Providing Managed FIX Services
Brian Ross, CEO, FIX Flyer, believes that customers should be treated as partners. “Today the landscape of financial technology is very complex,” says Brian. “There are plenty of vendors who are focused on selling a particular solution or technology but few that are responding to the real needs of the CIO–working collaboratively to find innovative solutions to simplify IT and allow their firms to focus on their strengths, to deliver value to their clients.”
Today the FIX protocol is established as the global connectivity lingua franca for all asset classes in the capital markets. One reason the FIX protocol has been so successful is be-cause it is flexible. But this flexibility is also the source of major head-aches. In order to accommodate the wide range of variations in how the protocol is used, and to support the large and growing number of connections for many firms, many in-house FIX implementations have become costly and burdensome to maintain. Complex and brittle systems require expensive programming experts to maintain. FIX Flyer LLC started as a FIX engine, monitor and certification vendor, but has evolved along with the needs of the industry. According to Brian, “FIX Flyer helps businesses focus on their core competencies. We’re more than a software vendor—electronic trading expertise is deep in our DNA. This enables us to provide multi-faceted solutions such as our FIX-as-a-Service (FaaS) offering. We’re capable of providing fully managed connectivity solutions from cloud infrastructure hosting through solution implementation, testing, operations and counterparty certification.”
According to Brian, vendor lock-in is a pervasive challenge that CIOs face. “Most providers want to sell a platform that becomes an all-or-nothing proposition. We see the future of FIX, and financial technology in general, as one of integration. Our clients value our commitment to openness and interoperability.” “Our clients are not just transactional customers, but are our business partners and product licensing being just a part of this partnering relationship,” say Ross. For instance, a firm was looking for a way out to eliminate over-inflated connectivity charges and streamline operations with its trading partners. On approaching FIX Flyer, “We offered them a hosted connectivity service that brought in easy and rapid connectivity between counterparties for trade and post-trade workflows,” says Ross. This service proved to be beneficial for all the counterparties by reducing the cost and making the processes simpler, faster, and error-free.
“Controlling costs and doing more with less has been an ongoing trend on the IT side of capital market have been our major driver for the shift toward managed services, and outsourcing,” notes Ross. This has changed the outlook towards SaaS and the Cloud. Now, more and more inter-connected industry vendors migrate into cloud-oriented data centers creating new opportunities and specializing in their areas, with greater agility. “FIX Flyer helps clients benefit from these trends through its FIX-as-a-Service, and managed service offering,” says Ross.
Moving ahead, FIX Flyer aims to leverage Cloud for better business prospects. The company is currently working on a new edition of the Flyer Engine platform, revolutionizing large-scale FIX deployments. “It will simplify the management of multiple environments, whether hosted in the Cloud or on private infrastructure,” concludes Ross.