Company Visits


Company Background
In 1851, Paul Julius Reuter founded Reuters and leveraged his niche in delivering the latest news and information through the use of the fastest technology available. The company's earliest technology was a fleet of 45 pigeons that would deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen, Germany within two hours, beating the railroad by six hours.

For over 150 years, Reuters founding philosophy has endured. And today Reuters supplies real-time data on 5.5 million financial records including equities, bonds and derivatives from 258 exchanges and over-the-counter markets. The company provides historical information on over 40,000 companies. Additionally, an average 30,000 headlines, including third party contributions, and over eight million words are published daily in 19 languages.
Besides serving the financial markets, Reuters information and news is used by the media worldwide, businesses and individuals. The company is the most read news source on the Internet reaching million in their offices, homes and PDAs.

Reuters is a global information company that provides information and related services tailored for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets. This includes real-time & historical market data; research & analytics; financial trading platforms; investment data & analytics; plus news in text, video, graphics and photographs. It operates its business through four customer segments: treasury services, asset management, investment banking and corporate and media.

Visit Summary
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the class had the opportunity to visit the Reuters office. Adriana Canevaro, the Director of Reuters Support in Latin America, provided a brief presentation and discussion. The discussion revealed the role that the Reuters Support Center provided to many local and international banks and financial institutions, which utilized their many news and financial products.

During this exhibit we observed a variety of Reuters products, ranging from Reuters Dealing, a foreign exchange trading system to 3000xtra, a real-time news and data application, to Reuters Messaging, and instant messaging service that was developed specifically for the financial services industry. We also had the ability to see how the Reuters Support staff interacted with clients in the Call Center on typical trouble calls in an attempt to resolve customer issues. It was also interesting to see how every agent tried to replicate and document customers technical problem or data query on their lab computer while they utilized Siebel, their customer relationship management tool. This process of documenting and troubleshooting, streamlined the troubleshooting process to resolve the customer's technical problem or data queries in a timely manner. Adriana was also able to answer many questions in regarding the Networked framework which determines the Networked readiness of the country. We also had a presentation in the "NOC" or network operations center. This tour gave us an opportunity to see now network communications were monitored and proactively resolved in the event of a network or communications failure.
Lastly, we toured the newsroom, where journalists were reporting the news from local to worldwide events. Although the art of journalism hasn't changed much from 1851 when Paul Julius Reuter opened the first Reuters office, the technology available to delivery this information has changed drastically. No longer does Reuters rely on carrier pigeons to deliver news, but now has a sophisticated integrated data network ranging from internet protocol to satellite transmissions spanning the globe.

Reflections on the Visit
This site visit allowed us to view the challenges and triumphs that international and local companies have in regard to information systems in an emerging market. In fact, we were able to further examine the operations of two firms who subscribe to Reuters' service, ABN AMRO and UniBanco. We found that the challenges of information technology in Latin America include the government policies affecting hardware supplies, and telecommunications issues.

However, we did encounter areas where organizations were able to adapt and overcome certain obstacles. For example, to hurdle any telecommunications issues companies often look at IP solutions as an alternative. Building on that information Reuters conducted an Internet study to exam alternative ISP and telecom vendors. Other benefits we encountered were that there is an abundance of skilled workers at Reuters, and the promise of government policy changes and liberalization of the telecommunications sector may have a positive impact in the future.

In the end we concluded that but what really counts is how companies use information, and for businesses to function well, information technology must be closely aligned with business goals. Additionally, for information technology to function well, an empowered staff must interact with information technology, which affects their operations strategy, and management control. It will be interesting to see what the new millennium brings to this organization and the companies whom rely on their services.