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Cloud Ringdowns: Innovation in Voice Trading Communications

By Kevin Garvey

US Head of Sales

Cloud Ringdowns: Innovation in Voice Trading Communications

As technology vendors, we are often guilty of falling in love with our “new and different” products and the problems they solve, such as cloud ringdowns. We forget that our customers think about these offerings primarily through the prism of what change, risk, complexity and cost they will inevitably introduce. And the more demanding the use case, the bigger the disconnect. This is why an evolutionary approach to new product introduction is critical to success. 

We trace the evolution of ringdowns in the trader voice space, customers’ initial reluctance to adopt cloud communications solutions, and how Speakerbus is shaping the future of cloud ringdowns through CADENCE - our cloud-based critical communications platform.

Initial challenges with cloud communications in trader voice

In the world of trader voice, the new thing is leveraging the cloud. Spurred initially by new entrants like VoxSmart (previously Greenkey) and Cloud9, broad acceptance and adoption only came as a result of the remote work requirements brought on by the pandemic. The initial reasons for resistance had as much to do with network effects as suspicion of new technologies. 

Because these vendors had difficulty linking their solutions to existing private wire networks, their products were less attractive because their communities lacked a critical mass of participants across asset classes on the buy and sell sides.

At Speakerbus, while we recognise both the bravery and progress brought by our peers, when we launched our cloud ringdown service, we designed it to traverse all existing service iterations and made a commitment to interconnect with the broadest possible number of communities of interest. Because this is what our customers told us they wanted.

How is Speakerbus changing the ringdown space?

Speakerbus’ CADENCE Community Cloud Ringdowns are a new way to deliver ringdowns - one of the most powerful and widely used tools in high-touch trading - eliminating the need for expensive, fixed networks that currently perform routing.

Two years ago, we introduced cloud-hosted turrets when we launched CADENCE. An early adopter, still in service, used SD-WAN over the internet to connect their stations to our cloud.  This was in an office condo using a shared internet service. Our SBC service management tools allow us to monitor call quality in real-time and the user has enjoyed uninterrupted ringdown service from day one. Their costs were also significantly reduced as cloud turrets also eliminate the need for many of the private wire local loop costs.

Major benefits of CADENCE include:

  • Simplicity: Your firm will realise the benefits of modernising a legacy service without disruption to your trading teams.
  • Flexibility: You can connect to CADENCE using your network of choice (BYON, Ethernet, Internet, MPLS, Cloud Connect, etc.).  
  • Compatibility: We provide a gateway to convert SIP to TDM to meet your current version of technology.
  • Security: We provide a secure handoff from our cloud-based SBC to your SBC (as you do for your PSTN services).
  • Infrastructure: We provide the device, network, POP redundancy and diversity (if required).
  • Community: We are committed to interconnecting with all of our willing peer private wire networks.

Speakerbus has designed our global network so that every iteration of technology, from analogue to TDM to MPLS to cloud, is integrated into a single service that is transparent to the customer and their end users.

A call that begins as analogue in Asia can traverse our global networks and ultimately be delivered as a SIP trunk from our local cloud region to a customer SBC in Europe. All of that occurs with lower latency and reduced cost.

Customers are responding to our ringdown solutions and the capabilities of CADENCE because our use cases reduce costs and provide a more secure and resilient service. But this is only the beginning. We are working on cloud-native collaborative trading services, intelligent compliance as a service, and offering client control of all ‘as a service’ networks, elements, and apps.  

What’s next for trader voice?

Resistance to remote trading and internet access has vanished. Now both are common requirements and part of BCS/DR plans. In addition to being more flexible, they reduce costs by an order of magnitude.

During the early days of the pandemic, we released a white paper on remote trading best practices which had a snarky sentence advising people to ask their teenagers how to resolve their tech issues. While it did not make the final draft, the sentiment was accurate. Any teenage gamer would know better than to use a cheap $20 non-echo cancelling/non-noise reduction headset, as they'd risk being banned from their Discord server for interfering with play.  

We have long awaited the ‘game boy generation’ coming of age on trading desks and technology departments enabling the next evolutionary step. That it took an event like the pandemic to finally reach a tipping point, is a testament to our industry’s resistance to change.

Now that it is here, we look forward to more lively discussions with our customers to usher in the future of voice trading together, including innovations like cloud ringdown technology.

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