How Will My Traders Deal with a New Phone?

Most of us are only too aware that stress is a fact of life for those who work on trading floors.

A big part of the job in selecting and supporting the technology that traders depend on to perform at their best is to make sure it maximizes productivity by streamlining their workflow. Naturally, this can create anxiety for decision-makers in the selection and implementation process and incumbent vendors often try to amplify this fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Rarely does a day go by when we are not asked a question about how traders handle the change from an old to new system.  Knowing that humans can be creatures of habit makes these legitimate concerns. The endowment effect, also known as the status quo bias, can make change a tricky thing to overcome.

The usual concerns (and fears) pour out:

  • How will they adapt to a new interface?
  • Are all of the features the same?
  • What if the buttons are in a different place?
  • What is new and different?
  • What will they be losing?

I am happy to report that we have been witness to several thousand instances of change for telephone and trading turret end users since 2007 and to date we have not “lost” anyone. Further, that if asked,  decision-makers would say that they were pleasantly surprised by how well their end users adapted to the new system so quickly.

This is not to say that this, or any, transition is not without challenges.  But with a solid plan, preparation and end user cooperation (in training sessions and review of orientation materials) the switch can be quite seamless.

The first thing working in favor of the change with a telephone or trading turret is that, chances are, the end user depends on the device for a reasonably finite set of repetitive tasks: making a call, receiving a call, transmitting on a hoot, transfer/conferencing/hold/release and perhaps, programming a speed dial or swapping lines around.

Another factor in creating a tailwind for successful transition is the high level of standardization in look, feel and behavior of most telephone and trading turret devices combined with intuitive programming menus available to users and administrators that make it easy to customize a user profile.

The third positive is that while most people do not embrace change our brains are designed to excel at adapting to new circumstances.

At WCS, we support our customers and their end users throughout the process. Our project management teams deploy a practical approach to ensuring that disruption to end users is minimized. This includes:

  • helping to develop an inventory of current lines/speed dials and end user profiles which are programmed into the new system
  • offering pre-cutover training sessions to end users and system administrators to ensure familiarity with the new system
  • producing custom user guides highlighting the most popular features
  • being available at the customer site on the days leading up to and directly after the new system cutover

We will save the subject of how much end users enjoy the new features and capabilities that come with a true IP communications system for another day and we will leave with two keeper quotes from recent converts to the WCS system.

“This system blows away our old turret system and for a fraction of the cost.”

– Chief Operating Officer at a Newly Formed Hedge Fund

“I am just shocked that we have not had a single complaint from the users since we went live.”

– Telecommunications Manager for a Broker-dealer with 100+ traders coming off of a legacy trading turret system that had been in place for the past 13 years



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Date: Tuesday, 10. May 2011 14:34
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Buying A New System

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