February 25, 2021

Centering Digital Transformation: Introducing OpenFin Notification Center

It’s one of the paradoxes of innovation: capital markets professionals have access to more and better tools today than ever before, but the sheer number of applications leads to complex workflows and a cluttered desktop. The solution is digital transformation. By taking modern approaches to technology, financial firms can help employees take full advantage of the powerful functionalities before them.

Digital transformation means different things to different people, but it is often about improving productivity, and certain features are foundational to that. That’s why we at OpenFin are excited to talk about the latest addition to our desktop operating system (OS): our Notification Center.

Notification Center represents an important new phase for OpenFin. Historically, our OS has been invisible, providing the underlying framework that enables web apps to run as first class citizens on the desktop. With the introduction of Notification Center, we are, for the first time, starting to provide visual OS components that are critical to automating workflows. A default Notification Center eliminates the need for our customers to have to build their own and it creates standardization across the entire app ecosystem for everyone to use in Financial Services.

Even for industry firms with vast technology resources, notification centers are difficult to build and maintain. They must be tailored to the individual user, which requires a tremendous amount of research into specific workflows, both upfront and on an ongoing basis. In many cases, firms choose to build tools that involve a one-time build and are able to hobble on with little upkeep, but in the fast moving world of notifications requirements that simply isn’t an option.

We wanted to solve this problem by offering a notification center capable of meeting the precise needs of the end user irrespective of their role be it front office, back office, compliance or a host of other corporate areas. Ours is attuned to financial services workflow, able to send prompts for very specific tasks and suites of hyper-focused apps. It also seeks to go beyond ensuring that users are merely aware of their notifications – it makes it possible to instantly act on them in ways that maximize workflow efficiency. In this way, Notification Center could be more aptly described as an “activity center.”

For example, one of the fundamental problems with conventional notification centers is that they do little to discern which notifications are most important. If a trader needs to leave her desk for an hour or two, she may return to an overwhelming number of notifications displayed in chronological order, forcing her to sift through a large volume of information just to identify where she needs to act. In this scenario, the notification center serves as a repository of information, but does little to improve workflows or efficiency.

OpenFin Notification Center solves this issue through its robust prioritization system. This system, able to be configured at the company-wide or individual desktop level, means users can allocate importance to each notification, creating a workflow in which the timeliest notifications rise to the top. All of this is dictated by the user’s business objectives. The reality is that on a desktop comprised of disparate apps, each notification will view itself as the most important; our approach provides a framework through which users can cut through the noise. Now, instead of having to sift through a mountain of notifications, the trader who leaves her desk returns to a tailored to-do list composed of the most important items she missed.

In addition, Notification Center enables a significant degree of configurability – so if you want to incorporate videos, a chart or spice things up with some punchy text, those options are available. In a similar way, notifications can be customized to enable maximum efficiency. Speed and accuracy is the name of the game for the Notifications Center – notifications can enable end users to complete workflows directly within the Notifications Center, or to use it as a springboard to the underlying notification, giving the end user the opportunity to dig into the details before making a decision about what’s next.

This configurability is present in every aspect of Notification Center – firms are fully empowered to integrate proprietary tools and incorporate their own branding. This is indicative of the changing buy-versus-build conversation within the industry. Firms were once notoriously adamant about building systems in house, but they are now increasingly likely to view content – not development – as their secret sauce, which has led to a greater appetite for enlisting third-party infrastructure to enable it. By prioritizing features that almost all of our clients need, we at OpenFin are able to play an important role in helping the industry navigate this shift. Firms can focus internal development resources on content functions while having access to a robust notification center tailored to their specifications on both appearance and function where internal and 3rd party vendor notifications can co-exist.

This is especially timely because of increased discussion of the future of work. There is no telling what things will look like when we finally return to the office, but it is a safe bet that work-from-anywhere solutions will be in high demand. By providing instantly actionable alerts and optimizing screen real estate, Notification Center is a first in a series of workspace solutions OpenFin will be launching in 2021.

We at OpenFin serve a massive ecosystem of financial firms that have varying priorities, but they are united in their goal of operating more efficiently and their need for the key functionalities that enable these improved workflows. With Notification Center, we are taking a new approach to helping the entire industry achieve digital transformation.

Want to learn more? Get in touch.

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