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Pacific Stock Exchange gets quick quotes on members' phone use.

In a process that suggests total anarchy, nearly two billion shares of stock and 15 million options change hands annually on the three trading floors of the Pacific Stock Exchange. What gives the appearance of disorder is the "public outcry" method of trading, which is intended to give every buyer and every seller an equal chance at every deal they're interested in.

The Pacific Exchange, the most active regional--non-Wall Street--exchange in the United States, provides facilities and behind-the-scenes resources for about 550 members.

Communications is fundamental to Exchange operations, starting with the personal interplay at the trading booths through the actual execution and clearing of trades, says Chuck Haasch, director of telecomm technology services.

For reasons of convenience, and capital and human resource conservation, PSE management opted for centrex both for member telephone service and for administration.

"We examined the option of switching calls ourselves when we occupied our new facilities in Los Angeles, and we decided to stay with centrex because it provides us with an open-ended number of extensions while it eliminates the need for investment in technology and additional staff," Haasch says.

PSE's Los Angeles and San Francisco branches, both of which are regarded as "headquarters" locations, are connected by a T1 tieline, an economy and efficiency measure that was adopted in 1990 after an examination of traffic between the two cities indicated substantial cost savings over regular long distance.

Most of the traffic on the 650-plus extensions that are monitored relates to administration of trading activity, Haasch says, with 35% to 40% of the $10,000 monthly bill spent on calls to New York and most of the balance to other cities where members' offices are located.

"Most calling concerns either administrative activity or dial back-up for data calls," he says. "Dedicated lines are assigned to our computerized trading systems for equities and options to handle transactions, trades and quotes.

Administrative traffic falls into five categories: stock clearing, financial arrangements, marketing, electronic data delivery and technical support.

These long-distance calls are monitored with Telephone Usage Management Service (TUMS) from AAC Corp.'s Call Center Division. Haasch notes that he does not monitor for members, who are each provided a separate bill by the telephone company.

Since telephone usage is a major expense, the Exchange established a policy to govern it.

"Each department supervisor or manager is responsible for monitoring usage, minimizing costs and ensuring that telephones are efficiently used for the transaction of company business," Haasch says.

"TUMS provides us the means to enforce the Exchange's policy. It enables us to allocate the costs quickly and accurately, on a monthly basis."

Long-distance traffic for both the Los Angeles and the San Francisco locations is monitored using TUMS. Control is maintained in Los Angeles using AAC's Interactive Database Update (IDU) for departmental, cost center and extension details.

Each month, the telco provides Haasch with centrex tapes, which he forwards to AAC along with a PC floppy disk containing updated IDU information.

The package he gets back from AAC is somewhat different than it was a year ago. Where he formerly received two sets of TUMS reports, Haasch now receives one set of printed reports and one TeleView floppy disk. The TeleView disk contains the full set of reports, which can either be stored on a system disk or archived as a floppy.

Reports are broken down and distributed to managers of about 25 departments or cost centers at the two exchange locations.

"The TeleView disk represents an expenditure of only a few additional dollars, but it's worth a lot more in terms of convenience," Haasch says.

"For example, if a manager needs something clarified, we no longer have to ruffle through a stack of paper. We simply pull the record up on the PC screen. If we have to go into archives to retrieve records, we can simply print out the required section and distribute it, avoiding a lot of copying."

The reports themselves are excellent, Haasch says, noting that with TUMS laser printer quality, he's never seen a bad one.

Even when the PSE first began using TUMS service about eight years ago, there was no attempt at cost justification. Rather, Haasch says, management knew intuitively that monitoring long-distance traffic was a necessary function.

"The prevailing industry wisdom said that if you did not monitor calls, you were going to spend 20% more on telecomm than you should," he says. "We accept that position and that it more than pays for the TUMS service. In the bargain, we are certain that in our daily operations we save even more by achieving greater efficiency through more professional use of telecomm throughout the organization."
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Call Accounting
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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