The Future of Business Systems

Technology moves at an astonishing rate, we need only look back 10 years to recognise the impact of technological advances on the way that businesses operate. 2007 saw the first release of the iPhone by Apple and the unveiling of Android by Google. In this same year, only 15 million households had internet access and 25 per cent of those were still using dial up.

In 2007, Amazon offered a service named Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) as a means to rent remote computing power and IBM announced plans to “Push Cloud Computing“ in the New York Times, but until recently most people did not recognise “Cloud Computing” as a phrase or description of any value or significance.

Although the origin and the precise meaning of the term remains a subject of debate, June 2012 is the first time the phrase was included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Even five years ago, most customers were not receptive to storing business data on the internet.

Today, ‘Cloud Computing’ appears 48 million times on the internet and leading industry analysts are predicting Cloud spend will increase by 4.5 times the current rate of spend! With such significant change within such a short space of time, how will business systems change over the next 10 years?

Here, Andrew Peddie, the MD of FHL – which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year – gives his predictions about what business systems will look like in 2027.

All businesses will move towards the cloud, no exceptions!

In 2007, few businesses were willing to adopt the internet as a secure repository for their data. Those that did were either seen as cutting-edge or crazy, the trust simply wasn’t there. For many, “Cloud Computing” meant nothing and although it is now an accepted term, it is viewed by many in the industry as a buzzword for marketing purposes and an oversimplification of a complex offering.

In spite of this, there is no doubt that having applications available via the internet from any device and being able to access securely stored data at any time is an incredibly powerful proposition.

Cloud Computing has arrived, is here to stay and is no longer new nor the domain of the elite. It is becoming better, faster and more affordable by the minute and is increasingly the solution of choice to facilitate growth and change for businesses.

So why is Cloud the future? There are three crucial reasons – security, affordability and agility to adapt.

‘Best of breed’ Cloud systems are overseen by the world’s foremost security experts; the collective purchasing power of the midmarket client base makes this practical and affordable.

A true cloud platform has the flexibility to scale and accommodate change and ensures that organisations are always up-to-date and operate on the latest version of the application.

It seems logical to forecast that by 2027, every organisation will be Cloud-based, no exceptions!

Convergence – Cloud app functionality will converge into single source platforms

More and more consumers are willing to transact via apps. Organisations utilise in-house apps to manage business processes such as sales, ordering, fulfilment, expenses and payments. Apps market places have never been so busy.

Increasingly, consumers and companies prefer to work with a single provider. Take television as an example. People have options for their viewing such as Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon, Netflix. Much of the content is shared under license and often, telephony and broadband are part of a holistic offering.

If you extend this thinking to cloud-based business application platforms, by 2027 expect to see a small number of providers (perhaps three or four) offering similar solutions which benefit from converged functionality of third party apps. More than likely, companies offering extended functionality will be acquired for the larger players to merge the features into their own eco-systems.

Unified communications will be standard on all platforms

By 2027, businesses will no longer need to run separate communications solutions as their technology platforms will deliver unified communications. Communication features such as voice, video, chat, file sharing and email in a “one-to-one” or “one-to-many” format will be available to any device via the organisation’s chosen business platform technology solution.

Advanced automation of business processes

Today, many businesses could not survive if they had to rely solely on manual processes. High volume, low value transactions, currency fluctuations, electronic invoicing, automatic payments and collections are an essential part of competing in a rapidly evolving and increasingly demanding market. Within the next 10 years, manual business processes will be a thing of the past for most businesses and ‘accounts payable/receivable’ departments will most likely be extinct.

Instant real-time transactions can be processed automatically, period-end billing, complex consolidations, currency fluctuations, intercompany transfers and even solvency computations are already a familiar feature for some organisations.

Artificial intelligence applied to basic business rules will feature strongly in advanced decision-making techniques ensuring automated optimal performance in all but the most complex scenarios.

No Code / Low Code and Gamification

Although gaming might conjure up images of teenagers spending hours on X-Box and PlayStation, modern computer games are a great exponent of advancement in programming and hardware capability. The military has played out “war games” or simulation of projected scenarios to help better predict and plan for potential events and as a training aid, it is invaluable. So why not business?

Consider the pre-sales process. Most consumers like to conduct their own research these days and don’t like to have a sales person calling them. Imagine an online scenario-based environment that could simulate a business’ requirements, evaluate a technical and/or commercial fit and generate custom output to suit its needs without the need to engage in time consuming emails or telephone calls. What better way to research a product or service?

It is accepted that the modern computer game has millions of lines of code written by genius developers who sit in darkened rooms looking at over-sized screens for a number of years just to create a seamless and lifelike experience for the gamer. When you buy a PlayStation game, you don’t expect to have to learn to write code to be able to play it.

Similarly, the cloud-based business platform will emerge equipped with low code or zero code “toolsets” that allow the user to configure and customise features and functionality in a visual environment and with the use of code. This work will be simple enough to be managed in-house making it fast and cost effective to deliver and will be “future-proofed”.

A final word

Ten years is a long time in technology. In the world of business systems alone, there have been dramatic changes in the last decade.

In 2007, the outlook for business adoption of software as a service – SAAS – was positive but not prolific. It is somewhat different today with leading analysts predicting universal adoption and forecasting cloud as the default solution of choice for more than 80% of businesses. Cloud is now considered mainstream technology more than disruptive and it has gained the respect and confidence of the mid-market.

Technological convergence, advanced business process automation and low/zero code environments will create such lean, efficient and agile organisations that the best exponent of technology will dominate.

The last 10 years has been an interesting period of preparation in cloud-based business systems, almost like a warm up to the main event.

By 2027, we can expect to see the smartest of companies equip themselves with the very best cloud technology tools and benefit from versatility and agility in meeting the ever-changing needs of their market place.

Let’s go!

Article first posted on Compare The Cloud (https://www.comparethecloud.net/articles/future-business-systems/)

FHL Joins Forces with Kyriba to Deliver Secure Cloud Treasury Solutions

FHL Customers Now Have Access to Kyriba’s World Leading Treasury Management Solution

 

Kyriba Corp., the global leader in cloud-based treasury, cash and risk management solutions, today announced a channel sales partnership with cloud solutions provider, FHL (www.fhl.co.uk), the leading provider of NetSuite products in Europe and NetSuite’s EMEA Partner of the Year 2017. FHL’s 150+ NetSuite customers now have access to Kyriba’s cloud-based solutions.

Security is a growing issue for treasury and finance professionals, just as accurate cash flow forecasting and the power to make strategic decisions at the CFO level are of high ranking priority, according to a recent benchmark survey from PwC.[1] With Kyriba, FHL now delivers a suite of treasury management solutions to complement its NetSuite portfolio, helping finance professionals to effectively manage cashflow forecasting and operate more strategically in a secure cloud environment.

FHL, a UK-based cloud solutions provider, named NetSuite’s EMEA Solution Provider Partner of the Year on six occasions – offers a range of services to its European clients such as consulting, planning and project management, solutions development and training.

“We are dedicated to providing our customers with ‘best of breed’ cloud solutions and are pleased to join forces with Kyriba,” said Andrew Peddie, Managing Director of FHL. “Kyriba’s world-leading cash management solution adds value to our NetSuite offering, helping organisations improve their cash visibility and better secure their assets.”

Kyriba’s treasury, cash and risk management solutions are delivered 100 percent in the cloud, and seamlessly integrate with NetSuite, providing NetSuite users with enhanced functionality, including strategic cash management, increased payments security, cash forecasting, bank reconciliation and automated financial management processing.

“As a premier NetSuite partner, FHL will be a fantastic advocate of Kyriba in the UK,” said John Campbell, Managing Director of Kyriba in Northern Europe. “As a modular solution, Kyriba’s and now FHL’s clients benefit from the flexibility inherent in our modular, SaaS delivery-model. Customers can maximise the value of their spend by selecting and implementing the modules they require now, and then have the opportunity to add modules as their needs evolve.”


[1] The ‘virtual reality’ of treasury | Global Treasury Benchmark Survey 2017 – PwC

TechSparx speaks to Andrew Peddie about FHL’s success and NetSuite plans

Andrew Peddie, MD of FHL tells TechSparx all you need to know about FHL in one comprehensive interview.

Tell us in one sentence what FHL offers?

“Best in class” cloud business systems.

How is your service different from competitors?

There is an array of cloud providers on the market, however most are small ‘boutique’ outfits that simply don’t have the resources and expertise to provide a quality service.

Some providers also claim to offer “cloud” business systems but these systems aren’t in fact “true cloud”. This means that security will be questionable, they’ll be upgrade issues, poor scalability and unacceptable levels of downtime. On top of this, these so-called “fake cloud” solutions are very expensive to run!

At FHL we provide only “true cloud” solutions built on the NetSuite platform. NetSuite is the world’s most deployed cloud business system and offers first-rate security and scalability, and as it’s paid for via a monthly subscription fee, this makes it highly cost-effective.

And far from being a ‘boutique’ cloud business, over the past 10 years we’ve invested heavily in our team to ensure that our delivery techniques and depth of resource to architect, facilitate and support our clients’ businesses puts FHL a step ahead of the competition. In fact, NetSuite has named FHL European partner of the year five times – more than any other NetSuite provider!

In February, we also scooped two prestigious partner awards from NetSuite for acquiring the greatest number of new customers in 2016 and for generating the highest new customer revenue. Beating over 50 NetSuite partners, these awards strengthen our position as the number one NetSuite partner across EMEA.

What new developments have you got in the pipeline for this year?

Our big focus for this year is expanding our portfolio of NetSuite applications. Latest developments include:

  • WineSuite – A state-of-the-art cloud-based solution for the wine industry. As the only solution of its kind, WineSuite has been specifically developed to make operating within the wine trade as hassle-free as possible. Specialist features include multi-currency capabilities, reserves and portfolio management, bonded warehouse management, an en primeur sales module and duty and bond management.
  • FirstPOS – A powerful point-of-sale solution for NetSuite. Developed for use with traditional electronic point of sale (EPOS) tills and mobile devices, FirstPOS can be used across all devices for the fast and efficient processing of transactions, discounts, refunds and loyalty schemes, improving the retail experience for both staff and customers.
  • SuiteSync Android – This latest app puts the cloud into the palm of your hand by making NetSuite compatible with mobile Android devices. SuiteSync Android can be used offline and when an internet connection is re-established, offline data can be synchronised to NetSuite to allow users to continue working from the cloud.

 What sectors do you operate in?

We operate across a wide range of sectors including ecommerce; retail; wholesale and distribution; manufacturing; software and technology; telecommunications; professional services; fine wine; agriculture; medical; and rights management (music & TV). We have also supported many start-up businesses.

Who are your key clients?

We have delivered more than 150 projects from a cross-section of industries. Clients include UK Flooring Direct, Wigan Rugby League Club, Optegra (Fidelity Investments), Semafone (Octopus Investments), Aepona (Intel), Sony Europe, Kainos PLC, Blue Prism PLC, Lafarge, BayWa, Crawford Healthcare, Mr Fothergills Seeds, Isla Bikes, XN Protel and Cineflix.

Read the interview on TechSparx.co.uk

The key to FHL’s success = our people!

FHL has been named Oracle+NetSuite’s #1 solution partner for Europe, Middle East and Africa once again! This means that we’ve been awarded the accolade for a record sixth time. Such an achievement should not be underestimated, especially against a backdrop of an increasingly competitive market. So how have we done it?

Of course, we provide the very best technology available. Oracle+NetSuite remains the world’s most advanced and adaptable cloud solution for businesses everywhere. Everyone is always on the latest version and by helping a business to accommodate change with little or no IT knowledge, this delivers huge advantages. However, every Oracle+NetSuite provider is on a level playing field when it comes to the technology, so what’s FHL’s particular recipe for success? Why is FHL so adept at tailoring the NetSuite platform to meet the needs of the business – the so-called critical “last mile”?

Quite simply it’s our people! We’re recognised by mid-market organisations as trusted advisors for complex projects, but this hasn’t happened overnight. Ten years ago we started-out with just two people and we now have a team of over 50 experts. Yes, we work hard but it’s not just about putting in the hours.

At FHL, we are people-focused. We choose people who are enthusiastic and talented “do-ers” and who understand the importance of collaborative partnerships with our customers. We invest in apprentices and graduates and then train, nurture and mentor them throughout their careers with us.

The outcome is a highly-skilled team who understands what businesses require and the changes they need to make. A team who relates to business owners and leaders in both small and mid-sized organisations and who recognises the challenges organisations face and how the technology can be tailored to suit.

I have to admit that the secret to our success isn’t rocket science and yet too many solution providers don’t sufficiently invest in their people. We take it seriously, it’s part of our DNA and the results? Well! They speak for themselves!

 

Members of the FHL team receiving the EMEA partner of the year accolade at SuiteWorld 2017

FHL is Oracle+NetSuite’s #1 EMEA partner for record sixth year

Oracle+NetSuite – the provider of the world’s leading cloud business management solution – has named FHL its top solution partner of the year for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for a record sixth time. 

We received the accolade for attracting the greatest number of new clients and for achieving the highest value subscriptions with our ‘best in class’ consulting and implementation services. Once again,we have also been awarded Oracle+NetSuite’s highest 5-star partner status.

Consistent recognition as the leader in our field means a lot to our team. It differentiates us in what has become a very competitive sector and the team’s pride shows, ultimately benefiting our customers.

So why have we won? We are proud to be people-focused and so the team has been extensively trained, clearly to great effect! Recruiting, training, nurturing and mentoring very enthusiastic, hard-working and talented people is what keeps us at the top of our game and ahead of our competitors.

You may not realise that we are also an authorised SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) ecommerce partner and have released multiple “Built for NetSuite” certified apps as a SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partner. With the market and the Oracle+NetSuite technology platform evolving at a dramatic rate, we’re finding the demand for our services greater than ever.

So here’s to 10 years in business and six of those years as NetSuite’s n.o. #1 partner across EMEA. We’re proud to be FHL!