“State-level biometric systems are a rare thing,” Arthur Meloyan, RTK Soft Labs

"RTK Soft Labs"- a subsidiary of the RT Labs group of companies, acts as the flagship center for

design, development, implementation andoperation of Rostelecom’s digital information products in the field of federal, regional and municipal government electronic services, medical and fiscal services, as well as in the banking industry.

Voice and selfie - instead of login and password

- Why did RT Labs decide to separate RTK Soft Labs into a separate company?

— We wanted to create an incubator for talented andgifted guys from different parts of the country, provide them with the opportunity to develop new solutions in a special ecosystem without contact with the company’s operational activities. Innopolis was perfect for these purposes.

Photo: Laysan Ibatullina / Haytek

— As a result, an R&D center was formed?

- Yes, RT Labs has several development centers -in Samara, Yaroslavl, Moscow and other cities. They support the initial directions of the company - SMEV (the Unified system of interdepartmental electronic interaction - “High Tech”), the portal and the mobile application “State Services”. Our task is to find something else, for example, entering new markets.

- And how does it work?

- Yes, last year we entered the commercialsector with two solutions for banks. One provides the collection of biometric samples of their customers. Today, the Unified Biometric System is already functioning in Russia. The principle of its work is this: a person once during a visit to a bank branch submits biometric samples - a photo and voice, and then can open accounts and deposits, receive loans or transfer money to this or other banks remotely. Instead of the usual pair of "login and password" will be enough to take a selfie and say a few numbers. For example, a Moscow bank can issue a loan to a resident of Primorsky Krai, even without having a branch there. To connect to the system, banks needed a solution for picking up clients' biometric samples, checking and transferring them. We have provided such an opportunity in the form of the “Biometrics” Workstation.

Another product is a comprehensive access platform that allows banks to connect to SMEV and interact with the pension fund, tax service and other departments.

Competition with Moscow and Petersburg

- How were you looking for employees?

— In the first year we interacted withInnopolis University and the mayor's office for searching and attracting personnel. During the second year, they did not grow much in terms of the number of personnel, but they became stronger qualitatively: some came from other regions, and some, on the contrary, realized that Innopolis was not their place, some were not ready for what we needed ideas and drive, not just completing tasks.

— How do you check the presence of this drive in applicants?

— At the interview stage we test the applicant,Our technical experts look at experience and completed projects. And, of course, I myself talk with the candidate to assess how well he will fit into the team. Bringing a person from another region is a risk both for him and for us. If we don't suit each other, we will end up with unfulfilled expectations.

The current team is the most driving. There are 17 of us: only two from Kazan, the rest from other cities - Vladivostok, Ulyanovsk, Krasnoyarsk and Voronezh. The staff is mainly developers, analysts and testers. There is also a small back office. This year we plan to grow actively.

Photo: Laysan Ibatullina / Haytek

- What was the most effective way to attract employees?

- All the ways worked. We continue to cooperate with the mayor's office and with the university - we attract both graduates and professionals who have been retrained in the Center for IT specialists. With the latter, we have a joint industrial project. A group of students working on our case or product from late January to summer, and after that both the company and the students decide how interesting it is for us to develop together. In particular, this year a group of students is working on creating a new module for our departmental platform. And the task is quite serious - to develop a service for controlling and delimiting access to system components.

We also try to participate in regionalspecialized forums and seminars: we tell them not only about RTK Soft Labs and Innopolis, but also give presentations and master classes to show our expertise.

- There is a shortage of specialists?

- Yes, and everyone - both analysts and developers.It is not enough to find a good specialist; it is important that he meets our criteria. Innopolis competes with Moscow and St. Petersburg. In guys’ resumes, these three locations are usually listed as their desired places to move.

- What makes you stand out from Moscow and St. Petersburg?

- The very idea. We have an exclusively production unit, free from operations, and for developers this is a very big plus. The back office tries to remove all household issues from employees to the maximum. The company pays rent. We even provide information for them from water and electricity meters, so spoiled they are! We offer a large social package with LCA and one hundred percent payment of fitness. We constantly develop training, both internal and external. There is even a program for vitaminization in the winter: in these months for the employees in the office every day there are fruits and nuts. The costs of moving from neighboring regions will be fully reimbursed, from distant ones we pay a fixed percentage. In addition, once a year we also compensate the trip home. Another Innopolis attracted by the fact that everything is close. Even if I stayed at work, I got home in seven minutes - there was still time for myself and the family.

Photo: Laysan Ibatullina / Haytek

- By the way, do you pay for your family size?

- Necessarily! Previously, it was a two-room apartment (for those without families, a one-room apartment), but recently three-room apartments have appeared in our city, and we will also come up with something with them.

- Employees are young?

— The average age is approximately 27 years, but we expectedthat they will be even younger - after all, at a young age it is much easier to decide to change cities. However, it turned out that experienced professionals are also interested in Innopolis, precisely because it is convenient to live here with a family. The children themselves take each other to school, to kindergarten - everything is so close and safe.

— Do you have remote specialists?

- No, this is the essence of the project - to attract employees and create an incubator, where people would interact with each other, share ideas and experiences.

IT ghetto is good

- How much does Innopolis differ from Skolkovo?

- I have not been to Skolkovo. It seems to me that Innopolis is a place where it is increasingly being created. The first unmanned taxi, Yandex.Taxi, started here. We make a single biometric system. Although according to the plan, the locations are similar: a closed city with housing and infrastructure.

- Does the feeling of living in some IT ghetto arise?

- Do not say it is bad. For the employee involved, everyday life is family and work. On weekends there is always something to do: near Kazan and Sviyazhsky hills. The infrastructure of the city is small, but it covers all basic needs: a pizzeria, a bar, a sports complex with a good pool and nature nearby.

- What is new for the time you are in Innopolis?

- We are extremely happy with the commissioning of the newhousing, which we can now provide more specialists. A new lyceum is being built. City leaders always receive feedback from residents: for example, there were several sessions on the transformation of a city park. Someone complained about pedestrian crossings - and the mayor’s office retooled them. It is difficult to recall such an example from the life in other cities.

Photo: Laysan Ibatullina / Haytek

- How do you see the ideal office of the future?

- The most comfortable and automated,where people can fully devote themselves to what they like in work. Someone thinks that the offices will not be soon, but I see them as a logical development in the open space, where the interaction of people from different departments and projects is maximally possible.

The most important motivation for the developer

- How does your Intellectual departmental platform work?

— The system allows government customersoptimize the activities of your departments without involving developers. On the platform you can draw a business process and define the rules for its implementation. And the system itself will generate an information environment for work - receiving applications from the State Services portal or resolutions, generating interdepartmental requests or holding tenders. Regulations change frequently, and the platform reduces the time to adapt to changes without sacrificing usability.

In addition, the system is multi-component, it uses modules such as:

  • business process designer in BPMN notation;
  • designer of user forms and rules;
  • report designer;
  • interdepartmental query designer;
  • role model and access rights.

All these components work in conjunction and allow the developer of a future system to create an information system that fully automates the described business process using visual tools.

- How does business experience help in business?

- Our parent company is involved inthe development of federal services, and this is an additional examination. Working with the commercial sector, it is possible to apply this experience and help our clients find out, for example, what to do so that their documents accept SMEV.

- Do you know analogues of the biometric system in other countries?

- There are biometric projects in transport andsomewhere else, but very few countries that implemented something like this on a statewide scale. The Danes somehow approached us and said that this is a progressive direction. Although Denmark is a very developed country - the entire population has an electronic digital signature, but there are inconveniences: you need to have the keys with you, follow them and reissue. And with biometrics, your documents are always with you: both face and voice.

- What will the support systems look like in the future?

— We are at the very beginning of implementationbiometrics, new services will be connected further, the system will gain access to new devices. New developments will appear: guys have come to us who offer other methods of biometrics, for example, reading the pattern of veins in the palm. It is difficult to say how applicable such authentication is now, but there is room for development, because it concerns the security of legally significant transactions. We live in a very interesting time when we can see what awaits us in the future: driverless cars, flexible screens and so on.

Photo: Laysan Ibatullina / Haytek

- What was the biggest challenge for you last year?

- Entry into new markets - commercial(banking) sector, the development of non-core solutions. Biometrics is artificial intelligence, neural networks and the latest technologies for high-load systems. The personal challenge was to rally the team, to create an atmosphere, so that people would feel themselves part of something whole, despite the fact that they work on different projects. And we joined the development of a regional medical information system. Performing such a socially important task is very motivating, because the system simplifies and even saves the lives of thousands of people.

"RT Labs" has long been engaged in this area, and II really wanted to connect to this - which happened at the end of last year. This is a system for automating medical institutions: working with insurance companies, electronic medical records, the interaction of various doctors and institutions, as well as creating a unified base for research work, analyzing the costs of providing medical services and much more.

— And what stage is everything at? When will paper cards in clinics disappear?

— It’s difficult to name a specific date.The systems have been implemented in the regions, now we support current users, add new modules and improve existing functionality. The legislative framework in this direction is developing, manufacturers of advanced equipment are also working on this. One of my employees once came with a child to a medical institution in Tatarstan and saw a working system there, in the creation of which he took part. Isn't this the greatest happiness for a developer?

- What helps you in your work?

- The desire to create something meaningful. Especially motivates, if you are not the only one, around you the team, burning with the same ideas. For this you get up in the morning and go to work with pleasure!