Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab finals day will be held on April 12th when finalists and prospective investors will meet in London. In the run up to the event CBR profiles the finalists.
Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab finals day will be held on April 12th when finalists and prospective investors will meet in London. In the run up to the event CBR profiles the finalists
Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab initiative is an accelerator programme designed to put the best fintech start ups in front of potential banking customers and investors – we interview those that made it to the final.
CBR: Describe your solution in technical terms.
Undo: "We have a technology that allows software developers to see what their program really did as opposed to what they expect it to do. It basically takes the form of a kind of software CCTV; it allows the execution program to be recorded, such as the software developer can play that tape back and forth and see exactly what happened.
"This is very useful when it comes to understanding why code didn’t do what you wanted it to do which is all about developer productivity and code quality."
CBR: What problem does it solve/opportunity does it create?
Undo: "Undo solves fundamentally the problem of software not doing what it should. In the simplest form this might mean bugs, but it might mean high-level systemic problems as well. Software misbehaving particularly in the financial services space is a big problem when it does go wrong the quality requirements are very high.
"So being able to identify those problems quickly, so they can be fixed and providing route cause analysis helps get the system back up and running, it is a very important problem solved.
"It also solves the problem of general developer productivity, so banks in particular are huge employers of software developers, they’re really technology companies with a bank frontage. Banks are also under increasing pressure to reduce their costs and so being able to have software developers be more productive and get that code produced more cheaply is a big win as well.
"In terms of the opportunities it certainly opens up very interesting opportunities in the future with all around regulation and being able to respond to and comply with that regulation in addition to responding to the changes to regulation that happen very frequently, in a much smarter way.
"A lot of the regulations around banks being able to tell the regulators what happened, and increasingly why. That is difficult in these large complex systems. It’s a very difficult question to be able to answer.
"Using our recording technology those questions can be answered in a much smarter way, much more reliably and it’s much easier to get the answer as well."
CBR: Why is it unique?
Undo: "It’s unique because nobody else can do this. There have been research papers and academic efforts to do this since the 1970s. It’s a natural thing to want to do and the idea itself is not new but we are the only people to have a general and usable implementation.
"It’s been a big research problem and we’ve applied some of the best computer science minds to actually make this work in a usable way – so it’s definitely deep tech. Undo sounds quite simple on the surface but to make stuff work in a real way, bear in mind that computers are issuing billions of instructions or operations every second and often there’s many thousands of them doing that and being able to trace information in a useful way that performs well and doesn’t take up lots of space, doesn’t affect adversely the programs being run – that is a very difficult technical challenge."
CBR: What language is it built in?
Undo: "Mostly C, some Assembly, a bit of Titan and also some Hex. We end up coding in Hex, we have a binary translation engine that translates the machine code as its running."
CBR: What platform is it built on?
CBR: Which best described your technology: it is a cloud solution. It is a SAAS solution. It is a third platform solution.
Undo: "It’s not cloud, it’s not SaaS it is on-premise software so closest to third platform solution."
CBR: Describe the culture of your company?
Undo: "Obviously culture is always very difficult to define in words but it’s certainly a culture of innovation, taking risks but being very smart about the way that we do it.
"It’s about a strong culture of not underestimating the cost of the status quo. It’s easy to say that we’ll do this because this is how we’ve always done things – lets challenge that and see if we should be doing things in a new way.
"But we also have a culture of openness, we don’t have any secrets from each other inside the company or indeed from our customers or investors."