Monthly Posts: October
To Be Or Not To Be
In today’s world, technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. The latest innovative products or services adopted by the market today is tomorrow’s antique. As a result of this rapid development of technology, we often take things for granted.
But not always in history, the adoption speed of the news technologies by mankind being it happened to this high level. In respect to this, I’ll mention only two exceptional examples.
One of these is the wheel, invented at a relatively late point of human history, the oldest known being dates around 7000 years ago (from Mesopotamia. Looking around, we see wheels everywhere, be it as tyres, or all the machinery that surrounding us every day. The wheel is pervasive in our lives not only materially, but also spiritually, being impregnated with many symbolic meanings, perhaps the most famous being a metaphor for the never ending cycle of life.
Even though this is something that holds fundamental impact on the development of human society, it was adopted by the inhabitants of America or Australia, late, very late, after the arrival of Europeans on those lands, The Olmec, and other Mesoamerican societies, world pioneers in mathematics and astronomy, but they did not use the wheel. Amazingly enough, they invented the wheel but did not use it for any purpose other than children’s toys.
A known fact by now, ignorance in adoption and the use of the wheel by some societies has had a dramatic effect on their evolution when they came into contact with those who adopted and used this device.
The second example refers to Gutenberg’s invention. In 1445, Johannes Gutenberg unveiled an innovation with profound consequences for subsequent economic history: a printing press based on movable type. Until then, books either had to be hand-copied by scribes, a very slow and laborious process, or they were block-printed specific pieces of wood cut for printing each page. Books were few and far between, and very expensive. After Gutenberg’s invention, things began to change. Books were printed and became more rapidly available. Without this innovation, mass literacy and education would have been impossible.
In Western Europe, the importance of the printing press was quickly recognized. Unfortunately, not everyone saw printing as a desirable innovation. As early as 1485 the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II issued an edict (firman) that Muslims were expressly forbidden from printing in Arabic. This rule was further reinforced by sultan Selim I in 1515. Only just in 1727, after 282 years from Gutenberg’s invention, the first printing press was allowed in the Ottoman lands, when sultan Ahmed III gives the permission to set up a press. Even this late permission was with restrains. In Egypt, on the other hand, the first printing press was set up only in 1798 (after 353 years), by Frenchmen who were part of the failed attempt by Napoleon Bonaparte to capture the country.
This opposition to the printing press had the obvious consequences for literacy, education, and economic success. For example, around 1800, probably only 2 to 3 percent of Ottoman Empire citizens were literate, compared with 60 percent of adult males and, 40 percent of adult females in England. In the Netherlands and Germany, literacy rates were even higher.
Probably, major consequence of the failure in adopting and using printing press at the right moment it was the loss of Ottoman Empire competition with Western countries and, consequently its collapse after some time.
From both stories it can be noted that a lack of creative ability and slowness in adopting new innovations can have profound consequences on the evolution of entire civilizations, countries, or human smaller organizations, like companies.
Sometimes creativity and agility in adoption of the new technological developments can make the difference between “to be or not be”.
Author: Nicu Stirbat
Allevo At Sibos Wrap-up
At Sibos the Allevo team had a few goals, namely: creating awareness for the company and its flagship project, the FinTP Project, to update existing connections on latest developments and news from Allevo, to encourage banks to start looking more in depth into open source technologies and to make new connections.
Allevo’s flagship project, the FinTP Project
FinTP helps financial institutions of all types and sizes reduce TCO and achieve end-to-end interoperability across the financial supply chain. It is a complete open source application that processes transactions, automates flows and offers compliance to regulatory and industry standards. The Allevo guaranteed distribution of FinTP is aimed to grow competitiveness, offer operational risk containment and to make financial processing systems affordable to SMEs as well.
FinTP and all ancillary documentation is distributed freely and openly through the FINkers United community and it provides collaboration ground for rapid development and integration of new technologies, such as crypto currencies and distributed ledgers, biometric and cyber security, data analysis algorithms and many others. This creates an open infrastructure for achieving real-time payments and a better management of liquidity and assets.
Latest from Allevo – EximBank adopts FinTP
At Sibos, Allevo announced the recent adoption of FinTP by a new customer, EximBank, a niche bank, solely dedicated to corporate financing. The addition of this new bank to the list of FinTP adopters proves that FinTP is a flexible and reliable application, fit to serve the day to day operations of a bank. The first adopters of FinTP are existing Allevo customers, who are long time users of qPayIntegrator, a proprietary solution designed by Allevo back in 2001 to connect banks in Romania to the electronic payment system, to automate flows, to fetch payments from any type of back-office system, internally process them in ISO20022 format, achieve accounting reconciliation, offer a clear view on their liquidity and daily operations. FinTP is an open source application based on qPayIntegrator and thus the customers of qPayIntegrator are being migrated to FinTP, becoming early adopters of the first open source application of this kind. Apart from these, 3 more banks have adopted FinTP and we were proud to announce the collaboration with EximBank last week at Sibos.
Promoting BOOST – Banking On Open Source Technologies
Allevo has positioned itself as a supporter of open source software and has been promoting the idea of BOOST, short for Banking On Open Source Technologies. This has been the central theme of most of Allevo’s recent keynotes or panel debates. In line with the BOOST strategy, Allevo delivered last week at Sibos in Singapore an interactive Open Theatre session “Eating The Financial World”.
It was all about creating and sharing software applications and associated knowledge, about innovation through shared knowhow and collaboration and about bringing key inventions into established financial systems. We took a close look at five topics related to open source software, which contribute to having a good overview about how OSS caters for the needs of the banking industry, offering the same quality and security as proprietary software. Moreover, open source products give users control over the software they adopt, more transparency and an excellent platform for innovation and collaboration.
The five topics were: open source philosophy, software distribution trends, quality and security, platform for innovation and last, but not least, community.
Sibos back to Europe in 2016
All in all, this was yet another successful edition of Sibos and the Allevo team is looking forward to enjoy the one of next year in Geneva, closer to home, with an audience that is much more relevant to our primary business focus and strategy. It’s good that Sibos is coming back to Europe, especially as the last “European” one was in Dubai; basically it has not been to Europe since Amsterdam 2010.
Please reach out via any means of communication, should you be interested to start a discussion about FinTP and Banking On Open Source Technologies. In the spirit of open source, we are open for dialogue.
Author: Ioana Guiman