Project Liberty and the Self-Disruption of Xtiva
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s been four years since we began a journey at Xtiva to reimagine our company, our products and the value we could bring to the market. In today’s lingo, you could say we set out to disrupt ourselves.
We needed a name (because you always have to have a name) so we called it Project “Liberty” because it was really about freeing ourselves from all the things that were holding us back, as a company, from achieving more.
I recently wrote about the product path that evolved out of Project Liberty: a full stack Sales Performance Management platform, exclusively tailored to the needs of financial services businesses. Truth be told, when we started we weren’t sure where exactly we’d end up. The only thing we knew was this: much bigger opportunities to bring value to our market lay ahead.
In many ways, it has been a long, strange trip. Xtiva has always been an entrepreneurial, client-obsessed company. I don’t think it is overstating it to say that we pioneered commission management technology for Broker-Dealers in the mid 1990s, and then similarly pioneered innovations in Broker-Dealer compensation technology in the 2000s. But over time, as we gained success and established a loyal customer base and team, we struggled with how to maintain our success into the future as we saw the technology world rapidly changing all around us.
In April 2014, we decided to restructure the company. We compartmentalized an innovation team, the “Liberty” Team, to conceive and build a new product suite. And we dedicated a crack service team to supporting our existing customers. We told ourselves we would likely have to slow sales and project work in order to focus all available resources on Liberty. As in life, we had a plan and it seemed reasonable – but nothing goes exactly according to plan.
Right from the beginning we learned that a small team that is customer-obsessed can kill it on customer engagement. And what we learned over the past four years now forms the foundation our new investments in Customer Success. Interestingly, our sales didn’t slow down at all – in fact, they actually grew. We learned to run leaner. And our leaner team got all the important stuff right: our customer satisfaction rose each year, our recurring revenue grew year over year, and we had zero disruptions to service availability on our platform.
We originally conceived a platform build that would seek to modernize our software and technology, but we discovered along the way that we could (and should) build a new platform that could scale for the future – a future-proof platform. So, we built it in an extensible fashion that allows us to bring our customers into our technology ecosystem as a full participant. To say the least, our ambition (and excitement) expanded.
The Liberty product team defined a brilliant path forward, based on solving compelling problems in the financial service advice channels – problems that every firm must confront and resolve to survive the next decade. Simply, we discovered a path for achieving Maximum Advice – maximizing the time advice providers spend advising clients.
And so finally, just a few “short” years later, the new Xtiva is beginning to emerge. We have a fresh new look for our brand. And a compelling and clear purpose – helping our customers, and ourselves, to achieve more. We are building and sharing our thought leadership with the market. We have launched our industry leading platform called XtivaCloud and are shortly going to bring a game-changing product suite out of limited release and open it up to the market. Our customers can’t wait for that to happen – nor can we.
A million thanks are owed to the team for four years of sweat and stress and loyalty to the cause. One thing is clear, it has been our team’s passion for our customers that underpins what we have achieved, and that makes me so proud.
As I write this, phase two of our re-boot is upon us. The next chapter completes our transformation. Our new product value proposition is now available to the market. Our compelling Customer Success plans – built from an amazing foundation of customer commitment – are being implemented. We are investing in market insight and driving industry discussions about how to thrive, not merely survive, the digital transformation that is occurring in financial services.
This story needs to be told! And we will begin enabling our customers enjoying our classic product to migrate to our new XtivaCloud Suite. And we will invest in further accelerating the additional value that our roadmap promises.
Welcome to the new Xtiva. We’re ready to help you Achieve More.