“The product focus is always there. If it hasn’t been,I don’t think Temenos would be as successful as it is.”
Phil’s quiet manner belies a formidable talent that has helped shape the Temenos offering since 1987, when he joined the company, as well as the careers of many of his colleagues—from novice developers to senior management.
When asked about his job, he says his role is to “design things in the right way—to look at what people are asking us to change for whatever reason and to consider what we should be doing in the market”. But it’s much bigger than that. He’s also been involved in deciding where to invest, when to make acquisitions and when to build in-house. As such, Phil plays a vital role in the evaluation of both proposed and actual acquisitions, and regularly assesses potential Temenos Exchange partners.
“I like helping people, solving problems and building things,” he says, by way of explanation.
One of his current challenges is to help Temenos shift from being a software vendor to a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS). “The industry landscape has completely changed. Not just the way we deliver the software, but our potential clients, too,” he says, referring to the growing number of organizations, such as supermarkets and online retailers, that now need banking solutions.
But he says his biggest achievement is to see the products he’s worked on used in banks. “It’s very rewarding to see the number of banks and people globally that use our products. Looking back to when we started with a very small but dedicated team and no clients, it would have seemed impossible to imagine what Temenos could become. We’ve been the market leader in banking software for several years. It feels like an amazing achievement, and it’s been fantastic to have played a significant part in that journey.”
He’s also proud of the ongoing tradition of continuous improvement, adding: “The product focus is always there. If it hadn’t been, I don’t think Temenos would be as successful as it is. But we can’t be complacent and are continually evolving and improving our products with the latest innovations.”
Skilled as he is at developing software, he has also proved an accomplished mentor. In fact, several of the Founding Fellows were mentored by Phil at the beginning of their careers, as were several senior managers.
He attributes this to his being good at listening and wanting to understand what people are asking. “I try to use my wide experience to help and encourage others to think the right way,” he says.
“I try to use my wide experience to help and encourage others to think the right way.”
He was also instrumental in setting up the office in India. “We initially started in Chennai with a small development team for product maintenance. We then expanded some areas to the point we’re at now, with much of the product being entirely built by our engineering teams in India. They number several thousand people.
“I’ve visited our Chennai offices five or six times a year since 2000. That’s been something I’ve missed in the past two years and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon.”
Despite his accomplishments, Phil’s demeanor remains humble and he’s quick to share his success with his team and others within Temenos. He seems genuinely awestruck by being made a Founding Fellow, shifting the topic onto what he can do for others. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lay the foundations for future staff and Fellows,” he says.