FFastFill enables business breakthrough. Company re-launched as an Application Services Provider

London June 22nd. Electronic markets, led by derivative exchanges, are on the verge of the most important breakthrough since online trading began, according to Keith Todd, executive chairman of FFastFill. A dramatic reorganisation of the technology which intermediaries use to receive and handle orders and transactions is now available which will liberate intermediaries from traditional order flow constraints and enable the industry to build in new and still higher levels of growth.

FFastFill makes this claim at its re-launch today. Announcing its development from an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) into an Application Service Provider (ASP) Keith Todd said `Until now ISVs, including FFastFill, have not really changed fundamentally the way brokers handle their order flow. ISVs have added great value and are now a necessary link in the chain, but their contribution has been largely additional to brokers' internal operations. The ASP model extracts and externalises much of the order processing IT currently owned and managed by brokers and re-engineers it as applications delivered as a service by FFastFill to its clients.'

The effect of this is threefold –
· it enables brokers to concentrate on client relationships, not IT,
· it dramatically reduces the cost to brokers of investing in and maintaining complex IT,
· it provides increasingly flexible solutions to the changing needs of trading on electronic markets.

Continued Todd, 'Online exchanges mean that the traditional exchange-broker-customer chain can be handled in a completely different way. Until now ISVs just sold software to brokers who then used it to enhance their relationships with exchanges and clients. ASP impacts on the fundamentals of this process in that FFastFill becomes the host for exchange data transmission (connectivity), provides order routing and management and also provides a full suite of software products (functionality) such as pre- and post-trade risk management. All this is delivered as a service for which intermediaries contract and pay for as a flat fee. Although hard numbers are difficult to quantify we believe large intermediaries can make real savings of 20 - 30 per cent on these activities and can additionally look to increase the customer base and order flow substantially.'

'Commercially, therefore, intermediaries can now take of advantage of scaleable IT services according to their customer and exchange needs without the cost of self-build and maintenance. This enables brokers to expand into new customer areas more profitably as the high fixed IT hurdle costs cease to be barriers to entry into new e-trading sectors.'

The FFastFill re-launch comes three and a half years after the company was listed on AIM in 2000. After a difficult two years the company acquired new management, new funding and a new approach to this market. FFastFill has since developed a sound track record of delivering high performance software to intermediaries trading on electronic derivatives markets.

Over the past 18 months the company has combined this expertise with its experience in managing major outsourcing contracts to create a unique application service platform for the electronic trading community.

Delivery via SLA

In offering this service FFastFill takes full accountability for delivering the complete technology platform by contracting to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which reflects the customers business requirement, at a single fee which covers all aspects of the service.

This service is of very high quality because FFastFill has re-engineered the way in which all elements of the trading technology have been designed and implemented. Most importantly the application software has been re-architected to provide a modular and flexible solution. This provides the customer with not only high levels of performance and security, but also totally new benchmarks for availability, configurability and scalability.

In order to support such a high quality service, FFastFill manages the whole operation using a comprehensive service management system which monitors and controls all aspects of the delivered service including not only the performance and availability of the network and the IT infrastructure but also the application software.

Keith Todd, executive chairman, concluded, "I am delighted that today we can deliver what we promised the market, a new completely different technology experience - managed application services. I am convinced that all market technology will be deployed in this way in the future. I believe that the new contract wins that we have gained recently clearly demonstrate that the market supports this breakthrough approach that FFastFill is delivering"

FFastFill is an AIM listed company based in London which designs and delivers application services for trading and risk management on electronic markets. These services provide full application functionality, and save an institution the cost of investing in and maintaining its own technology infrastructure and staff department. All FFastFill’s services are delivered against a contracted Service Level Agreement (SLA) that can be tailored to the institutions business requirements. FFastFill provides these services from specialist operational centres in London and Chicago and a software development centre in Prague.

For further information, please contact:
Rostron Parry
John Parry
020 7490 8062
Hansard Communications
Adam Reynolds
020 7245 1100
FFastFill plc
Keith Todd
Executive Chairman
020 7665 8900

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