Every once in awhile it is a good thing to remember where you came from, where you are going and what it takes to get there. Recently I spoke to a group of new employees during their orientation to Zoot. During this time I had the opportunity to reflect back on the humble beginnings of our company and share my passion for why we do what we do. It isn’t that I forget, but I don’t verbalize it every day to people who have never heard my stories. My goal in sharing these stories is not just to entertain—though I do love to entertain—but to help people understand how our technology impacts our clients in the financial services industry and why that matters.
Zoot was founded because I have a passion for solving problems. While working in the banking industry I saw that many problems could be best solved more simply. My means of fulfilling this need for simplicity was to break down highly complex banking systems into their most elemental pieces. I didn’t want banks to be restricted by one way of doing business so I created applications that would work within any organization’s infrastructure. To accomplish this it was necessary to have services with tremendous flexibility and tools to configure them. Putting tools in the hands of our clients enables them to conduct business without relying entirely on their IT resources or software vendors to make every change. Today, Zoot provides those tools along with the reliability, security and support necessary for compliant, safe banking practices. Our clients tell us what they want from their software and we make that happen collaboratively without sacrificing speed to market.
Why is it important that our clients have the ability to control their own universe? One of the biggest challenges facing banks is overwhelmed IT resources. To release banks from dependencies that keep their business from moving forward, they need more control. It’s critical to have the flexibility to allow different systems to communicate, get the data required to make sound lending decisions and make changes to credit policies and strategies in order to adapt quickly when market conditions and consumer preferences change. That’s a very complex set of requirements, but when broken down it’s really a simple process. Ultimately, even the most complex origination systems get data, do something to it and send the result somewhere. It is this simplicity that enables self service when given the right tools to manage it.
While the fundamental premise of banking stays pretty much the same (to take money in and lend money out), the ways banks execute their processes need to be able to adapt. For example, mobile is increasingly becoming a channel of choice. It may even be the branch of the future. Banks need the flexibility to add a new channel or make changes to their systems without a major overhaul in order to remain competitive. Banks can do that with tools that configure services to create solutions that meet their unique needs. This is just one example of the radical impact simplicity can have on the banking industry.
Ultimately, the reason we stay in business and continue to evolve is our clients. In the early days of Zoot we used to hear the question “Can you do this?” now we are asked “How long will it take?” I’m thankful that our clients continually challenge us with their innovative business ideas and trust us with the execution of those ideas. It makes me think of the powerful physics behind resonance. With our clients we build systems that produce a balanced frequency. When we bridge our ideas and capabilities our resonance gets louder and we accomplish far more together. I like the sound of that.