In this episode we are joined by Adam Toms, CEO Europe and Tim Dinsdale, CTO of OpenFin, the operating system of finance. OpenFin brings the application interoperability we have all come to love on our mobile devices onto the financial desktop, essentially delivering to the financial desktop what Apple and Android have delivered for mobile. A successful scale up fintech firm, OpenFin is used to deploy over 1,200 applications across more than 225,000 desktops in some 1,500 institutions, in more than 60 countries.
We discuss the challenges of remote working as trading floors and capital markets firms tackle the downsizing of desktop real estate from multiple monitors to home PCs and laptops. We talk about the challenges of working with legacy infrastructures and the acceleration of web technology. Exploring how Openfin’s clients and the industry as a whole have navigated lockdown, we discuss the re-entry path ahead and delve into industry engagement with FDC3, the financial desktop interoperability standards. There are mutual benefits on offer from collaboration, and we consider the priorities in play as firms deliver their digital transformation programmes. Turning to regulation, we focus on the benefits and challenges of SMR (The Senior Managers Regime) compliance exploring the responsibility that this places firmly on the shoulders of industry leaders… and so much more, including how both Adam and Tim have kept physically and mentally strong throughout lockdown.
Adam Toms is the European CEO of OpenFin, the Operating System (OS) of Finance. He joined OpenFin in 2017 to lead the expansion strategy across Europe. During his career, Adam has led numerous high profile businesses and large-scale integration projects resulting in a reputation for delivering industry change. Before joining OpenFin, Adam served as CEO of Instinet Europe. Prior to Instinet, he was Co-Global Head of Electronic Trading at Nomura having joined as part of the company’s acquisition of Lehman Brothers, where he headed the Market Access Group. Prior to this, Toms was a trader at Barclays Global Investors specialising in index and quantitative trading.
Tim Dinsdale is European CTO of OpenFin. He is responsible for leading the firm’s technology efforts across the region, expanding OpenFin’s London-based development team and driving OpenFin’s desktop services initiatives globally. Prior to joining in 2019, he was a Managing Director in the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs, where he worked for fifteen years. Tim is an avid supporter of diversity in the workplace. At OpenFin he spearheads the collaboration with WeAreTheCity, is actively involved in the conference debates and awards ceremonies and developing programs for returnships for women into the workplace.
Julia: Hello. My name is Julia Streets, and welcome to the podcast series, Streets Talks To.
In each episode, I’ll be interviewing CEOs from some of the most influential firms, bodies, and initiatives in the financial services industry. As every CEO will testify, one of the critical factors of success lies in the strength of the team, so on each episode, we invite the CEO to bring along a colleague and together we’ll be looking at what’s at the very forefront of innovation and change. We’ll be thinking about the challenges facing their clients and the industry at large, and uncovering the opportunities that exist both today, and as we look ahead, particularly as we navigate these extraordinary times. I hope you enjoy the series, which you can find on all good podcast channels, and all the episodes are listed on our website streetsconsulting.com. Thank you for listening.
Welcome to Streets Talks To OpenFin. Today I’m delighted to be joined by the European CEO, Adam Toms, and his colleague CTO, Tim Dinsdale. Before I introduce our guests, let me tell you a bit about OpenFin.
In a nutshell, OpenFin brings the application interoperability we have all come to love and enjoy on our mobile devices on to the financial desktop. You could say that OpenFin is doing to the financial desktop what Apple and Android have done for mobile. OpenFin’s widely adopted desktop operating system enables financial services firms to build new applications with modern web technology, all the while enabling seamless and secure integration with legacy applications. I say “widely” because today OpenFin is used to deploy over 1,200 applications across more than 225k desktops at 1,500 institutions in more than 60 countries.
So to introduce our guests. As I mentioned, Adam Toms is the European CEO of OpenFin. He joined in 2017 to lead the expansion strategy across Europe, and to work with clients globally on their digital initiatives. During his career, Adam has managed numerous high profile businesses, and led several large-scale integration and transformation projects, and has quite a reputation for delivering industry change, because before joining OpenFin, Adam was CEO of Instinet Europe, and held other tenures which have included joint global head of electronic trading at Nomura, and a trading career at Barclays Global Investors specialising in index and quantitative trading.
Tim Dinsdale is the European CTO of OpenFin. He’s responsible for leading the firm’s technology efforts right the way across the region, expanding OpenFin’s London-based development team, and driving their desktop services initiatives globally. He joined the firm in 2019 from a position as a Managing Director in the technology division at Goldman Sachs, where he had worked for some 15 years. He’s an avid supporter of diversity in the workplace, spearheading the collaboration with We Are The City, actively
involved in conferences and awards, and is developing programs for returnships for women enter the workplace.
Adam and Tim, welcome to the show.
Adam: Thanks so much for inviting us on Julia.
Tim: Hey, how you doing? Thanks very much.
Julia: As we always start on Streets Talks To, and as Streets Talks To OpenFin, we don’t start with you. We start with your customers, the industry at large. Really keen to hear, what is it at the moment that is particularly keeping your customers awake at night? Adam, come to you first of all.
Adam: Our clients are really focused on making the most of all the exciting technologies that are available out there in the marketplace today. We all know we’ve seen an extreme explosion in FinTech solutions being offered and of course, lots of new modern technology tool vendors become available. We have machine learning, AI, RPA, and many other technologies. That can lead to a bit of an overload of applications, data and insights on to people’s desktops, particularly for users sitting at desktops each day. The question is how do we get the most from these tools? I think every organisation really wants their employees, no matter their role, wants them to be as productive as possible. From a customer perspective, you want to be able to differentiate yourself. I think they’re our two main priorities.
Now obviously, we largely operate in financial services and the other super important element to that is making sure that firms operate in a compliant manner, and that they really tackle operational risk. It’s really about how we make the most of everything that’s available today, and deliver it to users in a really insightful way.
Julia: It’s incredibly important, isn’t it? Because at the moment, the complexity challenge has become even greater. Not only are people thinking about what are all the various applications that I could be tapping into? What do I need when I’m going through a period of change? Actually, how do I get them all to talk to each other on a fundamental basis? Behind the scenes of that, Tim, is a huge technical challenge that’s designed to be look incredibly simple. Talk to us about what you’re talking to clients about at the moment.
Tim: It’s funny that you should talk about the proliferation of apps of course, because you’re going from one world where the number of applications on the financial desktop is increasing massively, to another world where everybody’s at home with smaller monitors, desperately trying to struggle with this volume of information and volume of communication that’s just going on with them.
We’re seeing a couple of things. The first thing is that workflows are still being run through Outlook. We’re seeing that traders are at home, they’re having to deal with the issues that you would expect that you’d have to do when you’re in a major trading floor, where your calls are being recorded. But of course this is now all being done through home systems, and we’re seeing how compliance are having to get comfortable with running half of their trading floor, half of their sales force from home. We know that some people are still going into the banks, but it’s a much, much reduced volume of people, because they’re having to instigate social distancing.
The other thing, as Adam was mentioning, is we’ve got all of these apps, all of these things, all talking to each other, that we’re trying to move to a world where they’re all working nicely, because you see these workflows on the financial desktop, which are still “I’ve got an email I copy and paste this bit of text. I figure out what’s going in here. I paste it into this next application. I type some things in. It pops up a dialogue. I copy that dialogue, paste into this next thing.” It’s hard when you’ve got 12 screens. It is a nightmare when you’ve got one. When you’re running out of your iPod and a Dell plug next to it. I said iPod, nobody uses iPods anymore, do they? I’m showing my age. I meant iPads.
Julia: You’re right, because actually the amount of desk real estate has shrunk, but actually the screen size, in many cases, has shrunk as well. That’s probably quite an interesting moment to think about, because a lot of people look at the conversation around application systems and operating systems, through a technology point of view. But of course, we’re talking about human beings who are now going to start returning into offices. I’m really keen to think about what has changed most recently, and what are people thinking about as they come back into organisations? Adam, let me come to you first on that.
Adam: I think fundamentally that assumptions about the workplace are being deeply challenged. We know that there was almost a stigma attached, perhaps, in some organisations about working from home. That is changed. There was also lots of planning around use of DR sites and BCP for extreme scenarios. It turns out that nobody planned particularly well for whole companies working from home. What’s super-interesting is that companies have coped in the short-term. They really focused on making sure systems were as stable and as accessible as possible. But unfortunately many firms are still using lots of legacy technology, which means there’s a really strong reliance on virtual desktop environments, which can be a little bit slow and challenged in some ways.
One of the changes we have been seeing in the industry more broadly, and certainly OpenFin has been benefiting from this, is this move to web technology over time. I really think we’re going to see a significant acceleration in the use of web technology propelled by everybody’s remote working experience.
The other, I think Tim made a super interesting point earlier, when we talk about physical workspace, it can manifest itself in many different ways. We think about it as being the office. Also thinking about it as being six or eight monitors that many people in financial services sit in front of. As Tim said, now going down to their one or two monitors. It’s going to be less about the physical number of screens and having all of your applications, lots of redundant information around you, and really thinking about what does the new digital workspace actually look like. I only need to see the most relevant data and insights at a certain moment in time. I need to interact with the applications. They need to appear in my workflow with the right context. I really think there’s going to be significant acceleration of people’s digital initiatives, as they think about people working in offices to home in a much more interchangeable manner than we’ve seen before.
Julia: At the heart of all of this lies the ability to be confident, as we’re going into, arguably, hybrid working models, is the confidence that whether you’re physically in an office real estate space or you’re at home, and we’re all talking to each other in lockdown right now, is that actually all your data is interoperable and everything’s running seamlessly. It’s literally a switch on. But that’s not easy to achieve, what are your clients mostly thinking about with that?
Tim: They have to figure out the ability to deliver actionable information to all of the people who are working on all of the systems, in a way that doesn’t involve a 30 people meeting in a meeting room. That’s gone now, it’s the very, very most basic part of that obviously has been the getting all the financial services happy with running all of their businesses through Zoom, and WebEx, and Skype. Nobody’s really talking about Skype, are they? That’s been the first thing.
I think the second, then, big stage is saying, okay, great. Instead of just this workflow where the standard operating procedure is, everybody gets on the phone and we all try and figure it out. What’s the next thing now? How do you now start packaging up information, workflow, things that you can give to people so that they can then start picking that up and running with it without needing to do that? So that you can then start boxing your people up even more efficiently, so that they’re no longer each other’s bottlenecks. The communication, because it was just nice to talk to people. That’s never going to go away, you’re always going to get groups of people sat at the end of the day with a beer on a Zoom I’m saying, “Well, that went well, that went badly.” Ideally, you want to be in a world where that’s not the bottleneck. The bottleneck instead is the fact that computers are running absolutely white hot, because
they’re running all of your calculations for you. Then you can upgrade those. I really do believe that this is the beginning of a huge, huge mental model shift in terms of how people work in finance.
Julia: At the heart of all of this is the confidence that whether you’re in an office or whether you’re working at home, that when you switch on desktop, in whatever form or location, that you have the confidence that everything is 100% interoperable. How do you achieve that?
Tim: It’s incredibly hard, but the tools are coming together now. The first thing that you have to do is you have to build the technical backbone. All of these applications need to be able to plug into a completely standardised mechanism that everybody has all agreed this is the way that we’re going to talk to each other on the technical level.
We’ve been working really hard on the FDC3 solution that we have as part of OpenFin, it’s that technical backbone. It’s the ability to say, “Okay, fine. I know how I’m going to register myself as part of the local mash. I know how I’m going to get the data that’s going to come through the local pipes”. The next thing is you have to get the consensus from the application builders. What you have to do, is you have to be able to say, “Okay, fine. I’m really, really interested in receiving this particular type of data.” Then all of these industry participants have to be able to get through it together and they have to say, “Okay right. This is what it looks like when you send a ticker over, I’m going to send this and you are going to receive this.” Everybody all agrees this is the shape of it.
That’s the stage we’re at now, where we’ve got all of these industry participants who were part of the FDC3 consortium, who were all agreeing on some, at the moment, basic but still very fundamental data parts they can send to each other.
The next thing you have to go and do, which is the place that we’re really at now, is you have to be able to say, “Okay, fine. The workflow that I want to build looks like this, which means I’ve got these atoms and now I want to connect them into molecules. Where you are going to go and send this out to you, and you are going to send this out to you. Then that means you can get away from this human copying and pasting.” The thing that we’re trying to build up now is this idea of all of these different application developers, all flowing together in this unified environment where the backbone powers it all under the covers.
Julia: I know you’ve been really instrumental to the founding of, you mentioned FDC3, which is an open-source standards initiative. The industry collaborating around FDC3, of course, is a massive enabler. I guess that’s the art of making this entirely possible, in many regards.
Adam: I think that’s absolutely right. I think that each application provider always thinks about designing the best application for the users to give them the best experience. What’s certainly true that, if we can think about what the user’s doing before they use the application, during, and after, and create those touch points, those contextual linkages, it really powers and accelerates that user experience to a completely different level. That is what FDC3 is going to do for you.
To get to Tim’s point, for this to be possible the messaging standard has to be there, and the message bus technology has to be there, this common infrastructure. That’s why OpenFin is very often referred to as the iOS or Android for financial services, because we’re putting that common message bus onto desktops. It’s on over 200,000 desktops today. We have a clear path to reaching a half a million desktops in the short to medium term, which I think is extremely powerful.
Julia: At the heart of everything, we talk about your involvement with FDC3, and then also the appetite to work with not only application providers, but also with your clients as well. The heart of this sits very much a conversation around collaboration. I’m really keen to hear what is it, when you’re talking to your clients, because everybody has an enormous amount on their plate right now, what are we at risk of overlooking?
Tim, let me come to you first.
Tim: What is the risk of overlooking? That’s a difficult one because it’s such a wide space. I think there’s a couple of things. We have a very wide range of clients. We have a lot of fintechs we have really good relationships with. The message to the fintech community is always figure out where you sit into the broad workflow on the financial desktop. Instead of thinking of yourself as being this single component, think of yourself as being a bit with a pipe that sticks at one end of the pipe that sticks on the other, because then what we can do is we can talk to the big banks. We can say, “Look, if you really want to solve this problem, we we’ve got the tools to help you plug into here and plug into here, and then you can flow through and be part of that.” I think that’s a really big part of it.
Then from the bank’s point of view, of course, what we have to help them understand is that there are no single-box solutions. I think it’s tempting as a purchaser in a bank to say, “Okay, we’re going to solve this problem. We’re just going to buy this and it’s just going to work.” Of course, it’s all too big and complicated now. They haven’t been in that world for decades. It’s not going to get any better now.
Again, it’s about saying, “Okay, fine. Here are the different Lego blocks. How are you going to build this thing? How can we help you build this complete solution involving your own internal teams as well?” Because chances are, you’re going to have to weave your internal team’s workflows with these external solutions that you’ve bought in and make that a completely seamless experience for your desktop owner. I think this is the thing, and I don’t think they’re overlooking this, but I think this is still a conversation that we’re having with both sides of that fence.
Do you think that’s fair, Adam?
Adam: I think that’s absolutely right. It’s about everybody understanding the role they’re playing in the workflow. Of course, it’s about external applications, it’s also about your internal applications. That experience needs to be unified across the board.
The fintech point you mentioned is really interesting, because of course, they’re providing much more specialised, perhaps narrower solutions than incumbent providers, and they have an important role to play. I think so much about the world in financial services is starting to look like the consumer market. The consumer market of choice. The consumer market of best of breed and putting together an experience that you really enjoy, whether it’s a bit of Netflix one day and something from Sky Atlantic the next. I think that’s really, really important. But for sure, I think the overriding message here has to be about accessibility to innovation. I think many, many people think this is going to require a very significant investment. It’s going to take me years to do this. That just couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many accessible solutions, you can get to innovation faster than you ever have been able to before. It’s at a lower cost point, and you can get some amazing quick wins to move your organisation forward. I’d really encourage, whether you’re a vendor, a bank, or a by-side participant to really think about that.
Tim: There are a lot of innovation labs as well, aren’t there? The finance companies are sponsoring those.
Julia: That’s right, absolutely Tim, because we’re very involved with a lot of the innovation labs and also, obviously partly through the podcast, but other conversations we’re having, is that while people are trying to prioritise what they need to do, so they’re reflecting on their BCP and actually how that has performed. They’re now thinking about, “Okay, how are we going to get through lockdown?” Which we’ve just talked about, and then how the road ahead is going to look. Is many people are thinking, “Well actually, is that very hard to do?” But what you’re saying, actually, is that you’ll be surprised how easy it is to innovate. The key also is to use this time to reimagine as well.
Let’s come back to OpenFin for a second, because actually, you’ve been very generously not talking about OpenFin, thank you for not doing your features and benefits pitch. I’m very grateful for that, but actually I do want to talk about OpenFin. You mentioned about your scope and your scale and your coverage, but also talk to us about what the organisation and what you’ve learned through lockdown, and how you’ve managed through this period of change.
Adam, let’s come to you first.
Adam: I think from a company perspective, we’ve always allowed working from home, and encouraged our team members to work from home and have that flexibility when they need it. But of course, this is an entirely different situation. This is having an evenly distributed team has delivered, I think, a much
more effective work-from-home experience across the board. Everybody is very comfortable with the level of productivity that’s been produced. It’s certainly not without some challenges. I think we talk a lot about diversity, and diversity means many different things, but for me under COVID-19, it’s been really interesting because looking at each team members home situation, you start to get an insight into their personal situation. Do they have dedicated working space? Do they have access to outdoor space or gardens? Do they live with friends or family, or are they by themselves? That certainly means that each person’s work-from-home experience is very different. As a company, we’ve been trying very hard to understand that.
We actually launched a company survey recently to understand everybody’s work-from-home perspective, and also their thoughts for what remote working could look like going forward as a company. One of the clear messages coming out of that survey is that some people, in fact, over half the team are saying that they’re having a problem unplugging after work. We’ve been brainstorming collectively across the company, and thinking about what are the different mechanisms and techniques you can use to try and unplug, to create that detachment. Also encouraging people to take holiday and various other things like you normally would, because we think that’s important for mental wellbeing.
Interestingly, one of the other stats in the survey to come through around the challenges side was that 35% said that communication and collaboration was being hindered in some way. We’ve certainly got all the great benefits of Zoom and technology at our disposal. It’s interesting to dig into that a little bit further. Actually, the underlying message was that they’re missing overhearing conversations, picking up small soundbites that actually helps with their learnings in an office environment and helps them build and grow. In addition to the very simple things we take for granted, like looking over somebody’s shoulder, looking at somebody’s screen. For Tim’s team, perhaps, it’s checking a piece of code or whatever it may be, or us jumping into a meeting room and using a whiteboard in some way.
There are tools available to start to help you overcome these. We’ve been looking at tools like Mural, which are a dynamic online whiteboard and so on, but there are certainly some things that we just can’t quite overcome in this environment. On a more personal side for me, I usually travel extensively and work pretty long hours. That means that I’m not generally at home an awful lot, and particularly not in the evenings. I was actually commenting to my wife last night that I can’t remember the last time we had dinner together as a family so consistently for a period. And that’s certainly something that I’m going to take away. I think it’s made me value even more my personal circumstances. I’m lucky enough to be in a really fun household with great wife and two great children, and that’s really helped throughout lockdown.
Julia: It is interesting, you mentioned lots in there about familial circumstances, and also mental health and fitness as well. During lockdown, we’ve been asking all the guests this question, which is, is there anything you particularly turns to, to help you through this? Is there a particular TV show you’ve been into, or you found a new game, new music?
Tim: It’s like Adam says, I’m spending a lot more time with my family, which is nice. The thing that actually is keeping me going is I’m growing a complete herb garden on the window sill of my office. I now have the largest basil plant I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I’m just counting the days until I can eat it. I’m not counting the days until lockdown, I’m also days until I’m going to eat this collection of plants.
Other thing is me and the boys, because I’ve got three large boisterous boys, have been watching all the Marvel movies from the beginning and we’ve been experimenting with different orders. We’ve got an order that we think is the best order. We’ll be publishing that later, obviously that will make us all internet celebrities. It’s hard. It’s hard.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that engineers, if you leave them to their own devices, all become nocturnal. This has been good when they’ve been dealing with the New York teams, but it has been hard when they’ve been dealing with people like me who are morning people. That’s also been interesting. You talk about looking after yourself under lockdown, exercise is so important. I just hadn’t realised actually how much I was missing the gym until about a month ago. Now I run outside voluntarily, and I hate running. I’m not one of those people who believes in finding yourself outside, I know where I am, thanks very much. It’s what Google Maps is for.
Adam: I think Tim makes a really interesting point about exercise. I think you need to keep exercise fun as much as you possibly can. One of the things we’ve done, I don’t know if anybody recalls this from their school days, it’s certainly the last time I’d done this, there’s something called the beep test. The beep test is a running test. It’s a horrific test, that essentially measures your fitness level. It requires you to shuttle around between a 20 meter distance, and you have to get to the other end before the beep goes. Then basically the period between the beeps starts to decrease. As the run goes on, you have to run faster and faster and faster, and that marks your fitness level. Now I can tell you it’s great fun to do as a family, but it is less fun seeing your 15 year old run for far longer than you can.
Julia: Love it.
Tim: I’m the second slowest in our household. The only reason I’m the second slowest is because my nine year old is half the size of me. I’ve got leg speed.
Julia: Well, everyone’s going to do the beep test, which is wonderful.
Let’s come back to, it’s so weird to do a segue from a beep test to regulation, but I’m going to give it a go. I am asking everybody actually, we talked about the road ahead, and we talked a little bit earlier about things you’re at risk of overlooking. Of course, let’s not forget we still live in a highly regulated world. I wondered if there’s a particular piece of regulation that you are paying attention to, you’re concerned that people may not be paying sufficient attention to? Talk to us about one particular piece of regulation.
Adam, coming to you first.
Adam: Super interesting question. Very different question, Julia, all credit to you. OpenFin is not a regulated entity, and given both Tim and I have come from regulated entities, we really like to embrace that some days. A more serious note, many of our clients are regulated entities. But for me, it’s probably actually the Senior Managers Regime. My journey around Senior Managers Regime probably started prior to that, which was in the more traditional CF1 or CF3 type roles. When I was working for Nomura Group and we decided to move the business out to Instinet. I was lucky enough to be appointed CEO for Europe, but I was only 34 years of age. I was running really material businesses inside the Nomura Group, but of course CEO credentials for a regulated entity, maybe there wasn’t as much depth of experience that you could immediately point to.
What was super-interesting about this is that Nomura Group invested significantly in corporate governance training, additional regulatory compliance training, corporate governance training, and the like. Clearly, I’d always have that training in a regulated entity, but this was with a lens of as a leader of a regulated entity, these are all the things you must, must, must think about. You must, must, must control. By the way, as the designated CF1 CF3, you are accountable.
Under SMR, that’s become even more personal in terms of the accountability level for each individual. Just think about it, that training for me, you have to embrace it, because it’s about managing the risk in your firm, prudent financial and capital management, creating good outcomes for your clients, operating in a responsible manner, thinking about the culture of your firm and how you want your employees to behave and what you want them to represent, and underpinning that just good underlying systems and controls, and all kind of MIS, the Management Information Systems for you to have really good visibility to your entity that you’re controlling and responsible for is operating as intended, and that you’re seeing the warning signs of things going wrong, or going well, whatever it may be, and you can mitigate any risks. Who wouldn’t want that for a business? That just sounds like to me, that is a great way to run any company. I take so many of those learnings and still apply them today in my thinking here at OpenFin.
Julia: I can’t help but think then, in terms of, you talk about systems controls, you talked about manage of information, the MIS that sits within that, Tim, within the Senior Manager Regime, what’s the relationship then with technology?
Tim: Senior Manager Regime and technology are quite complicated, because you have accountability for everything that happens. But of course, it’s often opaque to the senior manager. What has to happen is you have to show that you’ve got all of these things in place, where the technology is being accounted for. Of course, it’s an interesting problem, because technologists generally don’t enjoy any paperwork at all, and will push back massively, but you still have to have those controls in place. The art of the SMR compliance is putting enough controls that can show you know what’s going through your systems, tests, documentation, jera tickets, but not so much that your programmers all go into dirty protests because they can’t actually do any code without filling in three forms in triplicate and submitting a form to the central planning committee.
It’s an interesting balance. It can be made to happen. It can be done. It requires a bit of a mindset change sometimes, but generally it’s not any different to the mindset change you find for any well-structured large coding organisation. Code reviews, people being honest and making sure they actually have done testing the things rather than just, “Oh, it’s tested. Worked on my machine.” That’s the balance that you have to strike. it’s doable. It is just a bit of a mindset change.
Julia: Of course, again, it comes back to the point we were making earlier about oversight requires a single moment of truth that you know exactly what’s going on and what’s not going on in order to manage that. Of course, interoperability comes together on that, and the ability to have all your applications and all your systems beautifully aligned and combined so that you have confidence. It is about having confidence in what you’re seeing.
As we go into really the last few minutes of the show, I would love to hear your thoughts on the road ahead. What are you particularly thinking about as you look at the road ahead. Tim, let’s come back to you straight away with that. What’s on your mind at the moment?
Tim: What’s coming back to me is getting back into the office, what that will look like two months, six months, a year from now. How much it’s changed. How much it will change forever, and adapting to the new normality, which is at some point we’re all going to be back, but I don’t think we’re all going to be back forever. I think everybody’s going to be working from home a little bit now. This is the new normality, and I think this is something we’re all comfortable with, and building these incredible tools that we think that we can build that are going to continue to evolve this world, continue to evolve this workflow-oriented, much more dislocated from a human perspective world, and just putting as many bits and pieces as we can in place so that people can use them.
Adam, take us up to a slightly higher plane in terms of the conversations you’re having with your clients, looking at OpenFin’s future strategy without giving away any trade secrets. What do you particularly think about at the moment?
Adam: I think this is really about, and the acceleration and a movement forward of many of the trends that we’ve been discussing for some time. There is a very clear trend to people modernising their technology stacks, from upgrading from legacy technologies to web technology, and embracing the benefits of cloud. Web technology is cheaper to build on, it’s faster to build on. The talent pool is becoming bigger because that’s what they teach kids at school and university these days. That’s really important.
The other is, of course, everybody’s had digital projects underway for some time. Some people have been in the planning phases, some people in the process of implementing, others are very, very advanced. I think, as we’ve talked about today, the need for digital workspaces to really power your employees, no matter where they’re working, is a really important topic. I think we’re seeing acceleration of focus on digital strategies.
I think it’s really important to stress, again, the barriers to entry have never been lower. We would encourage new fintechs to get in contact if you have a new application that you’re looking to offer to the marketplace. The larger organisations, if you’re looking at legacy technology, you want to move to web technology, OpenFin has a good solution for you. For everybody thinking about remote working, digital workspaces, powering users, super-accessible, the solutions exist, please get in touch.
This has been a wonderful conversation. If you think about everything we’ve covered, literally from regulation right the way through to the realities of COVID, some about your history, what you’re focused on, but what’s been even more important is we’ve been talking about what the customers are thinking about, fintechs are thinking about. We’re all going through change at the moment. I just want to take a moment just to remind listeners how to find you, which is openfin.co is the website and Tim Dinsdale, Adam Toms. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Adam: Enjoyable as always, Julia. Thank you so much.
Tim: Thank you very much. It’s been great.
Julia: I’ve been Julia Streets. To everybody, thank you for listening.
Kieron: This episode of StreetsTalksTo was produced by me, Kieron Yates, on behalf of Streets Consulting Limited. Streets Consulting is a business development, marketing, communications consultancy that’s focused on helping FinTechs from the smallest startup companies to some of the world’s largest global organisations. Everybody’s trying to innovate and everybody’s trying to grow. You can find this episode on Streetsconsulting.com and using the hashtag #StreetsTalksTo. We can be found on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @StreetsConsult. Thanks for listening.