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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Apps help larger businesses
Recently we have discussed how smaller companies benefit from mobile business applications. The advantages include greater visibility to customers, a more direct marketing channel and a way of boosting name and brand recognition. But larger organizations also need apps, asserts Samuel Gibbs, who covers the issue in a recent Guardian article. Gibbs also spoke with Marcos Sanchez, who works in communications for an app company. While some analysts, including those at Deloitte, have predicted a downward trend in apps, Sanchez sees no indication that growth will stall anytime soon.
Sanchez draws a comparison between app development currently and the expansion of the Internet in the 1990s, which led to tens of millions of new websites.
"The reality is that apps might not be quite as prolific as websites, but you can have niche apps that have 1,000 users," he said. "There's going to be a place for these small apps" to meet unique business needs.
Increasing adoption of mobile devices
The rapid expansion of mobile adoption also signals that apps will remain important, if not grow in relevance. More and more, users are using their smartphones as their first option for accessing web-based information, rather than tablets or desktops.
Gibbs even predicts—that with apps becoming more and more commonplace—smartphone users may begin to avoid sites and services that don't have dedicated apps.
Mobile business applications are particularly important for bigger companies.
"Mobile apps are no longer a luxury, but a necessity," Sanchez says. "You either get on or you're going to be dead in the water."
As smartphones increasingly become the main touch-point for connectivity with other devices and services, mobile app development will continue to evolve, Gibbs says. There will be more apps suited to meet a range of business needs.
While some apps will grow in importance and others may decline, the notion that apps could become defunct is far from the reality, Sanchez argues.
Mobile business applications boost productivity
The average person interacts with their mobile device 150 times a day, according to Harvard Business Review contributor Joe Panepinto.
"The mobile revolution has forever changed so many of our daily experiences — how we stay in touch with friends, how we learn, how we get news and entertainment, how we pass the time waiting in line or sitting on the train," Panepinto writes. "Is it any wonder, then, that it's also transforming our experience at work?"
In particular, mobile business applications are growing at a rapid pace. Tomi Ahonen Consulting predicts that there will be almost 5 billion downloads of enterprise apps in 2014.
One of the major reasons why firms adopt mobile apps is for their potential to improve productivity. In a recent survey by Mobile Helix, more than half of all enterprises said that productvity would increase by nearly 40 percent if they had more enterprise apps.
Apps can improve efficiency and effectiveness in four main areas: sales, marketing, training and operations.
Panepinto suggests that you can consider the value of apps by thinking about the four C's: control, consistency, creativity and credibility. With apps, you gain control—and the ability to send updates to a field app, ensuring that everyone is in the loop. You also gain consistency, as there are only two major platforms for mobile apps: iOS and Android. In addition, through mobile apps, you get creativity. For instance, you can use location services and image capabilities to connect and share information. Finally, by having mobile apps, your organization is able to more effectively recruit tech talent.
Why smaller businesses need mobile apps
Increasingly, it's become important not just to have a mobile website, but also a mobile app for your business. Part of the reason stems from the fact that people are spending more time on apps than they are on the web, according to The Wall Street Journal. Similarly, the mobile analytics company Flurry discovered that people spend 86 percent of their time in applications compared to only 14 percent on the web.
A recent article in Marlin Business Services Corporation discusses these trends. Marlin emphasizes the importance of small companies developing their own dedicated apps to stay competitive among consumers who want convenience, speed and consolidation.
Melanie Haselmayr, a contributor for Forbes, highlights the increasing trend of small businesses deploying their own dedicated mobile apps.
Mobile apps offer many benefits, Haselymayr contends. These allow businesses to be visible to customers at all times, maintain a direct marketing channel and provide value to your customers. In addition, they provide a way of building your business' brand and recognition among customers and also improving customer engagement, including boosting loyalty.
"[...] These days you'll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app — be it the corner coffee shop or the beauty spa downtown," the author writes. "These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level."
By working with a mobile web app development company, you can create the right mobile business solutions for your organization.
Mobile application activations increase more than 700 percent in the last 12 months
According to a recent report from Good Technology, large firms increasingly see mobile business applications as important drivers of better customer service and efficiency. Heather Clancy discusses the phenomenon in a recent Fortune article.
Enterprise mobile application activations increased more than 731 percent over the past 12 months, while the quarter-to-quarter increase in new apps was 107 percent, says Good Technology.
The range of functions these apps perform is impressive: They assist with everything from aircraft manufacturing support to insurance claims processing and expense reporting.
Forrester Research, the market research firm, has stated that 2014 was the year in which businesses realized the need for mobile apps, and 2015 will be the year that organizations strive to improve the overall "mobile experience." Measures aimed at supporting password alternatives or accommodating more data inputs from sensors or beacons will become more common.
Optimizing the user experience will become a top priority, the Forrester authors explain in their early November report.
"Mobile developers are entering a world where their digital designs must augment reality instead of replacing it," they state. "This means spare design, with a focus on getting minimum useful information to customers as quickly as possible. Developers will need to push their user experience to the customers' peripheral visions, and use audio and tactile feedback to engage customers are concentrating on other tasks in parallel."
Improved efficiency and customer service are some of the benefits of mobile business apps that we've previously outlined on this blog. Mobile business apps can also assist in a range of other areas.
3 reasons businesses need mobile apps
While you might think it's mostly larger companies who use mobile apps, increasingly small and midsize businesses are deploying the technology. "More and more small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website," technology expert Melanie Haselymayr writes.
Haselmayr discusses the reasons your organization should adopt mobile apps in a recent article in AllBusiness Expert:
1. Visibility to Customers
Americans spend more than two hours a day on their mobile devices. Businesses can capitalize on this by deploying mobile business apps—they offer a way of getting customers' attention. In fact, "being in the way," Haselymayr believes, can be advantageous to your company. Our mind unconsciously records every image and text it sees, even if it does not register it at the time, so it's useful to get your app and name out there.
2. Direct Marketing Channel
Apps also offer a direct marketing channel for your business. They provide a wide-range of information to their users, including prices, booking forms, accounts, messengers, news feeds and much more.
Convenience is one advantage of mobile apps. Customers have access to a range of information right at their fingertips. With push notifications, businesses are developing even closer direct interactions with customers, reminding them of products and services at specific times.
3. Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
As a small business, mobile apps allow you to stand out from the competition and compete with larger firms. Whether you are deploying internal or external apps, your employees, clients or consumers will notice the emphasis you're placing on making processes easier and more efficient—and the decision pays dividends both for you and them.
A custom application development firm can help you create mobile business applications for your organization.
Mobile apps for business and health are taking off
Mobile apps are in demand, whether in the business sector or in the medical and health arena, where wearable health technology has taken off. While the specific function differs between business and health apps, both allow users greater autonomy and control over their lives. On an organizational level, particularly in businesses, apps help improve workflows, efficiency and productivity.
Deploying BYOD and work from home policies involves a high degree of trust between all levels of an organization. While the work models offer clear advantages for employees, who gain more control over the devices they use and where they work from, they also help businesses.
Research has shown the working from home can boost productivity, while BYOD can revamp employees' image of IT departments. In addition, BYOD can reduce enterprise costs. Cisco's study unveils other benefits of the model.
Wearable health technology has similarly allowed users a more active role in monitoring and managing their health.
At Silicon Valley's recent Health 2.0 keynote, cardiologist Eric Topol asserted that the future of medicine is "Digitized, Democratized, Data Science." The patient will be able to read their notes and even contribute to their own medical records, as healthcare moves toward a "doctorless" treatment model. This term should be viewed relatively—the doctor's role and expertise does not disappear. Instead, it becomes tempered, and the relationship is based on greater equality, similar to the trust that serves as the foundation of BYOD agreements.
Investment in both mobile business apps and consumer healthcare informatics and technology has risen significantly. While their goals are certainly unique, businesses, health-conscience consumers and healthcare organizations are seeking similar things from mobile technology: greater individual autonomy and improved organizational productivity and outcomes.
Determining whether your small business needs mobile apps
With more mobile phones than people in the United States, a higher proportion of consumers are searching for your website on mobile devices and more of your employees likely also have accessibility to smartphones and tablets. As Megan Totka explains in Small Business Trends, it is critical that companies move toward mobile in terms of their websites and deploying apps.
Mobile applications are independently run programs, a factor that distinguishes them from mobile websites. They can be beneficial to businesses, especially in their marketing efforts.
"Because they are downloaded and installed, dedicated mobile apps can give your business the advantage of greater presence on customer devices," Totka writes. "Mobile apps can give you more control, with features such as geo-targeted push notifications that alert device owners when they're near your business, and data collection capacities that help you personalize your marketing."
Mobile apps offer another advantage over websites: accessibility. In addition to this, apps can help streamline marketing strategies, including text-based loyalty programs and single-platform mobile payments.
Working with a custom web application development company or a mobile development firm helps ensure that your project goes successfully. Professional developers can also assist in project management, infrastructure management and product builds.
While the decision to develop a mobile site or a mobile app always depends on the specific needs of your business, the clear shift toward mobile—both in the workplace and among consumers—demonstrates the importance of adopting strategies to meet these trends. Moreover, mobile business apps benefit your organization as a whole, as they improve efficiency and also offer advantages for your employees.
Security, mobile device management and big data: Top priorities over the next three years
According to Tech Pro Research's September survey, security, mobile device management and big data are IT leaders' top priorities over the next three years. The report, IT Leaders' Tech Predictions for 2015-2018, was based on an online survey of 418 IT leaders.
Teena Hammond, senior editor at Tech Pro Research, explores some of the report's key findings:
- Improving security, developing applications to match business processes, project management and lowering costs are top priorities for companies.
- Increasing productivity, efficiency and business processes through technology represent key issues for IT departments.
- CXOs consider moving data and services to the cloud important.
- Challenges in cloud computing are expected, and a push to on-premises software may occur.
- There is increasing trust in the future of Linux desktops, and more confidence in that than the possibility of Apple surpassing Microsoft in the enterprise.
- Security, mobility and big data are the top three technologies on the rise.
While security is a top priority—with 71 percent of overall respondents and 75 percent of CXOs designating it as their chief task—organizations have other technological priorities as well.
Roughly 60 percent of respondents, including CXOs, listed lowering costs of IT infrastructure as their second most important priority, following security. Improving mobile business applications to better fit work processes was also a top priority, garnering support from 65 percent of respondents and 59 percent of CXOs.
The survey also asked IT leaders to rank the importance of emerging technologies. IT security, mobile device management and big data came out on top. Eighty-one percent of respondents ranked security as "extremely important," while 51 percent listed mobile device management as such and 49 percent assigned that level of importance to big data and analytics. CXOs also ranked these technologies in the same order.
Friend or foe: How BYOD can help IT departments
While some view the trend toward BYOD as something that could undermine IT departments, Steve Ranger explains in ZDNet how many CIOs actually view the rise of these programs as an opportunity. On the surface, BYOD seems to take away "the IT department's role as sole arbiter of desktop technology, and makes the job of keeping hold of enterprise data a little more difficult," Ranger writes. Moreover, IT departments are tasked with creating new security models, which need to strike a balance between being permeable enough to enable enterprise access by a variety of devices, but still secure enough to prevent hackers from accessing them.
While these challenges exist, the majority of CIOs view BYOD as a good thing for them and IT departments. TechRepublic posed the following question to its CIO jury of IT decision makers: "Is the rise of BYOD a good thing for the status of the IT department and the CIO?" The majority of respondents—10 to two—gave an affirmative answer.
Kevin Leypoldt, IS director at Structural Integrity Associates, explained how it is important for IT to be thought of as a broker—as facilitating initiatives that help employees attain greater efficiency and productivity.
"It really does make a difference working with an employee trying to make them more efficient and mobile, instead of treating the employee as a threat and building walls or adding levels of security. It is not always easy, there are times that 'no' is the answer and the end user does not get what they want, but for the most part, yes, it is a good thing," Leypoldt asserts.
Trust is at the foundation of the BYOD agreement between organizations and their employees. As Leypoldt explains, it is critical to both protect the end-user's autonomy and freedoms, as well as the organization's data and systems. These are tasks which must be balanced simultaneously.
Choice, cost and security are some of the other main considerations of BYOD programs.
As Leypoldt explains, IT departments must promote choice when helping employees select their devices. Ultimately, it is the employee who makes device-related decisions. IT departments, however, can provide tremendous assistance in navigating and optimizing functionality. By testing the devices themselves, employees see what equipment works best and can also share this knowledge with their colleagues. Throughout the process, though, the company should retain control over its enterprise systems, including data and email.
Cost is a second common point of debate when companies are considering BYOD programs. While there is no simple answer to whether programs will cost or save money, it is important to view these programs in terms of their long-term impact. Brian Wells, associate VP of health technology and academic computing at Penn Medicine, explains to Ranger that while BYOD programs may increase costs for IT departments, overall they could help reduce enterprise expenses, as companies avoid incurring costs from purchasing mobile devices.
All of the IT decision-makers Ranger spoke with affirmed the need to allow end users freedom but also ensure that appropriate security systems are in place and that compliance is the norm.
BYOD creates opportunities, along with responsibilities. As employees can do more on their devices, including using mobile business applications, they also gain access to important propriety information, necessary for work purposes. It is incumbent on IT to have systems in place that balance end-users' needs with the necessity of securing enterprise data.
4 tips for a successful mobile strategy
Whether you are creating apps for consumers or mobile business apps, many of your goals will overlap. In both cases, you want to add value and convenience. As Carolyn Brown explains in her article for Inc.com, the mobile demographic has sky-rocketed. In 2010, over 50 percent of Internet access was conducted via portable devices. In light of the trend toward mobile, it is essential that businesses develop solutions customized to this group. Brown offers suggestions for developing an effective mobile strategy.
Consideration 1: Determine your user base or customers, along with how apps will meet their main goals.
Specifically, consider what your audience's tasks and needs are. In addition, do you need to produce content that can be viewed both on standard web browsers and on mobile devices? Moreover, what kinds of devices will people be using to access this content?
Brown emphasizes that your goal—whether in developing apps for customers or the enterprise—should to be to provide usefulness and functionality.
"The best way to use apps is to create something that is both useful and valuable. More importantly, it should be functional such as a calculator, entertaining such as a video, game or music, or provide some sort of social connectedness, such as an app for a special user community, says [Jamie] Turner [author of the book, How To Make Money With Social Media]. Also, most mobile users don't want to spend an hour interacting with your content. They usually want one very specific thing. Apps are used for frequently accessed content and services while mobile browsing is more focused on content and services that are accessed less frequently."
Consideration 2: Develop a mobile website.
After determining your users' chief needs, you need to develop a mobile website. You want to make sure that your site is easily navigable, with clear tabs to locate different information. Having a mobile website increases the ability of customers to shop on-the-go, in turn increasing sales and revenue potential. In addition, having a mobile site helps your workforce, as busy professionals can access it regardless of their location.
Consideration 3: Monetize mobile Apps.
Brown also suggests that you may want to offer a free version of your app. Users then have the opportunity to test it, deciding whether they want to invest in the premium version.
Consideration 4: Use mobile coupons.
Mobile coupons are becoming increasingly popular offerings. These appeal to a wider demographic of consumers than just those who are willing to clip and carry coupons. You can deliver coupons to subscribing customers via email or text message. Once in your store, they only need to show the coupon's digital code to the cashier or redeem it at a self-serve scanner.
More targeted coupon options are also gaining traction, including location-based mobile discounts. JiWire's Mobile Audience Insights Report found that users are both becoming more comfortable sharing their whereabouts via their mobile device and receiving ads and mobile offers based on their current location. Fifty percent of survey respondents said they wanted to receive location-specific advertising, and preferred it to alternatives such as check-ins. Mobile coupons trailed the most popular location-specific platforms, including—in this order—GPS, Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook and Foursquare.
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.