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Banking On A Videowall Display

The business world has been using the phrase ?time is money? for so long it has become little more than a clich? marketing buzz phrase, but Denmark-based Jyske Bank takes the maxim very seriously. In an effort to give its customers real-time access to their funds, Jyske was one of the country's first banks to offer online banking with worldwide access, helping to establish its reputation as an early adopter of advanced technology applications.

CHALLENGE: To give a staff of bank employees real-time access to constantly changing financial market data without disrupting 24-hour trading or compromising security.

SOLUTION: Design a videowall that maximizes available space and displays live video from several analog sources.

THE BUSINESS world has been using the phrase “time is money” for so long it has become little more than a cliché marketing buzz phrase, but Denmark-based Jyske Bank takes the maxim very seriously. In an effort to give its customers real-time access to their funds, Jyske was one of the country's first banks to offer online banking with worldwide access, helping to establish its reputation as an early adopter of advanced technology applications. So when the time came in 2002 to put that theory to work for its employees, senior management undertook a trading floor upgrade that included the installation of a nearly 300-square-foot videowall that would keep traders apprised of world events affecting the constantly shifting financial markets.

The dollar — or in Denmark's case, the krone — never sleeps. The 24-hour nature of currency exchange demands quick action at all times of day to turn the best profits for investors, and that means traders must be aware of events that could affect the market as soon as they happen. Before Jyske undertook the trading floor upgrade, traders had access to several financial news outlets, but they were spread out and not always easy to view at once. Each trader's desktop was equipped with two or three TVs tuned to CNN or CNBC, and several small monitors located around the trading floor broadcast additional news sources. To make matters worse, transmissions could be delayed by as much as 15 minutes — a lifetime in the financial world.

According to Michael Stjernholm, Jyske's IT trading floor coordinator, the situation handicapped the bank's employees. “Not all of the traders had full access to the exchanges,” he says. “And by not receiving those exchanges as they took place, they couldn't accurately respond to the prices through the execution of trades or by informing their customers.”

Information on demand

The task of narrowing that information divide fell to Copenhagen, Denmark-based AV systems integrator Informationsteknik Scandinavia A/S. Jyske had worked with the systems integrator before, which eliminated the fits and starts of the typical getting-to-know-you period, but the project's goal was no less daunting because of it: to design and install a display wall visible to everyone on the trading floor that would combine the disparate news feeds that had been spread out around the room, and do it without disrupting the staff that worked 24 hours a day.

The 35 50-inch Clarity Puma XP rear-projection AP/LCD cubes that make up the current videowall weren't the first screens Informationsteknik installed to try to shore up Jyske's financial news disconnect. Until a permanent solution could be agreed upon, the systems integrator installed six 50-inch plasma displays on the wall at the end of the trading floor. It was only a temporary fix, and the bank hoped to find a system that could display a variety of signals, including the slide presentations used during morning briefings.

On the advice of Kim Rasmussen, a sales consultant for Informationsteknik, the bank settled upon a 5x7 arrangement of the Puma cubes. The heart of the videowall is the Jupiter Fusion 980 controller. The integrator first installed the 970 model, but soon switched to the 980 when it became clear the bank would need a more powerful controller to handle the constantly shifting video configurations.

Although the videowall is capable of displaying 35 videos at once, it's currently configured for eight VGA sources and four analog video sources. Located in a room more than 100 feet away and connected by nearly a mile of Draka RGBHV cables, the controller breaks up the videowall into at least two TV news broadcasts, market index curves, a PowerPoint presentation, and a 2 1/2-foot tall ticker that scrolls across the seven screens at the bottom of the 23-foot wide videowall.

Digital video has become the norm for many AV installations, but Jyske opted for analog. Despite having digital capability with the Puma cubes, three years ago when the bank undertook the project, digital feeds were too expensive and couldn't be justified. A separate network for carrying the multiple sources was not in the budget, and security concerns also played a part in the decision. The amount of money that changes hands on any given day at a bank the size of Jyske create the need for an infinitely more secure network than might be in place at the typical commercial facility, and Rasmussen says he didn't have clearance to connect the Fusion controller to the bank's existing data network, further ruling out the possibility of digital.



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