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Using Group chat in an Investment Bank.

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is an example of what it is like to be a city trader using Group Chat on a daily basis:

7.30am

You arrive at work and log onto Group Chat. You check the conversations and message threads from the close of trading in the AsiaPac time zones last night. You can choose which topic specific chat room you read, so you get an instant history of the industries that are relevant for your clients and you’re fully up to date for when trading begins. You remember (with no hint of nostalgia) when you used to have to get in for 5am to listen to the ‘squawk boxes’ for an update on the close of markets in Singapore and Japan.

 

8am

A new recruit turns up for their first day. Rather than it taking months for them to get to grips with past news and trends, you set them up on the chat rooms that they’ll need to use (FX and Treasury) and they are instantly aware of the full transcript of past conversations. After all, conversations contain the most important value and information asset – especially in your industry – so giving a new recruit this information (in context), means they will get up to speed faster than ever before.

 

10.30am

You’ve set up two filters – an ‘ego filter’ to alert you each time your name is used in typed conversation and a ‘boss filter’ for each time your boss’ name is mentioned or your boss posts a message. You receive an alert that your name has been mentioned in relation to an analysis report you sent your top client yesterday. You suddenly remember you forgot to send it.

 

10.45m

You send the said document (a large file containing some highly sensitive information) to the said client via Group Chat, safe in the knowledge there is no security risk and that the client will receive it instantly.

 

2pm

Panic. Your top client is on the phone asking what’s going on with the US Dollar. You calmly chat away, at the same time as typing a request on the ‘FX’ channel that is instantly relayed to 2000 of your fellow traders and analysts. (You’re relieved you no longer have to rely on the old ‘hoot and holler’ system, where you often misheard or completely missed vital information if away from your desk). A message pops up on your screen. It turns out the US Dollar is ramping up due to a rumour that there is going to be a significant increase in interests rates – You also see there is more detailed analysis of this situation in the ‘Treasury’ channel. You relay this to your client in the course of conversation.

 

Your client gets the information they need, when they want it – and you’ve just won yourself some brownie points.

 

2.03pm

You now have some prime information on the US Dollar at your fingertips. Who do you tell first? As you know more than anyone, time is money and with 10 clients, ranging in importance and size, you’d normally be tempted to always tell your number one client first. With Group Chat, you can tell them all at the same time with one message. As a result, your ‘bottom’ client feels as loved as your ‘top’ client and your productivity goes through the roof.

 

4.30pm

Great. Your telephone is emitting a high pitched sound in your ear and there appears to be a problem with the line. You send a message to the support team. Everyone else hearing the same high-pitched noise can see the posting and so the support team avoids being inundated with the same complaint.

Edit

4.50pm

An IM appears to let you know the problem with the phone line has been fixed.

 

5.25pm

Earlier this afternoon, you set up an alert on your IM to alert you every time ‘US Dollar’ is posted on a message by one of your colleagues. An alert pops up to let you know that the rumoured change in interest rates is confirmed and that the US Dollar is sky-rocketing. Looks like tomorrow will be interesting….