Capital One Software: Journey from bank to technology company

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This summer, after a long journey of creating and developing my own data management solutions, capital one launch a new line of business, Capital One Software, to sell related software and data management products they have developed to other companies looking to transition to the cloud. It represents the culmination of the bank’s efforts to transform itself, its technology and its organization, as well as its goal of delivering what it has learned along the way and the solutions it seeks to achieve. developed and tested, to help other companies achieve the same transformation.

VentureBeat spoke to Ravi Raghupresident, Capital One Software, International, business cards and payments, tells the story behind how Capital One has transformed, scaling data usage and cloud computingthen create a business to sell its software to third parties.

go all in

According to Raghu, this journey has, in a way, started in the founding days of Capital One, as “data is at the heart of…the whole…our journey as a strategic company based on the… information, and along the way, we realized that … to be a truly accredited bank… to be a top bank, we also needed to be a great technology company. great.” To do so, Capital One first scaled its own cloud and data usage, which Raghu said was driven by a desire to provide “real-time personalized experiences for our customers” and become “a company that prioritizes the cloud. “

“We announced that we were going ‘all in’ to the public cloud in 2016, we completed that journey in 2020,” he said, and “that whole overhaul has made The entire company and all of us gathered together to pull that off. And it was on that foundation that we had this opportunity to… build this business called Capital One Software,” he said.


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Mixing the best of both worlds

What prompted Capital One to invest in building its own software and data management capabilities? Raghu says that in order to be “extremely well managed in serving our banking clients” and “to operate at the scale we operate in the cloud” they first look to what has have and then decide to build the additional capabilities they need in-house.

Realistically speaking, this includes not only technical transformation but also organizational transformation, including the development of a technology workforce of 12,000 people, “adopting more modern methods such as Agile-based deliveryuse secure APIs… take advantage microservices … leverage the power of machine learning and AI [artificial intelligence]” and essentially becoming “a full-blown technology company.”

“We realized early on that the bank of the future is really a technology company,” combining “the best of what tech companies have, and also the best of what… banks.” known, risk management…. [H]After realizing that very early on, we actually made concrete choices in our journey to becoming that tech company.”

A natural extension

Through the process of building their own technology, Raghu says: “We have also continuously received feedback from the companies we have interacted with along the way, that…they are keen to gain insights. our expertise and experience so that they can accelerate their own pace… to the cloud.” Through these discussions, it is clear that these customers also have management needs data in different regions, and their journey and transition to the cloud share some similarities with the journey Capital One has gone through with its own transition.

“[T]him, the tools we’ve built are probably tools that all of these companies can take advantage of,” he explains. “And so, the aim of Capital One Software is to really take all of the things that we’ve tested in the real world… and offer it to companies looking to be more efficient in the cloud.”

The Capital One Software business represents a natural extension of the investment and innovation that Capital One has put into developing solutions and transforming itself into “a technology company that also operates in business,” Raghu said. banking business”. He explained that “[i]t is taking advantage of the experience we’ve had on our journey and helping other companies really shorten the time it takes them to innovate for their customers. And so the opportunity to do that in the B2B software scene is really something we’re pursuing through… the software department.”

First up: Slingshot

slingshotThe first product that Capital One Software has built and is making available to third parties for use, is a data management solution designed to help companies optimize Snowflakes platform and manage their use of Snowflake.

Especially for companies new to the cloud, says Raghu, it’s important to harness the power of the cloud in a well-managed way. “[W]hat Slingshot really offers… a solution that allows you to scale up your use of Snowflake appropriately, with controls built into it, with governance built into it. And so it gives you cost visibility, it allows you to optimize the future spending you have on Snowflake; That’s really the focus of Slingshot.”

Going forward, Capital One Software aspires to build and market “data management solutions more broadly and in the field of cloud management,” explains Raghu. “[O]Your first foray into Slingshot addressing the infrastructure management space.”

Other categories where Capital One Software has worked on tools include data publishing, data consumption, and data governance. Publishing involves taking data from source systems and making it more accessible to analytical frameworks. Consumption involves taking data and providing insights that companies can use to develop their business strategies and plans. And governance is “making sure all of that is well managed; things like privacy and data retention [are] handled appropriately,” he explained.

“[T]faucets are all… the space that we innovated and… brought tools inside the four walls of Capital One. And the idea is to try to figure out what makes the most sense to come up with, and we’re still incubating those ideas as we talk to clients.”

Tested and tried, in-house

At first glance, setting up a B2B software business certainly sounds like an exciting and bold move for a bank often known for its credit card television commercials. However, Raghu says that one of the unique and different factors about the solutions built by Capital One Software is that its biggest customer is Capital One. “[I]Personally, I don’t have the confidence to go out and say to a client… ‘I really know this is valuable, because we’re using it ourselves.’”

The scale and scope of the effort and investment they have put into this business venture certainly adds weight to that claim; other solutions can thicken the plot even more.

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