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Windows 7
Customer Solution Case Study
CME Group Estimates Productivity Gains
of 10 to 20 Percent with Windows 7 Slates
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Financial services
Customer Profile
CME Group, based in Chicago, Illinois,
and with offices worldwide, is the world's
leading and most diverse derivatives
marketplace. It has about 2,200
Business Situation
CME Group auditors use laptops while
visiting customer sites, but the laptops
are sometimes bulky or distracting and
can limit productivity.
The company is pilot-testing the use of
slates running the Windows 7 operating
system. The test includes developing and
using a slate-optimized version of an
important business application.
 Boosts productivity by 10 to 20 percent
 Reduces time-to-market by 92 percent
 Avoids doubling of development costs
 Fits into existing IT infrastructure
“Windows 7 slates are enterprise-ready. Our auditors
have a full Windows 7 computer in the form of a
slate…. And we have a platform that fits effortlessly
within the systems we already use.”
Frank Fieseler, Associate Director, Systems Development, CME Group
Auditors at CME Group have the crucial job of confirming the
financial health of the firms that clear trades for its members. But
the auditors’ laptops are often too bulky or distracting for
effective use. That’s why CME Group is piloting Windows 7
slates, which run the full Windows 7 operating system and can
run business applications and access network resources. CME
Group supports the slates with its existing infrastructure and
expertise—which it can’t do with other tablets. Porting an
application to Windows 7 slates takes only 8 percent of the time
that CME Group estimates it would take to port to another
tablet. The company, with the help of Microsoft partner Clarity
Consulting, built a touch-enabled prototype for Windows 7
slates in just one week. It estimates that Windows 7 slates could
increase auditor productivity by 10 to 20 percent.
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“We weren’t necessarily
looking to replace our
laptops. But we’re always
looking for innovation
that will improve our
Roman Benko, Associate Director of
Systems Development, CME Group
At CME Group, customers manage their
future price risk by using derivatives in a
variety of asset classes: interest rates, equity
indexes, foreign currencies, energy,
agricultural commodities, metals, real
estate—even the weather. But the smart
investment might be on the future of CME
Group itself.
The company—formed by the combination
of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the
Chicago Board of Trade, and the New York
Mercantile Exchange—has become one of
the world’s leading and most diverse
derivatives marketplaces. Innovation has
been a driving force for growth throughout
the company’s 160 years, whether it was
the pioneering of new products or the
development of the electronic futures
trading platform—which is why the
company’s audit department began
thinking about using tablets in 2011.
The Limits of Laptops
Every transaction on a CME Group
exchange has to be cleared, or reconciled,
by its clearinghouse. As part of ensuring
the integrity of its exchanges, CME Group
sends auditors to clearing members to
review records, confirm capital holdings,
and approve processes for handling
customers’ money.
Auditors spend about 75 percent of their
time visiting firms and conducting audits.
Data gathering takes place in managers’
offices or conference rooms. The ability to
work remotely is an essential part of the
Auditors have long been aware of the
limitations of their laptops in this setting:
placing the laptop on a conference table or
desk puts an immediate if subtle barrier
between the auditor and other meeting
attendees. Starting a laptop can stop a
meeting while everyone waits for it to load
and open the appropriate applications.
Scrolling, clicking, and typing during a
meeting aren’t conducive to smoothflowing conversation either.
Wanted: Highly Mobile, EnterpriseReady Devices
“We weren’t necessarily looking to replace
our laptops,” says Roman Benko, Associate
Director of Systems Development at CME
Group. “But we’re always looking for
innovation that will improve our processes.”
CME Group considered adopting tablets,
given their widespread acceptance in the
consumer marketplace. “Tablets are
interesting because they are smaller,
thinner, and lighter than laptops,” says
Benko. “They really deliver the mobility that
our auditors need and that they don’t quite
get with laptops.”
Physical attributes aside, auditors still want
their mobile devices to be full, enterpriseready computers that run their line-ofbusiness and commercial applications; that
access back-end network resources; and
that work without interruption on planes
and trains.
Meanwhile, IT managers and developers
have their own requirements. At the top of
their list: minimizing the time and resources
it would take to manage and develop for
While CME Group was evaluating tablets,
Microsoft proposed that it pilot slates
running the Windows 7 operating system.
“When Microsoft approached us about
Windows 7 slates, it was perfect timing; we
jumped on it,” says Frank Fieseler, Associate
Director of Systems Development at CME
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Seizing the Opportunity
In addition to testing Windows 7 slates,
Fieseler and his colleagues seized the
opportunity to learn to develop touchbased interfaces, which Windows 7 already
supported. Clarity Consulting, a Microsoft
partner with multiple Gold competencies
and expertise in touch technology and
interface design, joined the project.
“We were very impressed with Clarity
Consulting,” says Fieseler. “They
understood the interface issues completely.
They had a close relationship with
Microsoft. They created an attractive
interface design. And they implemented
the technology transfer we needed to move
forward with touch apps on our own.”
Figure 1: A new user interface,
optimized for touch input,
was prototyped in one week.
In the first part of the pilot, CME Group
would customize one of its existing,
homegrown Windows applications to gain
insight into the development process for
slate applications. In the second part, it
would deliver the application, on Windows
7 slates, to business users to gauge
manageability and get user feedback.
CME Group decided to conduct the test
with the audit group and one of its key
tools: Fortress, a custom application that
auditors use to access financial data and
contact information on the firms they audit.
The company evaluated slate models from
several manufacturers and chose the ASUS
Eee Slate EP121. “We found the ASUS Eee
Slate compelling because it’s very thin,
lightweight, and comes with a Bluetoothconnected keyboard, in addition to the onscreen keyboard,” says Benko. “It’s turned
out to be very reliable—we’ve had no
issues with it.”
Adding the “Wow” Factor
For the new application, CME Group
developers retained Fortress’s database,
which runs Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Express data management software, and its
business logic. They used Windows security
features, including drive and database
protection, to meet the requirements of
Works the way you want
“Our auditors are
responding very
positively to Windows 7
slates.... I haven't seen
this level of enthusiasm
for a technology tool
here before."
Michael Procajlo, Audit Director,
CME Group
their security group. Instead of just adding
touch-enablement to the existing interface,
the developers worked with one full-time
and one part-time developer from Clarity
on a slate-specific presentation layer, using
familiar Microsoft .NET-based development
tools. (See Figure 1.)
“We wanted to add ‘the wow factor’ to the
slate application and, with Windows 7 and
.NET, we did,” says Ben Farmer, Consultant
at Clarity Consulting. “It’s as rich a set of
technologies as any available for a tablet
platform. We focused on giving users the
responsiveness they expect from a touch
interface, and the visually pleasing, even
fun, look of a consumer application.”
A prototype of the new Fortress Slate was
ready within a week. The full application
was completed three weeks later, including
testing, and loaded onto the slates using
Microsoft ClickOnce deployment. The base
image for the Windows 7 slates is nearly
identical to the base image for the
company’s PCs, differing only in a few
hardware drivers.
About 50 Windows 7 slates were deployed
to auditors and audit managers between
June and August 2011.
CME Group is finding that “Windows 7
slates are enterprise-ready,” says Fieseler.
“Our auditors have a full Windows 7
computer in the form of a slate. They can
access, create, and work with crucial
information at any time, in any place,
literally at their fingertips, quickly and
reliably. And we have a platform that fits
effortlessly within the systems we already
Boosts Employee Productivity by 10 to
20 Percent
Windows 7 slates are earning high praise
from those testing them. “Our auditors are
responding very positively to Windows 7
slates,” says Michael Procajlo, Audit
Director at CME Group. “The auditors who
have them are really using them, and
there’s a lot of buzz. The auditors who
don’t yet have them are very excited to get
them. I haven’t seen this level of
enthusiasm for a technology tool here
Part of that excitement and enthusiasm
comes from evidence that auditors can use
Windows 7 slates in locations where
laptops would be impractical, and also in
locations where laptop use would be
distracting. Small size, light weight, and
hours-long battery life are part of what
makes Windows 7 slates a great choice for
mobile workers. “We have a lot of auditors
traveling between Chicago and New York,
and they can now do a lot of work on
planes and in airports,” says Manu Mishra,
Programmer Analyst at CME Group.
Auditors aren’t just thrilled with where they
can work—they’re quite pleased with what
they can accomplish, too. “You can do
anything on a Windows 7 slate that you can
do on any other Windows machine,” says
Yet another factor in user excitement is the
rugged nature of the slates. “Having a
ruggedized, durable tablet is crucial for our
auditors—and the ASUS Eee Slate is that
device,” says Procajlo.
Procajlo sees the benefits of Windows 7
slates firsthand. “In meetings, when I have
my Windows 7 slate, I can access
information without waiting for a laptop to
start. I can pass it to the person sitting next
to me, or to others, quite naturally to share
Works the way you want
Figure 2: Sharing data in a
conference setting is natural
with a Windows 7 slate, even
“fun,” according to a CME
Group executive.
information. Using the touch interface to
move through information is so natural that
you don’t really think about it. It’s very
refreshing, even fun—it doesn’t seem like a
business environment.” (See Figure 2.)
“One of the things that gets me excited
about the touch capability on Windows 7
slates is that all of my professional
experience as a developer is applicable to
this new technology,” says Farmer.
But there’s nothing unbusinesslike about
the productivity that auditors experience
with the slates. “I think our auditors will be
able to use Windows 7 slates to work 10 to
20 percent more productively than they
could before,” says Procajlo. “That could
reduce the amount of overtime our people
have to work, while still enabling us to
handle a growing workload.”
CME Group can avoid an investment in new
tools because the slates support the
Microsoft tool set with which developers
are already familiar. Even better, CME
Group can avoid the investment of time
required to learn and develop for another
platform, and then to completely rebuild
applications for that platform.
Reduces Time-to-Market by 92 Percent
CME Group wants a tablet that it can adopt
without requiring an investment in new
development tools and training. It can meet
that goal with Windows 7 slates.
“If we were moving to another tablet, this
would have been more time-consuming,”
says Mishra. “We’d be working with a
topology that we don’t have. We’d have to
come up with a security system. And we’d
have to customize 100 percent of the
Works the way you want
“Code reuse is such an
important goal in
software development
today. We have it with
Windows 7 slates. We
wouldn’t have it with
another tablet.”
Frank Fieseler, Associate Director,
Systems Development, CME Group
application, instead of just the 15 to 20
percent represented by the user interface.”
Fieseler estimates that it would have taken
him and his colleagues about six months to
learn to develop for other tablets and then
another six months to rebuild their
application for it—compared to the one
month it took to complete Fortress Slate
for Windows 7 slates—a time-to-market
savings of 11 out of 12 months, or 92
Avoids Doubling of Development Cost
Adopting other tablets would also require
CME Group to double the time and
expense of its development effort every
time it wants to write a new application or
even update an existing application—once
for the Windows-based PCs and once for
the tablets.
Fieseler estimates that CME Group would
have to add at least one developer to
handle the additional work. Because of the
high code reuse it gets between
applications for Windows PCs and Windows
7 slates, CME Group can avoid that extra
imaging, deployment, distribution, security,
and remote configuration management—
all are the same for Windows 7 slates as
they are for other Windows-based
The peripheral devices that CME Group is
using with the Windows 7 slates are the
same peripherals that it already has on
hand, including input devices, printers, and
Ethernet adapters. In addition, the auditors
use peripherals that are included with the
ASUS Eee slates: a stylus for handwriting
input and a Bluetooth keyboard.
Compared to the effort required to adopt
other tablets, the easy integration that
comes with adopting Windows 7 slates is a
real innovation—and a real attraction to
CME Group. “CME Group is a longtime
leader in technology and innovation,” says
Procajlo. “Windows 7 slates are exactly the
type of innovative technology that we’re
always looking for.”
“Code reuse is such an important goal in
software development today,” says Fieseler.
“We have it with Windows 7 slates. We
wouldn’t have it with another tablet.”
Fits into Existing IT Infrastructure
Just as CME Group can develop for
Windows 7 slates with its current tools and
expertise, it can manage Windows 7 slates
with its existing infrastructure. “We’ve used
Microsoft for years, so adopting Windows 7
slates gives us the comfort of knowing we
have the same manageability to which
we’re accustomed,” says Benko.
That manageability comes from factors
including processes and infrastructure for
Works the way you want
For More Information
Windows 7
For more information about Microsoft
products and services, call the Microsoft
Sales Information Center at (800) 4269400. In Canada, call the Microsoft
Canada Information Centre at (877) 5682495. Customers in the United States and
Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
can reach Microsoft text telephone
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234.
Outside the 50 United States and
Canada, please contact your local
Microsoft subsidiary. To access
information using the World Wide Web,
go to:
Works the way you want: Windows 7 will
help your organization use information
technology to gain a competitive
advantage in today’s new world of work.
Your people will be able to be more
productive anywhere. You will be able to
support your mobile workforce with better
access to shared data and collaboration
tools. And your IT staff will have better
tools and technologies for enhanced
corporate IT security and data protection,
and more efficient deployment and
For more information about Clarity
Consulting services, call (312) 863-3100
or visit the website at:
For more information about Windows 7, go
For more information about CME Group,
call (312) 930-1000 or visit the website at:
Software and Services
Windows 7
Microsoft Expression
− Microsoft Expression Blend 4
Microsoft Office
− Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Visual Studio
− Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
− Microsoft .NET Framework 4
− Windows Presentation Foundation
ASUS Eee Slate EP121
Clarity Consulting
This case study is for informational purposes only.
Document published September 2011
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