Sinara at 30: new opportunities (2011 – 2014)
In 2019, Sinara Consultants are celebrating our 30th anniversary. This blog entry covers the period from 2011 to 2014, where, following the general economic downturn, Sinara pursued opportunities in both new and existing areas.
By now Sinara had weathered various storms in the general economy, so the negative sentiment expressed by many commentators didn’t put us off our long term strategy for slow but steady expansion. It turned out we were right! 2011 proved to be a busy year, as our market data platform was commissioned for two separate user communities in Europe and Asia. The latter in particular was a good example of global collaboration. The project was managed by the Australian office of a US data vendor, the primary end user being located in Japan, using front end applications developed in Romania. The system software itself (and associated client APIs) was written in the UK by Sinara, who also assisted with its installation at two data centres in Hong Kong.
At Sinara we always maintain that the technology used for any given project is no big deal, as we constantly adapt. To prove the point, this year we delivered an iPhone and Android app to access futures prices, whilst another project was a set of software adaptors running on Linux to measure system performance and network latency. No prizes for guessing which features more prominently in our graduate recruitment campaigns.
According to economic forecasters the chilly backdrop was about to thaw, and sure enough Sinara started to see leads coming in from new contacts. One new client had the classic “it used to be OK, but now it isn’t” problem to solve. This always has a tradeoff between rolling your sleeves up and getting it working, and the more purist approach of throwing it away and starting again. In this case, by understanding what was actually going on Sinara were able to recommend a way forward using the existing code base. Troubleshooting was the exception however. Our
usual suspects loyal client base kept us busy whilst we also had the time to invest in some new product ideas. This pattern would continue as we moved into 2014. It appeared that the promised age of austerity was over, at least as far as Sinara was concerned.
Our market data knowledge continued to drive our business and this year resulted in two distinct consultancy projects on the topic of a market data repository. In detail however they were very different, one being concerned from a supplier angle (an exchange) , the other from a consumer viewpoint (a bank in this case). The first of these led on to an implementation, the most difficult aspect of which was the take on of fourteen years of historical data.
Testing of our product range was now becoming increasingly time consuming, and so we started to develop tools to allow us to automate regression testing. Unlike the cobblers’ children we will not go barefoot.
The highlight of this year was the 25th anniversary trip to Paris in July. Armed with champagne, canapés and overnight support phones, Sinara staff and partners took a 7am Saturday morning Eurostar to the Gare du Nord. Then followed a weekend of shopping, sightseeing and haute cuisine including a celebratory meal at one of the many “oldest restaurants in Paris”. Then it was back on the London train in time for the World Cup Final and the Monday morning support shift – the customer always comes first!