Keep It Simple

Interview with Fides CIO Bernhard Kaiser

CIO Bernhard Kaiser shares his thoughts on his first months at Fides, progress made towards his initial goals, and plans for the future.

About Bernhard Kaiser, CIO of Fides

Bernhard Kaiser joined Fides in May 2021. In his first few months as CIO he identified a number of areas of focus, and he’s already made significant progress towards his goals.

Kaiser has nearly two decades of experience in IT, as well as a history of organizational transformation. This, coupled with a strong background in payments and IT strategy and a track record of global team leadership, makes him well-suited to lead Fides’ IT and product teams to new levels of success.

Make everything as easy and care-free for clients as possible

One of Kaiser’s primary goals as CIO is to make everything as easy and care-free for clients as possible, by ensuring Fides’ IT infrastructure is modern, reliable, and secure — and that all data clients transmit through Fides’ services is kept safe and secure throughout its journey. “Keeping things simple is of the utmost importance to both Fides and our clients,” he says.

This attitude is perfectly aligned with the company’s overall outlook. As a self-professed client-centric organization — with the customer retention numbers to back up the claim — Fides puts the needs of its clients front and center. In addition to the driving need for improved cash visibility and streamlined payments and reconciliation, treasury and finance teams want to reduce manual work and increase efficiency.

For Kaiser, delivering on these promises means walking the fine line between IT operations management and product management. In his role, he is ultimately responsible for both.

Keeping things simple is of the utmost importance to both Fides and our clients
Bernhard Kaiser CIO, Fides

More than 400 changes to its products

Over the past year, Fides has made more than 400 changes to its products and has taken great strides towards revamping its back-end infrastructure. Many of the product updates were small feature and functionality enhancements to make clients’ work easier. Kaiser is a fan of agile product development, in which changes are made incrementally and rolled out frequently, rather than the slower, more linear waterfall methodology. Under his leadership, the product team will transition to a more agile model with the aim of getting new and improved features rolled out faster than before.

Key focus: Security

Security is also a key focus for Kaiser, and Fides will continue to heavily invest in this area going forward. “Security is at the core of our internal IT infrastructure, and is also built into our product,” Kaiser says. “We are committed to ensuring development reflects the most modern security protocols so our customers can be assured their data is safe.”

He adds that the Fides IT and product teams are committed to continually improving the way they work. This includes investments in hardware, software, and people. As technology is changing at a rapid pace, this also means constantly evaluating new offerings on the market to determine what makes the most sense for Fides and will ultimately benefit customers most.

This, Kaiser says, involves consulting with external experts to enrich the Fides team’s internal expertise. “This helps us uncover additional technologies, maybe within a certain niche, that could be relevant,” he explains. “The most publicized product isn’t necessarily always the best fit. We have a lot of very intense discussions about our needs, how best to support the growth of our existing clients and also attract new clients, and ways we can go above and beyond to deliver innovative solutions and services.”

Security is at the core of our internal IT infrastructure, and is also built into our product
Bernhard Kaiser CIO, Fides

Initiatives

Among the initiatives Kaiser has implemented to date is getting development more involved with customers. He believes it is important for both product managers and developers to have more direct interactions with clients, participating in calls and face-to-face meetings. And he includes himself on the list of participants.

“It’s really important to hear firsthand from the customer what they need and want,” Kaiser explains. “This understanding also helps us reduce the time it takes to resolve customer incidents and fulfill customer requests. I want us to be able to give customers the answers they are looking for, as quickly as possible.”

To that end, Kaiser is looking at expanding Fides’ IT support, supplementing the team with additional resources for better global coverage. He says in this area, like any other, relationships are key to success and that’s why he is insistent on working with teams that embrace the same customer-centric outlook that Fides maintains.

“It’s my personal belief that you have to invest in the people, and the relationships,” he explains. “It’s a global world, and people have choices. Through our product, our people, and our service, we want Fides to be the best choice. And we know what we need to do in order to reach our goals.”

It’s really important to hear firsthand from the customer what they need and want
Bernhard Kaiser CIO, Fides

The Fides Difference

Fides is the world leader in multibank connectivity, payments and transaction communications. A market leader for more than a century, Fides is committed to the principles of Open Banking, making treasury and financial operations as efficient, transparent and secure as possible for all organizations.

Fides provides everything organizations need for efficient cash and liquidity management, all through a single platform — along with connectivity to more than 13,000 financial institutions through an unmatched range of methods and channels. Thousands of companies around the globe rely on Fides’ connectivity capabilities and comprehensive workflow, reporting, conversion, validation and security services, for their own businesses and for extending services to their clients.

Whether you access via the secure Fides Multibanking Suite or take advantage of our seamless integration with third-party ERP, TMS and other backend systems, Fides is the only platform you need.

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