Meet…Rajan Venkitachalam

venkitachalam-rajanEagle Investment Systems’ new Head of Transformation Rajan Venkitachalam discusses his role at Eagle as well as his vision for cloud-native technology and how it will serve to reshape financial organizations in the future.

Q: Prior to joining Eagle, Rajan, you assembled a long and successful track record in tech—primarily at Microsoft, but also with stops at ServiceNow, Caradigm, Bedrock Technologies, and PeopleFluent®. You’re also an angel investor. Can you talk a bit about your past experience and what led you to join Eagle?

A: In just about every role I’ve had for the last 18 years, my mandate has been to drive transformation. If you go all the way back to my first role at Microsoft, my job was to help transform the developer toolset, which was under intense competitive pressure from IBM’s Java platform.

That was a successful effort and from there I ended up spearheading several different initiatives within Microsoft to either create new businesses, transform existing businesses or fix failing businesses. In one way or another, though, it was all about transformation.

At Microsoft, for example, I assumed several roles—be it on the business side or within technology and engineering. I also had the chance to work within several different verticals, including Windows, Search, Cloud and Telemetry, in addition to others. Microsoft is a truly dynamic organization, in that you’re never working exclusively on any one project. The best thing you can do to add value is to continually bring new ideas to the table that leverage the billions of dollars that Microsoft invests in its technology to serve its billions of customers.

It’s actually not unlike the opportunity for me here at Eagle, which counts most of the leading financial institutions in the world as clients and has the backing and support of BNY Mellon, which is committed to being a technology leader. Here, similar to the past, I view my role as one of driving transformation, not only for Eagle and in shaping our product development roadmap, but also for our clients. For example, we currently see a number of organizations undergoing massive data management transformation projects as they seek to evolve their business and position themselves for growth in an evolving marketplace.

Q: Can you talk a bit about your vision for Eagle?

A: I have actually been consulting for Eagle for a while now, which is how I learned about the strength of the company’s culture and got to know first-hand the extent of the talent that exists in the organization. When I was consulting, I collaborated on a document with Steve Taylor and Mike Fitzgerald that really outlines the company’s vision to build, deliver and support a cloud-native product offering as well as why it’s timely and important for both clients and Eagle.

Effectively, it comes down to our ability to deliver greater innovation in a shorter period of time. Beyond articulating an end-state vision, the document also discussed how we will get there, which is by taking the tremendous intellectual property available to Eagle and BNY Mellon—accumulated over decades—and integrating cloud-native capabilities into Eagle’s current software offering. At a very high level, we want to decompose certain functional components in order to create a new digital architecture. This will allow us to release enhancements and new innovations seamlessly and more frequently, without sacrificing reliability, security or scalability.

If you think about the way Amazon deploys new code every seven seconds, this enables the company to offer continuous innovation—and customers don’t even notice. To get technical for a second, we believe that future systems will be container packaged, dynamically managed and oriented for micro-services, all of which will enable greater agility, operational efficiency and will lend itself to data quality.

Q: You are a published author on a variety of topics including data warehousing. Do you envision other books and, if so, is there a topic or an area you’d want to tackle next?

A: Most likely there will be additional books; it’s just a matter of time. The big thing for me right now is driving transformation through the cloud. Most businesses think of it as something that has come and gone, but there is a substantial number of businesses that are in the middle of this transformation today.

I believe there is going to be a very interesting story to be told that looks at the movement to cloud technology and then explores how that will facilitate the evolution of the industry as companies become more responsive and agile in meeting client needs.

Q: As you consider the numerous technology innovations available, which ones do you feel present the most opportunity for Eagle clients in the future. 

A: This is a great time to be in technology, there are many great innovations taking place that offer advancements for our industry.  Innovations that I am most excited about, will improve the ability to harness the vast amount of data that is being generated within the investment process but also the operations of investment management. Innovations like Machine Learning (Artificial Intelligence) and Robotics have the potential to provide great efficiency gains, allowing firms to manage the increasing complexity without a need to add to staff.

In addition to investment operations, we see great opportunities and are already developing services that allow us to tap into the data that we are collecting as a cloud provider.  These operational analytics will allow us to offer services and help clients benchmark against their peers.  Artificial intelligence combined with this level of insightful data has the potential to offer great opportunities.

Leave a Reply