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Agiboo Sees Technology and Architecture Gaining Importance as a Buying Criterion

A conversation with Jan van den Brom of Agiboo is always fun and informative. He is quick to spot trends and this recent conversation was full of Jan’s observations and thoughts. For example, he sees much more interest in technology and architecture as a selection criterion. “The technology stack is becoming part of the selection criteria again,” he said. “It is even rapidly become a high-priority item and buyers know what technologies they want and often ask for containerization explicitly.” This isn’t the first time we have heard this as in just the last two weeks, it has come up possibly as many as six times already. Tech is hot again! As Jan said, “Some buyers even prioritize technology over functionality!”

Apparently, buyers are increasingly looking for cloud, scalability, flexibility, and security. On the security side, this has only been accentuated by some high-profile ransomware attacks along with the new work from home environment where security may not be as much of a priority as it ought to be. “Basic levels of security are now mandatory requirements of course,” Jan said. However, he sees containerization as offering users huge advantages in terms of scalability, ability to distribute processes and data, faster deployment, and, yes, security. “Right now, you need a Google or MS account to log into Agiblocks,” he said. “This means that users have to go through all the upgrades from Google or MS and stay current as well as provides native integration.”

He follows up by saying “In the past, only large firms could have all of this since they spent a lot of money and built it themselves. Now, however, we have cloud services and so what was a luxury can be made available to everyone via the cloud model.” He points out that Agiboo made the decision a couple of years ago to migrate architectures and is now very pleased that they did as platforms on Java .Net or client/server now need their entire stack to be rewritten to provide these capabilities.

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Another trend he sees is the number of firms moving into OTC contracts like accumulators for hedging purposes and away from exchange-traded contracts. Agiboo has released a new module to cater to the valuation of these types of contracts as they are quite complex, he said, with no standard methods to evaluate them. He also sees that users want to do much more portfolio analysis than they used to and he suspects that the knowledge about how complex derivatives work in commodities is growing.

Meanwhile, Agiboo continues to sign 1-2 new customers a month, mostly small but still, this is its target market and, as he points out, “large customers can actually cause problems especially if you end up customizing for each and then end up with essentially a different version of the software for each customer!” Areas of momentum that he sees are things like carbon emissions and certificates, cocoa, coffee, sugar and they have also signed a new grains client recently, he said. There are a number of bigger deals around as well, he says, but these will take time to conclude.