership with Eikos and to providing our customers with new and exciting ways to access and display our world class analytics,” said Steven R. O’Hanlon, President and COO of Numerix.
“We developed epCatalyst to create a highly flexible environment with a superior user experience, which enables users to be able to visualize and interact with the complexities of the information and services supporting their business, states David Lattimore-Gay,” Partner, Eikos. “The combination of epCatalyst and Numerix’s industry leading analytics services, brings this concept to an entirely new level, and allows our clients to create and view any pricing model and complex risk scenario using an intuitive interface in a few minutes across a diverse set of source systems.”
The epCatalyst framework coupled with Numerix’s pricing and risk management capabilities provides users with a stable platform, with all the display, communication, data, process management and integration tools needed to build sophisticated risk management applications that are essential for the financial industry.
Eikos Partners Announces epCatalyst for the Financial Services Market
Eikos Framework Enables Fast Start, Rapid Delivery of Microsoft Silverlight Applications for the Financial Industry
NEW YORK – JULY 13, 2010 – Eikos Partners (www.eikospartners.com) a specialist in designing and developing Silverlight applications for the financial industry, today announced EPCATALYST, a rapid development platform created to deliver sophisticated Microsoft Silverlight-based applications.
The major EPCATALYST framework component manages the Silverlight display objects, or “widgets.” Within the display framework, the EPCATALYST widgets take on the overall theme, and perform direct business functions. Using the services of the display platform, widgets can interact with services in other parts of EPCATALYST, or with each other to create an intuitive response to user interactions. For customization purposes, Eikos Partners designed the EPCATALYST with many generic widgets.
“Our goal was to reduce the time, costs and risks of building new Silverlight solutions, or adding them to an existing systems infrastructure” said David Lattimore-Gay, Senior Partner, Eikos Partners. “EPCATALYST represents a stable platform, with all the display, communication, data, process management and integration tools needed to build sophisticated Silverlight applications that are essential for the financial industry.”
The framework also contains other key elements that financial services rely upon such as Database, CEP, Business Intelligence (BI) and Reporting & Document Management components. These are all connected by a communication layer that functions as a service bus, and provides connection over the intranet and Internet. EPCATALYST is structured to ensure technology choice remains open, and has wide ranging flexibility to add new functions and interactions. Interaction with data and services that are provided by an existing systems infrastructure or by external services are provided by web service components.
“Our experience of using EPCATALYST with our clients is that it easily saves 4-6 months in analysis and development time, and allows immediate focus on the business problem, with the opportunity to deliver real world capability within a very short period of time. Using EPCATALYST allows the focus to be on effectiveness, efficiency, differentiation and a heightened User Experience,” added Lattimore-Gay.
Eikos Partners Creates new Portal for Cantor Fitzgerald Prime Services Division
NEW YORK – May 6, 2010 - Eikos Partners (www.eikospartners.com), a specialist in designing and developing Silverlight applications for the financial industry, today announced it has delivered a complete business portal for Cantor Fitzgerald’s Prime Services Division.
Cantor provides equity and fixed income Prime Brokerage services to hedge funds, money managers, REIT’s, professional traders, broker dealers and ‘40 Act funds.
“We are delighted with the portal delivered by Eikos,” said Noel Kimmel, Senior Managing Director in charge of Cantor Prime Services. “The portal enables us to integrate all asset classes into a single environment, and is designed to enhance the client experience.”
The portal was designed and developed in order to provide clients access to full-featured reports, trade capture services and various portfolio accounting data across all asset class. It exposes a set of services being provided by Cantor Prime Services, and is built in Microsoft Silverlight 3.0. Eikos was selected because of their experience with Silverlight, and their process, which allowed for early and continuous delivery of capability.
“This is the culmination of 18 months of work in understanding how to build Silverlight applications and deploy them for mission critical business needs” said David Lattimore-Gay, Partner, Eikos. “We have built a reference infrastructure to support our best practices, and most importantly have a team in place that can quickly turn concept into reality.”
The layered structure that Eikos employed allows for marshalling and integration of data and services from the back-end, linked to an extendable front-end that contains visual elements, or “UI widgets”, that perform the business functions. The UI widgets communicate with each other to create an intuitive feedback to the user, and the user has control of how they are organized and displayed. Eikos’s Creative Design Team worked closely with Cantor to design a rich user interface that balanced form and functionality resulting in a superior user experience.
The capabilities offered by Silverlight to deliver Rich Internet Applications (RIA), with a zero touch install, to a wide array of browsers and OS platforms were proven in a mission critical environment, so that both Mac and Windows users can access the portal.
Eikos Partners Wins Innovator Award From Windows in Financial Services for Silverlight Integration
NEW YORK – June 23 2009 – Eikos Partners (www.eikospartners.com) a leading innovative business consulting and project-based technology services to large investment banks, hedge funds and asset management organizations, was chosen by Windows in Financial Services, “The Source on Microsoft Technologies for Financial Services,” to receive a 2009 WFS Innovator Award. The ceremony will be held at SIFMA’s Technology Management Conference and Exhibit in Microsoft Corp’s suite at the New York Hilton. Eikos Partners was selected for its development of financial applications for trading on Microsoft Silverlight.
Criteria for judging and selecting were based on the end result enabling a concrete resolution to an impending issue, solving practical business problems. Winners were selected for clearly implementing technologies on the Microsoft software platform that will redefine a new tomorrow in technology and demonstrate a clear-cut advantage in their particular sectors of the marketplace.
Eikos Partners was recognized for developing a zero-touch equity trading system running on Microsoft Silverlight with tick-by-tick position, P&L and sophisticated stock charting that allows users to annotate charts with news and even online chat sessions. The charts update in real-time, and the news and annotations made by users appear on the charts immediately. In addition, moving a mouse over a stock instantly brings up a choice of buy and sell actions, allowing users to make trades in a single click. The system culminates a year of work by Eikos Partners in studying different possibilities for Silverlight. The system also uses Enterprise Gateway from Kaazing to push real-time updates to the client, and Microsoft Azure for back-end processing.
“Silverlight is emerging as one of the most scalable and flexible visualization platforms for the financial arena, and Eikos Partners has been one of the pioneers in program development and customizing solutions,” said Craig Saint-Amour, U.S. capital markets industry solutions director, Microsoft Corp. “Its award winning technology reflects the key elements that are important to financial organizations: ease of use, rapid updates, and ability to process and share data in a customized environment.”
“We’re honored to be recognized by Windows in Financial Services,” said David Lattimore-Gay, Senior Partner, Eikos Partners. “Our approach redefines how real-time applications will be built, and raises the bar dramatically on performance, speed, availability and reliability, and most importantly, the user experience. Our goal is to future-proof functionality to parallel the presumed expectations that users demand as the scope and capabilities of financial technology services grows.
“We believe that the next generation of client side applications will have to have real time data, news and transaction services as a means of competing for market presence,” added Lattimore-Gay. “Web delivery means that solutions have to be reliable and have true scalability, as well as be technically agnostic. Kaazing fully meets those needs.” “Eikos has utilized the Kaazing Enterprise Gateway for what it does best—creating an entirely new user experience that’s only possible with low-latency delivery and reliable two-way communications,” said Jonas Jacobi, CEO of Kaazing.
“Innovation at the financial sector is proving to be a challenge accosting all entities in the financial realm, especially due to an economy that has had seismic rumblings,” said Joe Viviani, publisher, Windows in Financial Services. “This year’s 2009 WFS award winners were able to capture, isolate and overcome a business issue with a solid innovation – and extended its capabilities beyond the traditional limits. Whether on a local or global scale, each of these winners has been able to seamlessly integrate their new technologies into the daily workflow DNA and as a result, save time and worry. We salute all the entries and the winners who took the time to utilize their resources through the Microsoft technology platform to find the right business answer for their distinct business needs.”
Eikos Partners Teams With Kaazing to Deliver Cutting Edge Technology for Financial Services Organizations
NEW YORK – June 4, 2009 – Eikos Partners (www.eikospartners.com) a leading innovative business consulting and project-based technology services to large investment banks, hedge funds and asset management organizations and Kaazing Corporation, makers of real-time web acceleration technology, announced a partnership to collaborate on holistic application development, including the Microsoft Silverlight platform for financial technology customers.
The alliance of the two organizations was based on a mutual core expertise in the financial arena as well as business synergies. The collaboration will provide a comprehensive delivery solution for mission-critical, client-facing applications needing the ability to stream market data, news, chat and transaction services.
Eikos Partners recently developed a zero-touch equity trading system running on Microsoft Silverlight with tick-by-tick position, P&L and sophisticated stock charting that allows users to annotate charts with news and even online chat sessions. The charts update in real-time, and the news and annotations made by users appear on the charts immediately. In addition, moving a mouse over a stock instantly brings up a choice of buy and sell actions, allowing users to make trades in a single click. The system deploys Enterprise Gateway from Kaazing to push real-time updates to the client and Microsoft Azure for back-end processing.
“We believe that these capabilities in the next generation of client side applications will be important as a competitive benchmark for market presence,” said David Lattimore- Gay, Senior Partner, Eikos Partners. “Web delivery means that solutions have to be reliable and have true scalability, as well as be technically agnostic. Kaazing fully meets those needs and is the logical partner to take us forward. The blending of our expertise will be beneficial for our collective customer base since we both have deep level experience working with Silverlight, the next generation of application efficiency.” Part of Eikos’ solution is the Kaazing Enterprise Gateway, which speeds messages between Message Delivery Networks and real-time web clients. Applications like those built by Eikos must meet exacting performance and reliability requirements regardless of the technologies being used.
“Eikos is a recognized leader in the development of Financial Services applications,” said Jonas Jacobi, CEO of Kaazing. “We’re excited about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with enterprise web development alongside them; we’re convinced that the applications we create together will set the standard for tomorrow’s financial service clients.”
Kaazing’s solutions, based upon their patent-pending HTML 5 WebSockets Acceleration technology, make it possible to deploy Rich Internet Applications that can handle unprecedented amounts of traffic quickly and reliably. As such, they’re the ideal partner for the high-traffic, low-latency web applications that Eikos develops.
Kaazing Enterprise Gateway, the company’s flagship product, is built to the exacting demands of industries like financial services, telecommunications, social networking and online gaming. There’s no software to deploy on the client, and a wide range of protocols, browsers, and Rich Internet Application clients are supported. “Eikos has utilized the Kaazing Enterprise Gateway for what it does best—creating an entirely new user experience that’s only possible with low-latency delivery and reliable two-way communications,” continued Jacobi. “Kaazing’s patent-pending HTML 5 WebSocket Acceleration technology helps financial services clients redefine how realtime applications will be built, and raises the bar dramatically on delivery speed, message volume and dependability.”
Worldflow and Eikos Partners Form a Strategic Alliance
NEW YORK – May 13, 2009 – WorldFlow, a leading provider of software and consultancy services to the financial services market, and Eikos Partners, a leading innovative business consulting and project-based technology services to large investment banks, hedge funds and asset management organizations, have formed a strategic alliance to better serve their clients with innovative end-to-end solutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Both firms have an established track record of providing solutions to Investment banks and Hedge Funds using a deep understanding of the businesses needs and innovative approaches to meet them.
Eikos Partners “right shore” model balances the strength of its highly skilled New York staff with the cost efficiency of its team of professionals based in Panama, specializing in Microsoft .Net 3.5 technologies.
Eikos has developed a set of User Experience Frameworks that takes the traditional interactive UI for trading and financial applications to a dynamic new level. EP Trader is Microsoft WPF based, and EP Trader its Silverlight solution set.
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Articles + White Papers
HTML5 mobile development viable because it is ‘device agnostic’
The battlefield of mobile application development is raging on across the corporate landscape. There are benefits to all approaches, but as with every technology dispute, there is going to be a winner and a loser, so the question becomes which solutions – Web-based, native or hybrid – have the best chance of emerging victorious? This is the strategy that companies want to invest in as it will prevent them from needing to re-invest if they bet on the losing horse.
A recent article from Waters Technology examined the current landscape and makes the case that HTML5 development is going to be the best platform for the future. This is an interesting stance to take, especially as technology entrepreneurs like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the platform was not ready to be used for critical business solutions.
While this did pique many industry professionals interest, it did little to stop the rise of the platform.
The article specifically examined the financial industry, which, as more traders become untethered from their desks, need to start embracing a more mobile approach to business. This means they need to start creating applications that can handle critical data in a safe way.
The article features an interview with Mazy Dar, the CEO of OpenFin. The company provides runtime technology for financial desktops and mobile devices. Speaking from that industry's perspective, he said that HTML5 is not a "magic bullet." However, it does offer the perfect platform for companies to create a cross-platform application.
"It has taken some time to get to this point, but it has felt that at the end of 2013 and into 2014 there's been a tipping point," Dar says. "You can either start to get onto the path of the new technology stack that you want—i.e., HTML5—or extend an existing platform. The trouble with extending an existing platform is that it's work that you're doing today that you know you're going to have to migrate off of in short order."
He went on to say that in the future, all development should be handled with the HTML5 platform because it offers all of the capabilities that organizations want. Systems like Silverlight and Flash have become legacy systems that do not make sense anymore. For the banking and financial industry specifically, this is the direction that companies need to start heading in.
The only reason that a company would choose not to use HTML5, according to Dar, is the browser limitations. This would include the capability to render the language quickly enough to be effective. However, as open source tools have matured, most of these limitations, which were prevalent just a few years ago, are now a non-issue.
HTML5 has been able to knockout many of the kinks as more businesses have used it the backbone of their mobile platforms. Because of this, the solution has strengthened and it has become a viable because it is "device-agnostic."
For businesses that are looking to start creating HTML5 applications, a reliable custom web application development strategy can help with every piece of the creation process to make sure you get the most effective app possible.
Excel remains a ‘killer app’ in the business productivity marketplace
When it comes to business productivity, Microsoft Office has been at the top of the mountain for some time. However, over the last few years, a handful of challengers have come to gain market share. The question then becomes, are these alternative methods better options than the reigning champion?
In a recent series of articles for Associations Now, the article broke down the Office suite and looked at potential alternate software solutions for each of the major applications. While Word and PowerPoint do have some stiff competition, the same thing cannot be said for Excel and Outlook.
"Spreadsheets were 'killer apps' around 1983 or so, but they've become somewhat stagnant in recent years. That's partly because Microsoft Excel was such an amazing effort back in the day, but also partly because spreadsheets are inherently, uh, kind of stale," the article reads. "Spreadsheets aren't as easy to reinvent as word processors, and that's why Excel remains a killer app."
The article does layout a handful of alternative options. While Google Sheets and the Karma Platform mobile application, for example, do have specific benefits, they also do not fully measure up to what Excel can offer. This is especially true after the company launched the iPad versions of the suite last month, which adds a new level to what solution offers.
While there are many different solutions on the market when it comes to productivity software, the Microsoft package is still in the most demand. With the help of a solution provider that specializes in Excel solutions, any business can create dynamic spreadsheets.
Georgia uses web-based applications to help residents register to vote
One of the main reasons companies should consider creating a web-based application is to expand the number of users who will be able to access it. If you just create something for the iOS or Android platforms, you are leaving out a portion of the marketplace. While some companies are able to get away with developing for a single platform, depending on the customer base you are targeting, this could be a mistake.
A recent article from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled a series of mobile applications that were developed for the purpose of helping residences register to vote for the upcoming May 20 primaries – the deadline for which is April 21.
According to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, since the launch of the applications on March 31, more than 4,000 Georgians have used the tools either to register to vote or to update their personal information.
"Both local officials and experts have said the online system is a win-win for voters and municipalities because it can help the state avoid issues with rejected registrations, use of provisional ballots and nonvoting due to registration problems — all past problems in Georgia," the article reads.
This is a situation where using a web-based solution was needed for the project's success. If officials had only created an app for the iOS system, for example, that would have made it impossible to reach all residents. With the help of a web application development company, any organization can create a solution that will reach the most amount of users.
What is the mobile app development platform of the future?
Mobile application development follows two distinct paths – write specific code for every application mobile operating system or create a wider approach with a web-based app. Both have their benefits and drawbacks and the battle lines are very clearly defined right now. However, what does this mean for the future?
This is an important question to ask because no organization wants to be relying on a technology that has lost the battle. It's like owning a video rental store when Netflix launched. So which platform is the right one? The short answer is that there isn't one yet.
In a recent article for the blog Enterprise Apps Tech News, David Akka, the head of the U.K. branch of global software company Magic Software, examined the corporate mobility landscape and attempted to find out which platform is the future of application development. He did this by speaking with a number of different enterprise mobility professionals.
"I have written a lot on the application technologies war, mostly focusing on HTML5," Akka wrote. "What I'm seeing in the market is that people who have been convinced to develop specific code for each device are sticking with this route, as are those who have chosen to use HTML5 web apps. However neither of these approaches is completely issue-free."
The fact of the matter is that both systems make sense for the right company. Some businesses will benefit more from a native app, while others will need a web-based program to be successful. A trusted application development services provider can help your company choose the right path.
Users spend over 2 hours per day using native mobile applications
When deciding which direction to take a mobile application, businesses focus on two possible avenues — native app development or Web-based browser programs. This is a debate that many companies have had within their walls over the last five years and, according to a new study, native applications have come out on top.
Flurry Analytics updated a five-year report of the mobile industry. The data was gathered by examining thousands of applications on the market since 2008.
The numbers show that during that time frame, U.S. consumers using a mobile devices spent 80 percent of their time on a dedicated mobile application and only 20 percent searching through the mobile Web.
Not only is the gap sizable, but it is growing. The study found that Apps continued to push the gap as consumers spent 86 percent of their time using native apps for an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day. By comparison, the mobile web surfing has dropped to 14 percent and takes up 22 minutes per day.
"It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014," Flurry said. "But one thing is clear – apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat. Now every company in the world including Google is adjusting to that reality."
For companies that have been considering creating a mobile application, there has never been a better time to get involved. With the help of a mobile platform development firm, any organization can start taking steps to confidently jump into the arena with mobile or Web-based HTML5 applications.
Hybrid mobile application development growing within businesses
When it comes to mobile application development, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is deciding what platform to use when creating a mobile application. Not only are people trying to decide between native and web-based applications, each are filled with other questions that need to be answered before creation can start.
A recent article from App Development Magazine examined these questions and makes the case that the best possible solution for designing a new application could be a hybrid Web app.
"For many development teams it makes sense to adopt a hybrid approach," the article reads. "Some parts of the app are implemented in native code to aid performance and provide much more fine-grained control over how the software runs on the target platform. Other parts may leverage the rich network-oriented functions of HTML5 to exchange real-time data with servers and allow rapid, seamless updating of the code."
The article goes on to say that the true question then becomes how to achieve this in a way that allows easy deployment onto multiple platforms without significant rewrites or porting effort each time. The piece also found that 32 percent of mobile applications are developed using a hybrid strategy in which HTML5 code is working alongside native. By 2016, that number could expand to as high as 50 percent.
Figuring out which kind of mobile design route to take can be complicated on your own. With the help of a custom web application development firm, any organization can easily help make these decisions.
Office for iPad proves popular with consumers after one weekend
Last week, this blog covered the announcement as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled office for the iPad. This is something that the business world has been waiting for since 2010 and based on the weekend numbers, it did not disappoint.
According to an article from ComputerWorld, on Sunday all three applications – Word, Excel and PowerPoint, were in the top three of the "Free Applications" chart in the Apple App Store. While that is not surprising, it was interesting to see that all three also climbed the "Top Grossing" list.
Word for iPad has cracked the top 10 chart coming in at number six. Excel and PowerPoint came in at numbers 11 and 32, respectfully. While all three fell slightly on Monday, it shows that Microsoft's plan was well executed. While the programs are free to read and present, users are required to have a subscription to Office 365 to write and edit. The revenue numbers indicate that many users are downloading and jumping on the bandwagon.
What are the reviews?
While it seems like everyone may be downloading the new applications, are users getting what they want? A recent article from ZDNet examined all of the applications. For Excel, the review says that the formatting is preserved from PC to tablet. Users are able to view conditional formatting and sparklines, while changing the content of a cell will change the display.
"On the desktop Excel is a powerhouse, a set of tools for analyzing and displaying data, at the heart of Microsoft's cloud-powered analytics tooling," the article reads. "That's not the case with the iPad version: instead you get something that's more akin to the classic spreadsheet, where you can happily manage your expenses, or build profit-and-loss accounts, and even create and display graphs."
The review goes on to say that taking Excel back to its essentials is not a bad thing. This stripped down approach allows the company and developers to have a strong foundation to build on. The results right now are graphically rich and has a set of features that made users excited a few years ago. This is a system best designed for viewing and exploiting a subset of data and not creating complex mathematical models. Well, not yet.
While it may still need a few steps in order to match the powerhouse performance that users have grown accustom to from the desktop models, Office for iPad is a great companion piece of software. Once Excel application development firms get heir hands on it, the true potential of this program will be unleashed.
Mobile application landscape more complex than most realize
Creating a mobile application for your business is one of the top priorities in the minds of many decision makers. More consumers are using tablets and smartphones and the technology has matured to the point that, with the right applications, it can handle most of the heavy computing that organizations require.
However, wanting to enter the mobile landscape and actually doing so are two different processes. According to a recent study by Robert Half Technology, the landscape is more complicated than it appears.
The company polled 2,300 CIOs from U.S. companies that have more than 100 employees. The results show that 28 percent of organizations do not have any mobile strategy at all. While 70 percent of organizations are on board with deploying mobility, 56 percent of them are using a hodge-podge of various services including Web pages and mobile applications.
This shows that there is a dismissal of the power of a pure mobile application. Nearly 66 percent of organizations admitted that they have not developed a single mobile application for customers and do not have any plans to create one in the next 12 months. On top of that, 22 percent said they don't have a mobile application yet but hope to have one by 2015.
"To maintain competitive advantage, sectors such as business services and retail need to connect with customers anytime, anywhere, so it's logical to see them leading the charge in implementing mobile strategies," says Robert Half Technology Senior Executive Director John Reed. "Compliance issues have made it difficult for the health care industry to move as quickly as other sectors, but as consumer demand for mobile health information grows, formal mobile strategies are a necessary next step."
He added that the industry of mobile applications will continue to grow and use continues to expand into different marketplaces. Companies need to connect with their customers and the mobile platforms are a great way to accomplish this. Mobility is no longer a "nice to have" solution, it is now a "need to have" system.
With all that said, actually creating a mobile application can be difficult when venturing into the landscape alone. This is where partnering with a software development firm that specializes in mobile business applications can become a reliable resource. This allows companies to gain expert-level insight into the marketplace and make sure they create something that will be effective right from the onset.
Office for iPad is officially released
Earlier this week, we covered the growing rumors that Microsoft would finally be unveiling a version of Office for the iPad. Now it has officially been unveiled.
According to an article from 9to5Mac, at an event in San Francisco today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about the company's new cloud and mobile strategy. One of the biggest parts of this is Office for the iPad.
It was rumored that the devices would be bundled together like the Office 365 app that was released earlier this year. Instead, the programs – Word, PowerPoint and Excel – can be purchased individually. The programs are a free download but will require an Office 365 subscription if users want to create and edit documents. Without one users can only read and present the files.
The version of Office for the iPhone, which was released last June also received an update to version 1.1 and is now available "free for home use." All versions are now available in the Apple app store.
"Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It's a unique approach that centers on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers," Nadella said.
This is something that iPad users have been clamoring for since the tablet was released in 2010. While there have been productivity software and spreadsheets on iPad for a while now, they were not Excel solutions, which some experts believe are the best in the world. It will be interesting to see what the download and adoption numbers look like in the coming weeks.
Businesses should not be afraid of change
Many people are quick to say that "change" is something that companies need to deploy if they want to remain successful. The problem with that is that change is not as easy at is would seem to be, and many people are afraid of it. We all know someone that consistently eats at the same restaurant for lunch every day or takes the same route home.
This happens in businesses all the time as traditional systems and ways of operating remain in place because employees are comfortable with them and if it works, why even consider changing it?
The reason is that there may be better ways to operate. One example of this was examined in a recent article from Wired, which focused on spreadsheets. The article points out that lead by Excel, if you were to look through companies' business software applications, there is a good chance that there would be numerous programs like ERP, CRM, finance packages, HR and custom applications like Oracle and Access. As more systems are added, integration becomes increasingly difficult.
This creates a need for layers of resources and money to be poured into them to be successful. Many companies, instead of trying to change how they handle spreadsheets and data collection, just pile more on.
"The rate of change today in business is mindboggling. Products are more complex to design, global supply chains more complex to manage, and on top of all of it is an intricate compliance and regulatory environment that is only getting more difficult to navigate," the article reads. "As rapidly as business needs change, so too must the data / process models and business rules that support them."
It goes on to say that trying to use an old static model and creating programs against it doesn't work anymore because by the time the system is created, something new is out that now needs to be incorporated. This is how IT departments have always operated, so making this change may seem daunting.
However, that doesn't mean making a change is impossible. With the help of an Excel application development firm that understands the ways that data collection has changed and the role that improved spreadsheets can have, creating a new age solution is much easier. Companies just need to not be afraid of what could happen when the word change is tossed out.
Numerix HPC with Azure
This fully customizable workstation application enables users to easily see all of the positions in a portfolio across a wide range of asset types such as: Interest Rates, CDS, Equities, Fixed Income and more. more...
Cantor Fitzgerald Portal
The portal was designed and developed in order to provide clients access to full-featured reports, trade capture services and various portfolio accounting data across all asset class. more...
Fixed Income Trading
The FI Trading Application UI Framework is a set of display components, built using WPF that reflect the common requirements of trading applications. more...
Kaazing Real-Time Data
An equity trading system with tick-by-tick position, P&L and sophisticated stock charting allowing users to annotate charts with news and chat sessions. The charts and annotations update in real-time. more...
Numerix High Performance Computing With Azure
This fully customizable workstation application enables users to easily see all of the positions in a portfolio across a wide range of asset types such as: Interest Rates, CDS, Equities, Fixed Income and more. Using this intuitive browser-based interface, portfolios can be re-priced based on specific conditions or changes in market data. In the world of derivatives, many organizations could only run these calculations once a day. Now they can be done on-demand, all in a fraction of the time, thanks to integration with grid environments such as Microsoft Windows Azure. Decisions can at last be made on a near real-time basis using dynamic market conditions.
For example, users can select a portfolio of 1,000 complex FX trades, select a market environment, change it, and submit the selection for pricing and see the result all within seconds. Secure, user-based permissions enable the Back Office to use this workstation to perform End-of-Day Valuations across all portfolios based on the same underlying pricing and analytics information in Numerix.
From the same workstation, Heads of Trading Desks, Risk Management and Operations executives can also leverage PowerPivot to access historical pricing and analytics data stored in very large databases, such as Microsoft SQL Server. These detailed reports and dashboards let business users analyze what traders are doing across all markets whenever they want, wherever they want.
This solution augments existing trade capture, lifecyle, OMS, PMS, and risk management systems. Built using epCatalyst, the intuitive interface and integration framework from Eikos Partners, it runs on top of Numerix Cross Asset Server, the industry’s most comprehensive and sophisticated pricing and analytics engine. epCatalyst is a Silverlight Application Framework built entirely with the Microsoft software stack. It allows integration of multiple systems and data sources into a comprehensive infrastructure, and enables data and services to be transformed into actionable information.
The result is an equally superior experience for desktop, web or mobile users. Applications built with epCatalyst interact with Numerix CrossAsset Server to price all major asset classes, including: fixed income, inflation, credit, equity, foreign exchange and commodity instruments, as well as hybrids. Seamless integration with the underlying grid environment’s scheduler, such as Microsoft Windows Azure, enables authorized users to see the workflow of this request, which servers and how many nodes in the cluster are being utilized to price this complex portfolio.
Cantor Fitzgerald Prime Services Portal
The client, a major US brokerage, was entering a new line of business as a Prime Broker. The firm already had in place many of the services and systems needed to support the business, but they required a single, highly automated, means for prime broker clients to be able to monitor and manage the flow of business.
The client also wished to have this “portal” be a differentiating factor, against competitors, in the launch of this business.
Using a basic framework structure to separate the interaction of marshalling the movement of data from/to the backend systems, from the user interaction, our people worked with the client using an Agile approach to develop mock-ups of the client services.
The delivered portal, used by internal support staff, as well as external clients, allowed user to create and manage their own “dashboard” view of the data and services using a selectable set of gadgets.
The portal was designed and developed in order to provide clients access to full-featured reports, trade capture services and various portfolio accounting data across all asset class.
The portal allowed the user to select and view, request and search reports, manage trades, file uploads. Considerable design effort was given to reducing user interactions, and to have intuitive responses from the portal.
It exposes a set of services being provided by Cantor Prime Services, and is built in Microsoft Silverlight 3.0. Eikos was selected because of their experience with Silverlight, and their process, which allowed for early and continuous delivery of capability.
The layered structure that Eikos employed allows for marshalling and integration of data and services from the back-end, linked to an extendable front-end that contains visual elements, or “UI widgets”, that perform the business functions. The UI widgets communicate with each other to create an intuitive feedback to the user, and the user has control of how they are organized and displayed.
The work was all performed in Silverlight, with web services as the back end integrator. The capabilities offered by Silverlight to deliver Rich Internet Applications (RIA), with a zero touch install, to a wide array of browsers and OS platforms were proven in a mission critical environment, so that both Mac and Windows users can access the portal.
Eikos’s Creative Design Team worked closely with Cantor to design a rich user interface that balanced form and functionality resulting in a superior user experience.
Fixed Income Trading Framework
Our people have worked designing, implementing and deploying an anonymous Fixed Income Trading environment. This included:
- Designing an application that provides anonymous auction capabilities for a number of different Fixed Income products.
- Providing for ASP deployment capabilities which allow the application to run in a hosted environment and provides the user with a secure downloadable application that can be run on their desktop.
- UI’s were built also for WPF and Silverlight, WPF for the Desktop, and Silverlight for Web Users.
Eikos Partners have created a platform to achieve a dramatic improvement in how user facing applications are built, and the experience that a user gets, by taking full advantage of the capability of WPF to separate the development of the UI from the need to have detailed understanding of the business function.
This allows UI designers and developers to focus on developing new UI solutions while another set of developers focuses on the business logic. This decoupling allows change to happen faster as well as providing a cost effective solution to the need for tailored individual solutions. Eikos Partners uses SOA services; techniques and best practices to further enhance the separation between designer and developer.
The EP Trading Application UI Framework is a set of display components, built using WPF that reflect the common requirements of trading applications. There was no linkage between the designer involved with the UI and the developers of the business logic, in fact they were in differing locations, using a human ergonomics graphic designer in New York, and our team of highly qualified developers in Panama.
Eikos Partners is active in extending the framework to cover a wider set of classes and functions, and is adding display methods that change the user experience dynamics, such as display cubes. Key design elements are creation of an easily customized intuitive environment, and the ability to be able to interact with significant amounts of information without visual clutter.
The framework is designed to meet both the needs of building new applications, as well as “re-skinning” current applications. Microsoft’s .Net environment is flexible and allows it to operate easily with other technologies, allowing new development using the optimal technology infrastructure, as well as legacy applications to benefit from dynamic improvements in the user experience.
The system was built using .NET 3.5, WinForms, WPF, Silverlight, C# and SQL Server. Eikos Partners is taking advantage of Silverlight to create the same capabilities, and a feature rich user experience, delivered over the web to the browser.
Kaazing Real-Time Data Delivery
To further convey our R & D capabilities, we recently developed a zero‐touch equity trading system running on Microsoft Silverlight with tick-by-tick position, P&L and sophisticated stock charting allowing users to annotate charts with news and even online chat sessions. The charts update in real‐time, and the news and annotations made by users appear on the charts immediately. By moving a mouse over a stock symbol, it instantly brings up a choice of buy and sell actions, allowing users to make trades in a single click. The system also uses Enterprise Gateway from Kaazing to push real‐time updates to the client, and Microsoft Azure for back‐end processing.
We believe that the next generation of client side applications will have to have real time data, news and transaction services as a means of competing for market presence. Web delivery means that solutions have to be reliable and have true scalability, as well as be technically agnostic. Our partner Kaazing fully meets those needs.
Communications between the client and the back‐end application run across an HTML 5 Web Socket. If the connection fails, the Kaazing Enterprise Gateway will reconnect automatically; the connection is secure, fast, and able to tunnel through firewalls and proxies.
We believe that the future of the Web looks like this: fast, reliable two‐way connections fronted by intuitive, visually engaging user interfaces that maximize user productivity. Kaazing’s patent‐pending WebSockets Acceleration makes this possible.