Sinara at 30: investing for the future (2003 to 2006)
In 2019, Sinara Consultants are celebrating our 30th anniversary. In this continuing blog series, we are looking back on some of the events and projects over that time. This entry covers a period of future investment and an interesting spin on offshore development.
Much like the previous year this was a period of consolidation. Sinara’s recurring business from support contracts and licence fees meant that there was still plenty of cake even if the icing was a little thin.
This financial stability meant that we could afford to invest for the future. Sinara expanded the concepts present within earlier Regulatory News Service applications (RNS) to develop a Fundamental Data Extractor. This allowed for the partially automated extraction of data from financial news stories using configurable rules. This was first used by the London Stock Exchange who have remained a valued client to this day. In time this system would progress into a new product range, the Universal Data extractor (UDE).
Our market data products were also enhanced so as to become more useful to professional traders. Up to this point these products had been very database oriented, but now we added streaming capability allowing real time updates to be sent straight to the desktop to power applications such as CFD trading. One particular application feature was one to reduce the volume of prices arriving at the user without losing the essential content (intelligent quote mitigation if you’re interested). As data volumes have increased this is still an important constituent of our market data product platform.
This year saw some of our more interesting client projects, and showed different sides of offshore development. A London-based bank were having problems with a bespoke credit risk system built by an offshore software company. Sophisticated mathematical simulations were carried out overnight, distributed over many servers which were normally used for more mundane tasks. But when your morning coffee and croissant is delayed because the cafeteria server is still calculating a credit default swap position it’s time to get Sinara in to sort things out. We put an experienced team on site to analyse and stabilise the system, which we then supported and enhanced for several years.
In a more unusual twist on the perceived view of offshore software development, we signed up our first client in India, who preferred to use Sinara’s development skills to their local suppliers, proving that software quality is more important than low day rates.
Our product range continued to keep us busy, and also generated bespoke projects as satisfied customers found new problems for us to solve. 2006 was particularly notable as it marked our first discussions with the London Metal Exchange. Our initial proposal centred upon our market data platform, and resulted in a major deployment to provide dissemination of market data to major vendors. This success helped establish the foundation for a strong relationship which continues to this day.
The Sinara ship was back on course and making steady forward progress . Would its crew be able to steer through the storms which were soon to blow?