Interesting Story about a company that designed, manufactured, and sold pre-internet trading stations.
The digital revolution, which started in the late 1980s, was the catalyst that helped meet these expectations. It found expression, inside the dealing room, in the installation of a digital data display system, a kind of local network. Incoming flows converged from different data providers, and these syndicated data were distributed onto traders' desktops. One calls a feed-handler the server that acquires data from the integrator and transmits them to the local distribution system.
Reuters, with its TRIARCH 2000, Teknekron, with its TIB, Telerate with TTRS, Micrognosis with MIPS, soon shared this growing market. This infrastructure is a prerequisite to the further installation, on each desktop, of the software that acquires, displays and graphically analyses these data.
A typical engagement at Micrognosis was to sell our clients a "trading floor". That would include all of the desktops, displays, video sources, digital sources, and cabling & networking infrastructure to distribute trading information to their individual traders. For example, I remember we sold JP Morgan a +800 seat-trading floor on 60 Wall St. in the early 90's. It was one of the largest trading floors at the time and a real coup for us. I believe the price tag was a base of $40Mm which was, for Micro, more than we had made in the entire previous year.
And the way we structured our deals was as fixed scope, fixed date engagements. The clients would often schedule their traders to move and be ready to begin trading on our go-live dates. Moving the dates was physically not an option, as people were coming into work AND they were expecting to be able to make money for their firms. Rarely was there a fallback or contingency plan. Risk had to be anticipated and contingency planned as part of the overall execution plan.