Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- OpenFin has introduced a cloud-service product that provides the back-end for firms to create their own app store, making it easy to curate proprietary and third-party apps for employees.
- The advent of app store capability brings Wall Street desktops one step closer to looking like the experience that finance professionals have come to expect from their iPhones.
- OpenFin CEO Mazy Dar is among Business Insider’s 10 people transforming finance.
- See the full list of 100 people transforming business here.
Trading on Wall Street may soon feel like working on an MacBook computer, or toggling between apps on an iPhone.
That’s the vision of Mazy Dar, the CEO of OpenFin, a startup that helps banks and asset managers build desktop applications. Dar has been working for years to bring an Apple-like operating system to financial desktops — creating an environment where apps can deploy safely, work closely together and update quickly, all within the confines of hyper-sensitive compliance regimes.
But how to find the apps you want among the proliferation of thousands that have now been built within OpenFin?
Enter the startup’s new cloud services product. OpenFin will now provide tools and guidance to clients who want to create their own app store — firm-specific dashboards that can be curated to offer up employees a mix of homegrown apps and relevant third-party apps. Instead of using precious engineering resources to build the store, firms can focus on building the apps, according to Dar, who this week was named one of Business Insider’s 10 people transforming finance.
In doing so, OpenFin is taking one more step toward bringing the design and user experience standards we’ve come to expect from our mobile devices into the staid world of corporate America. And it keeps control to ensure that all apps are designed to be interoperable.
"If you think about what is the app experience on the phone, there are different components of what makes that experience so great," Dar said in an interview. "It starts with app discovery. That’s in an app store."
Another key benefit of the new cloud product — which OpenFin likens to the iCloud for financial services — is that it allows user to keep the same workspace between different workstations.
OpenFin expects the first major clients to go public with their app stores sometime in the second quarter of this year.
"It’s this idea that we want the experience on the financial desktop to feel more like our phones," Dar said. "Everyone agrees where we want to go and the question is how do we get there more quickly."
Designed to sit one layer above a computer’s native OS, OpenFin is a platform where software applications can be deployed safely, seamlessly, and, perhaps most important, in today’s ever-changing world, quickly. It allows traders and portfolio managers to begin using a collection of apps in a way that begins to look and feel like the experience consumers have come to expect from their mobile devices.
The tech is now deployed at 1,500 firms, including 15 of the top 20 global banks.
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