Conductors' Notes

The path to innovation

David Gurle

Our second anniversary conference, Symphony Innovate 2016, was a major success on multiple levels. Our conference space buzzed with top executives and senior directors across financial services, including FinTech Studios, Dow Jones, IHS Markit, and Selerity discovering and sharing how the future of work—and the platform that powers it—is evolving. We debuted new features including Symphony Meetings for multi-modal collaboration, a host of comprehensive integrations with Salesforce, Github, Jira, Trello, and Zapier, and our Webhooks API.

But the real success of the day was the realization that our community of partners and customers all share a common goal: helping modern workers get things done. By the end of the day, our guests from the financial, tech, and government sectors collectively defined a path to innovation based on these four priorities.

1. Security is a major priority for modern business

The importance of state-of-the-art security and encryption cannot be underestimated. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney emphasized the importance of being proactive about security and the value of collaborating with policymakers on the common interest of cybersecurity. Highlighting hackers who stole millions from Bangladesh banks by seizing legitimate credentials from the Swift payments platform, Congresswoman Maloney drove home a deeply relevant point: with threats from multiple fronts on an increasingly networked business world, a forward-thinking, collaborative approach to security is essential to safeguard your organization’s value.

2. Productivity is the ultimate result

In our panel discussion with key financial services leaders from AllianceBernstein, Blackrock, Goldman Sachs, and T. Rowe Price, two key themes emerged: 1) we are all drowning in too much information and yet, 2) we’re always happy to be interrupted by something of value. Through Symphony’s Partner Program, our platform offers maximum opportunity to introduce value through an ecosystem of productivity and content apps that help optimize workflow. The value of this app ecosystem is measured by its capacity to diminish noise and amplify signal by decreasing digital distance and increasing contextual intelligence.

3. Collaboration is the key to innovation

While Google’s Brian Stevens noted an increasing reliance on cloud technologies across industries, Don Duet of Goldman Sachs acknowledged that developers will always depend on collaborative innovation to remain on the cutting edge. In the spirit of collaboration and partnership enablement, we introduced Symphony Webhooks API. In addition to our Partner Program, our Webhooks API offers companies the ability to create their own integrations with third-party apps. Together with the Symphony Software Foundation, the open source non-profit organization, we will take a collaborative approach to maintaining this app ecosystem. Open source software development is the preferred path to state-of-the-art innovation.

4. Trust is the glue holding it all together

Policymakers want businesses to succeed. Crafting policy that enables that success requires trust from the financial and technology sectors. We are in the early days of a business world dependent on networked devices and the cybersecurity concerns that come with it. Transparency and collaboration will guide us into this new world of work.

Innovation does not happen in a vacuum—that is why we present Symphony as the productivity platform upon which innovation occurs, from within and without. Following Symphony Innovate 2016, Forbes Magazine wrote that Symphony “may become the hub from which Wall Street is able to embrace mobility, new communication platforms, and an ever-growing crop of applications for data and investment analysis.” With a like-minded community of innovators, Symphony’s vision is to deliver a productivity ecosystem that meets and exceeds this expectation.

Watch (or re-watch) the presentations from Symphony Innovate 2016!

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