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Napier in APAC: when integrity is everything

As we return to work after the Chinese New Year break, I’ve had time to reflect on Napier’s APAC journey so far, including who we are today and who we strive to be.

Robin Lee
February 17, 2021

As we return to work after the Chinese New Year break, I’ve had time to reflect on Napier’s APAC journey so far, including who we are today and who we strive to be.

Just under a year ago, I was the only Napier employee in APAC. Today we are 11 strong, with a goal to hit 30 by the end of the year (please do reach out to me if you are interested in joining Napier, by the way).

We have reached tremendous levels of success here in APAC, from participating and hosting multiple events, winning the Regulation Asia award for best Solution for AML/CFT compliance and winning over the hearts and minds of many in our industry, including organisations like Clik and Australia Post (stay tuned for even more names that will become public soon).

But I strive to take Napier to even higher levels; to let the world know what we stand for, and what our tech can do. As we continue on this journey, integrity will continue to be integral to all that we do as we live and breathe our values: thorough, transparent, elegant, creative, trusted and responsible.

These values have an important influence on our approach, as I illustrate with some examples below:

1. We believe in ethical tech development  

At Napier, we are blessed to have some very smart people working for us. They invest a huge amount of time and energy to build our unique algorithms and products from the ground up. This ensures our products can be true to our values.

But this isn’t always the case in the FinTech and RegTech space. I first wrote about the issues associated with Frankenstein products almost four years ago. Frankenstein products are those where software developers edit open-source software before stitching it back together to present something “new”. The repercussions of this type of approach are very concerning indeed.

2. We take information security seriously

We quite rightly take infosec very seriously. We have an entire dedicated team, ISO 27001 certification and a deliberately single tenancy architecture. Single tenancy means that for each cloud-based customer, their software, coupled with their data, is set up to reside on a single cloud instance.

You can almost think of it as our customers receiving their own room in the cloud, with everything encapsulated, private and secured. It concerns me greatly that many vendors who are focusing on keeping costs low offer multi-tenancy solutions. These solutions reside on a single cloud instance with all their customers’ data co-mingled.

3. We create meaningful, trusted partnerships

During my career, I’ve been fortunate to learn first-hand how to form successful partnerships, and to manage and develop them further. I’ve also witnessed how easily some partnerships have been very publicly abused.

Again, integrity has to be the core focus, which is why creating meaningful, trusted partnerships is so important to Napier and myself.

4. We judge our success by our customer’s success

We believe in Steve Jobs’ quote about “starting with the customer first and working backwards”. We love our customers and have a dedicated Customer Success team whose sole role is to take care of them. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Dave Burns, passionately champions Customer Success at Napier, and arranged for the ‘Godfather of Customer Success’, Dan Steinman, to speak to the entire company last year. And so we have made ourselves accountable by tying our performance to the happiness of our customers.

5. We say no to pay-to-play awards

At Napier, we get offered to ‘win’ awards all the time, usually at some sort of cost. My good friend, Peter Coleman, wrote about this phenomenon 5 years ago.

We choose to dismiss these ‘opportunities’. They undermine both what we and the industry we support stands for. In the world of compliance and fighting financial crime, integrity is so important.

I will never forget the empowerment of the first words to me when I joined Napier: “This is our company, and it can become whatever we want it to be”.  

I for one don’t want us to be just a regular software company. I want Napier to be a company that’s known and loved for making great products, for protecting its customers and most importantly, standing for something meaningful that we all believe in: fighting financial crime.

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