financial services

Providing an enterprise level view of risk at large banking institutions.

Spreadsheets are everywhere: the backbone of banks, investment firms, and the software of choice for commerce and trade.

But, permission to be frank for a moment?

Spreadsheets are limiting.

A national consulting and advisory firm had for years created valuable reports that offer their banking clients an overall picture of risk factors. These insightful reports were built on spreadsheets, but the client knew there had to be a better way. They wanted to create a packaged product, not just a spreadsheet file.

They had a vision. They didn’t know how to get there. That’s when they reached out to Simple Thread.

Partnering together, we guided the client through every step in the product-creation process, from conceptualizing and designing to developing the software, launching the application, and operating the production deployment.

But before we ever write code or develop system requirements, we dig in to understand the business problem. We asked a zillion questions (that’s a one, followed by 30 zeroes), got to know what was important to the company and, more importantly, to their customers.

Everyone agreed that the custom application had to be simple, easily sharable and kept up-to-date, customizable, and – perhaps most importantly – secure.


It also needed a cool name, so we called it Watchtower.

How did we get there?

We created personas and user stories, built a minimum viable product, and drafted wireframes and mockups before we got deep on the build. We deftly controlled budget and time.

By using Amazon Web Services and the cloud, we were able to provide a level of resiliency, redundancy, and enterprise-level security that were far beyond what the client could otherwise afford.

Today, SRA has a product that is:


We’ve removed the friction from spreadsheets in identifying and scoring risk through use of color coding.


Watchtower is a joy to use – like your favorite personal gadget. Building custom reports is fast and easy.


As a paid service, Watchtower has created a new and viable revenue stream. And other prospective clients have shown interest.

And most importantly, our client is happy.
And so are we.

That’s the Simple Thread way.

We wanted to turn our spreadsheets into a true product for our enterprise risk management offering. Turning to Simple Thread to help us execute on our vision was the best decision we made. They took time to listen to our vision, as well as our challenges and concerns – a main one of which was security. Their knowledge and understanding of how to leverage Amazon Web Services allowed us to create scalable and secure product while containing costs. Simple Thread has the product strategy, design, development, and DevOps expertise to take our vision and turn it into a successful revenue generating product. We couldn’t be happier to call them a partner.

Michael B. Glotz, Managing Partner, President - Strategic Risk Associates