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Banking Tech Awards
1st December 2022
Royal Lancaster Hotel

Banking Tech Awards Finalist: OpenFin – Workspace Team


OpenFin has been selected as a finalist in the Top Tech Team – Tech/Service Provider category at the Banking Tech Awards 2022 for their Workspace Team.

OpenFin

OpenFin is the operating system for enterprise productivity, enabling app distribution, workspace management and workflow automation. Within finance, the number of firms utilizing OpenFin technology has grown from 2,400 to 3,800 since the launch of Workspace 16 months ago. Today, OpenFin is used by 90% of global financial institutions, including banks, buy-side and sell-side firms and the global vendor community. OpenFin investors include ING Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Barclays, CME Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, NYCA Partners, Pivot Investment Partners, Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital among others. The company is based in New York with offices in London and a presence in Hong Kong.

OpenFin’s Workspace Team

The Workspace Team is responsible for working with OpenFin’s large and fast-growing client base to build the financial industry’s app infrastructure. OpenFin’s customers include nearly every major bank, buy-side & sell-side firm and more than 50 FinTechs, all of whom have developed and deployed over 3,800 applications across hundreds of thousands of financial desktops globally. In the consumer space, firms like Apple and Google provide infrastructure including operating systems and app stores that enable the mobile experience. OpenFin, in turn, provides analogous infrastructure tuned for the needs of the financial industry - and the Workspace Team is responsible for leading the firm’s product development across all offerings, enabling digital transformation across the financial services industry.

Workspace, OpenFin’s new flagship product: Putting emphasis on designing an inclusive solution is critical. When a B2B solution starts to look more like that of B2C, the goal should be to decrease the cognitive load of the entire ecosystem, rather than coming up with a solution that is suitable for only a minute number of end-users.

OpenFin’s Tech Team designed Workspace to allow business users to consolidate and automate their work across applications and tasks using a single, elegantly-designed interface that increases user productivity. Built on the company's flagship operating system and designed in collaboration with customers, Workspace is made up of a number of key components including: a keyboard-driven digital assistant for app discovery and search; a browser built for work; an intelligent, actionable notification centre; and a customizable content store. With OpenFin Workspace, firms of all sizes have access to a best-in-class solution that not only creates a unified experience, but enables third-party applications to easily integrate into their customers' internal environments. Two of the largest global banks, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, and two of the world's top global Asset Managers have now adopted the new Workspace offering as their core enterprise framework.

Additionally, to thrive in this changing world, enterprises must empower their employees with everything they need to be productive – not just in the form of powerful applications, but also with complementary workflow management tools. Yet while modern workplace users spend the vast majority of time at their desktops, creating an environment which maximises productivity and minimizes frustration remains an elusive task. This is because native applications provide great user experiences but are difficult to deploy.

Web apps, however, offer just the opposite. OpenFin Workspace is the answer to these challenges. The OpenFin Workspace Team has set out on a mission to help the financial services industry navigate the increasingly-widened gap between what users need and what traditional operating systems can deliver.

Looking at the future of work: The effect of the pandemic has also had a profound effect - cramming a decade’s worth of change into a single year. As much as the launch of Workspace is part of a long-term strategy to revolutionise the financial desktop, the finished product’s design has been significantly influenced by the pandemic. Essentially, no matter what the future of work looks like, enterprises and their staff need to be equipped to meet the moment with efficiency.

These realities ended up informing the design of Workspace, which enables users to not just work from anywhere, but also work with anything. OpenFin’s Tech Team combined a wholesale reimagination of the financial desktop with easy deployment, strong security and seamless interoperability. The system is highly intuitive, with each tool performing a clear function and contributing to the overall experience. It transforms the environment but blends perfectly into the background, with a sleek visual profile to help employees feel inspired by the technology they’re using.

The Workspace team was intent on undertaking a thorough approach to the work around customer discovery of the pain points. Rather than setting out to simply engineer a product, design (UX) research took prominence in the initial stages. An example of this is ethnographic research which shows people work significantly faster with a keyboard rather than a mouse.

What is surprising, however, is that most products available today are mouse-driven, even though many tools within financial services have historically been very keyboard-driven. This in-depth understanding of what the current workflow process is, and where people’s frustrations lie, leads to a product vision driven by design thinking and, ultimately, an initial design that is more likely to succeed.

Two of the largest global banks, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, and two of the world's top global Asset Managers have now adopted the new Workspace offering as their core enterprise framework.

Open Fin's most recent update: Notification Centre is fueling productivity across the desktop Today’s financial desktop users have more tools at their fingertips and are pulled in more directions than ever before. Recently, OpenFin’s Tech Team set out to solve this tension on the modern financial desktop. Because screen real estate is at a premium, there is a fundamental need for an integrated experience with unified workflows. While notifications can help make this a reality, they also have the potential to create information overload, with users forced to sift through long lists of alerts just to identify their next task. Like most other operating systems, OpenFin offers a mechanism to track the alerts that applications may generate throughout the trading day. But unlike other operating systems, OpenFin’s Tech Team purpose-built the Notification Centre for the financial desktop, empowering capital market professionals through dynamic features that enhance productivity and ease workflows. The OpenFin Notification Centre creates a balance between these considerations.

The alerts are actionable and update in real time, enabling users to complete associated tasks within individual notifications, and without switching contexts. At the same time, the robust prioritisation and customization capabilities means the most important notifications go right to the top, essentially creating a productivity roadmap. OpenFin’s Tech Team also designed the Notification Centre to be fully configurable, meaning it can serve as a truly comprehensive solution across the enterprise. Not all users leverage the same tools, and different users may leverage the same tools in different ways.

Even users with the same title may have different clients, focus areas and the like. This workflow diversity calls for a system that can accommodate multiple personas and business lines, with specific notifications and views for each one. Time-of-day-based notifications are another important consideration, especially for global organisations. OpenFin is built for all these use cases and more.

https://www.openfin.co/