Not all Clouds Are Created Equal

Not all clouds are the same, and I am not talking about the different ones you see up in the sky. The term cloud computing has reached true buzzword status by now, with everyone having a different understanding of what it means — which by the way is one characteristic of a buzzword.

I don’t want to add to the many interpretations of cloud computing out there, rather outline the most important characteristics that in my view define it: 1) Market participants receive and deliver services over the Internet. 2) They are sharing a common pool of IT infrastructure. 3) They have the ability to easily scale these services up or down in line with how their business needs change. 4) They pay for these services in a pay-as-you-go business model and, and 5) these services are managed by a provider. If all these statements are true, you are looking at a real example of cloud computing.

Open matters

Today, Integral announced an open platform for FX. While ‘open’ to some might just be yet another buzzword, it is critically important in this context.

In FX, many trading venues are in the cloud — but private, in that they are limited to a group of market participants that the bank, broker or venue that operates it, considers favorable to reach its business goals. That by definition limits their appeal and growth, but makes them a great source of revenue for that particular provider. Any market participant however, who is on venue A and wants to connect with others in venues C and D, is required to replicate his efforts, building and managing these connections, again and again. We at Integral don’t believe this is the right solution for such a vibrant market.

Changing the economics of FX

By using Integral’s FX Grid, the FX platform already used by hundreds of customers today, and re-launching it as an open FX platform, making it accessible to non-customers and all third-party FX service providers, Integral delivers on its vision to provide the common infrastructure to integrate the fragmented world of FX today. Every participant, whether a liquidity provider, a liquidity taker, or an FX service provider, will be able to leverage this shared platform to dramatically change the ROI of their FX business.

As a neutral technology provider, our primary interest is in increasing the flow through our platform. Launching initiatives like this, that stand to grow the market, is our way of getting there.

If your goal is to simultaneously trade with counterparties on all venues— A through Z let alone C, D and E — check us out. Through our platform, you’ll be able to keep on trading on A, but as effortlessly be connected with other venues out there.

Think about it. If you were offered great deals to sign up with phone company A but only allowed to talk with people on their network, not also with people who have previously chosen phone company B or C, would you accept that? If you don’t accept it in any other business, why accept it in FX?

Jet Blue ran a number of funny commercials, filming people with a hidden camera, while putting them in positions that treated them on the ground the same they are treated while on a plane.  In one, a faux NYC cab driver is trying to charge customers $25 per bag that was in the trunk, just because it was there and not a ‘carry-on’ to the back seat. In another, a street vendor gives a paying customer only a small glass of Coke but wants to keep the can for the next guy.

Jet Blue’s tag line was: If you wouldn’t take it on the ground, don’t take it in the air. My feelings exactly.

Here is your chance to read more about Integral’s open platform for FX.

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