In this series, we share light on our employees and find out how they began working in RegTech, what they do at Apiax, among other fun insights. This time we put Adriana Azevedo, Head of Software Engineering and Product Owner, in the Spotlight:
Could you tell me a bit about what you do at Apiax?
I am the Head of Software Engineering and Product Owner of the Apiax Platform. I am responsible for maximising its value. My job is to understand our customers and their challenges, communicate them effectively internally and implement them into our products. Simply put, I am the link between the customer and the product.
Why did you decide to join a RegTech company?
I have always been fascinated by digitally enabled solutions. Having spent over a decade overseeing IT projects and analysing solutions in-house, I wanted to develop the technology myself. I have been on “the other side”, where our clients are, and experienced many of their challenges first-hand.
Joining Apiax, I had the opportunity to make a difference in an industry still very reliant on human capacity and manual processes — and that was a challenge that really appealed to me.
So how would you describe the concept to those unfamiliar with it?
In my view, RegTech is used to optimise the regulatory management processes and make compliance knowledge accessible and actionable to everyone.
What benefits does RegTech bring to the workplace?
In my role I see businesses achieve tremendous results. In essence, our solutions simplify processes for consuming, sharing and implementing compliance knowledge throughout entire organisations.
Apiax’ solutions can be used to automate processes and enable compliance by design, which refers to processes designed in such a way that they only execute compliant actions. This, in return, has a number of benefits such as cost-saving, risk reduction and general efficiency.
What are the common compliance challenges you see in organisations?
In many organisations, multiple departments deal with the same regulation. Each team has its own interpretation and implementation of rules, depending on their business purpose and systems used. In other words, there are multiple resources used to comply with the same regulation, spread out across the entire organisation.
Maintenance of these resources can be a nightmare. Whenever a change in regulation is announced (and let’s face it, it happens quite frequently nowadays) all those resources need to be updated—one by one—which can end up being costly.
With Apiax, there is one only compliance source to manage and it can be integrated into multiple systems across the entire organisation. That means that amendments only have to be done once and often just at the click of a button.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
In my role, I turn customer needs and feedback into useful product features and enhancements. It is very rewarding working with customers and together finding solutions to develop our products further. Given my background, our customers’ challenges are very relatable.
Work is ongoing and I always learn — both from customers and colleagues who all contribute on so many levels, from product design and user experience to general industry insight and common compliance challenges.
Tell me about some of your ongoing projects.
We want to massively grow our regulatory ecosystem and to enable that, this year, we decided to focus on a self-servicing and self-explanatory platform that can truly support our users in building and consuming regulation.
As you can imagine this is a huge challenge for our team this year. There are so many initiatives we could do and understand where the biggest value is for our users is key. For example, one of the first initiatives that we implemented, just released into production, is the validation tool on our rule editor.
Our validation tool enables both experienced and non-experienced users to make sure that the regulatory content they build is correct and will lead to the expected results. For new users this tool can even be seen as an enabler, empowering them to confidently start to work on the platform and increase the users’ spectrum.
Do you have a favourite Apiax function?
Our Rule Editor is where the magic happens! It is the foundation of pretty much everything that we do. This function allows us to digitise written regulations and deliver them as binary and machine-readable rules.
Can you explain what a Rule is?
When we at Apiax talk about rules, we talk about our digitised compliance rules. They tell you precisely what you can and cannot do — in any given business scenario.
Our rules take into account all regulatory requirements related to a specific case or activity and the binary format makes them easy to interpret to both humans and machines. Depending on the preferred set-up, you can either retrieve yes-or-no answers to inquiries or simply integrate the rules into other software as a compliance plug-in.
Where does the compliance knowledge come from?
We partner with the leading compliance intelligence providers and consultancies. Compliance officers can also add company policies and risk appetite using the same technology.
There is never a shortage of snacks in the Lisbon office. What is your go-to, local treat?
Well, on that note I am very traditional. So I have to say Pasteis de Belém (a type of Pasteis de Nata), they are without a doubt the best treat!