- The financial services industry has changed rapidly in the past five years. New fintech startups and older institutions offer a wide range of new products and services.
- Many of these offers are based on cloud platforms and software as a service, such as those developed by Mambu based in Berlin. The team consists of 200 employees spread across offices from Singapore to Miami.
- Eugene Danilkis, CEO of Mambu and former NASA software engineer, told Business Insider how his global team – and the platform it offers – reflect an agile innovation approach that is changing the future of banking, finance, and teamwork.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
As leader of the software engineering team that worked with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA in 2005, Eugene Danilkis had a specific job: Make sure the 50-foot robotic arm attached to the International Space Station is ready and able to perform important functions The astronauts work thousands of miles above earth.
He knew he had to focus on three important things to be successful.
First, his team had to function well distributed – not only internationally, but also extraterrestrial. Second, their code had to integrate seamlessly with the myriad other systems and processes that made the ISS run smoothly. Finally, everything had to work reliably for the $ 150 billion research operation.
Danilkis brought these principles to the financial industry when he co-founded Mambu in 2011 Core banking services for global financial institutions and fintech startups.
Mambus Team – and the platform it offers – reflects an agile approach to innovation that not only changes the future of banking and finance, but also the collaboration of international teams.
Development of a "naturally international" team
Mambu's team of more than 200 employees is spread across offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Singapore, London, Romania, Miami, Syndey and Dresden. Some remote workers are located in another half a dozen countries.
"We wanted to build a relatively international team from day one because it is much easier to build something that is inherently international and of course used for remote work than to build and slowly try everything that is isolated in an office to introduce this, "said Danilkis.
Although the team members are spread all over the world, Danilkis make a special effort to maintain strong connections to personal meetings and frequent video conferences.
"We also like a bit more a hybrid model in the sense that we are removed, but we make sure that the teams meet in person on a regular basis," said Danilkis.
"It was really beneficial for us to find the right balance between what you do personally and what you do from a distance and the frequency with which you do it," he added.
A flexible team behind a flexible platform
Just as banking has traditionally focused on physical office space, the usual approach to financial software has typically been large, integrated systems designed to be relatively closed or monolithic.
This makes introducing new services or features extremely difficult, but the Mambu team and platform reflect a philosophy that the company calls "Composable Banking".
"It's the ability to easily combine and pull apart the different systems and the different companies you work with to bring your service to market," said Danilkis.
Using this ecosystem approach enables tech and fintech companies to be successful because they can focus on the elements they want to build themselves and source the rest from other providers.
Instead of having to build up core services from scratch, companies can develop new products and services for customers more quickly.
"If you take that and compare and contrast it with building traditional banks, it's really day and night," he said.
Improved security through an agile approach
Security concerns are paramount in the financial industry, and the distributed, packable nature of Mambu's product and team enables the company to effectively manage security in a manner that does not compromise innovation.
"There are many technical measures you can take to actually reduce risk and exposure," said Danilkis. "You can control the people at highest risk much more strictly and strictly, while still giving others much more freedom to operate and use the tools they use."
Compare these detailed measures with legacy systems, the security of which depends on severely restricted user profiles or physical infrastructures such as intranets or USB locks.
"Obviously, once you start making blanket statements about everything, you can bring a company to a standstill," said Danilkis. "You need to be in control, but if you get carried away, you may just stop all of your company's innovation."
The financial industry is still in the earliest days of decades of change, which Danilkis says will increasingly include fine-grained segments based on customer demand, similar to the growth of the technology sector.
"Ultimately, financial services are very technology-driven – they essentially work with data," said Danilkis. "Companies have to look and work much more like Google and Amazon internally than as a brick-and-mortar business."