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Change

Change, whether related to the life of a person or evolution of a company, is perceived as a transformation that takes place that is visible and can be acknowledged by others as well. For Allevo, 2016 brought a lot of change, both good and bad and both foreseen and unforeseen.

 

Sorin

Sorin GuimanThis article has a lot of potential to become personal, so I will start with Sorin, even though this may not be the correct chronological order of events. Sorin's departure to a hopefully better place came as a shock to everyone. To us, the family he so much treasured and encouraged to always stick together for better and worse. A shock to the Allevo team which he always treated like his second family. A shock to his dear friends who he had shared so many fun times with and last, but not least, to everyone he had met and to everyone who he had worked with. The world now lacks an amazing person and he will be forever missed. Those who knew him or have been influenced by him I consider lucky. The only consolation anyone can have is that he left peacefully in his sleep without feeling a thing, just the way he always wished this would happen.

 

Allevo

Maybe Allevo is one of Sorin’s most outstanding achievements. Looking back, he created this company from scratch in 1994 together with 5 other lunatics (this is how he often used to refer to them). In 1998 he brought in a couple of other very close trusted friends whose professionalism and loyalty he valued. These were the founders of BIS, which later became Allevo. A company that grew on its own to about 55. It grew from no social capital to half a million euros, from no products or customers to qPayIntegrator and FinTP. The company gained a good portfolio of clients: banks, corporations, microfinance institutions, the State Treasury, insurance companies both in Romania and abroad, all on its own strength.

 

Allevo logo dual

He was never alone in this adventure, he always kept close by his side his most trusted persons and he created an amazing team that shares the same set of values he invested in this initiative. This team has proven many times around to be capable of overcoming difficult times. It is a team that acts responsibly and fully in line with the business culture implemented at Allevo.

 

The succession plan

Several years ago, Sorin started the so-called “succession plan”. Not many people took him seriously at the time, but, stubborn as he was, he managed to convince managers it is a good idea to form people able to replace them in a couple of years' time. He walked the talk and lead by example, choosing three persons to incubate and prepare to take over the role of Allevo CEO. His plan was to retire and spend more time at Poiana Marului, reading books on the porch, enjoying the crisp air the mountains were to offer.

 

New board, new CEO

A big change for Allevo was naming a new board of directors, led by a new CEO, Corina Mihalache, a new supervisory structure where Sorin took the seat of the President. The supervisors would focus on strategic projects, would advise the board on key matters, and would be responsible for attracting investment in FinTP and other Allevo projects. This was a big move, as it was the first step in proving Allevo functions perfectly well without Sorin’s presence in every administrative task.

 

The next CEO

As of March 1st 2016 Sorina Bera, one of the three people involved in the succession plan, was named Allevo CEO and she started this mission with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication. Although her start is not as easy as it could have been if Sorin were still around, we know she is perfectly capable of sticking to the plan and of keeping Allevo on course for further growth and good customer service.

 

Plans for the future

Although this post is darkened by Sorin's departure, all other changes mentioned above are proven to have been wisely chosen, almost as if this was the entire plan all along. It is very weird when looking back to see how right he was about the need to make the company independent of him. And to make sure that each individual department can carry out their part of the mission, without having the main shareholder and founder of Allevo push them from behind. He knew and trusted this team not only to survive, but to be able to work in such a way that it can adapt, produce, be efficient, scale and grow no matter what. This is Allevo and his most important legacy.

 

 

 

 

Plans for now remain the ones already set at the beginning of 2016, but I feel the need to outline a couple of these:

  • Keep the management structure intact.
  • Deliver projects to our customers on time and with a deep focus on quality.
  • Continue to train the team to maintain and grow the level of expertise in the company by certifying both people and products on several tracks with our main partners: SWIFT, Microsoft, IBM and ORACLE. The first planned competence is SWIFT Technical Specialist.
  • Continue to participate at relevant industry events: Money 2020 Copenhagen, Oxygen Events - Digital Banking, EBAday Milan, Sibos Geneva, SWIFT Business Forum Romania etc.
  • Strengthen business partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SWIFT and build new ones.
  • Obtain financing for Allevo strategic projects, BOOST and TOSS.
  • Continue focusing on the succession plan adopted by the current board.
  • Plan new developments for FinTP.
  • Organize Allevo events, starting with the 28th FinTP User Group meeting - mid or end of May.

 

That being said, I have deep feelings for all those who are standing by us in these difficult times. I ask you to believe in us and our capability to continue Allevo's activity as planned. On behalf of the Guiman family and of the entire Allevo team, I address a very warm thank you note to all of you who have been close in these last couple of difficult weeks.

 

We will not let you down.

Allevo at Its Sweet 16


Allevo 16 years

As we are not stuck on round numbers, this year we celebrate 16 years of Allevo. We invited our customers, our partners and our team members, in a word, our friends, to join us in these moments of rejoicing.

 

And we invite you now to join us for a few moments down on memory lane. Allevo started with a handful of intrepid IT specialists, armed with courage, patience and determination taking a road that will be neither short nor obstacle free. United by curiosity, interest in what’s new and innovative, they had the desire to bring something fresh and positive in the financial-banking industry.

 

In a man’s life, 16 years may not mean that much. But in the business world and, perhaps especially in the IT sector, 16 years of hard work meant for Allevo enough time to become a recognizable brand among specialists in Romania and abroad.

 

If we were to remember just some of the key moments in Allevo’s life, I would definitely think of:

 

  • 1998 – Allevo is born with the goal to make a difference on the local financial market. At that time, we were called Business Informations Systems, a name we used for 13 years
  • 1999 – we conclude business alliances with prestigious providers: IBM, SWIFT, Microsoft, Oracle, Infosys, Vision Solutions, Brokat and we become IBM Solution Provider and Microsoft Certified Solution Provider
  • 2000 – we start the ISO 9001:2000 certification process and design FMA, a solution providing the real-time resilience of SWIFTAlliance servers
  • 2001 – we launch FMA and qBC (a message routing middleware, qPayIntegrator's precursor)
  • 2002 – we obtain the ISO9001 certification under the marks of TGA, UKAS and RENAR and become IBM Premier Software Business Partner
  • 2003 – Allevo achieves SWIFT Service Partner level, starts to provide SWIFT services in Central and Eastern Europe and designs qPayIntegrator (payment hub), initially used to connect banks and financial institutions to the national payments infrastructure. Not to mention it gains me as a member of the team :)
  • 2004 – a very good year! We implement qPayIntegrator in 6 Romanian financial institutions to connect them to the national electronic payment system - REGIS, SENT and SaFIR (corresponding to RTGS, ACH and GSRS), design the AML filtering feature of qPayIntegrator, gain 14 new customers and we organize the first edition of Allevo’s user group
  • 2005 – we launch ReconS, a real-time Nostro/Vostro accounts reconciliation solution, providing also a tool for exception management & investigation and become Oracle and MQ Software partners
  • 2006 – we launch the liquidity feature of qPayIntegrator and provide services & assistance for SWIFTNet migration phase 2
  • 2007 – Allevo launches both the Debit Instruments feature of qPayIntegrator and FMA v2; we also receive the FinMedia e-Impact Award for corporate-to-bank solutions – MACUG
  • 2008 - qPayIntegrator becomes the first solution certified SWIFTReady SEPA and we become a first time exhibitor at Sibos, in Vienna
  • 2009 – we design the Remit feature of qPayIntegrator, a cost effective payment solutions for remittances management, we achieve CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) Level2, receive the FinMedia e-Support Award for qPayIntegrator, a SWIFTReady SEPA solution, continue exhibiting at Sibos, in Hong Kong and start exhibiting at EBAday, in Vienna
  • 2010 -  we launch qPayIntegrator version destined for a micro-financing institution (Dutch customer) and the qPI AML transactions filtering feature; the year we exhibit at Sibos Amsterdam and EBAday Luxembourg
  • 2011 – is the year of Allevo official launch, after BIS' rebranding process, started the year before was completed. This year, we also obtained the SWIFTReady Remit 2011 certification for qPI-Remit and receive the e-Service Award FinMedia for the same solution. We launche qPayIntegrator-T2 (TARGET2 connectivity), designe and implemente qPayIntegrator-TIPc (for corporates) and continue the exhibitor tradition at Sibos Toronto and EBADay Madrid
  • 2012 – we receive the e-10 years FinMedia Award for excellence and global performances over the last decade (kind of the Oscar for lifetime achievements), we exhibit at Sibos Osaka and EBAday Edinburgh. But the most important, we launch FinTP and FINkers United, the open source project and the community around it that emerged as the result of more than 2 years of rethinking the Allevo business model
  • 2013 – we organize the first two FinTP hackathons and take our new concept to Sibos Dubai and EBAday Berlin
  • 2014 – we launch the FinTP code and more than that we sign the first FinTP customer. And as usual, we exhibit at Sibos Boston and EBAday Helsinki. And the year is not yet over.

16 years celebration

 

We always believed that transparent sharing of information is crucial, while transparency in itself is a good and necessary guarantee to improve projects and refine ideas. In the IT industry, creative collaboration is almost synonymous with open source, and that led us to a further step, to publish in the open source space our application for processing financial transactions, what you already know now as FinTP.

 

After looking back at the past 16 years (of course I mentioned only the good moments), I need to take you back to the future. And the future of our activity has BOOST stamped on its forehead. Based on these three pillars - the FinTP open source project, the FINkers United community and the process of reinventing Allevo by aligning its business model to fit open source work -  BOOST (Banking On Open Source Technology) is Allevo’s invitation to be part of a community that proposes, through open and sharing information, developing affordable solutions for the processing of financial transactions. With BOOST, Allevo wants to create a vehicle to increase financial interoperability between industries and geographical areas, and in the same time to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to compete in this environment, in Europe and beyond. You can imagine BOOST as a small step for open source that can become a big step for the financial market.

 

We only hope that our new initiative will bring us even more satisfaction moments in the next 16 year. And not just for us, but for the financial market and its players as well.

 

I cannot conclude without thanking everyone who has been a part of Allevo’s 16 years of existence and who supported us, nor without inviting all of you to take this new journey by our side and BOOST the financial market together.



Intertek ISO 9001:2008CMMI Level 2ISO  9001/2008 Dun & Bradstreet