How much does downtime really cost your business?

by Natallia Hunik, Global Head of Sales at Fortex Inc.

When a broker’s MT4 server is down, regardless of whether it is live or demo, the impact to the business can be more than significant. It’s not all about dollars either. Whilst financial losses can run into millions of dollars per minute for high-level data transaction businesses such as online brokerages and banks, the damage to reputation, customer retention, and overall confidence in a firm, can be much harder to repair. So, what is your reputation worth? To know anything related to business visit us.

So why do we keep hearing about MT4 downtime, server freezes and price outages at forex brokers across the board?

  1. The first place to look would be at the datacenter and hosting provider. In an effort to save on hosting, many brokers contract with lower grade / second tier data centers and use cloud hosting to host their trading platforms.  While costs are lower in taking this road, there are a several significant drawbacks:
    – Redundancy and uptime standards are not up to the accepted standard of the financial industry, where round the clock availability and connectivity is required.
    – Often, hosting vendors do not have direct access to the datacenter facilities (do not have their own cage) and, as a result, there may be two, three or even four intermediaries involved resulting in slower response times.
    – Security: lower level hosting providers are not able to secure the network themselves and rely instead on intermediaries
  1. Hosting of mission-critical MT4 server(s) on virtual machines. You cannot get the same performance out of virtual machine as you would on dedicated, physical hardware (also known as “bare metal”, or “a bare metal machine”). Yes, virtual may cost a fraction of the costs of physical but please bear in mind that your virtual machine shares resources with other businesses/servers and cannot compare in stability and reliability to an actual physical server. Once a business starts growing, FX brokers immediately begin to feel the pain of not being able to scale while using virtual machines.
  2. Underestimating network bandwidth: bandwidth is critical when working with a large number of users, multiple instruments that necessitate constant price streams (derived from various locations around the globe), and transactions that need to be transmitted across the oceans in milliseconds. The hosting packages that come with a very attractive price point usually have the lowest bandwidth allocation, leading to outages, latency and an inability to scale down the road.
  3. Working with hosting providers who do not understand the FX business: maybe it’s ok for some businesses to have their website down once in a while each month, but that’s a big no-no for someone running an online FX brokerage operation. You will need your key vendor to understand just how critical system uptime is to your business.
  4. Using amateur MT4 support firms: there are a number of companies that claim to provide MT4 support or an MT4 service desk. Most of the time, however, the staff is poorly trained and overstretched between multiple clients and lacks the necessary technical background, expertise and relevant experience. Remember, you tend to get what you pay for! Talented and experienced MT4 support desks come at a price.
  5. Lack of monitoring: many brokers are under the impression that once everything is set up on their MT4, the server will just run on its own. That’s just like not changing the oil in your car – at some point the engine will start failing. Automated monitoring apps combined with dynamic alerts and human oversight are a must.
  6. Not having backups, regular backup drills and a robust disaster recovery plan: needless to say, having a backup server is your ultimate insurance policy. It’s also best to have this in a different datacenter and in a different geographical location.
  7. Using plugins from unreliable sources or having too many plugins on the server. Plugins, that are not coded properly, are often the major cause of MT4 server freezes & crashes due to memory leaks and incompatibility issues with other software running on the MT4. There are hundreds of plugins available for MT4 servers, however, only a dozen of them are truly reliable and include the latest MT4 and MT4 API updates.

I can go on and on with this list, but hopefully you get the idea. You need to have a professional partner that you can always rely on. One that’s located in a reputable financial datacenter (disregard sales pitches where it’s across the street from the reputable datacenter). Communication is another key point that I haven’t touched upon, but it’s a critical piece of the puzzle. Outages happen with even the biggest and the best of us, (Amazon and Twitter are recent examples) but how the hosting vendor communicates to the brokerage and how the brokerage then communicates with its clients, tells the market about just how prepared the broker is to handle the unexpected. Providing timely updates and outage reports is a must and key to client confidence.

As the digital marketing movement continues to gain momentum, businesses need to develop innovative ways to tap the potential of online marketing and to promote visibility in the vast online marketplace. If you are on your way to launch a start-up or you want to grow your business, it’s time to investigate how digital marketing can help you boost the online presence of your company, build your brand, and to transform your website into a money-making platform.

Below are the 5 most obvious reasons why you need online marketing to fulfill your business objectives:

Boosting Visibility

The Internet, along with the growing popularity of e-commerce, have brought drastic changes in people’s lifestyle. Today, people are more likely to shop online than to spend some time to find an item of their choice from brick-and-mortar shops. From buying monthly groceries to getting access to mobile movie tickets to purchasing home furniture, people are spending more time on the internet and making the most out of online shopping deals.

According to a Forbes report, around 82 percent of consumers conduct online research, and according to Tech Crunch, 79 percent of these people choose to shop online. These stats actively enforce one truth- online shopping will continue to dominate commerce in the future. So if you are not going online, you may be failing to reach a bigger audience and earning higher revenues; Learn more about marketing and growth for Seo tampa fl.

Whether you are selling artificial jewelry or you want to improve the sales of your company’s drill bits, your online platform can serve as an excellent resource for your prospects, allowing them to get additional information about your products and purchase them at their convenient times. With more and more people using their smartphones to do online shopping, you may consider creating an app for your website, encouraging your customers to download it on their phones.

Measuring Success

With digital marketing, you can measure the success of your marketing campaigns. Metrics matter a lot when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing campaigns. While traditional advertising methods, such as television commercials and newspaper ads, are useful, you cannot always measure the performance of such techniques. You are not able to get any data concerning how many people purchased your product after watching your ad on television. With digital marketing, you can track your campaign’s performance at every step.

Connecting with Your Customers

You can leverage social media marketing to communicate with your existing customers as well as prospects. By using social media platforms, you can keep your customers updated with new information regarding the latest developments in your company or product offerings. This is a great way to promote your new or upcoming products. Provide short descriptions of your upcoming products on your social media platforms and you can catch the attention of prospects. Additionally, social media marketing campaigns that are authentic have consistently been associated with high return-on-investment.

By investing just a few bucks every month, you can connect with thousands of people, who take an interest in your products and communicate with industry experts through your blogs and LinkedIn account. The widely used online promotional channels include Facebook, press outlets, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and websites. You can regularly communicate with your customers to know their feedback about your products and pricing. This is far easier than collecting your customers’ opinions through surveys.

Combatting Competition

People get a lot of choices when they do online shopping. People can now easily purchase products that are not available locally. Businesses with an online presence can take this opportunity to cater to the specific needs of various groups of customers by delivering them what they need. This way, companies can beat the competition and protect their identities over local small as well as large retailers. On the other hand, if you are running a local business, you can capitalize on online marketing to target specific markets and customers. For example, you may promote your Facebook page to particular demographics or cities.

Creating Brand Identity

When you establish an online presence, you can show to your target customers that you are actively engaged and running a business successfully. Your online presence stands testimony to your growth mission. If you are running a local business, an online presence can help you win the confidence of your target audience and maintain a large customer base. Companies that invest in online marketing campaigns can rank higher up on search engines and can attract a large number of visitors. It is easier for you to reach new markets if you create a strong brand identity. Additionally, with your Facebook page, blog, and website, you are creating a “press” that is solely controlled by you and your brand. This way, you can create a strong impact in the minds of your target audience.

Fortex hosts its hardware (in its own, designated cages) at top-notch Equinix facilities, the NY4 datacenter in New York and HK3 in Hong Kong. Both NY4 and HK3 hold SAE16 SOC-1 Type II and SOC-2 Type II certificates and provide highest quality of service and reliability. The Fortex setup is fully redundant and managed locally by a team of qualified network engineers in each location. Download our hosting proposal HERE.

How much does downtime cost your business? What have you done to try to remedy this? If you want to stop wasting with MT4 server downtime then please, call us!

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