Today I am presenting another written interview with Tiran Behrouz. He is a software developer and entrepreneur with a background in finance and math. He is the president of a software firm in Canada – Clear View Systems. They develop and sell products for the foreign currency exchange industry.
Check out the interview:
- What got you interested in developing software? Share your story.
My father is the person who taught me me how to program when I was 10. He introduced me to the concepts of programming and how to write programs in BASIC.
Back then, personal computers were not invented yet and PC was short for Pocket Computer. These pocket computers were like programmable calculators with a few hundred bytes of memory. I used to write programs on a Sharp PC-1211 to solve simple math and geometric problems.
I wrote my first battleship game when I was thirteen on ZX Spectrum It was kind of a big deal for me. It’s hard to describe how satisfying it was to write a bunch of code and then see it in action. This is how it all started.
- How did you come about with the idea to work on currency exchange software?
A friend of mine, Ehsan Malaki had the idea of developing a system for automating money exchange businesses. He talked to the owner of a Money Exchange business and convinced him to pay for a system that was not even developed.
Ehsan knew that I had previous experience developing financial software. This is all back in 2003 and I was still full-time in University and also worked in a software development firm. Despite the fact that I told him that I’m not interested in taking on new projects, he was able to convince me to develop a simple prototype in my spare time. I was not familiar with the business of money exchange so he broke it down to flowcharts and analyzed the whole business process.
So it took a couple of months and we had a prototype ready for demo. The customer loved it. The system was deployed and operational after six months of development. I named it CurrencyXchanger.
- How does your software differ from competitors? How do you stand out?
We stay ahead of the competitors by keeping innovating and developing new features and releasing new version of CurrencyXchanger every three months. Our competitors release a new version on average every two years.
We really do listen to customer feedback. Customers love to see their feedback implemented as part of a new release. They feel they have contributed to the system and therefore will stay. As a result, they give us fantastic reviews. Our product has the best reviews on the web.
We use a development platform called 4D, which is not popular, and yet very powerful and secure. Many have criticized us for not using standard SQL databases and other popular systems. Most database hackers have not even heard of 4D. There are no documented case of a major 4D databases ever been hacked. This is an important point of strength in my opinion.
- How have you gone about marketing you software to bring in new clients and what’s working for you?
We do online marketing, SEO and we also have a telemarketing firm work for us. Our highest success rate is with SEO, or otherwise, customers who find us on search engines. We are highly optimized for all the important keyword phrases on google and bing. If you search the term ‘currency exchange software’ or ‘foreign exchange software’ we will come up first or second.
In the early years, we were mostly selling based on word of mouth. When you bring a new financial software in the market, it takes a lot of effort to establish credibility with new customers. We tried everything but nothing seemed to work. Our target market was very tough. They had high expectations and zero trust. People usually don’t trust new financial software developed by a small firm in a garage.
Now we have been in business for 11 years and we have established a good credibility with our customer base. We can provide good references when new customers asked for it. Now we have over 300 customers in 25 countries.
- What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
We will be releasing CurrencyXchanger 4.5 in 2015. Some of the new features in CXR 4.5 will include: A new revamped and completely customizable reporting engine, connectivity with XERO accounting software, integrity with Money Gram money transfer software, multiple base-currency for multi-national companies with branches spreading in two or more countries. We are also working on a web-based version of our product.
Check out his site here.