Aptitude Software – Modernizing the Banks of Tomorrow! 

Aptitude Software | Adam Flowers | The Enterprise World

BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) is the backbone of any economy. As the world trends toward adopting the latest technology solutions, banking needs to leapfrog ahead and not just keep up. But where do banks find reliable, trusted, and modern software for their diverse and complex needs?

As a global financial software specialist, Aptitude Software’s digital finance solutions equip CFOs with competitive advantages by streamlining and automating financial accounting processes and enabling faster actionable insights. 

For many global banks, the answer is Aptitude Software. Where other technology providers see complexity, Aptitude and its team of problem solvers and innovators see possibility. 

Redefining Banking Technologies

Aptitude Software has a decades-long history in Financial Services. Previously operating under the name Microgen Financial Systems, Aptitude Software was spun out as a subsidiary in 2014 and later demerged from MFS in 2019 to focus solely on its higher-growth business. Aptitude is headquartered in London and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  Over the years, Aptitude has worked with global Financial Services organizations to automate and transform their complex business models and address a changing regulatory landscape.

In addition to a focus on accelerating the digitization of the finance function and  supporting smart compliance, the Aptitude portfolio also includes solutions that help businesses deploy and manage subscription offerings and holistically manage revenue. Their global clientele includes some of the world’s largest companies.

Aptitude Software enters the APAC market

A pivotal part of Aptitude’s journey was  entering the APAC market in 2016.  It was challenging initially as they didn’t have an ‘on the ground’ presence or brand recognition in the region, making it difficult for potential clients to establish trust in them and their services.

The leadership team knew that to be successful in APAC, they needed to have full operations in the region, so in 2017, they opened the regional HQ in Singapore. The other primary challenge they faced was educating the market on the value of a composable finance architecture i.e. the value of not attempting to work with a single vendor for all finance requirements as this has continued to lead to long and often failed projects due to the inflexibility and generic nature of these solutions. 

“For APAC specifically, I think the investment in the region has been so important. We are in-region, with our families, working and living in this community and I think that makes a huge difference in how we have been able to serve our clients.” – Adam Flowers, Vice President, Aptitude Software

Aptitude made the strategic decision to focus their initial entry into the region and leveraged their global successes in helping Telecoms companies meet the IFRS 15 requirements. Ultimately, the trust they earned during this education process, and their global leading client base allowed them to create a strong market position with clients such as Singtel, Optus and Telstra, from which they could push into their additional core sectors of Insurance and Banking. 

Factors triggering the growth of Aptitude Software

There have been 3 market conditions that have been triggers for Aptitude’s growth.

  1. IFRS 15 was the international revenue recognition accounting standard that changed how companies accounted for contracts with customers. Aptitude brought one of the first Revenue Recognition solutions to the market whichwould allow them to deliver significant value for their clients 

So, Aptitude and its team launched with a focus on Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. After amassing success in the above markets they were able to expand to the Philippines and Thailand.

  1. After proving themselves with leading telecommunications organizations, they expanded into the insurance industry which had just been dealt a complex regulatory deadline of their own – the IFRS 17 standard. Citing their work with global insurers such as SwissRE and expertise in developing solutions to meet complex regulatory requirements across the previous decades, they were well positioned to help the market tackle this new challenge. Agin with a focus on core markets and complex insurers Aptitude were able to significantly expand their client base across the region working with leading insurers including Suncorp, Great Eastern, FWD, Challenger Life and MetLife
  1. In parallel to IFRS 17, banks in particular have been grappling with the need to further automate their finance data supply chain, not just to reduce costs and time of close, but to also deliver far more granular (atomic/ trade level accounting). This enables Finance users to focus on insight and finally deliver upon the objectives of a true digital finance function.

    This trend has been accelerated by the large ERP players forcing banks to move to cloud based GLs that are not able to support the volume and customizations that exist in today’s archiecture, but also because of growing regulatory pressure to move away from Prudential static reporting and as APRA in Australia have termed it, move towards “Detailed Data Collection”move. Aptitude’s growing regional banking presence includes HSBC and Macquarie building on global references such as ING, Lloyds and RBC.

What sets Aptitude Software apart?

The main driver behind Aptitude’s success are its people. Over 550 people sit at the intersection of finance and technology and bring organizations the solutions they need to perform better, faster and at a lower total cost. Businesses are complex, but Aptitude teams relish this complexity. Unlike their competitors, Aptitude has not had a failed project in APAC.

Their team is committed to solving problems, and that involves rigorous testing, checks, and balances. Their clients engage with them around specific requirements or problems but end up loving the flexibility to progressively transform their finance architectures. 

Another differentiator   is their unique focus on the CFO office. Aptitude has worked in markets all over the world and takes those lessons and best practices, and constantly evolves, incorporating them into their solutions.

Finally, Aptitude solutions include built-in IP, allowing their clients to easily configure them in a no-code environment to suit their unique business. Unlike their competitors, Aptitude solutions are not black boxes that require customization once purchased. They contain best practices, templates, and accelerators to reduce the risk and cost of implementation.

In today’s environment with the pressure on finance to support innovation and business model transformation, we are seeing a real focus on digital finance solutions that allow finance teams to access real-time reporting and analytics to surface business insights. 

Their proprietary software supports businesses with combined revenues approaching $1 trillion and over 500 million end customers!

Aptitude’s Banking Heritage?

For decades, most Banks have underinvested in their finance architectures. They have legacy ERP solutions and bloated General Ledgers and the CFO is restricted on the speed with which they can generate reports and provide analysis and insights to the business.

Aptitude helps address these issues by incorporating significant banking-specific IP into their products. Recently they released their next-generation, automated finance management platform, Fynapse, which was designed from the ground up with the finance user at its heart and utilizes the latest digital technology advancements to support a digital finance department. 

It’s cloud-native, modular, and extremely high-performant. This is a really exciting development for Aptitude, as it will deliver massive benefits in efficiency, automation, cost savings, and performance for their clients!

Master of Banking Tech – Leading Aptitude Software

The expertise and core values of Aptitude Software stem from a nurturing and exceptional management team. But taking Aptitude Software, its team, and its services ahead is a daunting task. Aptitude’s phenomenal success is due to its unmatched expertise and its irreplaceable leadership.

Aptitude Software has one of the most nurturing, visionary, and outstanding leadership. A leader who is always there to mentor, guide, and able to take Aptitude Software’s reins through perilous times. Aptitude Software has one of the most charismatic leaders at its core.

Adam Flowers (Vice President) Aptitude Software

Adam’s career has been predominantly in the sales space. Before Aptitude, he worked at IBM in a sales role and then supported the growth of an IBM reseller. 

In 2014, Adam moved to Aptitude Software in a sales role focused on technology and later telecoms. As IFRS 15 took off, he shifted his focus to building out the telecoms market in APAC and later moved to Singapore to lead the region.

Going forward, Adam’s professional goal is to educate the market – especially in Banking – as to what is possible with the right finance architecture in place. He wants Aptitude to be the number one call when a banking finance leader is looking to implement a best-of-breed, composable solution. Adam shares his excitement about exploring other regions and markets alongside their partners, including Korea, Japan, and other ASEAN nations. 

Key achievements of Adam’s leadership journey?

One of the key achievements of Adam’s professional journey is building an office and a client base from scratch in a new region. Seeing his team deliver successful implementations and drive outstanding results for their clients has been extremely rewarding.

Another key achievement has been building out an expert team of professionals in APAC. Adam and his team have built a team of people from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, working closely with their partners in Korea and Japan.

Adam pushes the team to constantly learn about each other, their cultural differences, and similarities, working together to form a great team.

“Most of the people we’ve hired have come from finance roles in their relevant industries and don’t always have expertise in sales or technology. Identifying that potential for someone to step into a new functional role and giving them the space and the encouragement necessary to take that personal and professional journey has been so amazing to see”, Adam adds.

The Aptitude Software team

They have a collaborative ‘win together, lose together’ type culture. The team helps each other out. They spend a lot of time – effectively personal time together – when they’re on work trips.

“I always make sure that the teams that are traveling have a chance to enjoy the trips. We also have a regional social committee, so we’re able to bring together the teams even though they might be geographically based in Hong Kong or Australia. We’ll host online events or run parallel events where each country does the same activity.” – Adam Flowers, Vice President, Aptitude Software

This work environment allows the team to grow and evolve both personally and professionally. Also, the management and leadership support them in every way to ensure a cordial and amicable work culture. This inclusive and immersive environment enables the team to offer best-in-class solutions for Aptitude Software clients!

“I have missed more than 9000 shots, lost almost 300 games, 26 times I have been trusted to take the match-winning shot and missed, I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that’s why I’ve succeeded” – Michael Jordan

Adam’s take on the competition in the market and how he handles it?

I’m all for living life rather than grabbing at a pot of wealth or things. For me, it’s having the time to enjoy meaningful experiences with family and friends.

It’s not the brand name of champagne I’m drinking but the opportunity to be in a place, with the people I want to drink a bottle of champagne with – even if it’s a cheap one!

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