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Blog · 17 Jun 2020

An innovation story: Radianz celebrates 20 years of trading

Michael Woodman, managing director for Radianz services, talks about his time with the business and where he’s planning to take it in the future.

profile-picture
Managing director for Radianz services

It seems like only yesterday I was walking through the door of the fledgling Radianz business as an eager product manager and yet, today, we’re here celebrating 20 years of successful operation.

Now, as managing director, I can say that Radianz has been a huge part of my life, we’ve come a long way together and we’re going to go even further.

Something different, right from the beginning

From my earliest days at Radianz, just after its launch in June 2000 by Reuters and Equant, the business has had a high-energy start-up vibe that it’s never lost. Back then, each of our main offices had every function squeezed in. Everybody knew each other and worked hard to make things happen for customers. We’ve been a part of BT since 2005 and are structured very differently now. Plus we’ve grown considerably over our 20 years: thousands of member sites make up our Radianz Cloud community and we serve over 60 countries across more than 160 trading venues — but the same work ethic and enthusiasm to deliver for our customers is alive and kicking.

I’ve thought a lot about what makes us different in the market, and have to pay tribute to our wide-reaching ecosystem — stretching across the trade cycle and all asset classes — that links our large global community of customers with the broad choice of apps and services they need. Then there are the solutions we’ve custom built for our users, refined using the understanding that’s come from being an integral part of the capital markets for so many years. 

In many ways though, it’s our customers that make us what we are by always demanding the very best. In such a competitive environment, they look to us to give them an edge. This could be delivering the lowest latency for equities trading or the simplest way to reach their global customer quickly. We know we have to make any changes in short windows at the weekend, that absolutely everything has to fit regulatory requirements, and that, during market hours, service failure is not an option — and this inspires us to always aim high. 

Far more highs than lows 

Looking back, my time with Radianz has been packed with highs, with a few challenges thrown in. I still have vivid memories of living and working in the US for a year back in the early 2000s tackling the hugely rewarding task of managing the building of the Nutley data centre from end-to-end. And I loved driving the roll-out of metro-Ethernet as a new access technology around the globe. It was so satisfying to be a part of offering customers better and more cost-effective access options. But the achievement that really stands out for me is bringing Radianz back together as an end-to-end business within the BT group. It was a risk to pitch the idea to the global leadership team, but it paid off and I’m so proud of having grown it into the thriving business it is today. The results speak for themselves in terms of business performance, customer activity and employee satisfaction.

I’ve faced my fair share of challenges over the past 20 years, too. Fighting to keep Radianz a viable proposition to carry on supporting customers after the financial crash was a tough time for everyone involved. Plus, day to day, the team and I battle against geographical challenges to rollout services and infrastructure to tens of countries. And when Radianz was acquired by BT in 2005, the goal posts moved significantly, with new ways of working to pick up and changes in team structures to come to terms with. It all worked out in the end though — bringing lots of positives on the way — and look at us now!

Thank yous all round

I’m full of pride when I look at everything my Radianz team has achieved. The can-do attitude, the sheer energy and the awesome collaboration I see day-in, day-out across our teams and across the globe just take my breath away. I’d like to say a massive thank you to all our people for making it all happen and for continuing to work so hard to set us up for a successful future.

I’d also like to thank our customers for staying loyal to Radianz and working with us as we continue to evolve. The global capital market bought into Radianz 20 years ago and still does today. The next phase of digital transformation will be huge for all concerned, and we’re looking forward to partnering with you through it.

Building a successful tomorrow

So where are we heading next? Well our focus is more growth and more innovation to keep ahead of a fintech market that never stands still. We’ll build on our position as a trusted and neutral partner to the capital markets industry, seeking out new providers with different types of services to offer and investing in alternative data sources. Our aim is to deliver even more value in terms of mutualised utilities made available via our cloud platform. There are changes going on within BT, too — a wide-ranging digital transformation with significant investment in new systems — and this will revolutionise how we engage with our customers and deliver our services. New innovations are coming online already: our new Trading Hub proposition is just the beginning — watch this space!

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It seems like only yesterday I was walking through the door of the fledgling Radianz business as an eager product manager and yet, today, we’re here celebrating 20 years of successful operation.

Now, as managing director, I can say that Radianz has been a huge part of my life, we’ve come a long way together and we’re going to go even further.

Something different, right from the beginning

From my earliest days at Radianz, just after its launch in June 2000 by Reuters and Equant, the business has had a high-energy start-up vibe that it’s never lost. Back then, each of our main offices had every function squeezed in. Everybody knew each other and worked hard to make things happen for customers. We’ve been a part of BT since 2005 and are structured very differently now. Plus we’ve grown considerably over our 20 years: thousands of member sites make up our Radianz Cloud community and we serve over 60 countries across more than 160 trading venues — but the same work ethic and enthusiasm to deliver for our customers is alive and kicking.

I’ve thought a lot about what makes us different in the market, and have to pay tribute to our wide-reaching ecosystem — stretching across the trade cycle and all asset classes — that links our large global community of customers with the broad choice of apps and services they need. Then there are the solutions we’ve custom built for our users, refined using the understanding that’s come from being an integral part of the capital markets for so many years. 

In many ways though, it’s our customers that make us what we are by always demanding the very best. In such a competitive environment, they look to us to give them an edge. This could be delivering the lowest latency for equities trading or the simplest way to reach their global customer quickly. We know we have to make any changes in short windows at the weekend, that absolutely everything has to fit regulatory requirements, and that, during market hours, service failure is not an option — and this inspires us to always aim high. 

Far more highs than lows 

Looking back, my time with Radianz has been packed with highs, with a few challenges thrown in. I still have vivid memories of living and working in the US for a year back in the early 2000s tackling the hugely rewarding task of managing the building of the Nutley data centre from end-to-end. And I loved driving the roll-out of metro-Ethernet as a new access technology around the globe. It was so satisfying to be a part of offering customers better and more cost-effective access options. But the achievement that really stands out for me is bringing Radianz back together as an end-to-end business within the BT group. It was a risk to pitch the idea to the global leadership team, but it paid off and I’m so proud of having grown it into the thriving business it is today. The results speak for themselves in terms of business performance, customer activity and employee satisfaction.

I’ve faced my fair share of challenges over the past 20 years, too. Fighting to keep Radianz a viable proposition to carry on supporting customers after the financial crash was a tough time for everyone involved. Plus, day to day, the team and I battle against geographical challenges to rollout services and infrastructure to tens of countries. And when Radianz was acquired by BT in 2005, the goal posts moved significantly, with new ways of working to pick up and changes in team structures to come to terms with. It all worked out in the end though — bringing lots of positives on the way — and look at us now!

Thank yous all round

I’m full of pride when I look at everything my Radianz team has achieved. The can-do attitude, the sheer energy and the awesome collaboration I see day-in, day-out across our teams and across the globe just take my breath away. I’d like to say a massive thank you to all our people for making it all happen and for continuing to work so hard to set us up for a successful future.

I’d also like to thank our customers for staying loyal to Radianz and working with us as we continue to evolve. The global capital market bought into Radianz 20 years ago and still does today. The next phase of digital transformation will be huge for all concerned, and we’re looking forward to partnering with you through it.

Building a successful tomorrow

So where are we heading next? Well our focus is more growth and more innovation to keep ahead of a fintech market that never stands still. We’ll build on our position as a trusted and neutral partner to the capital markets industry, seeking out new providers with different types of services to offer and investing in alternative data sources. Our aim is to deliver even more value in terms of mutualised utilities made available via our cloud platform. There are changes going on within BT, too — a wide-ranging digital transformation with significant investment in new systems — and this will revolutionise how we engage with our customers and deliver our services. New innovations are coming online already: our new Trading Hub proposition is just the beginning — watch this space!

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