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By Theresa Carey  |  Posted 2004-12-15 Print this article Print

While reliability is important to every company, the NYSE requires uninterrupted availability, as it is the worlds largest stock exchange, with 2,750 companies listed and a total market capitalization of more than $17.8 trillion. Since 2002, the average number of shares traded has risen from approximately 1 billion a day to 1.6 billion. Thirty years ago, trade volumes averaged 16 million daily. Today, brokers collectively send and receive an average of 75,000 messages a day, up 200 percent in the last two years. The system has already replaced human ticket runners on the exchange floor. The trade communication goes from a brokers wireless handheld device, and bounces through the various internal systems to the end customer. Part of the role of technology at the NYSE is to handle growing volumes with same number of people. The exchange is processing trades today with the same number of people who handled one-tenth the number of transactions 30 years ago.
As the Exchange moves to a higher percentage of automatic execution, when the hybrid market becomes a reality, higher performance is a must. Rolling out early next year, IBM has created application software on the handheld that allows a broker to create a trading strategy, such as a tapered strategy, with one set of interactions. Implementing this strategy would have taken five or six orders in the past. There are 10 strategies built into the handheld device now. Burkhardt says, "This will become extremely valuable to the brokers and to their institutional customers going forward."
A team of more than 50 IBM researchers, software designers and financial industry experts from around the world has been working with the Exchange on custom technologies, engineering methods and testing procedures aimed at helping establish the NYSE as a state-of-the-art example of "extreme availability." Some of the pioneering technologies and processes emerging from the NYSE project are expected to spill into IBMs work with other customers with similar requirements and commercialized in IBMs software products. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on financial applications and services for the enterprise and small businesses.

Theresa is the Editor of's Finance Industry Center. She's been writing about financial technology issues since 1990 for a wide variety of publications, including PC Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune, and Fortune Small Business. She is also a Contributing Editor to Barron's and writes their 'Electronic Investor' column.

Theresa received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. from the University of Santa Clara. She also has a private pilot's license. When she's not at her computer, she coaches a local high school volleyball team, plays softball and volleyball, and takes part in many Cal Alumni Band events. She lives in Northern California.


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