Managed Services Model Gains Traction

Terry Flanagan

The complexity of technology, as well as increasing compliance and regulatory requirements and costs, has led financial services firms to explore a managed services/outsourcing model.

IPC Systems has launched managed IT services for the financial services market. IPC created a dedicated new business unit, IPC Managed Services, to develop and grow the new offering, which allows customers to outsource the day-to-day management of all or part of their trading communications infrastructure.

“Several of our customers have become disenchanted with their existing managed service providers, and also are looking to consolidate the number of providers they use,” said Marianne Leitch, senior vice president of IPC Managed Services. “We provide technology for trading systems, so we have a lot of infrastructure to extend our services. For IPC, this is a natural evolution. Customers are looking for partnerships to manage the complexities of the trading floor.”

Hosted platforms, which range across cloud-based models including software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), offer improved reliability, availability, scalability and security, in addition to cost savings.

Leitch, who has been with IPC for ten years, had since 2009 been responsible for IPC’s trading systems operations, network services operations and customer service.

Prior to 2009, Leitch was general manager of network services, where her responsibilities included IPC’s Network Services business including network engineering, network operations, global sales and marketing and product management. Before joining IPC in 2000, Leitch spent 20 years with Timeplex, a network equipment company servicing the financial community.

“The incentive for the financial industry to embrace managed services has never been greater,” Dushyant Shahrawat, senior research director at CEB TowerGroup said in a statement.

Managed services spending will double from $9.4 billion in 2013 to $18.6 billion by 2015, according to CEB TowerGroup.

“Demand for these services will grow faster than for BPO, KPO and other forms of outsourcing,” said Shahrawat. “Capital markets firms will migrate to a Managed Services model driven by cost pressures, renewed focus on core competency, and to remain competitive in areas like securities trading.”

IPC will offer managed services covering system and network monitoring and management, third-party vendor management, data protection, application support and compliance management.
“From the discussions we’ve had with clients, it’s evident that they want to be able to do more with fewer vendors,” said Stephen Crowe, vice president of business development for IPC Managed Services.

Over the past decade, Jersey City, N.J.-based IPC has expanded its offerings from primarily trading turrets—specialized telephone-keypad systems—to a broad array of software, communications devices, and network services. IPC has more than 153,000 turret/dealerboard systems operating on 2,400 trading desks or floors worldwide.

The evolution culminated with the 2011 launch of Unigy, which aims to unify the vital components of the trading desk such as risk management, research, and trading itself, which historically existed in silos.

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