If you’ve ever had a conversation with Andy Orrock, you most likely walked away having learned something new and fascinating.
For more than 30 years, Andy Orrock has created and been chief operator of innovative enterprise-class payment systems for Fortune 500 retailers. As vice president, software engineering, Andy oversees the strategic direction, development and operation of the payments solutions that OLS Payments provides. He’s been chief architect of several OLS Payments services, holding a patent for a bridge service designed to maximize uptime for retailers.
We sat down with Andy to learn more about his career, his favorite part about working at OLS Payments, his hidden talent and more!
Q: Tell us a little about your career journey. How did you end up at OLS Payments?
Andy Orrock (AO): People of my era, who started their careers when IT was simply “data processing” typically didn’t have degrees in computer science. I was a STEM grad, got a training position working for an ATM system for a large New England-based bank, and got into mission-critical transaction processing. That was when I met Terry Richards, who sold the software that ran that network, and started a decades-long partnership with him. Later, Terry became the founder of OLS Payments.
Q: What was your first ever job, and what lessons did you learn from it that you still use to this day?
AO: I’m doing the same stuff now that I did at the start of my career, just on a different tech stack. The focus on the end user is the same, as is the attention to detail.
Q: What is your favorite part about working for OLS Payments?
AO: As part of the InComm Payments family, I get an opportunity to talk to decision-makers at the world’s leading retailers every day. And, I love collaborating with my hard-working, smile-inducing workmates, both here in the U.S. and at our close working partners in Argentina. They’re great people.
Q: Is there an implementation, tech advancement, or collaboration effort that you’re most proud of during your time at OLS Payments?
AO: I can think of two off the bat. First, I am proud of helping to start and build out the OTC Network, which we’ve done in partnership with our friends in the InComm Health team. It’s made giant leaps over the last couple of years under Brian Parlotto’s leadership.
Second, implementing Trestle, our stand-in protection solution for third-party gift card activation. We’ve incorporated excellent insights from all corners of InComm Payments, including notable contributions from Vamsi Reddy, Kia Lee and Sam Collins, three thought leaders at InComm Payments whose expertise I highly value.
Q: In which industry do you think payments innovation is currently making the biggest waves?
AO: EMV (chip, contactless) is the most significant shift that many of us will see in our lifetimes. The impacts are still reverberating. It’s wholly redrawn the map between debit and credit and has added layers of complexity that still befuddle many people along the transaction path.
Q: What do you think makes OLS Payments’ offerings unique?
AO: We are very, very close to our customers, even the developers. And we pull together expertise from two distinct poles: the payment end and the gift card activation end. These are specific disciplines, and organizations tend to excel at one over the other. So, it’s unique that we understand both.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
AO: My wife and I take long walks throughout east Dallas’ many cool neighborhoods. It’s allowed us to discover so much about this city. For example, we’ve figured out that many people think that our city is brown or fully paved. Where we live, it’s vibrant and green. That surprises people. We soak that in when we walk.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
AO: I’m a big non-fiction reader, and I’ve figured out an ability to read and fully appreciate 50 books a year. There’s so much good stuff out there and so little time. It’s unfortunate that there are not too many book readers out there anymore.
Q: What three albums would you take with you to a deserted island?
AO: “Peter Gabriel” by Peter Gabriel (he has a lot of albums called “Peter Gabriel” – specifically, it’s the one referred to as “Melt,” containing “I Don’t Remember,” “Games without Frontiers,” etc.), “So” by Peter Gabriel and “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles.
Want to chat with Andy and learn how he can help you with your business payments goals? Connect with Andy on LinkedIn.