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Wireless gives professionals ways to boost productivity.

Wireless technology, despite some glitches, is expanding the ability of professionals from securities traders to venture capitalists to take care of business even when they're on the road.

Jeffrey D. Brunner, president of Gilman Securities, a securities trading firm in New York City, says missing a stock quote by seconds can result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue. To avoid this, Brunner uses several wireless devices. One is DataPulse, a wireless portable market monitor that gives him 24-hour access to global market prices at work, home and even when he's flying a company plane.

The DataPulse from Metriplex Inc. incorporates a Hewlett-Packard HP-95LX palmtop computer, a Motorola Newstream receiver, and Metriplex's software and Global 24 wireless computing network.

Brunner uses the DataPulse to complement Metriplex's Global24 satellite-based pager and FX Alert, a pager service transmitted on FM frequency by Telerate Systems Inc., a Dow Jones company. Both pagers provide news headlines and foreign exchange, stock and futures quotations, and receive business messages.

While the wireless devices let Brunner closely monitor financial information, they aren't problem-free. For instance, Brunner says, while the Telerate service has a more broad-based information offering than the Global 24, the pager "kills the screen" when quotes are coming in--sometimes for as long 35 or 40 seconds, a blackout that can cost a trader thousands of dollars.

Also, while the DataPulse is supposed to save data for charting trading trends, Brunner says it doesn't always work. "In theory I have an overnight record of what went on. But it's not doing a very good job of that," he says. "I assume this is just a bug that needs to be worked out. We tend to buy stuff as soon as it's available, so we tend to be what I call late beta testers."

However, once the bugs in the DataPulse are fixed, Brunner intends to purchase units for all the traders in his company, because, he says, "One good trade we otherwise would have missed pays for the service for a decade. I think this costs us about $3,500 a year to run. Our smallest trade makes a $30,000 to $40,000 difference. It would be silly not to have them if they can help."

Another professional using a leading-edge wireless product is Deepak Kamra, an investment professional with the Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm of Canaan Partners. For several months, Karma has signed on a couple of times a day to send and get E-mail messages through Viking Express, a wireless E-mail package from Ericsson GE Mobile Communications. Viking Express lets users communicate with standard E-mail networks, including TCP/IP, Internet, LAN mail systems and public mail systems. It includes a Mobidem portable wireless modem, Hewlett-Packard's HP95LX palmtop, RadioMail Remote software from RadioMail Corp. to bridge the wireline and wireless worlds, and a small carrying case.

Kamra says his firm is considering an investment in RadioMail, and he uses Viking Express to send messages back and forth to that company. Also, he says, "A lot of people in the venture capital community, at least here in California, now have these units. They like new toys and they travel a lot. It offers them the capability to stay in touch with other people with these.

"I used to be a voice mail fanatic until I got one of these. But now I'm beginning to see the applications for E-Mail--the ability to leave more detailed messages. Better information leads to better decision making, and I guess that's the bottom line in my business."

Also, Kamra says, with Viking Express, "You can sit in a meeting and check your messages without having to go to the phone. If I get bored at a meeting, I just check my messages."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Nelson Publishing
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Title Annotation:Gilman Securities use of Metriplex Inc.'s DataPulse
Author:Lavallee, Wendy J.
Publication:Communications News
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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