Ian Glenn is the Managing Director of Wellington IT, a leading provider of financial services software solutions for the Credit Union market in Ireland and the UK. Since its creation in 1987, Wellington IT has immersed itself in the Credit Union market. Utilizing its lengthy experience and knowledge of the industry, the company has built a fully integrated ecosystem to support the future sustainability of Credit Unions.
Since joining Wellington IT in 2018, a few years after its acquisition by Vencora, Ian has progressed through various roles in the company, before becoming the current Managing Director of the company. As leader of the company, Ian has utilized the best practices and strategic insights gained from Vencora, combined with his passion for software, in order to drive growth for Wellington IT.
Since acquisition by Vencora, we have seen an increase in member usage of our solutions by more than 200%, while increasing our team size by only 12%.
- Ian Glenn, CEO of Wellington IT
In this article, Ian shares his insights on the various growth drivers instituted at the company since its acquisition by Vencora, and the impacts they have had on the growth of the company.
Can you provide an overview of Wellington IT and its offerings?
For over 30 years, Wellington IT has built exceptional local knowledge and industry expertise within the Credit Union market and provides a fully integrated ecosystem, designed with members at the centre. We offer them simple, convenient, and personalized services such as loans and current accounts, which are managed by the member through online banking facilities and mobile applications.
Our core banking platform Scion offers robust security measures and compliance tools to manage Credit Unions' sensitive financial data, as well as built-in reporting. This platform, alongside business intelligence tools, provides rich member data to allow Credit Unions to fully understand their market, produce compliance reports and identify future trends. The ecosystem integrates with third party applications that help increase security, expand member services, and improve operational efficiency for Credit Unions.
Can you tell me about your career journey at Wellington IT?
I joined Wellington IT in 2018 as Head of Development and Product Strategy leveraging on my experience in service delivery, IT service management, business transformation, management, and software development. In this role, I developed Wellington IT’s future Product Roadmap based on our customers’ strategy, incorporating both market and technological drivers.
In August 2019, I was promoted to the role of Chief Technical Officer, where in addition to leading the company’s technology direction, I had ownership for all the delivery functions for the entire organization from product management, architecture and design, development, professional services, and customer care. In March 2022, I was asked to lead the company in the role of CEO. This was a significant milestone for me, as it was the realization of a personal ambition I held for some time, with the opportunity for progression into this role being one of the main reasons I joined Wellington IT and the Vencora family.
At Vencora, one of our key focuses is supporting the success of our businesses. Tell us about some of the key areas of support that helped drive Wellington IT’s organic growth.
There are several key growth drivers that Vencora has supported Wellington IT with which has enabled us to achieve strong growth over the past few years:
Being part of Vencora has enabled Wellington IT to adopt best practices from across the portfolio when setting product pricing. This involved working with our customers to establish the value of outcomes delivered as part of our solutions. Vencora also supported us with the use of Return on Investment (ROI) models to enable us to demonstrate to our customers that our solutions are a critical investment, rather than a cost.
We strongly believe in partnership with our customers and manifest this is a variety of ways. Since being a part of Vencora, we have defined and delivered numerous discovery sessions where we have spent time with our customers to observe their activities and usage of our systems. We review medium and long-term requirements and seek to understand their timescales, budgets, and how they align IT with digital strategy.
We use these sessions to understand the needs of individual stakeholders, build relationships and improve our customer service. We use all this data to support us in the definition and execution of our future product strategy. Since acquisition, we’ve remained particularly focused on partnering with our largest customers.
One of the key learnings from Vencora has been to focus on strategic planning, rather than most small-to-medium enterprise’s (SME) default, which is to focus on short-term revenue and project-level goals. Post-acquisition, Wellington IT immediately implemented a One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) which was defined by leaders and managers. The OPSP sets out short and medium-term goals, as well as longer-term plans, defined as our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). The OPSP is a vision and direction of travel and is used within the business to help with decision making to ensure adherence to our strategy.
Being part of Vencora has enabled Wellington IT to make significant investments in our infrastructure and services. This has been particularly prevalent within our data centre, as well as our supporting shared services offering. These investments have facilitated delivery of new services such as our mobile app and online banking platform to over 1.5 million Irish citizens. They have also enabled us to diversify our delivery model with the introduction of a new Private Cloud service.
To drive impactful change, you need a strong team. Can you tell me more about the investments in talent management and development that have occurred since joining Vencora?
As a company, we want to make the best use of the knowledge and skills of our people to help meet and exceed our business objectives. We seek to create an attractive organizational culture that will encourage development, fulfillment, and commitment from our people. To achieve this goal, we have implemented a clearly defined talent management process that incorporates a structured approach to planning, setting, and reviewing SMART goals for every individual. These goals are aligned to the overall company goals defined in our OPSP, so that every individual can link their output to the success of overall success of the company. We have also implemented a core set of competencies and company values to define our desired behaviours and a rewards scheme to recognize real world examples of these being demonstrated.
Can you tell us about some of the impacts these have had?
Under Vencora, we have been able to see a great deal of benefits to the company. Most notably, Wellington IT has seen significant growth in our revenues since acquisition, thanks to applying Vencora’s best practices throughout a multi-year strengthening plan.
Access to best practices and knowledge sharing across Vencora enabled Wellington IT to define a product strategy based on customer engagement and discovery. This manifested itself in a product roadmap, which provides transparency to our customers and acts as a differentiator to our competitors. Creating and executing the OPSP also helped us drive forward the digitization of our business and diversification within the Credit Union industry. These shifts in our company strategy resulted in an increase in member usage of our solutions by more than 200% and enabled us to provide our technology to over 1.76 million citizens, while increasing our team size by only 12%.
Meanwhile, the talent management process has really enabled us to drive up overall performance of the business by providing clarity on our strategic direction to all of our teams. One of the greatest outcomes, and something that I am incredibly proud of, is that we have used the process to identify our top talent and subsequently drive internal promotions and career progression. In the past three months, we have promoted more than 10% of Wellington IT’s team from across the business and are currently planning for further promotions within the next quarter.
Are there additional ways in which you feel Wellington IT is strengthened by being a part of Vencora?
Being part of the Vencora banking group is a huge asset to Wellington IT in a multitude of ways. We have access to a growing family of financial services businesses, which enables us to capitalize on market trends, technological advancements, knowledge sharing, and regulatory & compliance trends.
Vencora also provides an investment platform for Wellington IT to support Research & Development projects and initiatives in parallel to everyday business activities. They have also enabled us to successfully adopt a module-based R&D approach to further drive sales. Looking ahead, one significant advantage of being part of Vencora is the opportunity there is to acquire businesses and technologies that compliment the Wellington IT platform, which would allow for customers to invest in a full solution suite.