SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR FINANCIAL, PROCUREMENT AND DOCUMENT PROCESSES
WAKE UP, EUROPE! SOMETHING BIG IS GOING ON 6
SOFTWARE ROBOTS HAVE LAUNCHED THE KNOWLEDGE WORK REVOLUTION 14
clude demand, labor force skills and ICT investments. “Digitalization is a huge opportunity and is actually the only opportunity for us
movement of experts. It’s not enough to create a working group out of people with narrow areas of special expertise, we need individuals with the ability to lead and examine
GROWTH OF TOTAL FACTOR PRODUCTIVITY
EU-27 (European Union excluding Croatia)
Source: The Conference Board Total Economy Database
SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR FINANCIAL, PROCUREMENT AND DOCUMENT PROCESSES
441 209 Printed matter
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HÄMEEN KIRJAPAINO OY
OpusCapita sets the new standard for financial, procurement and document processes. With our 2 ,300 passionate professionals we combine software, outsourcing and services with a delivery model that offers the best value for our customers. We have operations in eight countries and vast experience accumulated with over 11,000 customers, with end-users in more than 50 countries. In 2014, OpusCapita’s net sales totaled EUR 260 million. OpusCapita is part of Posti Group.
JOURNAL / OPUSCAPITA CUSTOMER MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER OpusCapita / EDITOR IN CHIEF Ulla Kenttä / EDITORIAL TEAM Karoliina Haikonen, Sara Hokkanen, Kimmo Kauranen, Toni Paloheimo, Marketta Tammisto / EDITORS Communications Agency Effet Oy / TRANSLATIONS Bellcrest Translations / LAYOUT Milko Tarvainen, Tiina Lautamäki / COVER PHOTO Dan Sjunnesson / PRINTED BY Hämeen Kirjapaino Oy, Finland, 2015 / ISSN 1458-0012 / ADDRESS SOURCE OpusCapita customer register / www.opuscapita.com
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Pleased to meet you Hot topics Wake up, Europe! Time to speed up digitalization Technologists and economists have to come together Less pressure, more capital Virtual workforce is already among us Security is your best business ally Go below the surface! Customer story: From fixed to variable costs with high-quality processes Customer story: XXL gained more muscle by outsourcing News and events Inside stories
PLEASED TO MEET YOU! As the incoming CEO for OpusCapita, I am excited to reach out to you all for the first time via this editorial. In my initial encounters with Board members and executives, I was impressed by the pioneering work that OpusCapita has undertaken in the fields of financial administration, procurement and printing. The company has effectively combined software and services to improve automation and productivity of its customers’ processes. Over 11,000 customers across Northern Europe are testimony to Opus Capita’s successful expansion over the past years. I am a firm believer in lead customer driven innovation, so I will look for our key development projects to be closely connected to customers with representative needs in defining requirements and validating early releases. The company is developing many promising new innovations, such as a robotics solution for increasing the productivity of customer processes and an automated vendor financing solution that improves the customer’s working capital. These and other new developments will ensure that OpusCapita can provide you with leading solutions to meet your business needs. After officially joining the company at the beginning of October I hope to meet with many of you in person. I will tour our key customers and offices on a regular basis in order to familiarize myself with the teams and the projects. In these meetings, I hope to hear your candid feedback on the company. What delights you in the work we do for you and what are the areas in which we could further improve? I look forward to developing OpusCapita into a leading provider in its field that can offer you solutions for enhancing your customer success in addition to improving your productivity.
PATRIK SALLNER Patrik Sallner will take the lead as the new CEO of OpusCapita in October 2015.
HOT TOPICS EUROPE Approaching the next evolutionary step: e-invoicing on the mass market.
MARKET MATURITY FOR ELECTRONIC INVOICES
The ANNUAL GROWTH RATE for e-invoicing is around 20%. Leaders Average Developing Laggards
BRAZIL The highest market penetration (90%) globally in B2B and B2G segment.
Billentis: ONLY 10% OF THE SAVINGS POTENTIAL IN E-INVOICING EXPLOITED The European public sector could achieve cost savings of at least 40 billion euros by replacing a major proportion of paper invoices with electronic ones. The yearly global e-invoicing report by Billentis estimates that today only about 10% of the savings potential is exploited. In 2015, the number of electronic invoices will reach over 42 billion worldwide. Latin
America will contribute about 25 billion of this total, and North America and Europe 7 billion each. In Latin America, the main driver for electronic invoicing has been the strict government regulations aimed at reducing tax evasion through real-time invoice validation by the authorities. In the European market, the focus has been on optimizing electron-
ic business processes, and e-invoicing has been driven mainly by large purchasing organizations. Source: E-Invoicing 2015: Entering a new era. Billentis Global Market Report 2015.
AUTOMATION OF KNOWLEDGE WORK WILL BE A KEY DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS Automation of knowledge work is right at the top of the list of technologies that will drive the most significant economic changes and disruptive progress over the next decade. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that this has the potential to create a n e c o n o m i c impact of 5.2 to 6.7 trillion d o l l a r s b y 2 0 2 5 , which is second only to the effects of the mobile internet. According to the study, the primary impact of the automation of knowledge work for economies will be in raising productivity and driving economic growth,
and for individuals, changing fundamentally the nature of work. Several studies have concluded that a major share of todayâ€™s occupations will change drastically due to technological advances. An Oxford study, for example, concluded that 47% of US jobs are susceptible to automation. Similar results were also obtained regarding Swedish jobs (53%), in an SSF study, and UK jobs (35%) in a Deloitte and Oxford study. OpusCapita and Eera have calculated based on the Finnish figures that if around 40% of tasks within such a job are
automated, this could lead to cost savings of 40% and a n i n c r e a s e i n o v e r all productivity of up to 6%. The phenomenon could also challenge the low-cost offshoring of such jobs, as automation increases the efficiency of work, and the quality and control of the process start to weigh more than mere cost savings. Source: Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy. The McKinsey Global Institute. May 2013. OpusCapita and Eera analysis. 2015.
EUROPE! TEXTS: KG RICKHAMRE, MARKETTA TAMMISTO, RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA PHOTOS: AILA VÄLIKOSKI, DAN SJUNNESSON, THINKSTOCKPHOTOS
Digitalization and globalization have only just begun and they are moving ahead rapidly! Europe, unfortunately, is not at the leading edge in creating this new world, and is not even among those reaping the quickest rewards. Instead, it seems to be stuck in the slow lane. Digitalization, new technologies and the large-scale use of automation do, nevertheless, offer the opportunity to move to a faster growth track and finally reverse the declining productivity trend of the past 30 years. Europe, and the EU in particular, are in a great position to benefit from digitalization. At the same time, there are various structural, cultural and human factors that are holding back development. There is no doubt that the process of creative destruction can be painful in many ways, sweeping away the old and making way for the new. But Europe and its individual countries can no longer postpone the difficult strategic choices needed to safeguard the long-term prosperity and welfare of citizens and businesses and Europe’s global competitiveness. It is the 11th hour. We must wake up and go full speed ahead rather than resist the ongoing evolution.
TIME TO SPEED UP DIGITALIZATION
“Europe has not yet reached the speed that it should have in digitalization. In the USA, digital solutions have had a significant role in boosting productivity for a long time. In Asia the economic growth is currently based more on urbanization and the growth of industrial production than digitalization. But, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, for example, are already exceptions here,” says Esko Aho, former prime minister of Finland. Aho has been researching companies’ operating environments and competitive-
DECLINING OF PRODUCTIVITY IS A LONGER-TERM TREND GROWTH OF LABOR PRODUCTIVITY
As annual average percentage change over the period
Source: OECD Economic Outlook database. June 2015.
1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 OECD
Productivity growth is the key to returning to a sustainable growth path in Europe. In the long run, it is typically an even more important driver for economic growth than job creation. Labor productivity growth in Europe has been on the decline for nearly three decades, and the fall due to the most recent recessions shows up as just a continuation of the trend from a longer-term perspective. Lisbon Council Policy Brief Vol. 8 No 1: Productivity and Digitalisation in Europe: Paving the Road to Faster Growth. 2014.
ness in his expert role as Senior Fellow at Harvard University. Currently he is Executive in Residence at Aalto University, Finland, where he leads a course concentrating on the challenges of global and local operating environments. His role as chairman of the Board of the East Office of Finnish Industries expert organization also gives him a good insight into the Russian market.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT According to a forecast by the OECD, the world economy will double by 2030 and it will double again by 2050. The average GDP growth per capita is greatest in growing economies in Asia and Africa. The 2014 Policy Brief by the independent Conference Board states that the EU is in a good position to benefit from digitalization and the resulting growth in productivity, but that time is running out. Slow growth and economic stagnation erode the prerequisites for long-term sustainable growth, which include demand, labor force skills and ICT investments. “Digitalization is a huge opportunity and is actually the only opportunity for us
to quickly improve productivity, increase the quality of services, curb public expenditure and create new competitive edge for companies and society,” says Aho.
AN ECOSYSTEM FOR DIGITAL SUCCESS A considerable barrier for progress in Europe is the lack of a digital single market. Aho emphasizes the significance of a functional ecosystem in the creation of digital breakthroughs – to verify this you only need to take a look at Silicon Valley. “It is no accident that so far the digital success stories have mainly been entertainment created for the market. When you consider logistics, healthcare or the financial sector, for example, the role of society as the architect of digitalization becomes key. To create an ecosystem we also need leading companies and their innovative digital solutions. “We need to promote the horizontal movement of experts. It’s not enough to create a working group out of people with narrow areas of special expertise, we need individuals with the ability to lead and exam-
ine issues on a broad scale,” says Aho. One example of skills not matching up were the difficulties and failures experienced in the development of electronic patient information systems. There are also positive examples. The new report by Citi GPS mentions automation in the banking world: in the Nordic countries and Germany, for example, checks are a rarity, the use of debit cards is widespread and there is a sparse network of bank branches. But customers do not want to return to the way things were before. “We need the courage to change the way things are done. We will not reap the benefits of technology unless we make fundamental changes to the entire concept,” says Aho.
FULL SPEED AHEAD! Job losses have been feared in all technological revolutions, starting with the industrial revolution, when the artisans who were against this sabotaged the “spinning jennies” in the woolen and cotton mills. “We Europeans are prone to protective thinking. We think that the role of society
GROWTH OF TOTAL FACTOR PRODUCTIVITY
EU-27 (European Union excluding Croatia)
Source: The Conference Board Total Economy Database
1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 -0.5
Total factor productivity growth measures the efficiency by which all resources, labor and capital, are being utilized. The growth of total factor productivity has been slowing across most sectors in the economy in Europe. The downward trend reflects the failure to effectively adopt new technologies and innovation and turn them into productivity growth. Lisbon Council Policy Brief Vol. 8 No 1: Productivity and Digitalisation in Europe: Paving the Road to Faster Growth. 2014.
“If we slow the development of digitalization now because we want to safeguard jobs, we will lose these jobs anyway through global competition.”
is to minimize risks, which easily leads to a situation in which things do not change, or do not change quickly enough. Renewal is always based on the ability to take risks,” says Aho. “If we slow the development of digitalization now because we want to safeguard jobs, we will lose these jobs anyway through global competition. Right now we need to believe in the fact that this revolution will also create new jobs and competitive edge.” For example, researchers at the Oxford Martin School found that the 1980s Computer Revolution resulted in job losses but in the end also created over 1,500 new job titles in the USA, which proves that there was widespread restructuring of industries, firms and workplaces.
THE UNBEATABLE TEAM According to Aho, another feature that characterizes European discourse in particular is placing technology and human thoughts in opposition. Twenty years ago, IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated Garri Kasparov in chess. Back then many were already proclaiming that mankind had lost out to machines. However, a human and computer will still triumph in chess when playing together against a computer. “For me this proves the power of human thought. I don’t believe that technology will ever be able to replace human, creative thought. It just gives it new dimensions and provides people with new ways of working.” n
Esko Aho at OpusCapita Finance Forum in Helsinki: “Digitalization is a huge opportunity and is actually the only opportunity for us to quickly improve productivity, increase the quality of services, curb public expenditure and create new competitive edge for companies and society.”
“Globalization and digitalization have only just begun!” Anders Borg thrilled his audience at the OpusCapita seminar in Stockholm in April.
TECHNOLOGISTS AND ECONOMISTS HAVE TO COME TOGETHER
Sweden’s former finance minister, Anders Borg has a message – one that is both perceptive and inspired, as we have come to expect. He already has the keen ear of the World Bank and other household names in the international economic arena. Let’s hear him out!
Anders Borg paints a picture of a brave new world full of possibilities. “Globalization will not slow down but will instead accelerate from today’s level, and global affluence will consequently reach new heights. The leading stars among the future world’s economies are more likely to
be countries such as China, Brazil and Nigeria rather than the USA, Finland or Germany.”
SOMETHING BIG IS GOING ON Borg is convinced that digitalization is just in its infancy. He is future oriented and is widely respected in the financial world. This means
his predictions are listened to. With reference to telecom giant Kinnevik, which is among his clients, he gives an unusual yet revealing example of the technological advances and automation in the service sector. “In Tanzania, we (Kinnevik) have a day loan service that is fully automated. If you apply for an SMS loan via your mobile phone, you are automatically refused if your call is made late in the evening or from a bar. This is without any human interaction!” He laughs when he gives the example. Automatically denied day loan applications made from bars are perhaps only small fry when compared with the giant steps taken lately in e-trade automation and financial management, but this example nevertheless illustrates clearly that something bigger is going on.
DEFLATION MUST BE AVOIDED But the former finance minister is also concerned about the current economic situa-
tion, with the presence of deflation and low interest rates, not least in Europe. “We must get inflation started,” he repeats over and over again. “If deflation takes hold, we know from history that it can cause severe damage in society. Therefore low interest rates will probably persist for a long time to come.”
SCIENCE FICTION BECOMES BUSINESS REALITY A more stimulating challenge for Borg is how to marry the two different worlds of technologists and economists. Progress in digital technologies moves forward so much faster these days and we have seen so many recent examples of science fiction becoming business reality. “When you talk to people on the technology side, everything is possible. When you mention this to economists and politicians they hardly know what you are talking about. And if they do, they lack the resources
to bring this stuff into their models! We have now invited both sides to the World Economic Forum to meet and discuss directly at the same table. It will be a clash worth seeing!” he says bursting into laughter and clapping his hands together – maybe illustrating the sound that the first global meeting between entrepreneurial technologists and the more conventionally minded economists will create. Or maybe he just wants to signal that our time is up. He is on his way to a television interview, where they are eagerly waiting to discuss Anders Borg’s brave new world of consultancy and free thinking. n
“When you talk to people on the technology side, everything is possible. When you mention this to economists and politicians they hardly know what you are talking about.”
SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE: THE FASTER THE PROCESS, THE BIGGER THE BENEFITS Growing interest in solutions that aim to optimize working capital and cash flows, such as supply chain financing or dynamic discounting, is boosting electronic invoicing and automation in invoice management both in large purchasing organizations and in SME suppliers. In supply chain finance, suppliers faced with long payment terms can quickly receive financing from a bank on the basis of an approved invoice and the purchaser’s usually higher credit rating, while the purchaser maintains its cash liquidity for longer. Streamlined processes both in order-to-cash and purchaseto-pay turn into benefits for both parties. Fast invoicing routines and e-invoicing are essential on the supplier’s side. For the purchaser, the key element is the accounts payables process: invoices need to be processed, circulated and approved quickly. Increased automation in invoicing processes, for instance, enhances the operational benefits of supply chain finance. By making reasonably-priced financing available the buyer organization is supporting the competitiveness of its suppliers, and the optimized working capital at both ends of the supply chain improves the welfare and agility of both companies.
LESS PRESSURE, MORE CAPITAL BY DESIRÉE BACKHAUS
Working Capital Management (WCM) is currently losing its priority position in numerous German businesses. This is evident not just from academic studies, but also from informal conversations with treasurers. But it’s hardly surprising: interest rates are at a historic low and several German companies are paying penalty interest on their bank deposits. Many CFOs and treasurers are therefore asking themselves why they should bear the expense of making working capital available, when it would hardly bring in any money anyway? Even if a business wants to finance its expansion with a new flow of cash, the attraction of self-financing is fading: bank loans are currently available at unbeatably good terms in Germany. Furthermore, German CFOs are optimistic about the future, despite the euro crisis and increasing political risks: in FINANCE’s biannual CFO questionnaire, 42% of respondents were looking forward to improved business growth over the next six months when polled this spring, while only 16% of them feared worsening conditions. In this context, businesses prefer to build up stock levels in preparation for an upturn in production when demand starts to grow once more. They are likely to offer their clients more generous terms of payment, while not exhausting their own. Furthermore, business consultants and software providers are offering more solutions for businesses to pay their suppliers earlier – and not later, as textbook working capital practice would demand. This is how it works: If a treasurer can see from his liquidity forecasts that his business is likely to be cash rich over the next few weeks, he will offer to pay his suppliers earlier. Discounts are dynamic: the earlier he pays, the higher the discount he will expect to receive. So therefore, at the moment, businesses at both ends of the business success spectrum are optimizing their working capital: companies with a high level of debt, exiting a crisis, are using WC programs to reduce their debt. This issue also often gains in importance after large acquisitions. On the other hand, first class rated companies will want to free up their working capital in order to maintain good credit ratings with rating agencies.
EXTRA Would you like to know how much you could benefit from OpusCapita’s supply chain finance solution? Use our benefit calculator with its drag and drop functionality to find out the amount of freed up working capital and interest savings in relation to the payment time: opuscapita.com/supplychainfinance
However, the large number of businesses will need to ensure that working capital does not grow out of control. This is due, among other reasons, to the fact that the effectiveness of WC programs can be greatly improved, as shown by a study run by FINANCE Research in August of last year: although 60% of 122 European treasurers polled for the study had installed a WC program, the Cash Conversion Cycle, which is one of the most important working capital parameters, had declined in no more than 20% of their companies. Should interests rates rise again and the pressure to optimize grow, this lack of effectiveness could easily become problematic. Desirée Backhaus an editor for FINANCE, a magazine published by FRANKFURT BUSINESS MEDIA GmbH – der F.A.Z.-Fachverlag.
TEXT: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA
PHOTOS: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA, THINKSTOCKPHOTOS
VIRTUAL W IS ALREADY
Software robots have launched the knowledge work revolution. Knowledge work will undergo a significant transformation in the near future, and the change has already started. In one of its service centers, OpusCapita is using software robots to do work and to assist finance and payroll experts. “Utilization of software robotics brings financial process automation to the next level,” says Jaakko Lehtinen, Manager of OpusCapi ta’s RPA (Robotic Process Automation) unit. “As robotics boosts the efficiency of work it naturally cuts costs, but what I am most excited about is that it offers greater potential for applying our expertise and producing new added value for the customer.” “Skilled individuals should not be wasting their working hours on routine ‘cut and paste’ tasks, such as simple entry, copying, comparison and handling of data. Software robots free these people up to do work that actually requires human intelligence,” explains Lehtinen.
VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS WORKING THE NIGHT SHIFT OpusCapita started piloting innovative software robotics in early 2015 at its service center in Turku, Finland. The robots work on the parent company’s massive, varied and demanding payroll data.
Various regulations, agreements and salary types mean that payroll accounting requires special expertise and accuracy. Despite the IT systems in use, there are still plenty of manual routine tasks involved in payroll processes. Accuracy and timeliness are also particularly important because we are talking about the salaries of a customer’s employees. Merja Suutari, who was in charge of the pilot project at the service centre, explains that the routines given to the robots were those that are repeated in exactly the same way from one day to the next and in which errors can easily be made. Of course not all payroll accounting tasks are suitable for robots – the robot functions as a virtual assist ant in selected tasks. The robots were first given the routine task that payroll experts have to deal with every morning: processing changed employment relationship data. “Going through the report can be very tedious and involves checking information from many different places. You have to rely on your own skill and memory to find and correct inconsistencies,” explains Laura Mäkinen, Payroll Specialist. The employment relationship data arrives in the customer’s ERP system in the
early hours of the morning. The robot runs dozens of logical checks, fills in the missing information and, if necessary, transfers the information to the payroll system. Then, when the payroll expert arrives at work after 7 am, a completed report is waiting and the only thing the employee needs to do to the report is to sort out the errors that the robot was unable to solve. Using a similar approach, another robot screens changes made in the customer’s employee salary data and makes a list of items for the payroll expert to check manually.
WOW MOMENTS “When I look at the employment relationship data I can see straight away whether the form of salary matches the type of employment relationship, for instance. When we started the implementation process for the robot we went through the entire manual process concretely, step by step, setting out the manual routines as clear rules that can be given to the robot,” explains Laura Mäkinen. Mäkinen and Merja Suutari stress that expert knowledge is needed during the specification phase so that the software robot knows how to perform the assistive tasks in the same way as a human.
ORKFORCE AMONG US
“At first we were unable to envisage all of the things that the robot would be capable of. This has initiated the continuous improvement of the process. For example, calculating years of experience is based on rather complex rules and requires the comparison of information in various text files and spreadsheets. We were skeptical at first, but, wow, the robot was able to do that too,” says Suutari. Confidence in the ability of the software robot to actually do the work properly grew during the pilot stage. During this stage, the payroll specialists checked manually all of the work that had been performed by the robots.
payroll accounting for 20 years, are both very calm about the increase in automation. “The developments naturally worry people and are a subject for discussion. However, computers, IT systems and automation have been changing the way we work and boosting efficiency throughout my career, one step at a time,” Suutari says.
They believe that the software robot makes work more inspiring – in the end no one will miss the more laborious and monotonous manual routines, and the automation of these tasks has been welcomed with a positive outlook even by those with the most critical attitude to the arrival of software robotics. n
ROGER THE ROBOT – IS HE ONE OF US O R WILL HE REPLACE US? At the service center the software robot is jokingly known as Roger. The robot works in the payroll accounting system with his own user ID just like all of the other payroll experts. “I wouldn’t say that the software robot is just like any other employee here. But he is a very good assistant who saves time in our everyday work and helps to improve the quality of our work,” says Mäkinen. Mäkinen and Suutari, who has worked in
Laura Mäkinen (left) and Merja Suutari have a new and sharp-eyed assistant in the OpusCapita service center – a software robot. “The robot always notices the kind of minor errors or deviations that a person dealing with huge amounts of data could easily miss. Going back to sort out errors afterwards is always very laborious,” says Mäkinen.
Security system of ancient times. This formidable figure ensured the security of the temple’s spiritual secrets as well as that of its more earthly treasures. Safety and security professionals still face the same challenge today: to ensure the security of two intertwined worlds.
If it can be digitalized, it will be. The expansion of the digital world into all areas of life makes security critical in all sectors. “Companies whose processes and digital services run smoothly and whose systems are safe to use and work environment secure, in physical and intellectual terms too, will have a significant competitive advantage,” says security policy expert Jarno Limnéll, Professor of Cybersecurity at Aalto University. The logic is that security lays a foundation for trust and reliability. Trust is an increasingly valuable asset for companies in the globalized world. Similarly, repeated failures in information security undermine the trust of customers and partners, and sooner or later the company’s business will suffer. “Having a sense or feeling of security is an important element
of the security picture. If security measures are appropriately focused and sufficiently extensive and are implemented strategically and systematically, people will feel more relaxed in their work and achieve better results. All in all, security is an integral part of a good, happy life.” Limnéll does not consider that digital security, or cybersecurity, is a separate issue. He sees it as one of the many aspects of security. “We already live our daily lives simultaneously in the physical and digital worlds, and this will be even more marked in the future. For this reason, security must be developed as a whole, based on this new reality.”
SECURITY IS YOUR BEST BUSINESS ALLY TEXT: MARKETTA TAMMISTO
PHOTOS: SAMI KULJU, THINKSTOCKPHOTOS
Limnéll sees indifference and poor judgment as the largest cyber threats. “This is why cybersecurity is primarily not about technology, but about attitudes.” Nevertheless, cybersecurity projects continue to be technology- focused. “When trying to find a solution to a specific technological problem, people tend to overlook the bigger picture, which is a pity,” says Limnéll. Many questions should be asked and the big picture should be outlined before going shopping for solutions. What data needs to be protected and against which threats? What data categories do we have and what is the required level of protection? The big picture also includes security measures in the physical environment, such as access control, workspace arrangements and monitoring and surveillance. It is important to realize that there is no absolute security – and there never will be. It is not possible to protect against all threats, and all technologies can be cracked. But if a denial-of-service attack occurs or a virus enters the system, for example, this can, to a high degree, be tolerated and operations normalized if continuity and recovery plans are in place. The security of complex systems is a major challenge for companies. “A company may have a dozen suppliers connected to the same set of systems. When something happens, it is not easy to find out where the system needs fixing. Companies now seem to be looking for solutions where a single supplier is responsible for the entire system or set of systems,” says Limnéll. The cyber boom created by digitalization has increased public awareness of cyber crime and other cyber threats. Limnéll has a background in military security, which means that he is aware of the full gamut
of threats in the digital world. Nevertheless, the negative tone of the public discussion on cybersecurity bothers him. “Digitalization is an enormous opportunity, and security is always a good thing. It’s unfortunate that such a positive issue is largely approached in terms of threats and fears.” In an increasingly digital world, information security is an intertwined combination of global, local and individual information security. Cybersecurity is becoming more global but also more personal. We are both agents and objects. Occasionally, security and business interests collide. “For example, when companies are developing major innovations, they are so busy trying to introduce the product before their competitors that they forget to pay attention to security aspects and hastily come up with a solution in the final stages of the project. “Integrating security into a product retrospectively is challenging, if not impossible. Security must be considered from the very beginning of the innovation and development process.” n
Jarno Limnéll, VP, Cyber Security and Business Development at Insta Defsec Oy, also serves as Professor of Cybersecurity at Aalto University, Finland. He holds a Doctor of Military Science degree, a Master of Social Sciences degree and an officer’s degree. He previously worked as Director of Cyber Security at Intel Security.
SAFETY FIRST “Operating in this domain, financial processes, it is very pleasing to see that our customers are well aware of the importance of data privacy and security,” says Mirosław Błaszczak, CISA, Head of Information Security and Assurance Unit at OpusCapita. Mirosław Błaszczak is proud to say that at OpusCapita the security of customers’ data is the number one priority. In every aspect of the services delivered by OpusCapita and the software developed by OpusCapita, information security requirements are of the highest standard, as are OpusCapita’s practices and procedures in ensuring data security, from secure coding practices to the administration of user rights. OpusCapita has, of course, implemented an Information Security Management System, which is based on the ISO/IEC 27001 standard covering IT systems, processes and people. OpusCapita naturally also complies with EU regulations and all relevant legal requirements. All data is managed systemically according to the highest information security standards and based on classification levels. “We also have special procedures and standards in place regarding the role of external IT suppliers involved in data processing, for instance.” Everyone at OpusCapita also undergoes thorough security training, which includes strict guidelines on how to handle confidential customer data and related information systems. Other tools to ensure the highest level of security include reviewing information security policies in respect of changes in technologies and in the system environment, and conducting information security audits. “Nowadays, most data is accessible via networks, clouds, or other shared services – which is why the risks mentioned by professor Limnéll are also relevant for OpusCapita’s services,” notes Błaszczak. n
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GURU FROM SILICON VALLEY:
GO BELOW THE SURFACE TEXT: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA
PHOTOS: IDEAN, THINKSTOCKPHOTOS
It is early morning in Palo Alto in California’s Silicon Valley when Risto Lähdesmäki picks up the phone. This is not his first call of the day and you can’t hear from his voice that it is so early in the day – on the contrary, an energetic flow of speech starts as soon as he takes the phone out onto the terrace and steps into the morning sun.
Lähdesmäki is CEO of Idean, a company specialized in the design of digital services and user experiences (UX). Idean’s neighbors in Silicon Valley are the headquarters of music streaming service Spotify and internet telephony service Skype, and within a 10-mile radius there are trendsetters such as Google, Facebook, taxi service Uber and Apple, whose iPhone is probably the best-known example of the type of success that can be generated from a positive user experience. Could there be a better environment in which to talk about customer experiences? “In the USA, and especially here in the Silicon Valley area, the management in practically every company, from startups to business giants, already understands the significance of customer and user experience for providing a competitive advantage. In Europe, the conversion work usually needs to be completed first before discussion of this matter can actually begin,” says Lähdesmäki. He roughly sums up the difference between the two continents’ approaches as follows: In the USA product developers find out what the customers need. In Europe they think about all the features that they are able to make. “In the digital world, technology is already a commodity and technological head start is not enough to guarantee success. More and more often UX is the deciding factor that separates the products and services from each other.” He pauses for a moment while he waits for waste collectors finish banging the waste containers that are lined up along the street and laughs that this would have been another ideal situation to work on customer experience. But joking aside, the type of industry is irrelevant. “Digitalization changes the lives of people and businesses and only serves to emphasize the role of digital UX, user flow and user interfaces in the creation of overall customer experience.” According to Lähdesmäki, change is also taking place in Europe, albeit slowly. There are many reasons for this and the area’s fragmented geographical and linguistic nature is one of them. “However, the biggest difference has got to be in the corpor ate culture: There is not enough courage to give the issue, also considered a soft value, sufficient importance, manage it and provide it with enough resources. There is excellent expertise in Europe, so the opportunities for creating success stories are there. So what is the significance of UX in the B2B world? “UX is even more important for B2B companies!” exclaims Lähdesmäki, getting excited at the other end of the line. “UX is now spoken about a lot regarding B2B products and services because we can see how it introduces productivity and efficiency into work. People get used to easy and natural user interfaces in their free time, so this is rapidly introducing the revol ution also into the corporate world.” According to Lähdesmäki, a good UX, in itself, is a new brand value which creates a new type of customer loyalty. The traditional
type of vendor lock-in is now even easier to break, as SaaS and cloud-based services, for example, are available for companies at any time and any place, and the options are increasing. “We all have experience of annoying software that reduces our enjoyment, perhaps not of life, but of work at least. Corporate software must serve and support work and make it inspiring, and in this way, as part of the chain, also produce added value for the customer’s customers.” Lähdesmäki talks about uberization and the fact that the small are beating the large. “Many giants have noticed that their market shares are declining because more agile operators are coming along and offering services in a way that addresses the customer in the right way. Customers are no longer sticking with the same old services out of habit, and it is now easier to part with even large systems.” This view is supported by projects that Idean is currently working on with IBM and Hewlett-Packard, among others, to improve the UX of applications and products. When Idean was working on a new UX for Sandvik Mining and Construction’s rock drills, the team spent a few weeks one kilometer underground in a Moroccan mine observing how the products are used. “You don’t achieve customer orientation with user questionnaires or by asking stupid questions about whether the users would prefer a red or a blue format. The greatest pitfall is not treating the customer and his/her needs as the key factors when designing the product and services, even though that is what you think you are doing,” Lähdesmäki says. He stresses that UX is not just colors, or beautiful cream decor ations on a finished cake. “Obviously if you have a service or product that is not basically functional, in other words does not solve the customer’s problem or meet his/her needs, then there is no way that a wonderful user interface will solve the problem. Nice and pretty just won’t cut it. But without a pleasant and easy UX, it will be impossible for even a good service to become a success story.” n
PUT THE CUSTOMER AT THE HEART OF YOUR CORPORATE CULTURE ”Customer experience needs to manifest itself in the corporate culture,” says Toni Paloheimo, Head of Service Design at OpusCapita. Read more about his perspectives on customer experience, and find out how OpusCapita puts their customers at the heart of their management system, and how they measure satisfaction using the Superior Customer Experience Index (SCXi). Find Toni Paloheimo’s blog at opuscapita.com/heart
“We are impressed by the quality and reliability of OpusCapita’s day-today work based on its long-standing experience and competence in the industrialized handling of accounting processes.” Christian Krupp, Senior Vice President Finance, Public & Investor Relations
FROM FIXED TO
WITH HIGH-QUALITY PROCESSES The engine manufacturer DEUTZ has placed OpusCapita in charge of some of the standard processes in its creditor accounting, and now benefits from both the high quality of automated processes and the transfer from fixed to variable costs. TEXT: ROLF PREY
PHOTOS: DEUTZ AG
Automated, standardized, optimized: OpusCapita is in charge of DEUTZ AG’s creditor processes.
For more than 150 years, the name DEUTZ has stood for leading technology and highquality products. DEUTZ AG is an independent manufacturer of diesel engines for mobile machinery, agricultural engineering, stationary machinery and vehicles, etc. With a group turnover of EUR 1.53 billion (financial year 2014), DEUTZ AG is one of the major German industrial enterprises.
TARGET FOR COST REDUCTION: BPO IN THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT At DEUTZ, cost reduction measures focused on transferring selected tasks in the scope of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to specialist external service providers. These included OpusCapita, the leading European provider of BPO services with particular experience in the industrialized implementation of accounting processes. DEUTZ now benefits from this expertise in the handling of standardized processes in creditor accounting. The collaboration between DEUTZ AG and OpusCapita goes back to 2005, when DEUTZ took on interim capacities for a complex SAP introduction. An extended business relationship developed from the positive practical experiences, and today covers an outsourcing model for important tasks in creditor management – from accounting entries for invoices and receipts, to processing complaints and reminders, right up to master data creation.
FROM OPUSCAPITA DIRECTLY TO DEUTZ’S SAP SYSTEM DEUTZ’s BPO tasks are carried out by the experts at OpusCapita, in the scope of clearly defined and jointly optimized processes, whereby someone at OpusCapita is able to work directly on the IT systems of the DEUTZ data centre in Cologne. A sophisticated authorization system regulates and controls the person- and function-related access to the applications.
LESS EXPENSE – MORE PROCESS QUALITY
Christian Krupp, Senior Vice President Finance, Public & Investor Relations, believes there is a significant advantage in the collaboration with OpusCapita, both for the process quality and in the area of costs. “The transaction-based invoicing model offers the added value that only the cost entry processes and processing cases that have actually occurred, are entered into the cost accounting. In addition, high process quality is guaranteed due to automated and standardized processes, which also guarantee a high process discipline for everyone involved on all levels,” Krupp states. n
CHALLENGE n n n n
Reduce personnel effort for invoice processing Cut process costs Increase process quality and discipline Structure fixed costs variably
Outsource parts of the creditor management in the scope of a model, where the OpusCapita employees handle outsourced business processes directly in the IT systems of the customer, with the following work focuses: n Entry of creditor and financial receipts n Processing complaints, cash discount additional demands and reminders n Handling balance confirmations n Creation of master data
THE DEUTZ GROUP AT A GLANCE
Under the DEUTZ brand around 4,000 employees develop and produce diesel engines in the performance classes of 25 to 520 kW. In the 2014 financial year alone, the company sold over 196,000 engines, for construction equipment, agricultural machines, material handling systems, pumps, generators, heavy goods vehicles and other equipment all over the world. DEUTZ is represented by its own companies and independent sales and service partners in more than 130 countries worldwide. | 21
XXL GAINED MORE MUSCLE BY OUTSOURCING
Sports shop chain XXL achieved growth by outsourcing its accounting functions. TEXT: DAG PERSON
XXL is well known for being the largest chain of sports shops in the Nordic countries. In January 2014, the company outsourced parts of its accounting department to OpusCapita’s service center in Vilnius, Lithuania. Today, more than 100,000 invoices are processed there, and six of OpusCapita’s accounting personnel now work exclusively for XXL. The accounting work performed for XXL includes receipt, processing and verification of invoices and banker’s drafts, monitoring and contact with suppliers via email and telephone, and manual payments and approval of banker’s drafts. OpusCapita is also in the process of taking over management of complaints, and now also provides bonus invoicing for XXL.
CLOSE AND PRECISE FOLLOW-UP PRODUCES GOOD RESULTS In addition to the accounting department in Vilnius, XXL has its own accounting and finance department with 15 employees at its main office in Oslo. Due to a lack of office space, XXL had to come up with a new strategy when the company needed to increase its accounting capacity. Instead of recruiting new accounting employees to its main office, XXL had to find an alternative solution. The company had one requirement – the new solution must not have a negative impact on quality or expertise. After a process involving the evaluation of numerous suppliers, XXL chose Opus Capita as its new partner. “Today, we work closely with our colleagues in Vilnius,” says Kristina Fossum, Head of invoice control at XXL.
PHOTOS: AILA VÄLIKOSKI, THINKSTOCKPHOTOS
“If you want to succeed in the outsourcing of accounting functions, it is essential to prepare a detailed plan with precise documentation of the specific assignments to be performed. The employees who work on our accounts in Vilnius have all completed a two-week training program at our office in Norway. “Another important aspect for XXL has been the development of close working relationships with our colleagues in Vilnius, and ensuring that they have a good relationship with our business and feel a sense of belonging with XXL. It has also been important for us to travel to Vilnius to observe the work of our colleagues. “The general level of expertise at OpusCapita in Vilnius is high, and all employees have the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. They all complete a six-month intensive course in Norwegian, which compares to university level, which means they can speak Norwegian,” confirms Kristina Fossum. “Not only do OpusCapita’s employees speak Norwegian, they are also gradually gaining an understanding of our needs. The employees also have in-depth knowledge of Norwegian legislation and take a profess ional approach towards the authorities concerning matters involving accounts.” Today, almost 50% of XXL’s invoices are in Norwegian and around 15% of all suppliers are responsible for a total 85% of invoices. “It is therefore essential for the employees in Vilnius to have knowledge and understanding of the Norwegian language and culture,” concludes Fossum. OpusCapita’s office in Vilnius opened in
2005 and currently has 116 employees. All employees speak fluent Norwegian, have completed higher education and have diversified accounting experience. n
XXL is experiencing a period of significant growth and needed to expand its accounting department without employing any new staff at the main office in Oslo. The most important aspect has been to maintain quality and expertise within accounting.
XXL gained new resources and expertise by outsourcing parts of its accounting department to OpusCapita’s service center in Vilnius, Lithuania. The most important benefits n Cost-efficient management of accounting n Releasing of resources that can be utilized for control and analysis n Increased flexibility in terms of distribution of work n Flexibility in terms of continued growth
XXL is a chain of sports shops which is experiencing the most rapid expansion in the Nordic countries. XXL now has 23 department stores in Norway, 18 in Sweden and 7 in Finland, in addition to online stores in all the Nordic countries. XXLâ€™s business concept is simple: a wide product range, well-known brands and Xtra, Xtra low prices. XXL is competing with the specialized shops in the sports branch. XXL has a varied product range and can offer large volumes of sports and outdoor products under one roof. The department stores reflect the focus on specialized products, as they are divided into departments and have highly trained sales personnel in specialized product areas who are very enthusiastic about their individual fields.
NEWS AND EVENTS
OPUSCAPITA FREES UP THE CASH IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN WITH PRIMEREVENUE OpusCapita has signed a strategic partnership with PrimeRevenue, the global market leader in financial supply chains. PrimeRevenue provides the trading platform for OpusCapita’s Supply Chain Finance service solution. The first supply chain financing program is already up and running on the Nordic level for a major client with a large supplier network. OpusCapita acts as a single operator between all parties, and the supply chain finance software is provided from the cloud. In OpusCapita’s SCF solution all data flows and interfaces are automated. Read more about supply chain finance on page 13.
COME AND MEET US AT EUROFINANCE 2015! EuroFinance, the leading global treasury event, will bring treasurers, bankers and cash management experts together, this time in Copenhagen on 23–25 September. We will be there again – and are looking forward to seeing you, too! Come and meet us, let’s discuss international payment factories, for instance, and harmonized processes for financial management that will help to keep your company fit for the future.
NEW FACES AT OPUSCAPITA During the spring and summer we have had the pleasure to welcome many new experienced professionals on board at OpusCapita.
Patrik Sallner will take the lead as the new CEO of OpusCapita in October 2015. Sallner has a strong background in technology and vast experience of successfully building service and software business within international companies, including F-Secure, Nokia, McKinsey and, most recently, MariaDB Corporation. “My goal is to make OpusCapita into a global market leader in the chosen segment of financial services,” Sallner says.
Paula Carlstedt has joined OpusCapita as Country Manager for Finland. Carlstedt has had a remarkable career at Xerox, both in Finland and internationally. She has an extensive track record of leadership in sales and in building functional contact networks across the boundaries between organizations.
Ulrich Schmitt has been appointed Chief Sales Officer and a member of OpusCapita’s Management Team. He will serve as head of global sales and marketing. Before OpusCapita Schmitt worked for Xerox Group, where he was responsible for the EMEA Financial Services unit for several years.
OPUSCAPITA ACQUIRES KREDITHANTERARNA
In Sweden, the spring’s most interesting rendezvous took place at CFO Morning hosted by OpusCapita in April in Stockholm. A packed house listened to the inspirational keynote speech on current economic climate (meet the speaker on the page 11 of this magazine). The rest of the day was dedicated to sharing valuable insights, expertise and best practices on business process outsourcing – and naturally networking with colleagues.
Photo: Fortaco Group
OpusCapita has acquired Kredithanterarna, a Swedish company specialized in invoicing and collection services. The acquisition further broadens OpusCapita’s offering in order-to-cash management and boosts its goal of offering its customers a comprehensive solution for optimizing their working capital. “The acquisition of Kredithanterarna is a natural step for us. The company has in-depth knowledge of the Swedish market and they are using interesting technology,” says Kimmo Kauranen, Senior Vice President, Order-toCash, OpusCapita.
OPUSCAPITA RECEIVES MAJOR ADDITIONAL CONTRACT FROM FORTACO
The annual OpusCapita Finance Forum was held in May in Helsinki, Finland. The expert event attracted around 200 finance professionals. The seminar was packed with thought-provoking presentations on topical issues and trends, and expert insights and discussions about digitalization, robotics, customer experience and supply chain finance. The fruitful day culminated in drinks and a groovy performance by dance group Will Funk For Food.
OpusCapita and Europe’s leading manufacturing partner for the engineering industry, Fortaco Group Oy, are expanding their cooperation. Under the new contract, OpusCapita will continue as outsourcing partner for Fortaco’s financial management services. The partnership will enable Fortaco to focus more effectively on developing its core business without having to spend as much time on support functions. OpusCapita’s international service centers will take care of the dispatch and receipt of invoices, management of accounts payable and receivable, travel expenses management, fixed assets accounting and general ledger services for Fortaco’s subsidiaries in Finland, Poland and Slovakia. OpusCapita will also provide payroll services for Fortaco’s companies in Finland. “OpusCapita has provided us with financial management services for a number of years already, and based on the positive experience of this we are happy to continue the partnership. We are satisfied with the service from Opus Capita, and this allows us to concentrate on developing our opuscapita.com core business,” says Tea Kaivoluoto, CIO at Fortaco.
INSIDE STORIES There are 2,300 OpusCapita employees in eight countries at your service. Meet some of us!
My name is Carin Ramsin, Concept Manager for Document Process Outsourcing located in Solna, Sweden. I try to find ways of improving document intensive processes and making them more time and cost efficient, for instance by implementing technology such as robotics or by making changes in the document flow. I have been at OpusCapita for nearly three years. I find that OpusCapita really listens to its employees’ development ideas and creates opportunities to try things out and to achieve success. I myself am a doer who likes to have a lot going on. Many who know me would probably say I am a lively person. In the winter I and my family – husband and three boys – go skiing almost every weekend. In the summer we spend time at our summerhouse. I am also an aerobic step instructor, which I really enjoy. n Feel free to contact me whenever you have questions or wish to discuss ideas related to Document Process Outsourcing.
I am Gediminas Bakas from OpusCapita’s Vilnius office in Lithuania. I am a team manager and work mostly with accounts receivables (AR), accounts payables (AP) and ERP system support processes for Scandinavian customers. Next year will be my 10th anniversary working in the Vilnius office. I was one of the first employees when it was established in 2006, and I am lucky to have seen the evolution to where we are today, with well over 100 skilled professionals. During these years I have worked with a great many interesting customers and a wide range of AR/AP projects. My favorite places are by the lake or in the forest in summer time or early autumn, and generally I enjoy being in nature. I have two boys, aged 3 and 5, who guarantee I’m kept busy at home, too. I enjoy travelling and sports. n Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas about AR/AP processes or ERP systems.
I am Michael Kessler, Senior Customer Implementations Project Manager in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I joined OpusCapita in August 2015, and I am proud to be a part of a skilled team in an excellent workplace, carrying out projects that make a difference for our customers and which they are able to hugely capitalize on. One of my main professional passions is leading cross-functional, international projects to success. I am also interested in various project management disciplines, for which I have PMI and PRINCE2 certifications. My colleagues describe me as reliable, competent, experienced and forethoughtful. They also say I always have a smile on my face. I like to spend as much of my free time as possible outdoors, enjoying nature. I also enjoy visiting various cultural and sporting events; I especially like different ball games. n Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss Purchase-to-Pay or Order-toCash process and implementation topics, or if you just need a sparring partner for any project management matter. CONTACTS firstname.lastname(at)opuscapita.com
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OpusCapita provides financial process automation – either outsourced or as a service – to more than 11,000 customers in over 50 countries. OPUSCAPITA SOFTWARE USERS WORLDWIDE
OPUSCAPITA HEAD OFFICE OpusCapita Group Oy, Keilaranta 13, FI-02150 ESPOO, FINLAND, Tel. +358 29 156 5000 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.opuscapita.com ESTONIA OpusCapita AS, Tartu mnt. 43,10128 Tallinn, Tel. +372 6519 000 FINLAND OpusCapita Group Oy, Keilaranta 13, 02150 ESPOO, Tel. +358 29 156 5000 GERMANY OpusCapita GmbH, Büttnerstr. 21, D-30165 Hannover, Tel. +49 511 336 30 2777 LATVIA AS OpusCapita, Mūkusalas iela 41 b, 1004 Riga, Tel. +371 7 066 500 LITHUANIA UAB OpusCapita, Užubalių k., Avižienių pšt., LT-14180 Vilniaus r. sav., Tel. + 370 5 278 0330 NORWAY OpusCapita AS, Rosenkrantzgate 16, 0157 Oslo, Tel. +47 22 72 84 70 POLAND OpusCapita Sp. z o.o., ul. Poleczki 35, Poleczki Business Park, Building A1, 02-822 Warszawa, Tel. + 48 22 461 25 00 SWEDEN OpusCapita AB, Englundavägen 7, 171 23 Solna, Tel. +46 8 475 28 00