Have a heart!
One of the consistent things I’ve noted in traveling the Accounts Payable automation world for the better part of two years is that most service providers in this space have done an effective job of building organizations with brains and brawn. This is a good thing and ensures a robust suite of compelling solutions to meeting todays myriad business challenges. Whether the issues stem from processing centric issues to compliance to visibility, there’s seemingly a solution for virtually every business challenge that a Finance leader, and more specifically, an Accounts Payable leader could face. While that’s well and good, the one thing that is lacking is that it seems to me that there is a fundamental disconnect within the industry and the consumers who utilize said solutions…a connection of heart.
Now that’s not to say that the service providers in the AP automation space don’t have heart, it just means that heart is not something that is reflected outwardly in their approach to their customers. If what I’m saying makes sense, then it’s because the relationship between many vendors in this space and their customers is mechanical and primarily intellectual…which is a good thing since many of the issues that solutions address are highly technical and require deep levels of subject matter expertise. The issue herein is how these are addressed at both a core and surface level. Consider how Apple transcended Microsoft in its approach to personal computing and the human experience. One could argue that the emotional connection to the Apple brand inspired a much higher level of devotion, similar to other industry leaders like Starbucks Coffee, Hubspot for Marketing, and Nike to athletics. They almost become lifestyle representatives that evoke a synthesis between form and function, purpose and beauty.
Because of that we feel it’s important to note that the connection between the heart and the head are not mutually exclusive. That ultimately compelling AP automation solutions (and Document Process Outsourcing applications) at a high level need to integrate both of these needs. It’s also our belief that the primary users of these applications often go overlooked in their organizations. The relegated back office users that never get any of the cool toys…kind of like the younger siblings in large families, having to fight for servings or the ones inheriting tattered hand me downs.
At CloudX our goal is to help companies that are looking to bridge the gap to automation through cloud based improvement.
The cool factors:
- Cloud delivery makes it accessible…to pretty much anyone, anywhere. If you have access to the internet through a browser, you’re pretty much good to go…no servers required.
- You’re not held hostage by IT. No offense to the IT folks, because they are indispensable, but you don’t need an army o f them to support this prior to and after go-live, which keeps things simple and keeps costs down.
- Our approach doesn’t break the bank. Many software companies in this space have legacy business models that require big time software licensing fees to bring their technology in…unfortunately though, because Accounts Payable automation solutions are sometimes an after thought for executives in terms of priority for improvement, it doesn’t leave much by way of capital dollars. The problem for many of these providers is that their business model is inextricably intertwined to that type of revenue cycle, and transitioning away from it is costly and foreign to their thinking.
- Experts on demand. Many of the software providers give you a toolbox to set about improving your operations. That’s great if you are a craftsman, but for many people, learning the new technologies to improve said processes are a show-stopper. When dealing with the Accounts Payable process, you’re talking about learning how to manage OCR technology, workflow technology, database technology, business intelligence, and reporting. Not to mention user administration, support, etc. With a cloud delivery model and customer focused organization…supporting this is a cinch without the headaches mentioned above.
- The waterboy mentality. No, we’re not purveyors of high quality H20, nothing wrong with that … and from what I hear on the Discovery channel, without water you’re toast in 3 days in a survival scenario. But given the confines of most corporate convention centers, I don’t think that will be an issue…surviving the coffee is another story. What I mean by that is that we as an organization have infamous Rob Schneider ‘You can do it!’ philosophy. And no, we’re not talking about anything untoward…we simply mean that our responsiveness to customer concerns, adaptations, and needs is paramount and that our product road map is responsive to latent marketplace needs…meaning that we help you do what you need to and get the headaches out of the equation period.
So if you’re interested in learning more about this philosophy check out this Prezi on our approach to improving Payables here!