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.
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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.
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Our R&D site is a collection of prototypes and cutting edge experimental applications. The current site is a clone of the
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Enterprise mobility promotes productivity, efficiency
The growth of enterprise mobility is allowing organizations to benefit from increased productivity and efficiency. As we mentioned recently, increasing workers' output is one of the main reasons why companies invest in mobile business applications. Companies are realizing just how much enterprise mobility, which allows a greater degree of connectivity, can help drive greater efficiency, explains Lizelle le Roux, the HP desktop and notebook business unit manager at Tarsus Technologies.
In an article on CIO Insight, Dennis McCafferty outlines how apps fuel enterprise productivity. One of the most obvious benefits McCafferty points to is the fact the employees don't have to be tethered to one place—most often their offices.
"For starters, employees in the field complete mission-critical tasks in real-time; they no longer gather information in one place, and then return to an office to transcribe what they learned on the road," he writes. Moreover, this promotes continuous communication between workers even during off-work hours, when necessary. For example, they may communicate in order to meet a deadline or work on a time sensitive project.
Wanting to seize on these benefits, three of five companies are planning to increase their level of investments in mobile technology. On average, mobile app testing comprises one-third of IT department spending, McCafferty adds.
With the advent of mobile apps for business, workers no longer have to sacrifice productivity for location or convenience. Enterprise mobility means the two are no longer mutually exclusive, as authorized employees can access and share information at any time and from any place—whether they're in the office, at home or traveling—which is a huge boon to organizations.
The main benefits of mobile enterprise applications
Improving or enhancing worker productivity is the top goal businesses have when deploying mobile enterprise applications, according to a survey of roughly 400 companies. Similarly, businesses seek to increase revenue, margin and work output.
The full list of reasons businesses invest in mobile enterprise applications is as follows, compiled from market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC's) 2014 MEA Survey:
- Increase sales and revenue
- Improve customer service and support
- Strengthen competitive advantage and market share
- Provide information more easily
- Enhance portability within the office or work environment
- Decrease costs
- Increase customer retention
- Speed up the sales process
- Offer employees greater flexibility
- Provide perception of an advanced company to customers
- Improve field service response time
- Eliminate paperwork
Mobile business applications improve productivity because they allow employees to virtually take their offices with them. This allows employees to make sales and client calls from home, for example, when they have to stay there because their child is sick. We've also discussed previously how mobile business apps can improve employee's work-life balance. Employees can work from home or another location, while still attending to their work projects. At the same time, employees can stay on top of email, as well as share documents with one another.
As we've discussed in the past, mobile business applications are also particularly strong marketing tools. For example, many apps can pinpoint a customer's exact location in real-time, providing valuable context to companies. Detailed information on the activity of a user allows a company to make more effective business decisions and provide a better customer experience.
Mobile Website versus mobile business apps
Having both a website optimized for public use and creating mobile business apps are important, argues Harnil Oza, an application developer, in a recent article on WhaTech. In order for your business to be successful with customers, you must undertake both strategies.
While some believe that a mobile app offers advantages above and beyond a mobile responsive website, both are, in fact, wise steps for businesses, Oza asserts.
"The undeniable truth here is that businesses today need to make sure that their website is truly responsive and is well optimized for to offer the best experience across platforms" Oza says.
He also notes the advantages of developing customer-facing mobile apps, as they can offer customers a unique and personalized experience. Native apps can use information, such as a user's location—something that a responsive website cannot do.
In turn, this information allows companies to tailor the content they provide their customers, strengthening their relationships with them. Sending notifications to your customers in real-time is a more effective communication strategy than newsletters, Oza adds.
Cmvlive says that mobile business applications are also a smart investment for companies, which can positively impact their ROI. This is because enterprise apps streamline your operations, and at the same time can track your progress and productivity. Moreover, they require minimal, if any IT or employee intervention.
Mobile business apps can also help streamline and improve internal business processes. 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.
Samsung’s bid for enterprise customers demonstrates importance of effectively managing BYOD policies
In launching '360 Services for Businesses', a new support and management service for big customers, Samsung is making a push to compete with Apple and IBM, after the two companies formed an enterprise-focused partnership. Samsung is trying to position itself as "the single service provider enterprises will need for help with everything from smartphones to printers," explains Allie Coyne on iTnews, an Australian technology news website.
Robin Bienfait, chief enterprise innovation officer for Samsung Electronics, elaborated on the reasons why his company created the service, in particular, highlighting the increasing deployments of BYOD programs. Samsung, along with Apple, are the preferred device options of many businesses rolling out BYOD programs.
The fact that Bienfait highlights BYOD challenges as one of customers' main pain points indicates the importance of managing these policies strategically and effectively.
James Drumheller speaks to this issue in an article for Security Management. As Drumheller asserts: "security needs to craft a BYOD strategy."
The first steps of this strategy include:
- Determining ownership of the devices. It's critical that you state that all information on a firm's network belongs to that organization, which includes e-mail, contact lists as well as other company documents. Downloaded data needs to also remain private, while the uploading of data should be controlled. Additionally, Drumheller suggests that your firm should place restrictions on cloud-based storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Developing a BYOD user agreement. Chiefly, this should concern how employees should use their mobile devices for work purposes. All BYOD devices need to have access protection controls—the most basic being passwords, and these should be kept private and changed regularly.
- Outlining and explaining actions that will be taken to protect non-public data. "Each part should be put in writing with staff and management confirming with signatures their understanding and agreement to comply," Drumheller explains.
With more businesses launching BYOD programs, enterprise business applications have become more important. Providing flexibility and productivity, these apps can also streamline and improve key business processes.
3 reasons to switch from paper to mobile
On average, office workers go through 10,000 sheets of paper each year. At a cost of $40 per case of paper, businesses are spending approximately $80 each year on paper per worker, explains Jason Peck in an article for TechRadar. Switching to mobile cuts down on the amount of paper your company consumes, and offers many other benefits in terms of efficiency and office workflow.
Let's examine some of the key areas in which Peck says that mobile business apps can help your business:
- Mobile Time Cards: Mobile time cards allow organizations to track their employees' progress, ensuring that they're working productively. Cloud-based mobile time card apps are especially useful. "By creating a time card mobile app, businesses can have the time automatically entered to ensure accuracy, and that information can be sent in real-time via the cloud to the office. Greater accuracy means fewer issues, and allows you to spend less time tracking employees and more on their actual work performance," writes Peck.
- Mobile Applications Can Improve Quality Control: Ensuring standards operating procedures (SOPS)—especially those relating to safety—is a critical task companies must attend to. Paper forms introduce too much uncertainty and inefficiency. However, mobile business applications have built-in time, date and GPS location stamps to ensure inspections are done accurately and according to company specifications.
- Mobile Work Orders Increase Productivity: It can be difficult to keep track of the tasks employees complete using a paper system alone. However, with mobile work orders, managers can easily track an individual's progress on a specific work order, or view the progress of the team as a whole.
As these three examples demonstrate, mobile business applications help organizations stay organized, productive and on top of their work—and these three represent only a small segment of enterprise apps that can help your organization.
Should your mobile device become your primary workspace?
Does it make sense for mobile users to make their smart device their primary workspace? This is the question Kurt Marko raises in a recent Forbes article. Marko asserts: "Smartphones have evolved into the do everything Swiss Army information appliance most people are never leave home without, yet they remain glorified PDAs for most business users." Marko advises that employees consider transitioning to greater use of their mobile device for work purposes, suggesting that it's an especially smart move for executives.
"More so than other job categories, business execs are the logical group to make mobile centric by turning smartphones and tablets into their primary work platform."
Why do business executives stand to gain the most from using their mobile phones for work purposes?
As we've discussed in previous articles, business executives are busy and often on-the-go. Jeetu Patel, head of EMC's Syncplicity product line, adds that business executives, along with marketing and sales professionals, often edit documents on their mobile devices rather than create new ones. Apps designed to simplify editing and similar tasks will be hugely valuable to such professionals, Marko contends.
The trend toward BYOD raises another question: If employees are using their phones for work, should companies pay for or subsidize the cost of these phones and plans? Whether or not to pay for these devices remains a topic organizations diverge on. However, many companies do stipulate the devices employees are allowed to bring in, with Apple and Samsung being the preferred options.
The benefits of rapid application development
With the increasing need for IT to ramp up the speed of project and app delivery, firms are searching for software solutions. One solution is rapid application development (RAP), whose enterprise popularity has grown significantly.
IT departments are overspent, both literally and figuratively. Many departments have to contend with backlogs, budget constraints and other impediments. Garner is predicting that worldwide IT debt will reach close to $1 trillion by 2015, a statistic cited by eWeek. The online publication also cites the Standish Group's finding that 94 percent of IT projects are "challenged" due to budget issues, schedule delays or failure to meet quality expectation. Sometimes these projects even fail altogether.
In short, IT needs to speed up app delivery, and rapid application development enables this. "IT can reverse project failure rates only with an approach that improves the speed and quality of projects," eWeek writes.
Michael Facemire, principal analyst and Jeffrey Hammond, vice president, principal analyst, at Forrester Research, explained in their report that organizations need to be prepared for "high-velocity app deployment." Currently, some firms are not at this stage, the authors noted, but it is a critical goal they need to aim for. In the meantime, "developers will look for options that light up in hours, scale transparently and just work," Facemire and Hammond wrote in their report.
Eikos Partners' 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.
Enterprise apps help companies compete
Enterprise apps allow companies to remain competitive, according to Emmanuel Trenche, a business-to-business marketing professional. As we've discussed previously, for enterprise apps to be valuable they must simplify and facilitate new workflows, so that processes are made easier and faster. While companies must develop mobile policies and properly execute deployments, ultimately apps offer firms a huge upside in terms of productivity and competitiveness.
There's no denying the work involved in launching enterprise apps. Derek Kerton, Principal Analyst at The Kerton Group, explains: "Unlike startups, enterprises have years of applications, data and workflows behind their product. Whether this legacy strengthens a new generation of tools or bogs down business agility is entirely a matter of proper execution and picking the right tools for the job."
The many apps on the marketplace today, ranging from native to hybrid and HTML5, to on-premise and cloud-based, offer firms many choices in software, Kerton writes. There is marketing automation software, which improves efficiency and reduces human errors since it provides analytics, Trench explains. Affirming the benefits of marketing automation, a recent report showed that firms who invested in these tools experienced greater growth than their competitors.
Customer/client relationship software and project management software have also simplified the way companies organize customer information and coordinate tasks, respectively. In 1999, SalesForce was a fledging company, barely on many industry vendors' radar, but CEO Mark Benioff helped grow the company to compete with the likes of industry giants, including Siebel Systems.
Companies that deploy apps successfully can reap benefits when it comes to efficiency and customer interactions, while gaining a competitive edge improving overall ROI, Trench emphasizes. While deploying apps requires thoughtful planning, strategy and maintenance, the benefits in terms of productivity and competitiveness are well worth it.
Developing apps with business users in mind
In recent posts, we have discussed how more businesses are implementing BYOD policies. We noted that successful deployment requires outlining key business objectives beforehand. This could include promoting worker autonomy and increasing productivity.
Just as firms need to be strategic about their use of mobile, enterprise app developers also need to add express value for their business partners. Developers' main goal should be creating apps with business users in mind. Enterprise apps should simplify key business functions, making it easier for individual employees and organizations.
Michael O'Dwyer addresses these needs in his article for Tech Page One. O'Dwyer spoke with Paul Lin, an app development expert, who emphasized the need for creating apps that take into account an organization's overall mobile strategy. Lin stresses that workers don't need extra social media elements. What they do need are apps that add actual business value, whether it's encouraging product usage, cementing customer loyalty or performing a specific business process. Apps also need to be user-friendly, designed for busy users.
Rob Khamas, CEO and health technology strategist for REND Tech Associates, an Australian provider of cloud services, similarly asserted the demand for apps that offer business value for organizations. For example, this could be an app that allows workers to more easily access data.
"The business applications I use are more about accessing core data quickly and making quick decisions based on this data," Khamas explained.
"Apps have freed businesses up to reduce paperwork and manual entry, saving time that can be put toward more important issues," writes Kirill Bensonoff on ComputerSupport.com. It is incumbent on developers to make apps that add business value, and the flip side of the coin—for organizations to have specific goals when launching enterprise apps.
Review: iPhone 6 is better but not unrivaled
Today marks the release day for the much awaited iPhone 6. Many customers stand in long lines, while some even set up camp outside of stores, but is all the fanfare worth it? If you were to ask these Apple customers, the answer would be obvious: yes.
We know how Apple evangelists feel, but how about a more unbiased perspective?
In reviews, the iPhones "are being heralded as the best mobile phones ever made," Gordon Kelly, a technology expert writes on Forbes, yet do they deserve this level of praise? This is a question Kelly sets out to answer in his review of the iPhone 6. Specifically, he considers the significance of the iPhone 6's upgrades, and how the company's new product stacks up with the competition's, including HTC.
Kelly does not believe that Apple has totally transformed the smartphone landscape with the iPhone 6, but he does believe that the upgrades are significant and, overall, make for a very good product.
Bigger screen, better phone?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know about Apple's plans to increase the size of its new phones. The company has made this a major talking point in the weeks leading up to the release. But Kelly maintains that the iPhone 6—with its larger screen—is still not the best product in this regard, insisting that the LG G3's 5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel, True HD-IPS display surpasses the iPhone in terms of screen quality.
However, there are several areas where the iPhone 6 does shine, including its camera, overall design and build. Yet, even in these areas, it's not totally unrivaled. For example, in design and build, Kelly believes that the HTC One M7 and M8 give the iPhone 6 a run for its money.
Kelly concludes that "while the iPhone 6 redefines the iPhone it doesn't redefine the smartphone sector." However, this may not matter for the most die-hard Apple customers.
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.