All posts by Emma Shackley

RSM UK acquires FHL to become Europe’s largest and leading NetSuite provider

Leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK has acquired FHL, the UK’s leading provider of Oracle NetSuite products, services and solutions.

FHL and RSM’s combined practice will form the largest and leading NetSuite partner and provider, not just in the UK, but across Europe.

FHL’s 54-strong Crewe-based NetSuite capability will complement RSM existing NetSuite offer. The collective team of almost 100 will provide clients with both greater reach through RSM’s UK and global network, and a breadth of skills and capabilities that ensure greater collaboration with the businesses it serves.

David Gwilliam, RSM Chief Operating Officer said:

‘We’re delighted to announce the FHL acquisition and welcome their market leading NetSuite team into the wider RSM family. The prospects for this expanded offering are very exciting indeed. Being the UK and Europe’s largest and leading NetSuite provider significantly strengthens our capability to provide clients with a broader spectrum of business systems services and solutions.’

The new combined operation ensures an enlarged NetSuite business systems service encompassing cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM and E-commerce.

Andrew Peddie, FHL Managing Director said:

‘This move to integrate with RSM marks a game-changer in our market. For us as a company it presents the next natural step in our growth cycle. This is also about people. The NetSuite technology can’t be effectively deployed without the right people in place to provide the necessary skills. RSM is a great fit, both culturally and in terms of what each side can offer.’

Chris Knowles, lead partner for technology and management consulting at RSM said:

‘Our enhanced market proposition significantly strengthens our own ability to engage with a more diverse client base both large and small, in more locations, and in a greater variety of sectors. It also bolsters and expands Oracle’s growth plans for the NetSuite product itself. For us this isn’t simply a case of capturing greater market share – diversifying our own NetSuite delivery capability is critical in remaining one step ahead of the curve in what is a highly competitive market.

The acquired company will continue to trade as FHL. 

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 (

European IT & Software Excellence Awards 2017

WineSuite has made the final in the ‘Vertical Solution of the Year’ category of the European IT and Software Excellence Awards 2017. WineSuite is a state-of-the-art cloud-based solution for the wine industry built by FHL, powered by NetSuite.

The winner will be announced at the Awards Dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel, London on 30 March 2017.

With specialist features including reserves and portfolio management, bonded warehouse management and en primeur sales, WineSuite has been developed to make operating within the wine trade as hassle-free as possible.

Andrew Peddie, Managing Director of FHL said “This award is testament to the first-class team we have at FHL. After seeing a gap in the market for a cloud-based solution specifically tailored for the wine industry, the team took time to fully understand merchants’ complex needs. WineSuite is now THE solution for the wine industry. No other provider can boast as comprehensive, user-friendly, scalable and as powerful a solution.”

Tom Mann, Sales Director from Appellations adds, “WineSuite is completely customisable, we can use it anywhere in the world and it’s perfectly tailored to our needs. It’s simply head and shoulders above every other solution on the market.”

FHL Wins Two NetSuite Awards Ahead of 10th Anniversary

FHL has 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. These awards strengthen FHL’s position as the number one NetSuite partner across EMEA.

The presentation ceremony took place during the NetSuite Partner Day at Millbank Tower, London on 21 February 2017.

Andrew Peddie, Managing Director of FHL said, “These awards are a tremendous achievement that reflect FHL’s  ongoing success. We’ve invested heavily into making FHL a ‘best of breed’ NetSuite partner while ensuring customers are provided with first-rate services and support. We’re now reaping the benefits of this investment as we have the very best team and resources in place to support more and more organisations with their NetSuite implementations.”

“Winning these sought-after awards is a great way to mark our 10-year anniversary and is testament to the hard work, dedication, customer-centric approach and ‘can do’ attitude of the FHL team.”

Pictured: John Mackay, Head of Professional Services; Karl Savage, General Manager.

From Sage to NetSuite (in just 8 weeks!)

When Allied Insulators Managing Director Jon Knapper opted for a management buyout, he was faced with a challenge.

Could he find a cloud based software system to run his new venture?

Even if he could, would it be possible to migrate all his business information from Sage without interrupting the business?

Jon had just 8 weeks to accomplish this.

NetSuite solution provider FHL not only achieved this, they delivered:

  • 70% reduction in manual processes
  • 80% reduction in paperwork, filing and data entry
  • 100% cloud based solution

“Thanks to FHL, our day to day operation is extremely smooth” says Jon.

This Reels in Motion video production sums the project up nicely in under 3 minutes.

More videos soon…