The Synthesis Story

John-Toepfer-Synthesis-Technology-President

John Toepfer, Founder and CEO

I began imagining running my own software company not long after entering the business world. Early in my career, I worked in a variety of roles for companies like Datalogics, Inc, Frame Technology, RR Donnelley Financial, and Document Direction, Inc. During that time, I gained valuable experience in marketing and sales, engineering, and client services. As an employee, I kept a mental list of how I would run my own business when I had the chance. I paid close attention to the good and bad decisions made by my employers. I read business publications looking for the true gems of wisdom. I listened as my friends and co-workers talked about the crap they were dealing with at work, as well as their stories of inspirational leaders. I wanted to make sure that when it was my turn, I’d get it right.

So what is “getting it right”?

For me, “getting it right” means creating a business that is sustainable in every way:

  • Build technology that can persist and adapt.
  • Create a revenue model that creates steady and recurring income.
  • Create a sales and service model that draws customers in and keeps them satisfied for the long term.
  • Cultivate a company culture that attracts talented people and rewards them both monetarily and personally for their efforts.
  • Create trust relationships with every customer, vendor, employee, and partner we work with.

Our Culture:

How it all Started:

Synthesis was launched in 1998. We had an idea, a launch client, a couple of laptops, and a lot of ambition. In the beginning it was easy to be 100% open, collaborative, and focused on the same mission. Maintaining became more difficult when we hit 20 people and much more challenging as we passed 40.

Today, Synthesis employs well over 40 people and we understand that it takes a daily concerted effort, at all levels of the company, to maintain our shared mission and set of values. We’ve learned that you have to promote, pursue and demonstrate your values much more overtly at this point if you want to have any chance that they will persist. In other words, we have to put forth a significant and consistent effort to create good communication with our employees. But this is an effort that is very worthwhile. We aim to grow our company by building trust through communication, both with our employees and our customers. We believe it is our culture of trust and communication that will set us apart and drive our success in the marketplace.

Philosophy: Trust is Everything

Steve Covey said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s an essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Our company vision revolves around trust.

At Synthesis, we understand that all roads lead back to the customer. That’s why we make customer satisfaction our highest priority — above profits, growth, and sometimes even above sleeping at night! While it’s impossible to achieve A+ marks with every client every day, we do everything we can to be the best in our clients’ eyes. When we fall short, our clients can trust us to make things right.Synthesis Technology Trust Diagram

This is no joke to us. Every technology vendor in the world can write RFP responses talking about their excellence; their quality assured processes, their advanced technology, and other claims to fame. Most even have the one pet client that will take a reference call and say all the right things. At Synthesis, we know that the modern technology buyer is skeptical and suspicious of all things “vendor.” Our goal is that every single client is a positive reference. And the key word we want our clients to say when they speak of us is “trust.” We earn and maintain our client’s trust by focusing on great communication, hiring top talent, and providing highly flexible technology.

Talent:

We work hard to make Synthesis a place where people really want to work.

This is a natural outgrowth of our mission to create trust with our customers, as unhappy employees are unlikely to do their best work for our clients. Plus, the work we do is challenging. We can’t have a high turnover rate because finding and training great new people is just too painful! Hence we actively work to make sure that our team members know they are valued and appreciated, that they are part of a team, and that their input is valued. Our staff enjoys working at Synthesis because we surround them with similarly bright and talented individuals, and we are good at showing them our gratitude for their achievements, both large and small.

A 16-year tradition at Synthesis is the Monday “Awesome” Meeting. This is a weekly all-hands lunch and chat session in which we reaffirm our values and mission. We do this, in part, by giving people at every level of the company the opportunity to acknowledge “awesomeness” from the previous week. The idea being that saying “thank you” out loud lets people know that their efforts are important and genuinely appreciated.

Technology:

We work hard to ensure our technology is highly flexible to truly meet our clients’ needs.

We understand that our clients are real people, with real and practical business and personal needs. Our role is not to limit or manage them into our preconceived idea of how their world should work. Our job is to listen closely and come up with solutions that are spot-on to their real needs. Thus, while our technology is driven by the typical corporate requirements for efficiency, accuracy and reliability, we go above-and-beyond by prioritizing its adaptability.

The idea is that in any given week we can adapt the product or configuration – on demand – to any number of crazy things that a client needs, even if it’s something no other client on the planet has asked for before, and to do this without creating orphaned features or clients.

We accomplish this by focusing on making our technology a platform, a sophisticated toolkit, and not a closed-box envisioned by a product manager with annual code freezes and 18- month feature-set backlogs.

Doing this while supporting a unified code base across deployments and clients is no small feat, but it’s what we do. It’s what our people do. It’s how we keep our business both responsive and responsible.

Values:

Our values guide our mission to build trust relationships with every client, employee, vendor, and partner we work with:

  • Be supportive of each other
  • Be accountable to our clients
  • Be focused on meeting goals and deadlines
  • Be willing to go the extra mile for each other and for our clients
  • Be organized and effective
  • Be creative
  • Be “bottom-up” in our thinking and planning
  • Be vocal if you see or feel we are not living up to these values

If you’re a talented professional looking to make a difference in the fintech industry, visit our careers page to browse our current opportunities. If you are an investment marketing or product management professional looking for the right tool to help you improve your marketing communications and data management processes, give us a call or drop us a line — we would love to hear from you!

– john.

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