Seed Client

Finacle and Flexcube are two very successful, homegrown (India) core banking applications. The quick differentiation between the two goes like this – if it is handling complex instruments and features it is Flexcube but to scale with number of accounts handled, choose Finacle

I can only give you one side of this comparison. Having worked at Oracle, I confirm that Flexcube can indeed handle really complex instrument and accounting situations. Looking around in India though – where it is commonplace for Banks to have several million accounts – it is easy to notice that Finacle has more installs. So there is circumstantial evidence that the second part of the comparison is valid as well. But of higher interest is WHY the two systems are how they are. It is – as people close to the companies will narrate – because of the seed customers of the two products. Flexcube had Citibank (complex corporate bank) as seed and ICICI Bank (large retail bank) was seed for Finacle

The seed customer approach for building a product is a fine art to master. One the one hand there is a firm willing to buy the story and help the product be built out for real life, while on the other hand there is a clear and present danger that what gets architected is skewed for a particular (restrictive) set of use cases (and assumptions). This where Product Managers have to play larger than life roles (and this is one reason why even startups need product managers). Abstracting requirements away from specific, narrow use cases and making them generic fit-for-wider-purpose is a key responsibility of the Product Manager in such a situation

Young companies should rightly remain ever grateful to seed customers and go above and beyond to satisfy them. While doing that it is important to understand the difference between bespoke solutions and generic products. Choices made at this early stage will stick around for much longer than you think

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