STS goes "product led"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Smart Technology Solutions (STS) has restructured its internal departments in a move that will see the company become a revitalised, product focused and agile organisation.

Moving away from traditional business development approaches of “working the leads” in favour of actively pursuing preferred organisations to work with, STS has merged sales and development into one unilateral product led team. An aim will be to deliver more revenue through product licence sales, rather than bespoke developments.

STS has built a reputation for innovation and thought leadership, driving the development of new technologies into the marketplace, and this decision will assist it in becoming product led allowing it to further develop its products and services so that they will ultimately sell themselves.

By placing more focus on the needs and challenges of its partners, STS has increased software engineer resources and investment levels made into product development and innovation. The result will be the creation of enhanced product and solution sets that better meet the needs of its partners, end-user customers and the market.

The most evident change to the company has been the introduction of the Product Leadership Team (PLT). Consisting of CEO, Steve Turner, Development Leader, Howard Buck and Principal Technical Architect, Paul Mealor, it will be the team’s responsibility to ensure that the business focuses on the requirements of the company’s partners and to drive the business into its next growth phase.

The team will gather market intelligence from a range of sources and stakeholders and convert any new product ideas and features into candidates for the product roadmap. The PLT will then judge which offer the most potential for the business and add them to the product roadmap. The development team will go on to convert the roadmap into the products; and the channel will be responsible for taking them to market.

Steve Turner, CEO said, “Adopting a more collaborative selling approach means that we can continue to work closely with our partners on pre-qualified opportunities. We have already increased the size of our software development team, making our product specialists more easily accessible. This will result in improved project and solution support, shorter project timescales and accelerated product development. The changes will, with immediate effect, deliver real benefits to our partners and their customers, offering them a greater influence over the product roadmap and allowing us to make more frequent product releases”.

Howard Buck, Development Leader said, “I am delighted to be a part of the new leadership team and be in a position to influence the future of STS so directly. We want to improve our communication with partners by listening to their needs as well as sharing our new developments. So I am very pleased our recently launched state of the art website,, now clearly articulates what we do and provides the vehicle we need to announce the products that sell themselves”.

About Steve Turner
Steve Turner is widely known in the payments industry as "Mr Chip and PIN". Steve has worked in the payments industry since 1991 and founded Smart Technology Solutions Limited (STS) in 1997 to pioneer the implementation of EMV card payment systems in cross-platform Java software. He believed this would speed up the roll-out of Chip and PIN worldwide and, having developed STS' flagship product Emvelink, it was very gratifying for STS to receive Visa's EU and CEMEA Chip Vendor of the Year Award in 2002 in direct recognition of that potential. Steve has worked closely with the banks and standards bodies such as EMVCo, pioneering the process for simplifying the approval of software based components.

With the success of SmartNS and Emvelink throughout the UK and rolling out worldwide, Steve now leads STS in taking secure card payments into the cloud with the G8 as a thin client application for true global payments.

Steve graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Electrical Sciences and went on from there to work for MEL, a military division of Philips Electronics for a number of years before joining the Logic Group. He is both a Chartered Engineer (C Eng) and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET).

About Howard Buck
With responsibility for delivering the Product Leadership Team’s vision, Howard Buck leads a devoted development team to build and enhance STS’ innovative product set. By nurturing an agile development environment Howard strikes the balance between delivering timely updates and full featured product increments.

With 5 years’ experience in software development and the payments industry, Howard makes key decisions about the future of STS and its products. Having both a creative mind and a commitment to delivery means Howard brings a well-rounded view to the Product Leadership Team. These same qualities are applied when engaging partners, where Howard provides valuable insight, crafting flexible payment solutions to complex customer needs.

Howard graduated from the University of Southampton in 2007 with a BSc Hons in Mathematics with Computer Science. He is also a founding member of Student Robotics,, an education outreach project with the aim of enthusing the next generation of young engineers.

About Paul Mealor
Paul Mealor's strong technical understanding of PCI security stands, EMV, contactless standards, payment processes and software development, as well as broad experience with card reader and payments protocols lets him drive forward the evolution of STS' products. Paul is committed to using development practices, processes and a strong design philosophy to allow STS to continue to provide cutting-edge payments solutions that are robust, secure and responsive to business needs.

Paul graduated from University College London with an MSci in Physics. Before joining STS, he worked on network monitoring and optimisation as part of the EU DataGrid and Enabling Grids for E-Science projects that brought EU scientists secure, large-scale, heterogeneous grid computing for massive data analysis. Paul joined STS in 2005, playing pivotal roles in the development of each software product that STS has developed since, developing his skills and knowledge of the global payments industry.