Finance Magnates caught up with ImpacTech’s CEO George Larkou, who explained in a full length interview the crossroads the financial services sector is at. Mr. Larkou believes the challenge of efficiently and effectively processing data through AI and predictive analytics will define the success or failure of companies in the finance sector.
ImpacTech’s office lies at the heart of the modern concrete and glass construction. Sitting alongside Mr. Larkou on a daily basis is the company’s co-founder and CTO George Nicolaides. He’s also a long-time friend and between them they’re navigating ImpacTech’s course to becoming a leading Business Intelligence solutions provider.
“It’s an exciting time for us with the expo coming up. It’s a great platform to demonstrate how effective our new CRM is for the finance industry,” explained Mr. Larkou.
Upcoming splash at iFX EXPO
This month ImpacTech will present their data driven CRM at the iFX Expo where they’re Gold sponsors. Their CRM marks a huge step forward for customer management systems, with its built-in business relationships for MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.
It delivers genuine integration with the business’s other functions. It’s the first time a brokerage’s primary functions – the trading platforms, marketing and telecoms – can be fully and seamlessly integrated straight out of the box.
“Data from a brokerage’s touchpoints is leveraged by the CRM in combination with marketing tools so that you can predict customer behaviour and increase conversions,” explained Mr. Larkou. “It’s the complete brokerage solution.”
Their telecom solution, which is a highly cost-effective tool on its own, also integrates seamlessly and adds more data for the Machine Learning algorithm to work with. While the CRM is a major milestone for ImpacTech, Larkou’s focus is already on what lies beyond.
“We’re also working on solutions for a broad spectrum of clients which presents a new set of challenges,” he explained. ImpacTech’s technological developments help address the challenges businesses face today in increasingly competitive markets.
Teams of developers with expertise in AI and big data
The office of ImpacTech is filled with skilled developers. Amongst these are experts in algorithms and Big Data analysis with the atmosphere focused but friendly. Mr. Larkou explained that the group is made up of developers as well as members of the marketing and sales departments. These carefully constructed teams work hard and share a chemistry that’s vital in the pursuit of innovation.
“We’re all about delivering more intelligent tools. Having ideas is great but we’re here to convert those great ideas into a productive tool that drives business,” he added. “For me, solutions also have to be easy to use. A lot of work goes into designing the interfaces. Intuitive tools are the most effective.”
“The success of Apple’s iPhone is the case in point. The device is capable of doing a lot but what made it such an outright success was that performing all those functions was easy for an inexperienced user.”
“Within minutes you got a great user experienced and that’s the same goal we have for our solutions. Apple didn’t need you to read a 50-page user guide to get a great experience from their phones and you don’t need one for our solutions either. They’re easy and intuitive to use.”
In addition, Mr. Larkou explained ImpacTech’s future trajectory and its outlook for one year from now. “Certainly, we expect to be much bigger in banking and gaming over the next 12 months,” noted Mr. Larkou.
Business intelligence is only going to get bigger
“FinTech is a lucrative industry that’s only going to get bigger. It’s barely out of its infancy, it’s still immature. The impact of the introduction of advanced technological data driven solutions is only just being realized. Big Data, AI and predictive analytics are going to develop and disrupt many industries.”
“People are waking up to the importance of their data and how much value can be leveraged from it. We’ve been working on data-driven solutions for a long time now, we’ve enjoyed a lengthy runway on most of our competitors.”
Indeed, “the critical trend is towards automation. Businesses that don’t automate functions like marketing will not be able to compete in the very near future,” he predicted.
Clients from all corners of the world request presentations. They’re convinced that ImpacTech’s solutions offer value and are the best fit for what they want to achieve. It’s a view also shared by Sales Director, Anthony Papaevagorou.
Mr. Papaevagorou recently left his senior role at MetaQuotes, where he led the sales division for many years, because he’s convinced ImpacTech is the right place to be. Judging by the recruitment drive ImpacTech have been on recently they are clearly preparing themselves for a sizeable increase in the volume of work.
“Yes, we’ve been adding to all our teams,” noted Mr. Larkou. “We’ve taken on additional Full-stack developers, designers, Back-end engineers, mobile engineers. The important thing is to ensure they have the skills and are the right fit for ImpacTech. We’ve worked really hard to bring this group together.”
Finance Magnates also spoke to Mr. Larkou about what technologies he believes will be used as we shift towards greater automation and more efficient use of our data.
Blockchain technology will decentralize data
According to Mr. Larkou, “Blockchain technology is going to be a critical part of it. Clearly cryptocurrencies are encompassed in this but I’m also talking about applying the blockchain to decentralise data. This will enable us to access true real-time analysis of data. We will no longer need to react to a prompt or a notification, our systems will simply optimise as every new data input dictates.”
“The great thing about this technology is that it’s totally scalable. It makes no difference to the technology whether you’re processing 10 Terabytes of data or 10 Petabytes. The importance lies in the efficiency that your system can analyse this data and how quickly the business can use those insights.”
Mr. Larkou also offered the example of two similar sized companies in the same industry and the advantage that the one with real-time analytics has over the other.
“While company A uses a monthly report to track how the business is doing, company B is adjusting in real-time. Company A finds out at the end of the month that their latest campaign actually lost them one million dollars, company B drops the loss-making campaign immediately, minimizing the exposure, and keeps tweaking the parameters until it finds a more efficient one. How long do you think company A can survive in that environment?”
While you can’t always control what goes on outside, you often can control what goes on inside. For ImpacTech’s part, this mentality seems to sum up its business practices towards its growing client base.