Remarkable customer experiences, designed and deployed with Octopus


To survive and prosper, enterprises must constantly change. Increasing competitive pressure, evolving business models, constantly changing customer expectations and increased threats demand not only change, but the ability to change rapidly. Those who change the fastest win.

Enterprises run on IT systems so the ability to rapidly change them is essential to success. But over time, many enterprises have added more and more IT systems to meet their evolving business requirements and in doing so have created impediments to rapid change. While the emergence of cloud applications, mobile technologies and intelligent devices has helped to deliver change, it has also added to the complexity. At a time when the need for security has never been greater, this added complexity has only served to make enterprises fundamentally less secure.

Many businesses struggle not only to modernize applications, digitize processes and optimize user experiences, but also to make simple changes without having to launch long and expensive IT programs. Traditional approaches to this problem take too long, are too expensive and bring significant risk. Most importantly they require invasive surgery to legacy systems which are painful to change.

So how can we enable rapid change despite complexity, legacy and other barriers?

How can we increase security and reduce risk in the process?

What if we could unleash your disruption, despite complexity?

The Solution: Octopus™

It seems to be the way that many great innovations and discoveries have occurred.  Protean design. Unintended side-effect. Accidental brilliance. Research starts at point x, someone notices y and the world benefits from product z. There are numerous examples in the pharmaceutical industry, such as penicillin and Viagra. You can read about Pfizer’s story here (resources.schoolscience.co.uk/pfizer).

FMT shares this similarity.

The software which was designed for online fraud management had an interesting side effect.  Once it was installed, it could access and alter the data going in and out of a legacy system.  In the early days, this was typically a banking system such as an internet banking application.  The software did this without requiring any change request to the underlying system.  

It was so different to the status quo that it started to draw attention.  “Do-ers” in the business drew close and were fascinated by the simplicity of the architecture and the power of the engine.   When presentations of the outcomes were shown to the executive group, comments such as “wow”, “unbelievable” and “amazing” were heard.  They’re still heard today.

Similar to the pharmaceutical industry though, the process of moving from the ‘research’ and ‘testing’ phases, to that of releasing a product does not happen overnight - and for just cause, as there is a lot at stake.  How is the drug produced, how does it interact with other drugs, what is the right dosage, does it have unwanted side-effects, and in what form is it best consumed for ultimate results?  All of these questions - and many more - must be satisfactorily answered, tested and proven to work.

This is also the case with FMT.  After 11 years, millions of dollars spent in Research and Development and trials and deployments with companies around the world, such as GE Money UK, Vodafone, the Thrift Savings Board in Washington DC, QANTAS, the National Australia Bank, Citibank Asia and many more, Octopus™ has been proven to work. At Experian, the software has been used to process the data of every new product application for a major Asia-Pacific financial institution, from credit cards and mortgages to auto-finance.  In years of non-stop operation, the software has had zero outage and Experian have lodged a single support request.  Yes, 1.  All FMT clients share similar experiences.

Accidental or not, the outcome is clear.

It was early on that Gartner named FMT a ‘Cool Vendor’ and FMT won the Microsoft-backed “Consenus Award” for software excellence, care of the remarkable customer experiences that were enabled by our customers and their amazing teams, using Octopus.  IBM invested in FMT in 2008 and remains a minority shareholder.  

More importantly, FMT continues to develop the software platform and is constantly innovating and introducing new Octopus™ solutions and capabilities and expanding its platform operating model.  And this is just the beginning.

Below is a short list of the companies we keep company with.

Inventions like Octopus™ don’t happen by chance. Nor do they happen by ordinary people working in ordinary enterprises. Large enterprises need to focus on running the business and the whole company has to run like an orchestra. When the maestro lifts the baton, it’s follow-the-leader. FMT operates much more like a Jazz band (credit.)

Jazz is relentless innovation. You can’t play jazz if you don’t really understand music. Deep inside. But you have to let go of what you know. Lose the fear. That’s what makes it swing. A jazz group is multiple expressions of the same mind. The music chooses the leader.

Here are some members of the FMT Jazz Band:

 

Kostas Kostas Siourthas - CEO. Founder.

Ideas man.  For the future. A better, sustainable future. Easy ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ ideas. Hard ‘how did he think of that?’ ideas. Loyal, trusted and trusting ‘people person’.  The conduit.  Relentless passion, never say die, will make it happen.  Some call him "the postman" - he delivers. Masters in Computational and Applied Linguistics.  Spent time busking and playing gigs on Greek Islands over the summer holidays. Has worked in more industries than we can name. Too much energy. Very little sleep. Marathon runner, of the Marathon marathon. Patient entrepreneur.  Of the learning mindset.    

 

BjarneBjarne Matzen - CTO.  Chief Engineer.

Co-authored IBM Red Book on Java Performance and there are many to vouch for his skills in this domain. Previously co-founded ERP software company, used by clients such as Nintendo. Has developed software that’s sold in 26 countries. Has probably lived in even more. His car licence plate is AS400.

 

StuartStuart Mackenzie - Head of Partnerships. 

Left his career in banking to join FMT. Departed the UK prior to GFC and moved to Cyprus. Most recently an avid wake boarder. Over a decade of banking experience in compliance, risk and fraud management roles. Barclays Bank and GE Money hired him to implement and apply the latest software and processes to keep their clients safe and their assets safer. His results were excellent. His ideas won awards. The young companies he introduced to the banking industry and referenced to their investors were acquired, just ask Cyota and EMC. Regular speaker at VISA International’s Security Summits. Trend setter and diligent risk manager. Now helping partner organisations realise their goals and their clients' goals using Octopus™. Willing to invest time and help all who are courageous enough to make it happen. Winner of “Most accessible person” in FMT for years on end - except when Manchester United are playing (or England, for that matter.)