Financial institutions (FIs) and fintech companies are undergoing rapid innovation to keep up with the increased competition and evolving demands and preferences of their customers. To stay competitive, these institutions require a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) partner that can match their pace of innovation and assist them in meeting customer expectations effectively. The Solution delivery team’s role spans across the entire value chain, encompassing product development, implementation, and continuous product improvements. The team plays a crucial role in partnering with the product stakeholders and ensuring that the SAAS product continues to evolve rapidly and deliver new features to meet the ever-growing business demands and customization requirements of the financial institutions, thereby driving product growth.
This article explores the role of the solution delivery team in fostering the growth of a SaaS company, specifically focusing on Qore, a leading player in the African financial technology sector. Additionally, it delves into the challenges encountered by the solution delivery team and the strategies implemented to overcome them.
Our Solution Delivery Approach
Qore, a SaaS company specialized in offering a wide range of financial technology solutions, including Corebanking, BAAS (Banking as a Service), BAAP (Banking as a Platform), Loan automation, Self-ATM Card vending solutions amongst others in the financial technology sector in Africa, acknowledges the vital role of its solution delivery team in driving product growth. This team plays a crucial role in delivering new product offerings and ensuring timely delivery of our products to clients. Acting as a bridge between product development and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) teams, they foster smooth coordination and collaboration throughout the solution delivery process. At Qore, the solution delivery team is divided into two value streams: Operation and Development.
The Development Value Stream is responsible for delivering new features and implementing the product roadmap by closely collaborating with the product team, conducting solution design, gathering customer feedback, and holding requirement gathering sessions. Their goal is to provide effective solutions tailored to meet specific customer needs.
On the other hand, the Operation Value Stream focuses on delivering ready-made products and implementing solutions for financial institutions. They ensure smooth deployments, efficient implementations, and seamless integration of our solutions into clients’ existing infrastructure. Working closely with the business team, they understand client requirements and ensure the solutions are effectively implemented.
We adopted the value stream approach to eliminate context switching, optimize our processes and ensure efficient handling of every aspect of the delivery cycle. This structure enables us to strike a balance between ongoing feature development and operational implementation, resulting in timely delivery of high-quality products to our clients. With this structure in place, we have been able to deploy our solution to over 500 institutions, and processed over $16 billion in transaction volume, powered over 50 million banking customers with more than 20 million end users hosted and 12 million cards issued annually.
Now let us take a deep dive into how our Solution Delivery team has contributed to the entire value delivery of our products.
It is important to note that the solution delivery team works closely with the product team to deliver value to our customers. Our Product team champions ideation, roadmap, and prioritization amongst others, while the solution delivery team are the executors.
Improved Product Development:
The solution delivery team brings expertise in understanding customer needs, market trends, and industry best practices. This knowledge ensures that the products developed align with customer expectations, leading to a more market-fit and competitive offering.
Establishing a solution delivery team at Qore contributed to improving our product development, as the team focuses on applying product development best practices to deliver products to our clients. Our solution delivery pays attention to understanding the financial industry needs by engaging our users, gathering requirements, and applying the organization’s approved SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) process to deliver these features, or new product offering to our institutions. As a result, our product delivery has significantly improved, leading to a more seamless and satisfying experience for our customers.
Innovation, Product Enhancement and Scalability:
The success of any SAAS company is hinged on how fast it can innovate and the quality of its service. An efficient solution delivery team ensures that the product is not only functional and reliable, but also avails features that help users stay ahead of competition.
At Qore the solution delivery collaborates with the product team to innovate and introduce new features and product offerings that help our customers compete in the financial space. They also introduce diverse ways of tailoring the Qore’s solutions to suit different customer use cases. Today, at Qore the solution delivery team works with the product team to introduce different use cases to suit the specific needs of our customer segment. For instance, we introduced an API suite that enables seamless entry for customers aiming to build a digital banking application. Additionally, we introduced our BAAS suite to enable institutions to ship out digital banking products without having to worry about the hassle involved in building such products from scratch. By tailoring solutions to specific customer segments and accommodating diverse needs, our solution delivery team has been able drive the expansion of the product into new markets and growth of other broad arrays of players in the finance industry such as Microfinance banks, Mortgage Banks, Finance Houses, Islamic Banks, Commerical Banks, FinTech’s. This innovation driven by our solution delivery team has played a vital role in driving our remarkable growth from 250 institutions to over 500 institutions in the space of a two years
In addition to innovating and offering new product use-cases to our clients, the solution delivery team plays a vital role in ensuring the scalability of our product and the capacity of our infrastructure to accommodate the expanding user base. It is crucial to avoid any downtime or service disruption, especially given the substantial increase in transaction volume we currently process, amounting to 11.8 billion USD and hosting over 20 million accounts.
Faster Time-to-Market: Considering how fast paced the financial industry is, time to market is crucial for gaining competitive advantage. Having a dedicated solution delivery team enables organizations to streamline product development and enhancements. The team’s emphasis on efficient collaboration and communication accelerates the product development lifecycle, resulting in faster releases of new features and updates to the market. At Qore, we have established two arms within the solution delivery chain as explained above: the Operations and the Development value stream. This strategic division has proven to be highly effective in optimizing the delivery process to meet the market demand swiftly. This has contributed to opening new revenue streams and accelerating the company’s growth as our user base has grown from 250+ to over 500 financial institutions in the space of two years. Our Solution delivery agile approach of shipping features in iterations also contributes to how fast we can deliver new features to our customers.
Improved Customer Satisfaction:
A key driver of growth for a SAAS company lies in the focus on meeting the needs of the customers. Through active client engagement, empathetic understanding of their challenges or pain points, and effective incorporating customer’s feedback into our product roadmap. This approach in crafting customer-centric solutions and has led to heightened customer satisfaction, enhanced loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth referrals
At Qore, we place a strong emphasis on gathering feedback from our clients. Our team of Business Analysts (BAs) engages in comprehensive requirement gathering sessions to thoroughly grasp each client’s needs. These sessions result in well-rounded solutions, considering both short-term and long-term considerations based on the complexity of the requests.
Our dedication to addressing individual customer requests has allowed us to gain a deep understanding of their pain points. This, in turn, empowers us to define tailored solutions that precisely cater to each customer’s unique needs. Having a dedicated solution delivery team has greatly improved our responsiveness to customer requests while also ensuring alignment with the organization’s prioritization process. As a result, we have experienced a marked increase in customer satisfaction, cementing stronger relationships with our clients and earning positive recommendations within the market.
To deliver products seamlessly, organizations need to have a standard delivery process and best practices, the challenge most organizations have is driving adoptions of these best practices. By establishing a solution delivery team, Qore ensures a well-defined and efficient process for product enhancement and development this approach minimizes inefficiencies, mitigates bottlenecks, and nurtures a culture of continuous improvement across the organization.
At Qore, we have meticulously defined a process for our solution delivery team, closely tied to their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This ensures accountability and adherence to best practices, enabling us to consistently deliver value to our customers. Regular monthly audits of the solution delivery team’s practices guarantee compliance with the defined delivery process.
Implementing these rules and procedures has had a profound impact on the quality of service we provide. As a result, customer satisfaction and retention have increased significantly, leading to notable product growth. Our commitment to streamlined processes and continuous improvement has fortified our position in the market and strengthened customer loyalty.
Customization and Integration: T
The solution delivery team plays a pivotal role in catering to the specific needs of each client, tailoring Qore’s products to suit their requirements. We achieve this by engaging with financial institutions to understand their unique product goals, recommending suitable APIs and system architecture to ensure successful product development.
The Solution Delivery team take charge of seamlessly managing and coordinating integrations to Qore’s products with diverse third-party systems, such as mobile and internet banking applications, loan applications, HR platforms, and more. Our Solution Delivery team at Qore has successfully assisted over 350 financial institutions and fintech companies in building widely adopted digital banking products such as Mobile & Internet banking, Loan, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), Credit Card, Savings & Investment products amongst others, that are widely used in the finance space today.
The seamless integrations managed by the team have sparked a surge in the number of institutions requesting to leverage our API suite and Banking as a Service product. As a result, this has significantly contributed to the growth of our product offerings.
You may have wondered if our journey has been without its challenges. Rest assured, we’ve had our fair share of experiences and victories. We are truly grateful to our clients for their understanding as we navigate these realities together. Now, let’s delve into the details.
Experiences and Wins
As a SAAS company catering to customers operating in a fast-paced, innovation-driven environment, you inevitably come across specific requests that demand an effective solution delivery process and a dedicated team to meet your customers’ needs. At Qore, we have explored various strategies that have enabled us to successfully deliver to our end-users.
- High customer expectation: balancing customer expectations with the resources and time available can be challenging. Customers may have varying demands and timelines that may not always align with the team’s capacity. To tackle this challenge, we implement a strategic approach at Qore. We categorize all customer requests into different tiers, identifying those that share similarities or address the same underlying issues. By doing so, we can prioritize these requests in collaboration with our scrum team. Additionally, clear and consistent communication with our clients ensures transparency and helps manage their expectations appropriately. Through this method, we strive to strike a balance that allows us to deliver quality solutions within realistic timelines, effectively addressing customer needs while optimizing resource allocation.
- Tight Deadlines: Meeting tight deadlines for product delivery and enhancements can put pressure on the team, potentially impacting the quality of work or causing burnout. However, at Qore, we have implemented a planning method that allows us to accurately assess the team’s capacity and determine the amount of work achievable within a specific cycle. This structured approach has been instrumental in effectively planning deliverables and elevating the quality of our work output. By efficiently managing timelines and resources, we can deliver products with improved precision and maintain a healthier and more sustainable work environment for our team members.
- High number of change requests: managing change requests can be challenging, especially when dealing with numerous requests from customers. Scope creep resulting from these changes can potentially impact project timelines and priorities. At Qore, given the substantial number of customers we serve, we receive a significant volume of change requests. While it is difficult to eliminate change, we focus on controlling it. To address this, we have incorporated a comprehensive requirement gathering process aimed at reducing the likelihood of change requests from customers. However, when a change is necessary, we follow a systematic approach. Firstly, we analyze the change thoroughly, assessing its impact on project timelines, costs, and scope. Based on our analysis, we provide our recommendation to the client, and after obtaining their signoff, we proceed with the implementation. By adopting this approach, we aim to strike a balance between accommodating necessary changes and ensuring that they are well-managed and controlled. This helps us maintain project stability and deliver products that meet customer expectations while adhering to agreed timelines and budgets.
- Scalability: As Qore undergoes growth and gains new clients, the solution delivery team faces a significant influx of requests that require immediate attention. This surge in demand necessitates scaling the team’s operations to effectively handle the increased workload for implementations and support. To address scalability challenges, Qore adopts a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the company optimizes internal processes through automation, streamlining workflows, and implementing efficient tools to enhance productivity. Secondly, strategic hiring and training of additional team members are conducted to bolster the team’s capacity effectively. By combining these approaches, the solution delivery team maintains its commitment to high standards of service delivery even during periods of rapid expansion, ensuring that clients continue to receive exceptional support and seamless implementations.
Other challenges include but are not limited to; Knowledge gap from the customer and understanding of the product, evolving technologies, delay due to external dependencies, uncertainty in system performance, regulatory requirements and dependencies, and client budget constraints
The solution delivery team plays a pivotal role in fueling the growth of a leading SaaS company in Africa’s financial technology sector and a well-executed solution delivery process significantly enhances customer satisfaction, fostering loyalty among existing customers and attracting new ones which leads to business expansion and further product growth.
Qore relies on this team to ensure the seamless delivery of new product offerings, iterative enhancements, smooth implementation, customization, integration, and ongoing support for its software solutions. By effectively addressing challenges unique to delivering SAAS products in the finance industry, the solution delivery team drives product growth and delivers exceptional value to clients.
As Africa’s financial technology ecosystem continues to evolve, the importance of solution delivery teams in SaaS companies remains paramount. Embracing a customer-centric approach, leveraging technical expertise, and employing adaptive strategies, these teams expertly navigate challenges, ensuring successful implementations, and actively contributing to the remarkable growth of the financial technology industry across the continent.