J.P. Morgan Chase, ICAP and Barclays see a silver lining ahead for the New York voice communications startup Cloud9. In April, they announced that they had invested in the startup, which has a widely-used cloud-based voice trading platform.
The firm started up two years ago and already keeps 2,000 traders at 350 firms in 21 countries connected. The system is built in the Web Realtime Communication API and is supported by Amazon’s cloud infrastructure. Cloud9 officials estimate the firm's technology could save banks as much as $1 billion a year by moving away from traditional communications systems and telecom services.
In line with other financial technology needs, voice communication infrastructure is migrating increasingly to the cloud. “Soft turrets are clearly the direction of travel for the industry and their security capabilities and compliance functionality are continually improving,” said Sean Charlton, head of voice at Barclays.
ICAP already uses Cloud9 within its energy teams and J.P. Morgan is working towards implementing Cloud9 this year. Barclays is also reviewing opportunities to use Cloud9 to address cost and technological challenges related to voice trading.
Cloud9 isn’t the only company making advances with digital voice systems. For example, the London- and Chicago-based Green Key Technologies is testing a voice quote capture tool that is intended to help banks and inter-dealer brokers overcome the challenge of new requirements that will soon take effect under the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II.
Green Key Technologies’ cloud-based, encrypted Voice over Internet Protocol software, GreenKey, replicates the functionality of legacy hardware turrets and T1 lines at a much lower cost, according to GreenKey executives. The company has also announced a new instant messenger aggregator designed to make it much easier for financial market firms to comply with the latest U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules, which now require instant messaging and chat room conversations to be saved as part of the trading firm’s systemic record.