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Join the party

By David Arnott 20 May 2016

R&D costs and implementation times can limit innovation – but by working together, collaborating and co-operating, we can spread the expense and share the benefits. Everyone gets to win, writes David Arnott

Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Temenos. It is what will help banks protect their markets as disruptors, fintechs and online banks launch ever leaner, digital, more competitive services. But innovation isn't enough. To succeed – and help all our customers succeed – demands collaboration.

We take collaboration seriously and have spent a lot of time and effort to cultivate an entire collaborative ecosystem. We have also put our money where our mouth is and invested not only in our own architecture to ensure that it will run APIs, but in a whole series of ventures that encourage mutually beneficial innovations.

We invest to help open up access to the best ideas and products. Initiatives range from Fusion – our Swiss incubator launched last year – where we mentor fintech start-ups, to the Temenos MarketPlace, where partners and suppliers can offer their products and services.

Everything on the Temenos MarketPlace is ready to plug and play with our systems, helping to simplify what can often be a long and painful procurement process. But we're not exclusive. Everything featured is available to non Temenos customers. We have created a shopfront where anyone can shop, for tried and tested solutions to digital problems, be that middleware, bolt-on functionality or whatever. And in some instances we even offer early access to help foster and encourage innovation.

But collaboration doesn't and shouldn't stop there.

We have the Innovation Jam, a great annual platform for fintech start-ups to showcase their ideas to the industry, with the winners going on to receive support and investment. We also work with partners beyond the Innovation Jam to develop and refine ideas to make them more efficient, more practical and more effective.

And then there's TCF, where we invite clients, prospects, partners, reporters, analysts, commentators, strategists, fintechs and consultants to talk shop for three days. It's a community of collaboration. Here start-ups mingle with CIOs; clients swap go-live stories – the good and the bad; and new ideas get shared, encouraged and rewarded. It all amounts to an ecosystem that helps breed success. It's about sharing best practice, sharing lessons learnt, sharing insights so that the whole industry can move forward and thrive.

But we don't just share other people's ideas; we also share what we learn – free! Every month we review our work and publish our findings. We offer advice to our partners based on these reports and work with them to ensure they enjoy the benefits.

We also accept that sometimes our customers want to work with more than one systems provider. Finland's Atkia Bank is a good example. While we provide the core banking system supporting accounts, payments and customers, Emric – a specialist Nordic solutions group – supports the lending requirements, which are very niche and specific to that market.

It all adds up to a win-win solution and one the industry as a whole could learn from. Competition is good. It creates a healthy environment in which to thrive; but collaboration increases the likelihood of thriving. Banks' real challenge today is to think beyond the classical banking services they have been providing for centuries. It's a big ask and one that demands investment. But collaboration-open environments make that easier. Research and development costs fall, development times accelerate, time to market is cut and a community of evangelists is created.

A communicative, outward-looking banking tech sector is stronger than a reclusive, inward-looking one. It's about teamwork and at Temenos, to use a phrase coined by Temenos founder George Koukis, it's about creating Temenosians.

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