Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Microsoft Pricing and EA Evolution: Disruptor to Dominator

Prior to establishing Microsoft, Gates and Allen had already formed another company while they were both still students at a high school in Seattle. They designed a computer system that automatically processed traffic counting data called Traf-O-Data. The aim of this was to read the raw data that was produced by roadway traffic counters and transform these into reports for traffic engineers. Apparently, they had a limited amount of success with the company, but it helped them to develop the computer programming skills that was instrumental in founding Microsoft. It also gave them the opportunity to develop their business skills, turning ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: How Lemonade is Disrupting Insurance

Back in the 1980’s an established computer company, Applied Computer Techniques or ACT, wanted to crush a young upstart called ‘Apple.’  So, they renamed their computer Apricot. This copycat strategy was not much of a success, Mitsubishi Electronics bought them in the early 1990’s as a competitive domestic play at NEC eventually shutting down the brand altogether. Maybe not the smartest move by ACT. Fast forward 30 years and a young upstart made its way to the market and its consumers. Founded in 2015, Lemonade has grown to become one of the leading InsurTech companies across the world. But how does a fairly young company compete with ...

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Banking and Financial Services: Reviewing TMS Landscape and Options

While researching for this article on Treasury Management Systems (TMS) and with the 2020 tax season around the corner, I was wondering where the word “treasury” came from. It derives from the French word “tresorie” and it was first used in a business context by the The Bank of Scotland in 1658. In a more recent setting, it reminded me of former con man, check forger and imposter, Frank Abignale, who was memorialized by Leonardo DiCaprio and chased by Tom Hanks as an FBI agent in the movie Catch Me If You Can. A Houston Police Chief once said about him: "Frank Abagnale could write a check on toilet paper, drawn on the Confederate States ...

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Financial Services Series: Four Ways to Find Savings and Reduce Opex Now

The IT landscape in Financial Services is changing rapidly. Regardless if they want to be industry leaders, fast followers of reactors, the ever-spreading cost base for Financial Services Companies leaves less budget available for capital investments in new technology, driving a vicious cycle of increased operating cost. In the drive to enact transformational change, Financial Services Companies should seek out the benefit from low hanging fruit to reduce current Opex. According to a PwC Global FinTech survey, 81% of CEOs are concerned about the speed of technology change, which is more than any other industry sector. Thousands of startups ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Cyber Security – The Biggest Risk Isn’t the Loss Itself, But the Reputation

Some of you may remember the name Ray Tomlinson.  If you’ve never heard of him or can’t recall the name, suffice it to say that he’s had a profound impact on your life.  Recently deceased, he is the programmer credited to have invented ‘email’ back in 1971 when he sent an email to himself from one computer to another traveling a network known as ARPANET. Not surprisingly, given Tomlinson invented email, he is also the person who turned the world’s first computer virus “Creeper” into a self-replicating program and then developed a reactionary antivirus program called “Reaper” to delete it.  This would prove to be just the first of many ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: If You Read It In the Newspaper, It's too Late.

Tjeerd Edelman
Nov. 25,2019 |

You may know the parable “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” and the moral behind it: It is a story of a group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest, and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans tend to claim ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Fund Digital Transformation by Unlocking Value from Current Spend and Existing Supply Base

Digital transformation is an actively discussed topic these days, but this was also true in the late 1990s and again in the mid-2000s. In fact, computerizing processes started back in the late 17th century when Leibniz developed a base 2 numerical system only using 0 and 1. With the introduction of the World Wide Web 300 years later, the scope, scale, and speed of technology have fundamentally impacted the effects of digitalization. First websites connected companies and their customers. Companies including Dell were quickly disrupting traditional PC manufacturing companies selling direct to consumers and gaining valuable insights into ...

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Supplier Market Update: Huawei

Many of you may be waiting and watching to see how the trade issues between China and the United States are resolved, and specifically its impact on Huawei.  With current and future Telecom & Network infrastructure projects under consideration, what are the critical things to know when considering Huawei? Despite all the political turmoil for Huawei, most of it originating out of the United States, the company has quietly become one of the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers in the world.  Huawei expects revenue of about $100 billion annually for the next two years, compared with $105 billion in 2018 including a $30B ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: A Journey to World Class IT Outsourcing

William Edwards Deming (1900-1993) is widely acknowledged as the leading thinker in the field of quality. He was a statistician and business consultant who is well known for his “14 Points for Management”. He used to say that ‘management is prediction,’ by which he meant that every decision is also a prediction about the future. The rate of change continues to increase, and as it does the business environment becomes ever more complex. Amidst this complex and uncertain environment, business still has to accomplish something – by getting work done. And getting work done is increasingly outsourced to 3rd parties. In 2017, the global ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Mergers and Acquisitions – Managing Risk and Reducing Costs Through Software Disentanglement.

Kin Hubbard, a humorist and journalist who lived 100 years ago once said “the safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket”. Clearly views are different today. The value of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. financial-services sector alone more than doubled to a whopping $196.5 billion in 2018 from $82.3 billion in 2017. According to a report by White & Case, Financial Institutions M&A Sector 2019 Trends, there are possibilities of mega deals in Europe and that Wall Street behemoths may start flexing their expansion muscles. And when that materializes, a Stock Purchase Agreement (SPA) is the ...

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