Name: Philippe Meyer
Position: Managing director
Company: Avaloq Innovation
Can you give us a little background on your company please?
The Avaloq group is a technology-driven financial services provider comprising more than 2,000 employees from 66 nationalities. With its core and digital banking software, the Avaloq Banking Suite, and its international network of BPO centres, Avaloq brings trustworthy and efficient banking to the world, delivered through great user experience.
Tell us about a business challenge you have faced (new product designed/client challenge/etc)?
Avaloq opened the doors to its Edinburgh R&D centre, Avaloq Innovation, in 2012. The migration of talent and expertise from Avaloq’s HQ in Zurich, Switzerland to Scotland was particularly challenging. Initially, many Edinburgh teams were remotely managed by Swiss colleagues with prerequisite experience and knowledge. This approach, though demanding, was necessary as training new Edinburgh-based employees in advance of the opening would have involved flying managers in from Zurich (an unsustainable approach). Of course, working across locations also has its challenges, for example, communicating across time zones at certain points during the day. The approach, however, proved ultimately successful.
What was your solution?
The Swiss managers worked remotely with their colleagues in Edinburgh, over time equipping them with the necessary knowledge to eventually take ownership of their own teams and components. Over the last 5 years, the teams based at Avaloq Innovation have taken sole responsibility for critical portions of Avaloq’s software, such as payments and regulatory reporting.
Tell us about the benefits of your solution to the initial problem?
By using existing knowledge within the organisation to train employees on-the-job, Avaloq Innovation have expanded their workforce in Edinburgh and hugely increased productivity. Employees are capable of making critical decisions independently, and communication between sites and time zones is much more streamlined.
Avaloq Innovation have over 100 Developers, Business Analysts and Technical Writers wielding in-depth knowledge of the banking sector. However, previous banking experience is not a prerequisite due to Avaloq’s provision of world-class training. This enables Avaloq Innovation to hire a large number of Scottish and international graduates who bring with them a myriad of skills and previously unconsidered approaches.
Why did you join ScotlandIS?
Avaloq Innovation joined ScotlandIS because it is a vibrant collective; coming together to do great work for the digital community in Scotland. Avaloq Innovation is constantly developing digital solutions, so becoming a member made perfect sense. Avaloq Innovation can not only network with other digital businesses in the region, but also drive recruitment due to the sheer number of likeminded professionals in the group.
What have you gained from being a ScotlandIS member?
Being a member gives Avaloq Innovation the opportunity to discuss recruitment opportunities with fellow members, and adds to the gravitas of Avaloq Innovation in the region (potential candidates may look at the network before applying). Similarly, becoming a member has helped Avaloq connect with Scottish universities and strengthen our brand name throughout the country.
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