Merrill Lynch picks VOIP-powered trading systems

London, New York and other floors around the world to go VOIP

Merrill Lynch has selected IPC Systems to provide advanced voice over IP (VOIP) trading systems in a global deal.

The contract -- for an undisclosed sum -- will see IPC install nearly 4,000 of its IQ/MAX trading desktops on Merrill Lynch's two largest trading floors in New York and London, and on other trading floors around the world.

The VOIP-powered digital system will be implemented in early 2008. IPC will also provide four data centers for the finance giant in London and New York.

Tony Kerrison, Merrill Lynch's chief technology officer for global technology infrastructure, said the IPC system offered "what matters most to our traders: efficiency, dependability and user-friendliness". IQ/MAX would provide reliable and collaborative trading floor communications.

Merrill Lynch is one of a group of financial institutions backing the launch of the Turquoise pan-European equity trading platform. The launch of Turquoise had been due this month, but has been delayed until early 2008 by complex negotiations over the technology that will drive the new venture.

Earlier this year, Merrill signed a deal making it the biggest user of Salesforce.com's on-demand customer relationship software. The hosted application is set to be rolled out to 25,000 staff.

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