Building For Growth: The Softcom Way
Jun 08, 2022·
5 min read
Softcom exists to provide answers to the daily problems faced by people and businesses in three areas: money, selling and knowing. Our goal is to, through our products, provide the best solutions to these problems, and our problem-solving philosophy - the Softcom Way - is how we bring this goal to life.
In this article, Ope Adeyemi, our VP of Products talks about our products and engineering at Softcom and how they solve problems for people and businesses, guided by the Softcom Way.
A Day In The Life
My role requires that I wear many hats, so this means that no two days are quite the same for me. On some days, I work with product squads (engineers, product designers and product managers) to define, design, build or fix issues on Softcom’s products: Eyowo, Kwiksell, Useforms & Usepass. On other days, I work specifically with the Eyowo Sales and Marketing team to figure out how to attract new customers, keep current ones active, process more transactions and more importantly, deliver our promise of a better banking experience. Sometimes, I work with Customer Success and Operations to support our customers and ensure they are getting value from our products with every interaction, which is one of our top goals at Softcom.
Building Solutions The Softcom Way
At Softcom, we believe that growth lies at the intersection of three concepts: access, knowledge and exchange of value.
As a brand, we identify as a partner of potential for dreamers and doers (people and businesses) across Africa. This means that our sole purpose is to provide people and businesses with the tools they need to start and grow. With this in mind, we zeroed in on three areas - money, knowing & selling - where people and businesses encounter problems on a daily basis. Our products are our answers to these problems, with our ultimate goal being to empower people along on their journey to achieving their full potential.
With this in mind, we strictly followed the Understand-Solve-Deliver (USD) problem-solving framework (The Softcom Way) during the development phase. We made to:
Understand The Problem: We went on a discovery process to uncover and deeply understand the actual problems people and businesses face in these three areas on a daily basis. We also interacted closely with people and businesses to validate our understanding of the problems we discovered and pinpoint how best to solve them and deliver our solutions.
Solve The Problem: In collaboration with the design and engineering teams, we brainstormed and selected the best solution through innovative methods and customer validation. It was also at this point that we defined our access channels and the proposed business models.
Deliver it: After the products had been defined, we collaborated with the design and engineering teams to bring them to life. We validated the output of this process through a series of intensive tests before the final products were released to the market.
An Ecosystem For Ease, Value and Growth
Perhaps the most interesting thing about our products is they are built to function as an ecosystem. This provided us with some truly unique opportunities that building stand-alone products may not have provided. I’ll highlight the most important bits:
Agility: Our products are designed in such a way that they leverage each other. This allows us to complete tasks faster and more efficiently. It also increases our speed to market. For example, Kwiksell did not have to build a payment gateway to accept payments on an online store because Eyowo’s infrastructure is uniquely built to power financial transactions from users of all the products in our ecosystem. This is where the interconnectedness of our products lies.
Shared Value: Because our products are connected, each product can gain customers from the other products in the ecosystem. For example, a customer might have joined the ecosystem to use Kwiksell. However, to receive instant settlements via Kwiksell, the customer needs to have an Eyowo account.
Growth: The ecosystem of products can supercharge the growth of its users by automating actions and activities that are naturally associated with one another. For example, the best time to ask for feedback from a customer at the restaurant is after they have finished their meal. A feedback form can be generated using Useforms and can be automatically sent to the customer immediately after they’ve made payment for the meal via Eyowo. Insights generated from this feedback can be used to make decisions that propel growth for the user.
Oiling The Wheels: Leading A Team That Works
The product team at Softcom is quite a large one and it’s a top priority for me that everyone approaches work with the same mindset in order to ensure clarity and uniformity of vision and output. In any other situation, this may have proved extremely difficult but working with the Softcom Way has eased the process. I’m able to design tasks and OKRs in such a way that, by revisiting the Softcom Way, the team has clarity of direction on tasks and a clear understanding of how to approach providing solutions in order to meet objectives.
What The Future Holds
We’ve come a long way since we pivoted from client services and I believe there’s still quite a journey ahead of us to realize the world we envision. One thing is certain though: we’ll continue innovating along the lines of value exchange between people and businesses.
Our goal at Softcom is to provide the best solutions to problems, and our problem-solving philosophy - to understand, solve and deliver - is how we bring them to life. This series focuses on how our people use this philosophy to guide their everyday work at Softcom.