London, United Kingdom
Employee communications, real-time stock exchange and business information
Established in 1983, City Index is one of the leading providers of trading products to individuals worldwide. City Index provides access to thousands of markets globally, with a continuously expanding reach. They have grown to become one of the world's leading providers of Contracts for Difference, FX and UK spread betting to the retail market, thanks to their focus on innovation and great customer service. City Index is part of IPGL, a privately owned company with a substantial shareholding in the world's leading derivatives broker ICAP plc. As a group, they transact in excess of 1.5 million trades per month on behalf of their clients.
City Index prides itself on staying at the forefront of this fast moving market by combining innovative trading tools with transparent pricing, competitive spreads and the best-in-class customer service and support - both now and in the future. They constantly expand the range of assets offered, improve the performance of their platforms and enhance the services they provide.
The financial sector has had to meet the increasingly challenging demands of these tough economic times. In light of this, City Index UK wanted to set themselves apart from their competition and enable their customers, staff and trading partners to make better decisions through a more dynamic trading experience. To accomplish their objectives, the company completely renovated their London Finsbury Circus offices to provide them with the opportunity to restructure the way information was displayed and accessed. The result was to make communications more actionable by presenting information in a clear and concise way. City Index' office is located in a Grade I listed building which recently underwent a full renovation, so they essentially had a blank canvas to work with when developing their digital signage system. The intent of the installation was to provide visitors and employees with a visually impactful display of the latest up-to-date real-time stock information. Omnivex software was selected to manage the digital signage network because Omnivex has the depth of experience with visual communications in the financial industry that City Index wanted for this project.
For two decades, Omnivex software has been utilized by financial institutions and on stock exchange floors around the world to manage information and display it in a visual communications system. Omnivex software has proven to be a secure and reliable platform when dealing with financial data, which is where information security is of the utmost importance.
A key goal of the digital signage network was to ensure that data would be disseminated effortlessly between sites in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia to ensure that everyone had access to the same real-time information. City Index' system unifies communications with effortless data distribution between UK staff, clients, traders and their counterparts in markets across the globe. In these time-critical environments, the ability to make instant, accurate decisions depends on a continuous stream of relevant data that is accessible from every point on a trading network. To meet this challenge, City Index would require a content management system that was reliable, functions in real time and can handle continuously changing data. Omnivex is known for solutions with these attributes so it was a good product fit for City Index.
Omnivex software enables City Index' in-house IT team to manage the entire digital signage system from one central location. The system includes digital signage deployed in all of their conference and meeting rooms, the reception area, various office locations, and break rooms and is centrally managed from their operations pod. Managing this information system includes creating and disseminating content, integrating data from existing data sources and maintaining the system while going forward. This is all possible without having to provide a third party with access to their confidential information. Omnivex has a long history of working within the financial services industry; the software has the tools to allow customers to manage the system internally.
One of the primary areas where City Index is using Omnivex software is to manage a dramatic array of displays lining the trading floor. These displays provide access to real-time global stock exchange data and television feeds. "Omnivex software has the functionality to obtain data from any ODBC database or RSS feed, eliminating the need for City Index to manually enter stock data - it just does it automatically, applies user configured formatting to it, and displays it on the appropriate screens," stated Jeff Collard, president of Omnivex. The software can also display data changes to visually illustrate whether the stocks have increased or decreased in value, as well as depict this information in graphs and charts to help more clearly see trends.
The digital signage extends to City Index' contemporary suite of conference rooms, meeting rooms, office and breakout areas, and the operations pod. The digital signage helps to ensure that all of the staff in the office are well informed with easy access to HR messages and other important employee communications. Content varies between video, static images, real-time stock data, welcome messages, training schedules, news headlines, weather and other media assets while always reinforcing City Index' branding.
Another key area that City Index wanted to address was the main reception foyer. Since the reception area is the first impression that guests would associate to an experience at City Index, it was important to use the digital signage in a unique and eye-catching way while also giving guests and staff access to information about both City Index and the current market situation. To accomplish this, City Index produced a complex arrangement of eight bezel-less plasma screens configured in a unique vertical "Z" pattern for an effective impact. The idea was to create a striking display wall at the entrance of the building to get people's attention with this distinctive video wall and the content displayed on it. "Omnivex software gives City Index the ability to use all eight screens as one unified canvas or display different content on each individual screen or group of screens," said Collard. He continued, "The panels are modular and can be configured in various layouts to create dramatic impressions". As with the other screens around the office, content varies between video, static images, real-time stock data, welcome messages, news headlines, weather and other media assets with City Index' branding completing the look.
City Index' AV system includes everything from video conferencing rooms to the use of digital signage to unify communications between UK staff, clients, traders and their colleagues around the world. City Index UK has achieved their goal of providing their customers, staff and partners with a more dynamic trading experience and have also improved their communications within the organization through the use of an Omnivex powered digital signage system. "By using Omnivex software to manage the digital signage network, the process of incorporating live stock data and spread betting training schedules, pulling information from an RSS feed, formatting it and pushing it out to the correct screens in the office was all easily accomplished," said Collard.
The digital signage solution demanded an inventive approach; satisfying the demands of installing a revolutionary communications and display scheme into a Grade I listed environment called for sensitivity and imagination at every stage. City Index' AV scheme included many technologies deployed throughout key areas of the newly-renovated building. State-of-the art video conferencing and building-wide TV distribution facilities were also incorporated into the design along with a sophisticated seminar room to support the client's drive to train its personnel to the highest level and to coach potential investors on the rudiments of successful trading. Omnivex software provided City Index with the software tools to make all of this a reality. "The system has proven to be easy to manage and provides City Index' clients and staff with access to the information they want, when and where it is needed," concluded Collard.