I had no idea that my treasury one post would generate so much traffic and commentary. On a blog where it is rare to see more than a single comment (given all my anti spam, anti bot, anti social word press defenses) in less than 24 hours 8 comments (ok I confess 4 of them were my responses to 4 comments posted by other well wishers) were akin to a system shock. Then Mohtashim posted the Facebook post and before we could even start counting, we had broken the 8 comments barrier on Facebook also.
What is the story behind this product?
In March 2007 armed with some cash in the bank, an investor check and a customer who wanted us to push harder we decided to build a next generation treasury platform. A browser based bank treasury management system with its own treasury accounting GL, paper less workflow and complete integration with the Alchemy Risk product suites. It added four unique features.
- Real time transaction dashboards that you could access from anywhere (including your iphone and your black berry) and
- Pre trade checks that would stop a ticket from moving further in the workflow if a limit breach occurred.
- Coupled with the ability to do desk, dealer, product, customer, region and currency wise profitability the product took care of an enormous list of headaches that Treasurers, TROPS heads and CFO face in mid and large sized banks.
- Fully integrated Fixed Income (MM), Foreign Exchange (FX) and Capital Markets (EQ) suites with SWIFT, M3 and FXCRS reporting
Of course all of this was a dream on paper when we started it but it took three years, two driven back office specialists (Salim Lalani and Dilshad Qureshi) over at two customers and four equally inspired Treasurers to bring this platform together.
Why the outpouring of joy, celebration and relief that you have witnessed on this blog and on Facebook? Because just like Alchemy Risk Manager, building Alchemy Treasury One almost killed the firm that built the product…It took three years of sheer pain, disappointment, aggravation, agony, shouting and screaming matches and sacrifices on part of all of us who worked on this product to bring it to a stage where a mid size bank took it upon itself to turn it on last Saturday. Team Alchemy put its heart and soul in, while Mohtashim and I will blame our permanent hair loss to a crazy trip in Bangkok where the first, troublesome treasury one scope and contract document was penned, finalized and emailed to our first customer.
Today when we and our customers see the product at work and we see how it compares to the competition and what it can do and how it simplifies what used to be a exceedingly complex and contentious function, you have no idea how much warmth it creates.
As a good friend put it to me the other day, “the last time someone was crazy enough to build a half way decent back office platform was two decades ago. And the firm that was crazy enough to try it was i-flex. Look what happened to them?”