Many software firms build their products around a good idea. Some build good products but only a few build the very best. Competency and clear execution are all necessary if these products are to have longevity and viability in the marketplace.
Yet, closer scrutiny suggests that more is needed if true market leading products are to be created and then sustained. Best of breed just does not happen unaided or spontaneously on its own.
To build the very best software products requires a wide range of factors to be expertly harnessed, aligned and driven over the long term. Yet, these factors might still not be sufficient on their own. Often it takes a mix of intangible qualities, an X-factor of sorts, which makes the real difference.
We think it is our pedigree and heritage which gives us that particular edge.
corfinancial has provided software products and advisory services to the financial services sector around the world from our headquarters in London and our offices in Boston and New York. What started off as a single product business – built on the retail investment administration product, costars – grew quickly, particularly as several new products were acquired.
Since then, we have operated through the peaks and the troughs. We have been buoyed by heady growth in the go-go years and we have shared the bumps and bruises along with our customers as we moved together through the down cycles and then into the great financial contraction triggered in 2008.
We have had to realign our business and our products to (the sometimes rapidly) changing requirements of the market and we have had to rise to the realities brought on by ever increasing regulation and compliance.
Sometimes we have got things wrong and we have had to learn some tough lessons. These have not broken us. They have made us more resilient. They have driven us to crystalise exactly where our value really lies and then focus all our efforts to deliver that value.
We are now in an exciting phase in our corporate life. Our business is building up ever increasing momentum as many of the investment decisions we have taken over the past few years are now well embedded into our products and being taken up strongly by the market.
You benefit from our years of building great products
Over the years we have worked with hundreds of financial services customers from around the world and woven the key insights and practices that we have learnt by codifying them into our products. Our customers today have the benefit of all those years of collective learning that we engineer into our products. This is an immense advantage.
We have worked through the night with customers on critical production issues to ensure that their operations are not compromised the next trading day. We have not stopped until those issues are resolved. Whatever it has taken we have got it done. And then we have pressed on to avoid those faults happening again. Our service delivery and support models are strong and well tested.
We set up a Product Steering Group to actively review and shape directly our products and their respective roadmaps. We have co-opted some of the best, highly prominent and independent technology and industry experts to sit on this advisory group to ask us the hard questions about our products and their capabilities. Their explicit mandate is to challenge us to the point of exhaustion with the overarching purpose of us achieving sustained product leadership. They provide fresh ideas, support and unrelenting critical appraisal.
And yet throughout all this we have been resolute in inculcating a design and engineering philosophy that is uncompromising in building the very best products. Where we have not met this standard, we have paused and taken a very honest review of whether it is appropriate for us to continue to offer that product or feature functionality. Where we believe we can, and should, we have made the very significant, multi-year investments necessary to deliver the very best products.
An inflection point
It has been this focus to build the very best product offerings that has now seen us move into a phase of sustained growth. We are at an important inflection point in our corporate history in terms of our growth in market share and geographic reach.
We are pleased to see our strengthening in the market place amongst many of our existing customers, who continue to trust us to with key parts of their operations or have added new challenges for us to work with them. There is a sense of renewed engagement and momentum.
At the same time our renewed focus has seen a number of new and significant financial services organisations take up our products into their operations, some supporting their global footprints.
Yet, we are not complacent. There is much more that we still want to do. We are mindful that their further achievement can only be realised if we continue to make our products even better so that we can maximise the success of our customers.