2021 was a great year for TrustBuilder, thank you. And we are sure that 2022 will be another exciting year for our customers, partners, our colleagues and the IAM market in general. We took some time out for an interview with TrustBuilder CEO Frank Hamerlinck to look back on 2021 and use our corporate crystal ball to make some predictions for 2022.
There were many highlights for TrustBuilder in the last 12 months. What is top of mind with you?
Frank: What really sticks out is the investments we were allowed to make thanks to the investment by PMV and the VLAIO grant. We were able to innovate in product development and bringing young new talent on board. In fact, the young people we hired prove that we are an attractive player in the market.
We concluded exciting new partnerships with NextAuth, TCC, Tranzer, Monizze and Isabel that help us build out our ecosystem strategy. A strategy that was confirmed by the Financial Services State-of-the-Market Survey that Forrester Research conducted for us. These partnerships helped us transform from a technical company into a business enabler that helps customers put their business vision and strategy into practice faster.
Thanks to the extra funding, we were able to enrich our product and services offering with extra capabilities. We can now offer end-to-end services rather than just providing one piece of the puzzle. Moving from access management only, TrustBuilder.io Suite now contains access management, identity management and multi-factor authentication. This allows us to strengthen and secure organizations’ digital transformation in a way that enhances customer experience.
Low-code and user-friendly software for the HR Services industry
You mention the Forrester study on Financial Services. The evolution is not limited to Financial Services, is it?
Frank: That’s right. We see the same thing happening in the HR Services market. We work with an international leader like SD Worx. They innovate by offering a rich set of services in a user-friendly way. HR Services is a very complex market, where everyone is moving from a B2B2E to a B2C strategy and becoming employee centric. To increase employee experience, the digital offering is broadening with extra services, requiring appropriate security levels. Our software enables this. We can support these complex environments without extensive development, as our software is low-code and user-friendly. We have also developed capabilities that are particularly interesting to the HR Services industry, such as our Self-service portal, Policy Information Broker and Multi-persona authentication.
When you talk about adding third-party applications, that’s also where the cloud comes in, I guess?
Frank: Indeed. If you want to provide a broad portfolio of services, you cannot restrict that to only applications that run in your datacenter. If you include third-party applications, it’s only logical that the layer that connects these components moves to the cloud. Many of these third-party services that you want to aggregate, are cloud-based themselves, so you need a ‘connect once, use many’ architecture.
Cloud model for continuous delivery
Frank: In 2021, we launched our first cloud solutions, with TrustBuilder.io and the Service Catalog, that contains connectivity to Identity Providers and applications. All modules that we are now extending our portfolio with are all specifically developed for the cloud. 2022 will see us continue down that path: we are currently developing new features in a modular concept, so that customers can cherry-pick the modules they want. Our cloud strategy allows of continuous delivery of new features and capabilities, rather than saving them for new version releases. Customers can benefit from new features as they go along.
New product capabilities and new partnerships in 2022
What else can we expect from TrustBuilder in 2022, product-wise?
Frank: We will continue to extend our portfolio of features. With special attention to anything connected to anomaly detection, Know Your Customer, fraud detection, anti-money laundering. We also see increased interest in our Policy Information Broker, which enables organizations to enrich their policies with internal and external data. There is also a trend towards self-sovereign identity and zero-knowledge proof. Flanders is a hotbed of innovation there, with the Proof of Concept around Solid’s data vaults.
Can we expect new partnerships?
Frank: Certainly. We expect a lot from new partnerships. We get a lot of interest from industrial partners who want to add our capabilities to their products. We have unique features that help other companies to complete their portfolio.
At the other end of the spectrum, we are also expanding the number of partners in our Service Catalog. This catalog is evolving towards a marketplace where organizations can pick and choose what applications to deploy and where they can also offer and monetize their own services.
Extra funding will ensure that we can realize all these plans.
Business and personal growth in 2022
What’s on your wish list for 2022?
Frank: From a societal viewpoint, as so many of us, I hope that we stay healthy and find a way to live: alongside coronavirus. Also for those colleague entrepreneurs and business owners that are suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic.
Closer to our own business, we brought new talent on board and I’m anxious to see how we create a stimulating environment to develop their skills, supporting us in the continued international expansion of TrustBuilder.
On a personal level, my ambition is that I pick up running again – after some injuries this past year – and participate in the traditional 20 km of Brussels.