Cloud9 recently hosted a machine learning technology meetup alongside Google and Quantiphi, one of the top data science companies. The event, “Applying Machine Learning Technologies for your Business,” took place in front of a capacity crowd at the Google NYC offices composed of representatives from major financial services firms, technologists, and industry consultants.
The speakers, which included Lukman Ramsey from Google, Asif Hasan from Quantiphi, and German Soto Sanchez from Cloud9, discussed how businesses can take advantage of the latest developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
During the event, we debuted our Cloud9 Voice Transcription solution, which enables firms to harness the insight in their trader voice recordings and data by accurately transcribing calls in near real-time.
This solution, developed with cutting-edge deep learning technology in partnership with Quantiphi and utilizing Google’s TensorFlow technology, will revolutionize the compliance process for firms, powering advanced surveillance as well as advanced analytics capabilities.
An attendee of the event – Richard Bryant, a fixed income trader and capital markets executive with over 20 years of trading experience – said of the live demonstration:
“Cloud9 Trader Voice Transcription will be game-changing for this industry. To hear an actual trader voice call and then to see the model identify the complex jargon and precisely transcribe the conversation is truly remarkable. Up until now, since many had promised and failed to provide such a solution, I did not think this was remotely feasible.”
Interested in learning more about Cloud9’s groundbreaking transcription solution? Contact a Cloud9 Salesperson to get a demo today!
In our latest webinar, Cloud9 brought together capital markets and compliance industry experts from Greenwich Associates and Behavox to discuss the role and future of technology in helping firms manage risk and optimize compliance.
- Kevin McPartland: Head of Market Structure and Technology Research at Greenwich Associates
- Erkin Adylov: CEO of Behavox
- German Soto-Sanchez: Global Head of Corporate Development at Cloud9 Technologies
Watch the Recorded Webinar Here.
The panelists contributed to an engaging conversation about the ability of new technologies to capture and analyze voice data to enhance the compliance process.
The audience, which consisted of brokers, traders, and IT managers from a number of top-tier financial institutions, also shared their views on compliance challenges at their firm and where they were most likely to implement innovation.
During the call, three key insights emerged:
- Voice is still crucial to relationship building in the capital markets, and it is now easier to regulate thanks to technological advances.
- Firms are most likely to implement cloud-related innovation for compliance and communications services.
- Transcription and trade reconstruction are the largest trade-related compliance challenges for the capital markets.
Voice and Trader Relationship Building
In a recent Greenwich Associates report, 70% of institutional investors confirmed that the level they trust their brokers impacts how they direct their trades.
Since the financial crisis, firms have been looking a lot more closely at managing reputation risk, even ranking it as high in importance as market and operational risk. Trader voice calls and human relationships still remain crucial in most financial markets, however trying to manage risk in that environment can be challenging, especially with the current regulatory mandates.
As Behavox CEO, Erkin Adylov explained, “Sell-side as well as buy-side are still utilizing phone calls to communicate with each other. That’s where there is a point of risk for a lot of institutions that are trying to capture voice, but also analyze and make sense of it from a reputational risk perspective.”
German Soto-Sanchez, Global Head of Corporate Business Development at Cloud9 Technologies elaborates: “Voice communications is crucial to the trading relationship for three reasons. First – voice is the most natural form of interaction. Second – when you deal with complex transactions, things like structured products, you require voice. Third – which is potentially the most important – developments in technology are now facilitating the ability to get much more out of the voice conversation than ever before.”
With new cloud-based as well as machine learning technologies, firms now have the ability to treat voice as data – facilitating a number of compliance functions like surveillance, biometrics, and transcription that can help mitigate risk and assist with the trade reconstruction requirements of regulations like MiFID II.
Firms Implement Cloud for Compliance and Communication Services
As the panelists discussed over the course of the webinar, banks seem to be increasingly more receptive to cloud technology as it becomes safer, improves their communications, and enhances their data-gathering capabilities for compliance. Rather than spending millions of dollars on back office investigators, lawyers, and intelligence officers to sort through and monitor trader communications, firms can now implement a software-based solution.
In a poll conducted during the webinar, 60% responded that they were most likely to implement cloud-related innovation at their firm for communications, with 40% most likely to implement for compliance.
“Thanks to the cloud we’re able to lower the total cost of ownership, deployment is much easier, you have inherent disaster recovery, and you have the ability to have enhanced surveillance, compliance, and analytics,” said Soto-Sanchez, outlining the many benefits of the cloud. “The regulatory authorities and the government are using the cloud also – if it’s good enough for the government and good enough for FINRA, then you can feel comfortable that it is safe and secure for your institution as well.”
For those firms who have not yet made the transition to the the cloud, Adylov says, “Seeing Goldman Sachs talking about how they use Amazon Web Services should be a pretty big clue about the importance of cloud for large financial institutions. As senior management starts recognizing the impact that the cloud is going to have on ROE, I think the industry is going to have to start shifting into the cloud, because that’s going to be a key competitive advantage.”
Transcription and Trade Reconstruction are a Challenge for Firms
Attendees surveyed during the webinar responded that transcription and trade reconstruction were the top trade-related compliance challenges for their firm, both tied at 44%. Much of this frustration is due to the the limitations of many solutions when it comes to the recording and analysis of trader voice.
“Under the existing legacy infrastructure, your ability to harness data is very limited, and we believe that’s unacceptable,” said Soto-Sanchez.
Due to recent developments in machine learning and voice recognition technology, complete and accurate trader voice transcription is becoming more of a reality.
“Off the shelf transcription solutions today are very ineffective for the kind of dialogue and vernacular that gets used in the conversations around trading, and existing speech APIs probably have accuracy rates in the teens,” explains Soto-Sanchez. “But the difficulty of transcription is starting to change now for a few reasons: Number 1 is the technology – firms have made significant investments in speech recognition technology. Number 2 – you have data. Specifically, the kind of data you need to develop the kind of sophisticated speech recognition models that you need for this space.”
Erkin went on to explain how compliance analytics platforms like Behavox are already changing the game when it comes to the type of data and information that can be extracted by voice. With a model that analyzes phone records, they detect suspicious activity, such as whispering, with a precision of 93%.
Adylov went on to explain the other benefits of trader voice analysis, “Not only can I tell you where there are instances of whispering, but I can also tell you if there is laughter on the phone call, if there is mention of high value keywords, if it an engaging conversation or not – it starts revealing a lot of useful information for also managing your salesforce or for retaining and training employees for HR purposes. The use cases for the data set are infinite and they are genuinely transformative for the organization.”
While it may sound like something out of science fiction, the technology and platforms already exist to help firms manage their reputation risk with enhanced trade reconstruction and analytics.
As regulatory mandates continue to change and evolve, the future will be defined by institutions that are leveraging this kind of modern technology and running their organization in a data-driven way.
Watch the recorded webinar here to listen to the full discussion.
Cloud9 recently hosted a webinar with executives from Point 72 Asset Management and Amazon Web Services titled “The Cloud Catalyst: Driving Competitive Edge in the Financial Markets.”
The panelists contributed to an engaging conversation that touched on how the cloud creates competitive advantage for financial institutions. The also discussed where and how firms can integrate cloud into their environments, and touched on key industry concerns related to security and compliance when migrating to the cloud.
The audience, which consisted of brokers, traders, and IT managers from a number of top-tier financial institutions, also shared their views on how they currently use cloud solutions as well as how the cloud is viewed at their firms.
During the call, three key insights emerged:
- Firms are most likely to implement cloud for data processing and voice services.
- Security and performance are top concerns among firms in the capital markets when migrating services to the cloud.
- Key drivers in terms of cloud adoption include driving shareholder value.
Voice is Second Behind Data in Terms of Cloud Implementation
Out of the audience surveyed, 52% said that they were most likely to implement cloud for data processing, with 33% saying they would consider the cloud for for communications services.
As Nitin Gupta commented, many firms are turning to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to manage analytics dashboards and databases as well as large business intelligence processes. For firms in the financial markets, the ability to process this data using cloud technology revolutionizes their workflows.
In addition, firms are already shifting to cloud-based platforms as modern, reliable, cost-effective voice communications become necessary in today’s enterprise environment.
To make the full shift to the cloud in the financial markets, fintech firms often have to compete against established mindsets, a challenge that Gupta spoke about during the webinar.
“When we talk about transformation, it is less about technology, and more about change in philosophy and change in culture in an organization,” said Gupta. “I would even say it’s 20% about technology and 80% about how to drive agility and automation, how to change the governance structure, how to get in a devops mindset, and even how to change the revenue model.”
Seetharam Gorre emphasized the overall digital transformation in both the enterprise and consumer space as a motivator for financial services firms to transition to the cloud: “So much transformation has happened in the last 5-10 years in the cloud and the open source community. That is driving culture and that what is driving digital.”
Security and Performance Were Key Concerns
40% of attendees considered Security as the biggest concern when moving key processes to the cloud, followed by Performance, at 24%.
It’s no surprise that security is top of mind for financial services firms, but reliable cloud providers like Amazon Web Services mitigate the risk through advanced security practices as well as the benefit of a robust community. With over 2 million customers in a wide variety of industries, AWS customers receive the same degree of security as any other user on the platform.
As Gupta explained, “When a customer moves to AWS they inherit all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes built to satisfy the requirements of our most security-sensitive customers, whether it is FINRA, NASDAQ, Capitol One, the CIA, or the SEC – all of these customers are on AWS.”
Another security benefit of AWS is the shared responsibility model, in which AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud – including infrastructure and storage – and the customer is responsible for security in the cloud – including customer data, access management, and network configuration. This model enables fintech firms as well as financial firms using cloud solutions to focus on building better products.
This is something that the Cloud9 team has certainly benefited from in getting our products to market. As Greg Kenepp commented, “When you think about it [in terms of shared responsibility] I think the sky’s the limit on what you’re able to achieve and the type of service that you can deliver to your customer base.”
The Main Advantage of Cloud Lies in Expanding Shareholder Value
85% of attendees responded that cloud was essential to maintaining competitive edge. As the panelists explored throughout the webinar, key to this competitive edge is creating value for shareholders.
Cloud enables firms to build solutions quickly, get to market faster, and at a low cost. By lowering the barriers to innovation, firms that use the cloud are able to deliver a better customer experience, a better product, and deliver more value for their shareholders.
“If you have a new strategy and it’s going to take 6 weeks to procure hardware and test, total time to market is going to be two months,” said Gorre. “With the cloud it should only be a few weeks. At that rate we can test new strategies, deploy it sooner, and generate more money for the firm.”
By reducing the time it takes to get to market, as well as the time it takes to deploy, financial services firms are able to reap the rewards from cloud services much faster and without significant business interruption.
Kenepp commented on this experience from the perspective of Cloud9 customers: “When you think about traditional deployment cycles for communications equipment [in financial services], it could take up to a year from the time you decide to move to a new floor to installment. We can do that in a matter of hours now, which has been a remarkable change for our business and a real eye-opening change for our customers.”
Join senior executives from Point 72 Asset Management, Amazon, and Cloud9 Technologies for a compelling discussion about how the cloud is transforming the delivery of services and technology to the financial industry.
The webinar will take place on December 7th at 3:00PM EST.
Topics Covered Will Include:
– How the cloud has enabled financial firms to benefit from secure, cost-effective, scalable, and compliant services.
– The shifting compliance landscape and information security threats.
– How the cloud acts as a platform to develop secure and innovative solutions, increasing customer and shareholder value while expanding competitive advantage.
Meet the Panelists:
Seetharam Gorre: CIO at Point72 Asset Management
Seetharam Gorre is a Managing Director and the Chief Information Officer of Point72 Asset Management, L.P. He is responsible for the Firm’s global technology platform, supporting both Long/Short and Quantitative groups. Mr. Gorre joined the Firm in 2002 as a senior developer, and has held progressively senior roles including Front Office Development Manager, Head of Equities Technology, and Co-Chief Technology Officer.
Nitin Gupta: Global Head of Financial Services Partners at Amazon Web Services
Nitin Gupta oversees the building of AWS’ business with technology and consulting companies in the financial services industry. Before AWS, Nitin spent 15 years in the financial services industry, with firms like Headstrong, Genpact, and Capgemini. His focus areas include Retail Banking, Payments, Wealth Management, and Capital Markets.
Greg Kenepp: President, Cloud9 Technologies
Greg is a senior level executive with more than 25 years of international leadership experience in technology, software, finance and network services companies. Prior to Cloud9, Greg was CMO and General Manager of the SMB business for the Receivables Exchange . He was also the CMO of IntraLinks, a Saas software company, and part of the executive team that led the business through a successful IPO. Greg was also President and COO of IPC, which he spun out of Global Crossing and led through multiple successful LBOs.