A major asset management firm, AllianceBernstein, is finding that the Holy Grail of digital transformation can be kicked off from the desktop. The firm will be applying the operating system and related technologies from vendor OpenFin as a way to facilitate a revamp of the way desktop and web apps interact, officials say.
The collaboration between the global firm and OpenFin is intended to help AllianceBernstein upgrade its desktop technology infrastructure, “allowing integration and interoperability with legacy and third-party applications without the need to rewrite legacy code,” say officials at OpenFin, which has is based in New York City and has offices in London.
For the moment, AllianceBernstein is “actively migrating [Microsoft] .NET and legacy applications onto OpenFin OS [operating system].”
This move will target AllianceBernstein traders who are focusing on “more efficient workflows” and on making “better use of their existing trading tools,” officials add.
“We have a very clear, firm-wide strategy to modernize our technology infrastructure, which will improve trader workflows and ensure that we can efficiently leverage innovative third-party apps coming to market,” says Michael Herskovitz, co-head of technology and operations of AllianceBernstein, in a prepared statement.
“Through extensive due diligence, we determined the best way for us to achieve our strategy was to collaborate with OpenFin,” Herskovitz adds. “Building on OpenFin’s OS makes sure integration and interoperability between our existing applications, as well as a number of third-party apps, makes our workflows more efficient.”
The OpenFin native desktop experience is intended to create a new environment for financial applications, built upon “Google’s Chromium and GitHub’s Electron open source projects,” according to OpenFin officials. The company also employs “an agile web development and deployment model to accelerate digital transformation and innovation.”
The goal of the interoperability of the OpenFin system is to allow firms to “share information, intent and context with third party apps in a permissioned manner,” officials add.
Among other aspects, OpenFin officials say their environment:
- Helps application interoperability across the entire desktop environment;
- Leverages workspace management functions;
- Helps traders and other end-users get “out of the browser tab” and facilitates web applications that “run like native apps;”
- And helps firms “migrate legacy apps to the web without compromising UX [user experience] or feature set.”
OpenFin, whose investors are Bain Capital Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, Euclid Opportunities, JPMorgan, NYCA Partners and Pivot Investment Partners, is hoping to continue to build upon its inroads so far. The company reports that its operating system is in use at “more than 1,000 applications” that are being used by 1,500-plus banks and buy-side firms “located across 60+ countries.”