Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meet Our Partners: Web Financial Group

A short interview with Simon Walmsley, Director/Global Sales Team at Web Financial Group, a company that offers solutions for the integration of financial market data and news.

Let’s talk about your organization. What is your core business?

"Web Financial Group offers web based solutions for the integration, presentation and promotion of financial market data and related products to the financial community. Our offer comprehends managed content, market data, and real-time data streaming solutions based on http/HTML4 and the emerging WebSockets/HTML5 to multiple web based client technologies, backed by a scalable and flexible multi-vendor, multi-asset, data warehouse platform that allows us to provide a cost effective, end-to-end integrated service. We are currently able to collect and distribute from over 70 integrated data and news sources coming from different vendors, index issuers and stock exchanges, including Thomson Reuters, Teletrader, Bloomberg, Moodys, Fitch, and Reuters among the many others (a comprehensive list is available here)".

 Could you let us know any further information?

"Our company has three distinct business segments - WebFG Technology, WebFG Media & WebFG Network. WebFG has successfully deployed several hundred projects for 100+ global banking groups for over a decade, and is now currently supporting in excess of 70 million clients utilising WebFG's solutions through our white labels. Our customers include Yahoo!, London Stock Exchange, Société Generale and a number of additional top-tier companies from different industries".

Who is the typical user of your product or service?

"Financial institutions that offer retail brokerage, wealth management and online trading services for retail investors and financial media companies. Thus, the final user is usually a private investor that wants to receive news, market data, and other information".

What do you do for WebFG and what are you responsible for?

"My role is on global sales, mostly for products based on real-time streaming technologies and for Stingray, which is based on HTML5. I coordinate the rest of the sales team for which concerns these specific segments".

What does your application or service do?

"WebStreamer is a push-platform that integrates our financial market data feeds, with a resilient data warehouse. Webstreamer resides in WebFG's Data Centre so no customer infrastructure is required. It's easy to integrate it within any existing “static” web site, just adding some tags to the HTML code. This way, we can replace solutions based on raw long-polling or inefficient data push with an easy to integrate, rock-solid solution that offers a solid data streaming service backed by WebFG's MFDS (Market & Financial Data Solution), which is a scalable and flexible multi-vendor and multi-asset platform that aggregates many different data sources, including Reuters, Six Telekurs, IDC Comstock and many others.

Stingray is a HTML5-based front-end framework to provide both native and third part contents in a fast, efficient, “write once, run everywhere” (that is, one and the same on desktop, tablet, smartphone). Developed with the financial industry in mind, it proved to be absolutely suitable for any other kind of contents. Stingray is widget-based, so that a single framework can host several different feeds contents and application to be distributed in real-time on any platform, and offers intuitive drag and drop features. It can be integrated on existing back-ends or built from scratch with our proprietary data feeds".

What functionalities are powered by Lightstreamer?

"We deployed Lightstreamer for market data and news streaming, and for real-time updates of clients’ portfolios".

Is your main application based on HTML or other front-end technologies?

"Besides HTML4 and the latest in HTML5 and responsive design, we also have experience with the older generation technologies such as Java, Flash or dedicated mobile Apps".

Do you provide any native apps for smartphones and tablets?

"We developed native apps for some of our customers back in the days, for wealth management. We are definitely oriented to keep developing HTML5 solutions in the next future, though".

Do you use Lightstreamer for bi-directional data push (that is, also for sending messages from the client to the server)?

"Yes, recently we started using Lightstreamer for bi-directional data push for some of our customers".

What other features of Lightstreamer are you taking benefit from (e.g. data throttling, low latency, bandwidth management, security, smart proxy traversal, etc.)?

"We are taking benefit of many Lightstreamer features including data throttling, bandwidth management and smart proxy traversal among the others".

Is your product or service visible at any URL (publicly or registration based)?

"You can visit and".

According to your specific experience, which is the added value of Lightstreamer for your solutions?

"Through the integration of Lightstreamer we managed to save resources as it just worked ‘out of the box’, so we can offer an excellent data streaming service at a reasonable price, and increase our margins. Developing a solution from scratch would have been too demanding on time, money and resources, not so effective, and too expensive on maintenance".

Why Web Financial Group have chosen Lightstreamer among many others solutions, both commercial and free? We would be very grateful if you would like to provide a short recommendation to testify your experience with Lightstreamer technology and its support team

"We decided to go for Lightstreamer for a quite simple cost/opportunity evaluation. Four years ago our tech folks started evaluating and benchmarking Lightstreamer against other solutions extensively, and it proved to be way better on performance, features, and integration. Furthermore, it has been constantly kept up-to-date during the years. Some of the others solutions we tried, both commercial and free, proved to be good enough, but too bulky and complex in terms of architecture. Lightstreamer proved to be efficient and absolutely stable, and we never experienced problems since we adopted it".

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