Repositioned AI Platform
Positioned AI technology platform enabling multiple industry awards, unsolicited RFPs, and major funding round.
Enterprise AI vendor was building substantial technology IP that was marketed as a development platform across many markets and categories with limited traction. Further, the product roadmap was unfocused having to deal with a wide variety of potential use cases that would change with every potential new deal.
Sean led the repositioning of the product to focus on the specific category of Anti-Money Laundering Solution within major banks.
This led to multiple benefits:
- Development became more effectively prioritized
- Design focused on a narrower set of user personas
- Recognized by Gartner Magic Quadrant
- Recognized by Chartis RiskTech100 & 2 MarketQuadrants
- Marketing spending ROI improved significantly
- Two industry awards based on customer nomination
- First unsolicited RFPs began arriving
- Customer-facing team easier to train to enable better CX
Created Category Dominant Product
Turned workflow capability into a premium product in a new product category that drove a decade of business growth.
Actimize sold risk detection solutions that included a workflow component to review alerted events. Market research and customer feedback indicated an opportunity to expand the workflow capability into a platform to consume risks detected by other systems.
Sean successfully made the business case to invest in a premium version and followed through in managing its strategy, plan, and launch to much market success. This new product:
- Generated $1.5 million in revenue in 3 months post-launch.
- 10 years later drove $100 million in direct and indirect revenue.
- Won multiple industry awards, annually.
- Product used by 9 out of 10 largest banks
- Highest NPS for portfolio product
- Enabled the acquisition and integration of 3 prior competitors
- Non-premium version remains core to all portfolio solutions
ThetaRay Product Launch
Developed strategy, managed 3 design partners, and prioritized roadmap to successful 6-month new product launch.
ThetaRay was focused on its core AI intellectual property but hired me, in part, to bring to market a complimentary product already committed to key customers.
Starting from a basis of sales led commitments, Sean worked to plan and direct a rapid development process through to launch of version 1 of the Investigation Center -- a tool for analysis and investigation of machine learning explainable results alongside source data.
Key development activities:
- Market and competitive research
- Ran design partnerships 3 key customers
- Defined and communicated delivery strategy
- Wrote requirements
- Built many prototypes with designer
- Established delivery priorities for R&D
Key go-to-market activities:
- Established branding, positioning, and pricing
- Defined messaging, sales collateral, and demos
- Briefed key analysts
The first live customer said it saved them 40% operational time over previous industry-standard tools in use. This amounts to millions of $ savings per year.
Created User Experience Working Group
Established a formalized user experience design working group of client end-users to research product design.
As company products and the industry matured the user experience became a more significant part of competitive advantage as it drove user efficiency, delight, and higher NPS when executed well.
In order to foster UX Design and its benefits Sean introduced and led the UX Design Working Group (UXWG) that included about 50 users from 30 clients globally. This body was used for:
- Ethnographic studies
- Prototypes and Beta Release Programs
- Focus Groups
- Yammer Discussion Groups, Surveys, and Discussions
- Lead Users to present our software during user groups
Early success supported the need to grow the internal support by hiring a dedicated design team.
Eventually, this team and UXWG operated across the entire company portfolio of 40+ business solutions becoming a point of pride for many end-users that got to participate.
Actimize Product Organization Competency Model
Defined and instituted a professional competency model for product managers, product owners, and product marketing.
As a growing organization, Actimize needed to establish a clear mechanism for professional growth and the right support to enable it.
Using industry research, internal surveys, and best practices, Sean defined a model for roles, responsibilities, and clear job progression based upon expected levels of competency mastery.
Covered product owners, product managers, product marketers, and up to the heads of each product line. The model was built with the support of executive management, HR, and other stakeholders to the extended product team.
- 45 product managers and product owners
- 10 product marketing managers
- Increased employee job satisfaction
- Simplified hiring and promotion practices
- Improved standards of communication
Lead Agile Transformation
Led agile transformation to SAFe to improve market agility of very large software development organization.
Actimize grew from traditional waterfall new product development methodologies with sporadic instances of agile methods interspersed. This was becoming less viable in terms of responsiveness to market opportunities, hiring and talent management.
While the COO selected SAFe as a scaled agile framework for scrum, Sean was trained as an expert coach and became a lead transformation evangelist.
- Over 40 scrum teams aligned on 6 agile release trains
- The transformation from training to initial launch in 4 months
- Completed initial transformation in 7 months
- Ran Product Management Community of Practice to coach and mentor employees during and post-transformation.
- Coached product managers and product owners
Product Management Tools Selection
Increased visibility and alignment of business strategy with R&D execution via modern product management tool.
ThetaRay was constrained by two key challenges in a rapidly evolving startup environment:
(1) Lacked visibility between strategy and development execution
(2) Document, track, and provide tracability to engineering on product backlog items
Sean conducted a market survey and recommended Aha!, a modern product management tool for implementation to solve these challenges.
- Collaborated to design process definitions in the tool.
- Launched idea portal for employees and customers
- Converted legacy data over
- Expanded all competitor profiles and user personas in the tool
- Lead product strategy review using the new tool.
- Trained broader stakeholders on reporting from the system
The new system was implemented in 3 months, with integration into Jira, fully transforming the product development process.
M&A Due Diligence of Fortent
Recommended acquisition of Fortent based on product and technology due diligence - resulting in successful acquisition.
Actimize was the dominate market provider of AML solutions to major banks around the world. However, it lacked the ability to scale and features demanded by the top 10 retail banks.
Fortent was the leading provider to these largest retail banks and we performed due diligence to consider acquiring them. Sean was responsible for two analysis tracks of product and technology.
- Understanding fit with existing portfolio
- Modeling potential post-merger product strategy
- Assessing product and technology maturity and risks
- Assessing product partnership risks and opportunities
The team decided to move forward with the acquisition and it became a significant new addition to the Actimize product portfolio.
Actimize Visual Analytics with Tableau
Partnered with Tableau to build and launch Actimize Visual Analytics providing major portfolio extension innovation.
Major enterprise software providers like Actimize need to demonstrate innovations that drive substantial new value to customers over time. One particular weakness they had was around business intelligence across their portfolio.
Based upon customer research on needs, internal business drivers, a market survey of leading technologies, and technology feasibility Sean shortlisted and later selected Tableau as a strategic OEM partner.
Major activities included:
- Learning all major market players
- Negotiating business terms with shortlist options
- Driving technical due diligence through CTO team
- Coordinating and negotiating an acceptable final contract
- Obtained major funding to close a multi-year deal
- Sold vision and strategy internally
- Drove multiple product teams to the aligned roadmap
- Trained sales, marketing, and other stakeholders for launch
- Established branding, pricing, and packaging
- Launched in time for major company marketing event
FIS RCM Classic Launch Strategy
Advised FIS Global on strategy to sunset and replace legacy product with branded alternative.
FIS Global had acquired a company and product called ICMS that was used by over 100 banks for security and risk management operations. ICMS was built on legacy technology and they did not want to invest in rewriting the product but they did want to maintain happy customers.
As such, they partnered with Norkom to replace ICMS but hit major issues in delivery and market friction eventually retracting the plan from the market, ending their partnership with Norkom.
Subsequently, they came to Actimize and Sean worked with them to define a comprehensive technology replacement strategy and communications plan that would provide their customers with a better end result, preventing attrition.
Key Joint Activities:
- Strategic plan for delivery and technical transition
- Integrated joint roadmap plan
- Advised on pricing and feature packaging
- Advised partner on end-of-life and support communications
24 months after launch, FIS was able to successfully transitions 70% of the customer base to the new offering.