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.
More Eikos Sites
Explore a gallery of Rich Internet Applications designed for our clients.
The site features high resolution screen shots of applications created with Silverlight, WPF & HTML5.
Research + Development
Our R&D site is a collection of prototypes and cutting edge experimental applications. The current site is a clone of the
unreleased Windows 8 User Interface.
Articles + White Papers
BlackBerry expands future software service to Windows, iOS and Android
According to CNN Money, BlackBerry has future plans to make its original software platform available on competitors' phones and tablet technology including Apple iOS, Windows and Android.
This mobile platform development will integrate BlackBerry software such as security, calendars and other productivity tools to any of these devices, according to Reuters.
Only 46 percent of BlackBerry sales come from actual phone hardware while the rest is split between services, software and other sources, according to CNN Money.
In the phone and tablet sector, BlackBerry has been playing a losing catch-up game to its iPhone and Android counterparts. In 2014, according to CNN Money, BlackBerry had a net loss of $148 million in its third fiscal quarter.
According to Mobile Enterprise, BlackBerry will implement 3 different software suites that can be used on other devices. These "bundles" include the Productivity Suite, The Communication and Collaboration Suite and the Security Suite.
The Productivity Suite, according to Mobile Enterprise, will include the ability to edit documents across multiple platforms. The Communication and Collaboration Suite will allow employees to work in real time together on multiple efforts. The Security Suite features a separate secure "container" for work and personal messages to be filtered through.
According to Reuters, the shift will also include access to BlackBerry Messaging. According to CNN Money, many of these mobile apps for business are geared towards those that carry two devices for a greater personal and work life divide.
BlackBerry recently partnered with Samsung Electronics, according to The Wall Street Journal, to share a software capable of having two different phone numbers on the same device. This could help future collaborating partners save money with a clear distinction between business and personal usage.
BlackBerry chief executive John Chen is focused on monetary and partnership gains with selling BlackBerry software, but said the company will release a new device, or two, of its own later this year.
Enterprise apps and the BYOD phenomenon
Enterprise mobile web app development has been making large gains in popularity in the last few years, but now has taken off exponentially within the last few months. Seen as a new frontier in the tech industry, web development application companies have begun the rat race for the greatest, most popular product release.
Users of these enterprise mobile devices should exercise caution, though, when downloading new apps on personal and work devices. In the age of "bring your own devices" (BYOD) the lines become blurred between safe work practices on company devices, if the device is your own.
According to a recent study from The National Institute of Standards and Technology, one wrong download on an employee device could corrupt a whole corporate network. These apps could possibly contain malicious software, making an attack not only easy, but imminent.
The study recommends a two-part "vetting process" involving app testing and later approval or rejection, according to Mobile Enterprise.
According to a recent TechPro study, 74 percent of companies allow their employees to bring their own device to work.
If employees are bringing their devices to work they may be using them in addition to company-provided devices. Cross platform mobile app development requires "seamless user experience across channels," according to IT Pro Portal.
Not only do web applications have to be converted into mobile platforms, but mobile apps should also be able to work within desktop computer programs. Currently, according to Apps Tech News, many employees are faced with using programs meant for large computer screens and tablets, on small mobile phones and tablets.
Above all, these emerging enterprise apps have to work. According to Techradar.com, performance is critical for constant use and implementation. If an app has numerous disconnection problems, failure to sync or hardware problems, it is guaranteed to be axed.
What can Excel do for you?
According to a 2012 report by World at Work/Deloitte Consulting, 90 percent of companies use Microsoft Excel for compensation purposes. Excel, according to Microsoft, is a spreadsheet program, used to create and format workbooks to "analyze data and make more informed business decisions." This can include data tracking, writing formulas and making calculations.
Excel is obviously used for its spreadsheets, but recent Excel application development has changed the standard amount of "typical" uses. The data logging system, first released in 1985, has a new update found in the Excel 2013 addition.
Flash fill, according to Business Insider, recognizes patterns in entered data and is capable of auto-filling the information with fewer keys used than previously needed.
Looking for a break from endless numbers and data? Excel can help with that too. Japan native, Tatsuo Horiuchi uses Excel to create works of art. According to The U.K. Daily Mail, Horiuchi uses the autoshape feature layered with color and shapes to create detailed pictures and scenes.
Other fun developments include Tetris and Sudoku.
Okay, so you don't need an Excel-related distraction from your work… what about an add-on to help you get the job done instead? Check out the following features that can be added to your Excel suite.
- This add-on uses interactive and quickly created charts to display data automatically finding your information and categories.
- Import surveys results directly into spreadsheets. The data can then be viewed as a chart or PDF.
What about Excel improvements?
In December 2014, Excel 2013 released an update for Self Service Bi Services, according to Microsoft. This update fixed crashes and eliminated over 100 known program bugs when using Power Query, Power Viewer and Power Pivot.
Enable auto updates in Excel to ensure that this feature and other releases can be used.
Enterprise mobile apps become a booming, money-making industry
Mobile platform development is changing. Enterprise apps, business-driven mobile frames have yet another stark difference from consumer apps: revenue. According to Forbes, only 19 percent of consumer app developers make $10,000 per month, compared to 43 percent of enterprise app developers.
18 percent of enterprise mobile app developers are making over $100,000 a month. Why?
A recent study conducted by the app research company, Vision Mobile, discovered that of 130 nations hosting 10,000 developers, most are moving away from consumer apps and into the realm of enterprise.
Enterprise is still a widely developing and changing market, with only 20 percent of app developers prioritizing it. According to the study, three of the top five top consumer categories are interchangeable because of apps currently in the market. None of the enterprise apps seem to overlap.
The current top 5 enterprise apps, according to the study are:
- Business and productivity tools
- Communication for social networking
- Education and reference
Globally, enterprise makes up eight percent of the global developer community. But, the number of developers targeting almost only enterprise is 20 percent, an increase of four percent over the last six months, according to ADTMag.
To maintain this drive in numbers and revenue, enterprise apps should strive for 2 major goals.
1. Be willing and able to change
- Nothing beats a new app with up-to-date software, demand-driven data and awesome optic physique. Except, of course, when it never updates. Since enterprise development is still a new field, not much overlap has been made as in consumer apps. Change is always constant.
2. A technology-hungry workforce
- According to IT News Africa, many changes have been made simply between Generation X and Generation Y. Mobile development application training should focus on freedom. Without an ultimate all-inclusive platform people can use apps on any device, devoid of being stuck with one or another and only their specific apps carried at that time.
Enterprise app growth can only further develop from here.
Enterprise apps making headlines in 2015
We previously discussed on this blog how Apple and IBM joined forces in an unprecedented partnership to jump on the enterprise app development bandwagon. After releasing a handful of programs in late 2014, the two companies have now announced that they will launch 12 more applications by March. Those will reportedly be focused on the healthcare, energy, utilities and industrial fields. Down the road, the partnership is slated to result in at least 100 apps.
The news further drives home the point that enterprise applications are the wave of the future. Any company that hopes to become or remain a leader in its industry will need to invest in some sort of mobile platform development strategy. While the Apple-IBM apps are certainly proof of that sea-change, they are also unlikely to meet many companies' individual needs right off-the-shelf. Unlike consumer-oriented programs, businesses tend to have highly individual and specific pain points, which can only be addressed individually.
For such organizations, one option is to hire a reputable third-party developer, such as Eikos Partners, to customize existing apps. This way, you can have the best of both worlds, enjoying the out-of-the-box features that work for you, while adding on those that are lacking.
Alternatively, many companies choose to design and build their own proprietary apps from the ground-up, working with development consultants to create tools precisely tailored to advance business interests and maximize return on investment (ROI). In some cases this can actually be the most cost-effective option, while also giving a distinct competitive advantage.
If you are interested in exploring how your company should proceed with respect to its enterprise app strategy, contact Eikos Partners today.
How to launch an enterprise app your employees will actually use
One of the greatest risks in launching an enterprise app is that your employees simply won't use it. Any program that is clunky, unintuitive or even just unattractive will quickly be discarded. As a recent TechTarget article points out, today's users typically only give a new application one opportunity to get it right. And who can blame them? After all, a mobile business application is supposed to make employees' lives easier and more efficient, rather than taking up hours of their time as they troubleshoot and train on the new app.
"The tolerance for these apps when they crash is very low," Bryan Barringer, an independent mobile consultant, tells the source. "If you're waiting for feedback, you're not going to get it, because they're not using your app. That's your feedback."
Obviously, low adoption rates are devastating for an app's return on investment (ROI). While you might be tempted to cut corners to save money in the short run — perhaps buying an off-the-shelf app from a digital store — you will ultimately end up wasting the funds you did allocate. It is actually far more cost-effective to invest in customized versions of ready-made programs or in building proprietary apps from the ground up.
So how can you launch an enterprise app that your employees will actually use? The best solution is to work with an experienced, third-party development consultant like Eikos Partners. After years of customizing made-to-order solutions for existing programs like Excel and designing and building brand new applications, we understand how to create an app that works for you. We'll help you identify and eliminate pain points while creating a user experience that your team will love.
Mobility and flexibility key in enterprise apps
The enterprise apps of yesteryear tended to be clunky and stagnant, much like their desktop counterparts but shrunk to fit on a phone or tablet screen. Today, however, it is clear that mobile business applications must achieve a much higher standard in order to succeed. Here are some elements to keep in mind if you want to increase employee adoption rates of your in-house app, thus maximizing your return on investment (ROI) and improving overall productivity:
Flexibility: While the first enterprise apps tended to remain largely static, users have been conditioned by consumer-oriented applications to expect frequent performance-improving updates and an app that adapts to meet their evolving needs. This means that it is critical to work with an experienced third-party software developer who has deep familiarity with engineering exceptional user experiences and incorporating employee data and feedback to make periodic improvements if necessary.
Intuitive design: Consumer apps have also influenced user expectations when it comes to design. While employees might have previously tolerated a program with a steep learning curve, now they are likely to abandon any application that is not elegant and intuitive.
Mobile first: When smartphones first appeared in the professional space, an enterprise app was typically just a scaled-down version of a personal computer program. Now, however, the best professional apps fall into the category of "mobile first," which means that they were designed exclusively with the mobile user in mind. Development leaders like Eikos Partners know that what works well on a desktop does not perform optimally on a smartphone or tablet. To ensure that your employees will use a given app, it must be created with their mobile habits in mind.
To maximize ROI, invest in regular enterprise app updates
We have previously discussed on this blog how enterprise app users increasingly demand the sophisticated design and intuitive interfaces of consumer-facing applications. On a related note, they also now expect that regular updates will be a part of any app lifecycle.
Keeping employees happy with mobile business applications is more important than many executives might initially realize, because doing so maximizes app adoption and therefore return on investment (ROI). Consider this: App analytics company Localytics reports that one in five mobile apps is used just once after a download. In contrast, a well-designed, frequently updated and constantly used app increases productivity, improves worker morale and helps to attract and retain top talent. In other words, while you might think that you can't afford to invest in regular enterprise app updates, if you hope to be an industry leader then you simply can't afford not to.
Unlike consumer programs, which often meet just one or two very specific, relatively simple needs, enterprise apps must often process a considerable amount of data while handling multiple, complicated professional tasks. In this regard, updates should be as frequent as possible to encourage employees to continue using a particular app. By studying usage patterns, developers can identify and remove pain points, adding and adjusting new features as necessary.
If you are looking to build or update an enterprise app that can meet your company's specific and evolving needs, consult with an experienced third-party app developer like Eikos Partners. We can design an application from the ground-up or customize an existing off-the-shelf product to better serve you and your employees, working with you to plan and execute updates as necessary.
2015: The year of the enterprise app
Many tech analysts agree: 2015 is set to be the year of the enterprise app, after 2014 saw triple-digit growth. We have previously discussed on this blog the rapidly increasing importance of mobile business applications, and now some observers are predicting that they are even poised to overtake consumer apps in sales. Meanwhile, those businesses that do not yet have their own internal, proprietary apps are racing to catch up.
While many companies once saw a strong enterprise app as a luxury, the time has come for them to start seeing it as a necessity. You likely remember a relatively short time ago, when only a handful of businesses had responsive mobile websites. Now any organization that does not have a responsive site suffers a significant blow to their credibility. Similarly, a mobile in-house app will soon be part of the minimum cost of doing business.
Ariel Michaeli, CEO at appFigures, a company that tracks app sales, tells NetworkWorld that enterprise applications now offer unprecedented capabilities.
"The industry has matured to the point where the apps aren't just adding tremendous value but are also enabling the controls enterprises need to manage and maintain those apps," Michaeli tells the sourcce. "We believe CIOs and IT teams are now in the unique position where they can greatly empower their companies by leveraging existing apps or getting apps developed for their needs."
If you are interested in learning more about getting apps developed for your needs, or customizing existing off-the-shelf options, contact the experienced developers at Eikos Partners. We can help you promote widespread employee app adoption through sophisticated and user-friendly design, in turn, maximizing your return on investment (ROI).
Big Data: You’re only as good as your mobile analytics
There's a lot of talk these days about Big Data and how it is poised to revolutionize the enterprise, but the truth is that raw numbers alone won't do your business much good. When it comes to data, you're only as strong as your analytics. In other words, it's not enough to just collect information — you have to know what to do with it. That means organizing and analyzing it quickly, efficiently and effectively, in a way that provides valuable insights into your company, customers and/or clients.
If you are launching or updating a mobile business application, it is particularly important that you interpret user data. A recent article in VentureBeat predicts that visual mobile analytics are the wave of the future.
"Traditional mobile analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, emphasize the 'what' in their data: key metrics such as number of users, OS used, geographic breakdown, etc., but place no focus on the 'why,' which provides the reason behind the metrics," writes VentureBeat contributor Alon Even. "A low user retention rate, for example, may be evident with simple data, but what is not clear is what is causing users to avoid returning to an app."
Visual mobile analytics tools include touch heatmaps and gesture analysis, providing detailed insight into how users are interacting with an application. This information is invaluable for maximizing return on investment (ROI) when it comes to your enterprise apps.
If you are interested in building, customizing or updating a mobile business application to help advance the interests of your company, it's best to work with an experienced, seasoned third-party developer like Eikos Partners.
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.