As we say farewell to another year, we take a moment at Forpoint to reflect upon the journey of 2023. While we experienced transformation and growth, the industry, faced challenging trends. This included economic uncertainty and talent shortages, which have complicated the financial forecasting process and, for some, have impacted cash flow and increased corporate debt.
At Forpoint, we’ve had quite a few highlights that have made this year stand out for us – our top picks for 2023:
· Our strengthened alliance in Australia and New Zealand with our software partners has helped secure further market share in our territory. This is so critical for stability and growth in our business, with so many solution providers and software options out there in the region. We initiated partner collaborations that brought huge success and through thought leadership opportunities.
· Earlier in 2023 we travelled to Malaysia to attend the Infor Partner event, an exciting opportunity to see what this global software had in store for the year – and they certainly didn’t fail to deliver!
· We attended Perform 23 in Chicago with our Partners Planful and hosted their CMO here in Australia, building better bonds with our clients and software partners alike.
· Sage global Partner event in Las Vegas, was a top-tier event, a real showcase of the innovative minds that bring this incredible software to life.
· Forpoint was a platinum sponsor at the Accounting Business Expo in Sydney in 2023 and will also be in the Melbourne edition coming up in March 2024
· We achieved an Elmo award for Partner excellence 🎉
· Recognising the need to better reflect our stature & experience in the marketplace, we embarked upon an refresh of the Forpoint brand and moved focus to building our owned audiences. This has been an important move to secure consistency and stability, while being able to deliver our unique viewpoint and deliver non-biased content that is for the Office of the CFO. Innovation has been the mantra and for 2024 will continue to be key to our growth.
· Witnessing our clientele expand rapidly this year has been highly encouraging, and we are delighted to welcome many new customers and many many projects delivered this past 12 months.
Circling back to the industries’ challenges from 2023, we thought it only wise to nail down David’s opinion on his insight on how 2023 compared to previous years and why the challenges are more pronounced now, more than ever before.
Q. Describe a ‘shift’ you have noticed from the start of 2023 VS now?
Cloud is mainstream, and probably has been now for several years, but even SMB businesses are clamouring to get off their legacy on-premise solutions.
There is also an increased awareness of WebServices connectors between cloud-based applications amongst our customers and prospects, leading companies to evaluate more closely multi-application best-of-breed solutions instead of a 1 stop shop. The main driver for this is the pre-built connectors which help de-risk the integration elements of implementation projects, Best of Breed 2.0
ERP vendors will continue to add functionality into their solution to match best-of-breed vendors, but they will always be playing catchup. The mainstream adoption of off-the-shelf connectors means more and more organisations will happily select multiple products in a proposal. This fits nicely with the Forpoint strategy of Best Solutions for the office of the CFO.
Q. What have we become better at? Where have we invested most time/effort to improve?
We have been working with Sage Intacct for 5 years now, and the knowledge, expertise, and comfort in dealing with this impressive software solution is winning over our clients and exceeding our delivery methods. Our implementation success is higher than ever before and our client feedback and response time is streamlined as we sharpen our collateral, resulting in quicker implementations, that are on time and on budget.
Expanding the use of Accounts Payable automation through the Zudello solution has seen the transition of a number of our customers embracing this technology to dramatically reduce the manual and time-consuming processes for invoice matching and payments.
Having an iPaas solution like DataBlend has also allowed Forpoint to deliver Integration projects. Datablend is a no-code iPaaS platform with pre-built connectors to 100’s of products including Sage Intacct, SunSystems, Zudello, Blackline, Planful, Adaptive and Elmo payroll.
Q. Any opinions on what to expect from 2024?
Watching how ArtificiaI Intelligence and Machine Learning is being incorporated into the solutions we sell has been exciting, now we will start to see the tools being released, redefining how a finance department functions and the role that the CFO plays.
The challenge will be for our consultants to learn these new technologies, and teach our clients how to best utilise and leverage..
Australian Business is also waiting for the government to bring to an end its tightening of Monetary Policies, this will in turn raise business confidence to invest in new projects that improve efficiency, bringing a more optimistic outlook for 2024 & beyond.