2/2016 TRANSFORMING PURCHASE TO PAY AND CASH MANAGEMENT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP 6
THIMON DE JONG ON LEAPS TOWARDS THE DIGITAL AGE:
EVEN DISRUPTIONS ARE
THE RESULT OF CONSTANT PROGRESS 12
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RAALI PAIN UT
HÄMEEN KIRJAPAINO OY
TRANSFORMING PURCHASE TO PAY AND CASH MANAGEMENT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
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REAL-TIME VISIBILITY THROUGH EXTENDED PURCHASE TO PAY OpusCapita digitalizes and automates product information management, purchasing, invoice handling, as well as payments, cash management and supplier financing. With 200 million electronic transactions processed annually, and 8.000 customers in 54 countries, we have the expertise to make selling, buying and paying easier and more cost effective. You get end-to-end visibility, control and compliance of your spend and cash flow. JOURNAL / OPUSCAPITA CUSTOMER MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER OpusCapita / EDITOR IN CHIEF Ulla Kenttä / EDITORIAL TEAM Karoliina Haikonen, Pellervo Hämäläinen, Adam Tamburello, Riikka Tietäväinen-Arola / EDITORS Communications Agency Effet Oy / TRANSLATIONS Bellcrest Translations / LAYOUT Milko Tarvainen, Tiina Lautamäki / COVER PHOTO Dan Sjunnesson / PRINTED BY Hämeen Kirjapaino Oy, Finland, 2016 / ISSN 1458-0012 / ADDRESS SOURCE OpusCapita customer register / www.opuscapita.com
CONTENTS 05 Hot topics 06 The view from the top 09 Effortless electronic exchange is the key 10 What next? Insights from well-informed visionaries 12 There are no revolutions – only leaps in evolution 15 “We cannot accept a parallel financial system” 16 Where is your delight? 18 5 tips for a safer AP process 19 Towards a new automation culture with RPA and AI 20 Valmet moved its global payments to the cloud 22 Is debt collection a drag? It does not have to be! 24 News and events 26 Inside stories
Dear reader, At the beginning of 2016, OpusCapita set about driving disruptive change by automating transactions between buyer and seller companies. In this issue of Journal, for both our long-standing readers and the many of you receiving this magazine for the first time, we want to share perspectives on the world of renewed OpusCapita, and show you that we have already matched our words with actions to make the vision a reality for you. With catalogue management and procurement specialist jCatalog now a part of OpusCapita, we have a rich, complete offering. Our integrated products and services bring to our existing and new customers an unbeatable digital and automated experience, from product information management and purchase and invoice automation to payments and cash management, as well as managing the related document flows. Our aim is to enable companies to sell, buy and pay more effectively, and by having proven solutions for both the suppliers and the buyers, we can truly provide for the whole chain. This is a very concrete step towards our goal of becoming a leader in the global buyer-supplier ecosystem. I am particularly delighted to be able to announce that we have our first customer, a leading manufacturing group from Central Europe, now in production with the fully integrated procurement and invoice automation solution. The ongoing dialogues we are having with international companies have further highlighted the need that both procurement professionals and finance departments have to improve compliance, gain control and transparency, and drive cost savings, and also the uniqueness of our expanded purchase-to-pay solution as an answer to these challenges. We are also keeping a close eye on the significant disruptions that are emerging around us. For this m agazine we have interviewed a number of visionaries in the field, to give you insights on how digitalization is changing our workplaces and the interactions between people and companies. From OpusCapita’s perspective, the developing technologies are enabling a more automated world where we can get rid of many of the tedious routines that hinder smooth procurement and accounts payable processes today. OpusCapita has previously invested in robotic process automation, and now that work has taken us further down the road of machine learning. Blockchain is certainly on our radar screen and we expect it to be one of the core technologies enabling globally integrated supply chains. We want to help you keep up to date on these and many other topical themes affecting your domain, and to that end our experts have planned several interesting webinars for you. In addition, we are organizing many inspiring events in the upcoming months: forums where you will have the chance to discuss these themes further with us and your colleagues. I hope to meet many of you in person!
PATRIK SALLNER CEO, OPUSCAPITA
HOT TOPICS E-INVOICING CONTINUES TO PAVE THE WAY FOR BROADER AUTOMATION The global Billentis Market Report 2016 estimates that in the upcoming years, companies’ focus will continue to move beyond e-invoicing towards the automation and digitalization of the full purchase-to-pay (P2P) and order-to-cash (O2C) processes. The aim is to improve cash flow management and control, to improve data analytics capabilities, and to ensure compliance, for instance. In particular, large international invoice issuers also need to react to many government initiatives resulting in B2B and B2G e-invoicing, e-reporting and e-auditing. This may provide a strong tailwind for e-procurement initiatives in the private sector as well. The development puts an emphasis on the data quality in the invoices, and advances the use of structured invoice data instead of mere PDF format, which currently dominates the market. Source: Billentis Market Report 2016. E-invoicing/E-billing: Digitisation and automation. May 2016.
worldwide volume of e-invoices in 2016
annual growth rate of e-invoicing
number of national governments around the world currently pushing for paperless processes
proportion of e-invoices in B2B and B2G/G2B sectors in the Nordic countries and Estonia
10 times more
number of electronic invoices that get processed in world-class organizations per AP employee in a year compared to paper-based invoices
INTEREST IN ROBOTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE INCREASING IN COMPANIES Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and intelligent automation utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) are on more and more companies’ agenda. This is evident from an international survey conducted by OpusCapita. Half of the responding companies stated that they are currently investigating RPA opportunities, and one fifth said they were already utilizing robotic process automation. The majority of the respondents be-
lieve that RPA and AI will have a significant impact on their organization. Out of the companies who already have practical experience of RPA, 25% believe it will transform their business. Suspicions toward the new technol ogies are expressed especially in companies that don’t have practical experience of RPA. The survey reveals that in companies with experience, the fear of losing jobs diminishes, for instance, and instead
HOW ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO USE RPA?*
86 43 41 19 9
over 40% of the respondents feel that communication on RPA and AI plans in the organization is received positively as RPA reduces many mundane tasks, and increases motivation to develop new competencies. In the near future, corporations are also considering utilizing advanced analyt ics, big data and machine-learning.
WHEN WILL MACHINE LEARNING AND AI* HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS?
Focus on repetitive tasks e.g. time-consuming routines Process improvement e.g. lead time and quality focus Control mechanism e.g. second pair of eyes
In 3–4 years In 2 years
Substitute for missing interfaces During the next 12 months
Desktop automation e.g. personal assistant *Selection of several alternatives was allowed
In >10 years
In 5–10 years
*AI = Artificial Intelligence Source: Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence Survey. OpusCapita. May 2016.
To see the whole picture, you have to step out of the silo and find a better watchtower. Redefining purchase-to-pay into an integrated, automated and digital process, from sourcing to paying, expands horizons for corporate CFOs and CPOs, both of whom are reaching for overall control and compliance. TEXT: RIIKKA TIETĂ„VĂ„INEN-AROLA
THE VIEW FROM THE 6 |
In the digitalized, networked economy, more and more industries and corpor ations find themselves in the middle of a changed competitive field. The game is no longer played and won between company A and company B, but rather the success of a company is based on the performance of its network of supply chains, or its entire business ecosystem. “The interconnections between the buyers and the vendors in the supply chain have become pivotal. Corporations are looking to strengthen the relationships, and create new forms of cooperation and value. They are reaching for overall control and compliance. This is where the view provided by the traditional process from purchase to payment falls short,” says Stephan Albers, Head of Buyer-Supplier Ecosystem Products at OpusCapita. “There is a great need to see the whole picture, and to cover the whole process chain from sourcing to paying: all the way from managing the first request for quotations (RFQ) to the point where the cash related to the trade has been managed and the working capital of both parties during the process has been optimized. This will allow the efficient collaboration and transparency that is now needed with all the trading partners.” Albers joined OpusCapita from jCatalog, a German company specializing in procurement and product information management that he co-founded at the turn of the millennium. In 15 years jCat-
alog grew into a distinguished software solution provider and an expert in purchasing and sales in an international arena. The company became part of OpusCapita in 2016. As Albers points out, every time someone buys something, someone else is selling something – the purchasing process is, in fact, also a sales process. The process from invoice to payment obviously deals with both the vendor’s O2C and buyer’s P2P processes. Seeing the whole picture requires an understanding of all sides of the corporate trade. “The OpusCapita of today is in a unique position to cater to corporate selling, buying and paying. This closes the loop, or completes the ecosystem. As products are sold more efficiently, with the help of high-quality and electronic product information management (PIM), for instance, the buying process is improved, and the digital experience for the buyer is ensured from the very first steps.” Breaking down the silos of procurement and finance function is not a new goal for executives of either function. Still, according to Albers, it is easy to end up sub-optimizing either part of the process, even if the CFO and the CPO have sat down around the same table to develop the P2P chain. “The mutual benefits are easier to spot in an integrated approach. With purchases made from catalogues CFOs can
achieve a high matching rate of purchase invoices and a high level of automation in accounts payable (AP). The joint platform for exchanging all the data and messages, whether it is purchase orders, goods received notes, reclamation confirmations, or invoices and reconciliation data on payments, gives both sides of the C-level a company-wide view and the needed control and compliance, in real-time.” For instance, capitalizing dynamic discounting and other early payment discounts is tightly in the hands of the AP department and depends on efficient invoice handling processes, although optimizing the purchase costs and being able to collect the benefits negotiated by the procurement in the contracts are definitely interests of the CPO. Extending the P2P view to cover even the trade financing options and tying Supply Chain Financing to the chain increases both the buyers’ and the suppliers’ economic performance. “More importantly, it gives the buyer more means to manage strategic supplier relationships. The benefits are measured both in the finance and the procurement functions,” Albers states. A closer look at the e-procurement processes already implemented in the companies often reveals that only a small part of the companies’ purchases actually flow through that process. The desired error-free and efficient handling of
”Creating a seamless, digital experience from selling to buying and paying requires expertise from all sides of the corporate trade,” says Stephan Albers.
EFFORTLESS urchase invoices through 3-way matchp ing, for instance, may be a reality only in direct purchases. “Even in large multinational companies, it is not uncommon that merely 10–15% of the spend is covered with electronic purchase orders, e-invoicing and automated invoice workflow. Solid product information management can help to increase also the portion of in direct spend under management.” The largest vendors of a business are usually quite well integrated, but there is a long tail: roughly put, 80% of suppliers responsible for 20% of your spend. “The long tail includes not only the one-off suppliers, but also a number of vendors who are of importance to you. Increasing supplier connectivity with easy-access portals will be the focus in the future years, to include an even larger group of suppliers and to allow the buyers to improve integration and consequently increase visibility to the whole supplier ecosystem,” Albers says. In our personal lives, the technology and web services we use are mobile, convenient, flexible and intuitive. “The corporate users get educated on Saturdays and Sundays, in their free
time when they are using Amazon or Ebay or a vast majority of other modern B2C services. You should not need expert skills or knowledge to be able to use the purchasing platform provided by your company to order the needed items at work, either,” Stephan Albers points out, and says that the usability will, in most part, make or break your project. “If you have to enforce the system on the users, you will have a hard time ensuring the compliance later on and increasing the system-based ordering. The same logic applies to the supplier onboarding – if it is cumbersome and a lot of hassle, it is hard to promote.” If, on the other hand, the purchasing system features dynamic searching, filtering and sorting options, and if it, for instance, can scan for differences to previous orders by the same users to help correct errors immediately, the system can get adopted quickly even by tens of thousands of users as it genuinely makes their lives easier. And when the smooth, seamless and transparent process continues all the way to the invoices, payments and cash management, everybody wins. n
A PERFECT FIT FORMED A PROVIDER TO WATCH OpusCapita acquired jCatalog Software AG in April 2016. Before merging into OpusCapita, the German-based jCatalog was a leading provider of software and SaaS solutions for procurement and product information management and distribution. The company had over 250 customers in Europe and in the USA, including large global corporations such as Liebherr, Rossmann, IBM, Audi, Schindler and Maersk. “The combination of OpusCapita and jCatalog is unparalleled. OpusCapita has three decades of experience in working with both buyer and seller organizations, digitizing and automating financial processes, and operating one of the leading electronic invoicing networks in the world. jCatalog brought to the equation cutting-edge procurement software solutions, and vast expertize and know-how in the field,” says Patrik Sallner, CEO of OpusCapita. “Our combined offering provides our existing and new customers with advanced capabilities for digitalization and automation in their extended purchase-to-pay process.” The joint company was acknowledged as a “Provider to Watch” in 2016 by Spend Matters, the leading global publication dedicated to examining procurement and supply chain issues. The prestigious Spend Matters Almanac listing annually introduces the most exciting and noteworthy technology and solution providers pushing the envelope in the procurement field. n
Creating functioning financial supply chains and seamless collaboration between buyers and suppliers requires effortless exchange of electronic trade documents. Thus the common, cross-border interoperability of e-invoicing and e-procurement networks is the key objective for the stakeholders. In 2016, EESPA and OpenPEPPOL joined forces to accelerate the adoption of e-invoicing in Europe. The two associations agreed, among other things, to work together to ensure further development of the PEPPOL network. As the operator of one of the leading e-invoicing networks in the world, OpusCapita is actively involved in developing the market. Since PEPPOL might be reaching tipping point as the standard in Pan-European e-invoicing and e-procurement, Journal had a brief Q&A with experts in the area.
IS THE KEY
Why should corporations look into PEPPOL now, if they have not already? PEPPOL is an open platform which is stan dardized at all three necessary levels for effortless electronic exchange: the addressing and routing of the messages, document specifications, and the transfer infrastructure of the network. Besides e-invoices, PEPPOL covers other elements of the procurement process, such as e-catalogues, e-orders and e-signatures. As corporations’ demand to exchange electronic business documents with all of their trading partners, large or small, increases with the pursuit of automated supply chains and purchase-to-pay processes, these types of easy-to-access networks become pivotal. Many-to-many platforms are especially im-
portant for activating and onboarding suppliers. What is the key benefit of PEPPOLcompliant e-invoicing? By connecting with one of the PEPPOL-compliant service providers, such as OpusCapita, you reach all of the other providers in the network, at the moment over 130 of them, and their customer organizations in any country. PEPPOL specifications have been developed since 2008, so the technology is mature. Although it was launched to alleviate B2G trade, its functionalities are continuously being further developed to address the needs of modern B2B trade as well. n
these directives is supported technically and financially through the Connecting Europe Facility Digital, and use of PEPPOL Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) and eDelivery network plays an important role in these enabling actions.
ANDRÉ HODDEVIK Secretary General, OpenPEPPOL How will PEPPOL advance in the coming years? OpenPEPPOL currently has more than 170 member organizations from 17 European countries, Canada and the USA. I think this number will be doubled within the next few years, and there are two main drivers of this. First, the introduction of mandatory e-invoicing in public procurement through directive 2014/55/EU, and, second, the mandatory use of electronic communication in certain steps of the public procurement process through directive 2014/24/EU. Implementation of
What is PEPPOL’s importance in B2B commerce? PEPPOL BIS and eDelivery are already being used in the B2B sector. For instance, in Norway the vast majority of the more than 50 000 registered recipients of PEPPOL BIS invoices are private sector entities, and we see that major industry players are adopting PEPPOL as well. Through the recently-announced cooperation between EESPA and OpenPEPPOL, we aim to strengthen further the use of PEPPOL in B2B e-invoicing in Europe. Will PEPPOL have a role in cross-border electronic invoicing and e-procurement outside Europe? PEPPOL interoperability specifications are based on ISO standards, and the PEPPOL net-
AHTI ALLIKAS Solution Owner of e-invoice networks, OpusCapita Member of EESPA Executive Committee, Lead of Invoice Response Project in OpenPEPPOL
work is also based on international standards from organizations such as OASIS. As such they have global potential. So far we have mainly seen use of PEPPOL outside Europe by global companies with customers in Europe, but this is about to change. For instance, Australia’s e-invoice program acknowledges the PEPPOL-based European e-invoicing approach as an important source for knowledge and inspiration when establishing their national e-invoicing framework. OpenPEPPOL will continue cooperation with government initiatives to encourage use of global standards. The e-invoicing software and service providers will play an important role by adopting these standards, and they have huge market potential when offering solutions based on global standards to private and public sector organizations that need proven and affordable solutions enabling seamless cross-border trade. n
PEPPOL stands for Pan-European Public Procurement Online. It was originally a project by the European Commission aimed to simplify e-procurement and enable European suppliers to exchange electronic business documents with any European public sector buyer. The OpenPEPPOL association is now responsible for maintaining and developing the specifications and network infrastructure created in the project. EESPA is the European E-invoicing Service Providers Association, a community representing over 60 European leading e-invoicing organizations. The association promotes the creation of interoperable ecosystems, policies and standards, and the widespread adoption of electronic invoicing for the benefit of economic efficiency and growth. | 9
WHAT Walking in the air, perhaps? Virtually, we are already doing that. But how do we react to the supervision of our growing digital footprint? How does the financial system cope with virtual money? How do you do business when the game is constantly changing? Read what three well-informed visionaries, Thimon de Jong, Anders Borg and Jonas Kjellberg, have to say.
THERE ARE NO REVOLUTIONS –
ONLY LEAPS IN EVOLUTION He is a visionary man with hair that curls as new ideas rise in his mind. His lively brown eyes begin to shine after each question, just as if he were answering them for the first time. Thimon de Jong has a rational and pragmatic view of the effects of digitalization in business and private life. He rejects some of the most conventional views of the disruptive technologies. TEXT: KG RICKHAMRE
PHOTOS: DAN SJUNNESSON, JUHA RIKALA
Thimon de Jong is an expert in the strategic business impact of future human behavior and societal change. He is the founder and director of Whetston, a strategic foresight think tank, and lectures at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He was the appreciated keynote speaker at OpusCapita Finance Morning in Stockholm, Sweden.
“The discussion regarding digitalization and automation started in a distorted way a couple of years ago, as at that time, a report from the Oxford Martin School focused on the upcoming loss of jobs. However, development does not occur that way,” de Jong points out.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES – A MEDIA MYTH Thimon de Jong opposes the idea that “The Old World” and “The New World” should be perceived separately. “That view is generated by the media,” he protests while shaking his head. “Everything changes in a flow in a constantly changing society. There will be no big job losses as a consequence of digitalization. Work tasks shift and change.” The popular expression “disruptive tech-
nologies” does not impress de Jong. “What people today call disruptive technology due to the rapid digital development I would rather regard as a leap in an ongoing evolution. Before Google came AltaVista and other search engines. Google did not arise from nothing, but is a result of constant progress.” The overwhelming feeling of a total change is often dependent on how the decision-makers in companies approach the new digital technology. “When the top management gets the new possibilities presented to them, they often want to try them all at the same time. For them, it means that a new business model will be delivered the next day. But that is the wrong attitude. The key is to pick the right opportunities for what suits the company best. You should allow yourself to experi-
ment, and at the same time keep informed. Have an open mind and be prepared to change your decisions!”
SOCIAL PEOPLE AND SMOOTH TECHNOLOGY Our social capabilities will become increasingly important. Already today, smart algorithms are registering your personal profile and preferences. While you are waiting during a call to a customer center, smart algorithms have, in a second, created your personal profile based on your digital footprint online. That information will allow you to be connected to a customer service person with a matching temperament to yours. Thimon de Jong does not believe that tomorrow’s equipment will get in our way, with rooms full of cables, screens, sounds or levers. Rather, the trend will go in the op | 13
”The future winners will be the ones who respond to change and work close to their customers,” says Anders Borg. He spoke at OpusCapita Finance Morning in Sweden.
posite direction, through invisible technology. “Technology will be like a professional butler that barely let us know he is in the room,” he laughs. “The butler will support us effectively and provide service without us noticing it.” Will everybody accept this supervision? Or will groups of people stay away from the internet and lack a digital profile? “That is possible,” Thimon de Jong responds diplomatically. “A small number of people will hide, but do not forget that things are getting better and easier with the help of the internet. Companies function better with the internet. It is a fair trade to be involved in. We are talking about a so-called intention-behavior gap. The majority of people say in research that privacy is important to them (intention), but they do not act upon this (behavior).” He underlines the fact that industries increasingly create consensus and forums to discuss in. Exchanging knowledge between professionals was one of the original ideas with the internet. The exchange of knowledge has intensified and broadened, for instance with the use of LinkedIn groups, and big companies are no longer able to act autonomously. Even their experts want to work in teams. Car manufacturers open patents and code to software, for more people to participate and contribute to development.
WHO IS THERE TO TRUST? Thimon de Jong imagines a more personal society based on trust. “Who is there to trust?” he asks rhe-
torically. The answer is the one closest to you. In the new connected society, trust is shifting away from the big formal structures and moving slowly but steadily towards the local and flexible ones. When I am interested in learning something about cucumber plants, I will most likely use the internet. But, I will not find the best information from the big grocery firms online. I would rather walk across the street and ask the local greengrocer. So, we will thus be more direct and accurate in our communication. Business life will not only be about selling and negotiation, but also learning things together. It might sound as if we are walking back to the Garden of Eden, where sensors and smart algorithms keep track of elevators, transportation, food sales and other things that occupy our time. In addition, our personalities have been smoothly analyzed so that we spend our time together with people we are able to exchange information with and really communicate with. So, how far can it go? There are ongoing experiments, such as keeping a comedy channel on television free of charge, but instead charging every time a sensor registers laughter. As Thimon de Jong says: “There are no revolutions; if there were we would complain. Change occurs progressively and sometimes in leaps. The new sneaks up on us gradually and at a certain point in time we are able to suddenly find even the most unusual business models meaningful. What was yesterday’s joke becomes tomorrow’s reality.” n
ANDERS BORG ON
“WE CA A PARA
TEXT: KG RICKHAMRE PHOTO: DAN SJUNNESSON Anders Borg, the former Swedish finance minister and current chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Financial System Initiative, has the world as his working field. He believes that the recovery in Europe will slowly continue, and the hopes of the global economy are very much dependent on the development in the USA. Quite unexpectedly he also places a small bet on China, where he expects continuous strong growth, as in other regions in Southeast Asia. “The parts of the global economy that are most affected by digitalization show such strong development that it is not wrong to talk about a revolution. Here we witness tremendous growth in which financial companies will play a key role. The financial sector adopted IT in their services early on. This time the sector will continue to develop dynamically as a result of digitalization.” Borg is not willing to completely dismiss the virtual currency Bitcoin, which is based on a decentralized registration of blockchains. But he stresses that we have not yet seen examples of virtual currencies replacing physical currencies. He calls Bitcoin and other digital phenomena an “Uberization of the banking
sector”. That is a metaphor referring to the digital taxi company Uber, which uses an IT platform to organize taxi services around the world, without owning its own fleet of vehicles. He wants to highlight the fact that through digitalization banks and the entire financial sector are facing major changes that drive new business models. But, there are as always also countervailing powers in place. A heavy burden of regulation has been imposed on the financial sector since the financial crisis in 2008. “We want a stable financial system,” says Borg. “It is important for all companies to play by the same rules. New digital businesses in asset management or financial services must not be allowed to bypass stricter rules. That encourages imbalances and distorts competition. We cannot accept a parallel financial system.” So what will financial companies do best in this new digital world? “There is only one answer,” Anders Borg responds quickly. “The future winners will be the ones who respond to change and work close to their customers. Working close to your client means you can charge more for the most important services you provide. If you do not know how to do it, copy the successful and be proud to do so.” n
THE UBERIZATION OF THE BANKING SECTOR:
NNOT ACCEPT LLEL FINANCIAL SYSTEM” | 15
“Is it the big that beat the small, or is it the fast that beat the slow?”
WHERE IS YO TEXT: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA PHOTO: JUHA RIKALA Whenever Jonas Kjellberg, a serial entrepreneur, an investor and an author, asks this question, the majority of his audience would bet on the fast beating the slow. Kjellberg, who is probably best known as the former CEO of Skype, wonders whether it really is true that the fast win. “If we look at the stock exchange, most of the successes there are the big companies. And most of my failures as an entrepreneur have happened when I have been really fast and I have been beaten by the big players.” On the other hand, Kjellberg says he is often amazed about how difficult it is for the big companies to innovate into tomorrow’s delight – into the future success that is built on the customer experience, and satisfaction that is driven, for instance, by the features in a product or a service that are unique, compelling and new to the market.
“The delight needs to be discovered, invented – and reinvented. At some point your delight may turn into a commodity that your competitor, perhaps the fast one, can deliver as well.” So the question above is actually a trick question: it depends. According to Kjellberg, in order for a company to be a true game changer, it needs to build a product beyond competition, and understand how to unlock both growth and customer acquisition, and the important thing: do it when the world is ready for that change. Kjellberg is Senior Advisor of BCG Digital Ventures and nowadays lectures on entrepreneurship at Stanford University and gives keynote speeches on creating a winning sales culture.
UNTHINKABLE TRANSACTIONS AHEAD Jonas Kjellberg says he has always been interested in the ways that the game is changed. He believes that the next disrup-
tion might very well happen in the banking sector. If you need proof, he urges you to look at the venture capital investments made in fintech startup companies in recent years. “They have multiplied. And if you look up the alternatives for going to a bank for service today, you will realize there is a huge variety of new services available already. I believe that blockchain technology has the potential of being the internet of banking,” says Kjellberg, who, until recently, was in charge of the internet investment arm of Kinnevik Group, and made successful investments into several startup companies, among others, Zalando and Rocket Internet. “I had to spend quite a lot of time convincing people around me that yes; people will want to buy shoes on the internet. At the end of the day, Zalando defines itself as a tech company that operates in the fashion space. I talk a lot about friction-free stories that companies need to share. It is as
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Jonas Kjellberg shared his inspiring insights and visions on digitalization and the disruptions ahead with OpusCapita customers in the popular Finance Forum in Finland.
UR DELIGHT? simple as stating who or what we are, but I have found that it is surprisingly difficult to get a clear answer to this question in the corporate board rooms.” Back to the banking and financing industry, Kjellberg points out that the emerging financial technology is about to decentralize the situation. “Banking today is totally centralized. With blockchain technology, everyone will be able to participate. The impacts will first be visible in all types of purchasing, and in a few years’ time we will see a lot of new transactions that aren’t even thinkable yet. You could pay me to use my Netflix account for the evening, and I would know that I would get paid.”
EVOLVING BANKS Kjellberg compares the situation the banks are facing now to the change that took place within the telco industry after the release of the first iPhone, and the rise of the apps. The revenues from the value-added
services were not captured in the existing companies, and instead they went to the newcomers of the app industry. The development of financial technol ogy does not necessarily mean that banks are going to vanish, either. According to Kjellberg, it is more a question of evolving. “In general, most established companies are good at cutting cost and optimizing efficiency. After all, it is fairly easy – all you need to do is focus on doing the right things in the right way. And the same goes for the functionalities of a product: they are easier to solve than to truly look into the future, and to innovate into tomorrow’s delight.” “Functionality is of course vital. It is the grounds for customer satisfaction – but don’t forget to look around the corner!” n
ARE YOU EASY TO DO BUSINESS WITH?
“The digital age is raising the same issues in business-tobusiness interactions that have been afloat for years in the consumer world,” says OpusCapita’s Jesper Ritsmer Stormholt. Read his take on digitalization at opuscapita.com/JSblog
5 TIPS FOR A SAFER AP PROCESS Accounts Payable (AP) is one of the most attractive business processes for fraudsters to target, as it is the process where your cash actually flows out of your company. Are you in control of what happens in your AP? These tips will help you to eliminate weaknesses in the AP process and mitigate the risk of both external and internal payment fraud.
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Implement a strict po licy according to which invoices without a purchase ord er number will not ge t paid. Or take a step further and int roduce 3-way match ing with the goods received report . Make use of automati on and systemlevel support: you can blacklist payments to countries you are not currently opera ting in, and only allow payments to registered creditors. An d remember to includ e tolerance limits for automated approval, just to be sur e!
I s yo u r w
a l le t o n y
Can I see some ID, plea se? The fact is that you can’t get rid of manual payments altogether. News of so-called CEO attacks and compromised e-mails have made it clear that payment orders issued via e-mail should not be accepted – at least not without verifying the identity of the person behind the request through another, secure channel, e.g. mobile verification. In addition to multi-factor authentication, pre-designed templates for manual payments in your system help to ensure the safety of these ad-hoc payments.
r de s k? While co mpanies take man fraudule y precau nt paym ti ent files data, the from ente ons to prevent control s ring the lackens w the paym payment hen uplo en ading batch file t files to the ban ks. Surpri s are store singly oft d loaded m en, anually in in a folder on a d es to intern This offe et bankin ktop, and then rs many chanc g po changing the paym es for internal m rtals. isuse, suc ent data Modern h as risk polic or addin g a fake y deman centraliz payment. ds imple ed paym mentatio ent facto internet n of a ry so ban leave you king portals for fi lution to replac e le r wallet o payments pen on y . You wo our desk uldn’t either, w ould you ?
Extra tip: find the balance
Adding check points and approval rounds will increase the bureaucracy of your processes and in turn reduce the ease of use. Make sure you find the right balance – if the process and user experience is not convenient enough, people will be tempted to take shortcuts.
WHY YOU TOO SHOULD LOVE ROGER THE ROBOT – TOWARDS A NEW AUTOMATION CULTURE WITH RPA AND AI I returned to OpusCapita a year ago after some time away. The decision to come home was easy. The billow of digital transformation was fast rising on the horizon, and OpusCapita was clearly on the crest of the wave. Working with robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning the past year has certainly been exciting. The most interesting aspect about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and quickly developing Intelligent Automation with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that they are creating a whole new automation culture in companies. At first they may seem too theoretical or technical to approach, but actually these technologies are quite easy to understand and relate to. If you are excited about spreadsheets – which admittedly most of us economists are – you should love robotics and machine learning, too! Roger the Robot and his friends are already helping finance and accounting employees at OpusCapita and many of our customer companies: they enter product and pricing data into systems, validate and execute master data changes, process payroll data and sick leave notes, and even know when and how to issue a credit note to a customer. Roger is a software robot, a program operating in other programs. He is called a robot because it best describes the way he operates. The program monitors the activities of, for example, customer service specialists, and then copies them. He operates in a very human-like manner, which makes it easy to comprehend the huge impact he will have on our daily operations, and which is also the reason why we call him Roger. Rule-based automation with RPA removes the need for robust integrations between systems and thus, heavy IT projects. Automation becomes quicker and more flexible simply because it works in a new way. The issue with Roger is that although he is extremely punctual and reliable in executing work tasks, he leaves the problems for me to solve. But imagine if Roger could learn from all the exceptions and errors he encounters in the processes. The next time he reaches a judgment point in the work flow, he could propose a solution and provide recommendations based on historic data and learning-by-doing. Knowledge-based automation, often referred to as Intelligent Automation, takes the automation of knowledge work to this level. Artificial Intelligence (AI) as such is not a new invention, but until recently it had rarely been exploited in business services. The machine learning technology has evolved faster than anticipated over the past few years, and now it can easily process millions of rows of information in seconds to build complex rules and logic using neural network algorithms, for example. Coming from the BPO business I know the challenges of creating automation for supplier invoice coding. Performing the work requires understanding of context and language – not to mention the years of experience of an accountant. The machine learning program can overcome these challenges and combine both structured and unstructured data in order to form logic, an algorithm, as a basis for making its decisions. And it does it well: the suggested coding dimensions are correct 94% of the time. What is great about these new technologies is that they allow business people to be in charge of running the development and deployment of new automation. RPA and AI can finally help to remove the manual pain points, which have been causing problems, and which ERPs, spreadsheets and macros have been unable to solve. They actually automate the tasks we thought were impossible to automate. HEINI PENSAR Head of Professional Services Finance and Accounting Outsourcing OpusCapita
VALMET MOVED ITS
GLOBAL PAYMENTS TO THE CLOUD A company with more than 200 years of history in industry, Valmet decided to build a harmonized global infrastructure for vendor payments and for processing customer payments and bank accounts in its Financial Service Centers in North America and Europe. A cloud-based payment solution with global bank connections is the new backbone for its payment management. TEXT: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA
PHOTOS: VALMET, RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA
The Valmet of today was created at the end of 2013 when Metso Corporation demerged into two separate companies: the new Metso and Valmet. Metso Corporation’s Pulp, Paper and Power businesses were transferred to Valmet. Valmet is the leading global supplier of technology, automation and services in its field. The company operates in four business areas and five geographical areas around the world. In conjunction with the demerger, two Financial Service Centers were also transferred to Valmet: one located in Montreal, Canada, which serves the company’s units in North America, and one in Jyväskylä, Finland, which serves the company’s large European units. The Financial Service Centers are responsible for making payments and processing customer payments, as well as currency hedging and cash flow forecasting. According to Annika Westerholm, Director, Treasury Market Operations at Valmet, the new company wanted to create new, consistent payment, reconciliation and posting processes. Treasury, the department responsible for the company’s global payment infrastructure, also wanted to reduce the number of systems and parallel payment channels.
GLOBAL SWIFT CONNECTION THROUGH SAAS Valmet’s Financial Service Center in Finland has had good experience of OpusCapita’s payment solutions over a long period of time. Valmet chose OpusCapita’s cloudbased payment solution as the new internat ional backbone for cash flow and payment management. The solution comes integrated with global bank connections through the SWIFT Alliance Lite service. This flexible solution that is independent of ERP systems meets the company’s needs perfectly. “It is in line with our strategy to favor SaaS solutions, and a centralized bank channel supports risk management. Both our IT department and our Financial Service Centers have been pleased with Opus Capita’s cloud-based service. We are also impressed with the high level of information security,” says Westerholm.
NORTH AMERICA ENTERS THE DIGITAL ERA The new solution was implemented in 2015, first in the company’s Financial Service Center in Montreal that serves its units in the United States and Canada, and soon after that in its European Financial Service Center. “Up until that point, the account statement and payment processes in the North American Financial Service Center had been
highly manual. Bringing the center into the digital era had significant advantages. Even though the need for change was not initially identified in Montreal and there were doubts about automation to the level found in Scandinavia, they are very happy with the solution now,” says Westerholm. Automation for reconciling and posting customer payments has been built using lockbox files provided by local banks in conjunction with check payments, for example. The day-to-day operations of the Financial Service Center are running much more rapidly and effortlessly than before. “It is easier to keep cash accounting up to date, which has improved the Financial Service Center’s ability to support the units’ sales operations. In terms of a centralized Treasury, it is important to be able to trust the cash flow forecasts provided by the Financial Service Centers. When the basic payment processes have been harmonized and they run rapidly and reliably, the quality and predictability of data improve and liquidity management becomes easier for the entire company.” During the project, Valmet centralized cash management to its core banks. In Europe, for example, the number of cash management banks decreased to a tenth of the previous number.
Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. In addition to pulp mills, Valmet supplies tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. The company also provides automation solutions, as well a wide range of services. The company operates in five geographical areas: North America, South America, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), China and APAC (Asia and the Pacific). Its net sales in 2015 were EUR 2.9 billion, and it has 12,000 employees. Valmet shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
SMART AUTOMATION In the near future, Valmet intends to expand the operations of its Financial Service Centers to cover an increasing number of its units. “We have built a good payment infrastructure, and we want to benefit from it as much as possible. We have decided to transfer to a single ERP system and will implement these changes during the ERP project.” Valmet and OpusCapita continue to cooperate in a project that develops new solutions for automatic reconcilition and posting of customer payments without references. “We are very interested in the opportunities offered by new technologies, such as software robotics and machine learning, and in making use of them to further increase automation. We intend to use historical data and identify patterns that could enable the system to automatically create and suggest better and better entry rules,” Westerholm explains. n
“Harmonized, quick and reliable payment processes improve the quality and predictability of the data produced by the Financial Service Centers, which makes liquidity management easier for the entire company.” Annika Westerholm, Director Treasury Market Operations Valmet
The overdue sales invoices in your accounts receivables can make you frown. Collecting late payments is a task that most companies embark on hesitantly, and would rather sweep under the carpet. By changing your perspective and making debt collection a seamless part of your efficient order-to-cash cycle, you will see a lot more happy faces, both in your company – and in your customer companies, too. TEXT: RIIKKA TIETÄVÄINEN-AROLA
Operations Manager Raine Westerholm from OpusCapita Group urges organizations to shake off the negative attributes concerning debt collection. “The challenges companies are experiencing are usually caused when the hand ling of late payments and collection of overdue receivables are seen as a separate function, even a sort of necessary evil at the end of the order-to-cash (O2C) chain. The general opinion of collection as an activity is often quite harsh, which adds to the companies’ reluctance to engage in it.” Westerholm emphasizes that an efficient O2C process is not a one-way arrow from order to cash. Instead, the various phases of the cycle should interact, and they should be looked at comprehensively, including the debt collection. This allows an integrated and proactive approach to sales receivables management, and makes it easy for all the functions involved – marketing and sales, invoicing, accounts receivable (AR) ledger as well as customer service and debt collection – to cooperate. “This leads to fewer late payments to begin with. And most importantly, it enables the end customer’s experience to be taken into account constantly throughout the cycle,” Westerholm says.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL To this end, OpusCapita combined its experience in invoicing, and cash and receivables management with an acclaimed, customer-oriented collection services model developed by Kredithanterarna, a Swedish company that merged with OpusCapita in 2015. “Usually the data concerning the outstanding receivables is fragmented into several databases in different parts of the process, and it is hard to gain visibility to utilize it for decisions and in customer service. With one provider and one integrated database, information is always synchronized.” Gathering and analyzing the data from internal and external sources is the key to improving the incoming cash flows. For instance, information on the payment behavior of the customers can be monitored from
the AR ledger and used to redirect the activities in sales. “The first actions for ensuring that the sales invoices are paid on time are made before the order is even in, by creating solid credit policies and continually developing them, and making sure the contracts are well-written and unambiguous.” Westerholm points out that quite often the reason why a payment is late is that the customers don’t understand the invoice they have received. Eliminating manual steps from processing orders and deliveries, for instance, improves the information on the invoice, and automation in reconciliation helps to avoid errors and unfounded claims in the sales ledger. “The administrative effectiveness and quality of your invoicing processes cuts out unnecessary delays. In addition, regularity helps your customers to forecast their liquidity needs, and meet the due dates.” The majority of invoices get paid one day before and three days after the maturity date. Knowing this, the accounts receivables department should take immediate actions. There is no need to belittle the meaning of late payment for the sake of customer satisfaction. “On the contrary, approaching the customer via email or phone, for instance, soon after the due date and before any actual reminders, communicates your willingness to solve the issue in a customer-friendly manner, but also shows determination. It will strengthen your company’s profile more than just ignoring the overdue receivable at first would do,” Westerholm states.
the reasons for the overdue payment will help to determine the actions to be taken – you might want to react differently to your long-term customer’s temporary liquidity squeeze, for example,” says Raine Westerholm. “But at the end of the day, although we are talking a lot about the end customer’s satisfaction, the most important goal is to turn our customer’s uncertain receivables into cash on hand. Targeted communications actually increase the effectiveness of collecting the receivables.” Debt collection is regulated by local, country-specific laws, but Westerholm points out that there is still room for optimizing and personalizing the process. The systematic approach that is based on data integration and automation makes it possible to expand the best practices from market to market, while still considering local culture and habits. n
GLOBALLY LOCAL The data-driven approach enables creating customer segments according to company policies, and targeted communications and clear processes to meet the individual needs and situations of different segments, industries, or even individual key customers. “Even when you are dealing with unpaid invoices, the customer relationship should not get damaged in the process. Analyzing the history, the potential for new sales, and
EXTRA Take end-to-end control over your cash flow! opuscapita.com/ordertocash
BT COLLECTION A DRAG?
IT DOESNâ€™T HAVE TO BE!
NEW FACES AT OPUSCAPITA During this year we have had the pleasure of welcoming many experienced professionals to the company.
Jesper Ritsmer Stormholt has been appointed Head of Global Sales and Marketing and a member of the Leadership Team. Ritsmer Stormholt joined OpusCapita from Google, where he was most recently in charge of B2B sales in the Nordics for the IT Enterprise Service unit. Ritsmer Stormholt has strong expertise in international sales, also in the DACH region and the rest of Europe, and he brings OpusCapita great experience and energy in driving the expansion of disruptive digital solutions to global markets.
Stephan Albers has taken the lead of OpusCapita’s Buyer-Supplier Ecosystem Products unit. He is also a member of the Leadership Team. Albers joined OpusCapita with the jCatalog acquisition. He co-founded jCatalog, a German company specializing in procurement and product information management, in 2000 and was the company’s CEO. Previously, he was Co-Founder and Managing Director in the software house A+F Multi-User Systeme.
Sanna Enckelman has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Leadership Team. Before OpusCapita, Enckelman headed finance for the Postal Services business at Posti Group. Previously she has also had CFO roles at subsidiaries of Finnair and SOK, and she has several years of experience from the financial audit and M&A teams at Ernst&Young.
OPUSCAPITA RENEWS SWIFT CORPORATE CASH MANAGEMENT LABEL OpusCapita’s cloud-based cash management solution has been awarded the 2016 SWIFT Certified Application Corporate Cash Management label, for the second consecutive year. SWIFT Certified Application labels are granted exclusively to providers that offer best-in-class services and solutions in their field and that meet SWIFT’s strict technical and functional requirements. OpusCapita’s cash management solution, offered as SaaS, is integrated fully with the SWIFT Alliance Lite2 service, which gives customer companies secure and flexible access to the global SWIFT network of 11 000 banks and financial institutions.
NEWS AND EVENTS
JOIN OUR WEBINARS! The webinar calendar for the rest of the year is filled with interesting topics. For example, we have a series of webinars focusing on Intelligent Automation with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) under way – join in to hear our experts’ insights on how these new technologies can boost finance and business processes.
VIENNA, 12–14 OCTOBER
KEEP TRACK of upcoming webinars and find the ones you missed at opuscapita.com/webinars
The leading global treasury event, EuroFinance, will gather cash management experts together in Vienna on 12–14 October. We will be there discussing the current and future trends of international treasury, and would like to meet you there, too!
FIND OUT about other upcoming events at opuscapita.com/events
COME AND MEET US!
CONNECT 2016 DORTMUND 16–17 NOVEMBER We are happy to welcome you to Connect 2016 – a two-day international event that we are organizing to help customers and partners connect. Over 200 participants from the DACH region, the Nordics, the USA and Australia are going to be in Dortmund, Germany on 16–17 November. Don’t miss out on the chance to discuss corporate selling, buying and paying with the experts in the field, and to benefit from the practical experiences and insights on industry solutions and products.
READ MORE opuscapita.com/connect
OPUSCAPITA AND M-FILES PARTNER to bring document management into the digital age OpusCapita is enhancing its offering in document management, enabling customer companies to better automate workflow processes and gather important data, such as cases, contracts and other information for digital processing and signing. The service is made possible through the new partnership with M-Files Corporation, a leading player in Enterprise Information Management solutions and services. OpusCapita has added the M-Files document management solution to its suite of offerings, enabling organizations to streamline their decision-making and information management.
INSIDE STORIES OpusCapita’s passionate professionals at your service. Meet some of us! CONTACTS firstname.lastname@example.org
I am Tiina Astren and I work as a Team Leader in OpusCapita Software Support. I’m located in Tampere, Finland. I joined OpusCapita in 2007. I have the pleasure of working with a professional and very customeroriented team with some 60 years of OpusCapita experience altogether. My team works with both Finnish and global software support. I am passionate about finding both quick and permanent solutions to problems and improving the software by being a solid link between the end users and our software development. I really like taking part in day-to-day problem solving with my team. At home I solve a whole different set of problems that come from renovating an old house with my husband and keeping my cats out of my garden’s flowerbeds. Luckily I am an expert in turning problematic situations into something positive! n I welcome all customer contacts; never hesitate to reach out to our software support!
My name is Jens Thiemann, from Dortmund, Germany. I have been a part of the OpusCapita family since the merger with jCatalog. I am responsible for the Product Information Management (PIM) product line. I have been a member of the product management team since joining jCatalog in 2006. When working with me, you’ll often hear one question: What is the customer’s use case? That is important because it is what drives our software development and how we transfer the customer’s needs into viable solutions for daily business. Building software with modern, agile processes on a global scale is what drives me and what I would like to adapt within OpusCapita. In my private life, my family comes first – right after German soccer... just kidding! We like to spend a lot of time playing table tennis or going on tours by car, bike or foot. n I’m always happy to answer your questions about Product Information Management (PIM) or discuss some customer cases of selling more quickly and accurately with PIM.
My name is Jennie Klaesson, and I am Product Manager in the Digitizing Business Line, located in Frösön, Sweden. My main responsibilities include developing OpusCapita’s Document Process Automation, DPA, with the products eSign and Document Manager. I have been in the business since 1999, but in a company that joined OpusCapita in 2007. I also took a four-year break for university studies and the birth of my two kids. My focus and inspiration is in the digital transformation that our existing and potential customer companies are experiencing. Product development needs to stay one step ahead to meet customers’ needs for digitalization in time and help them turn their manual processes into more automated ones. Now that we are heading into winter, I’m looking forward to spending my free time alpine skiing with my family. n Feel free to contact me if you have questions about document process automation or if you wish to discuss ideas related to digitalizing and automating document-intensive workflows.
OPUSCAPITA PROVIDES AUTOMATION FOR CORPORATE SELLING, BUYING AND PAYING AND CASH MANAGEMENT TO MORE THAN 8,000 CUSTOMERS IN OVER 50 COUNTRIES
OPUSCAPITA SOFTWARE USERS WORLDWIDE
OpusCapita Group Oy, Postintaival 7, FI-00230 Helsinki +358 29 156 5000 • www.opuscapita.com
BeNeLux OpusCapita representative, Werkholst 36, 7944 AV Meppel +31 85 3036299 ESTONIA OpusCapita Competence Center OÜ, Tartu mnt. 43, 10128 Tallinn +372 6519 000 FINLAND OpusCapita Group Oy, Postintaival 7, 00230 Helsinki +358 29 156 5000 GERMANY OpusCapita GmbH, Büttnerstr. 21, 30165 Hannover +49 511 336 30 2777 OpusCapita Software AG, Lindemannstraße 79, 44137 Dortmund +49 231 3967 0 LATVIA OpusCapita Competence Center SIA, Dēļu iela 4-8, Rīga, LV-1004 +371 6 706 6505 LITHUANIA OpusCapita Accounting, UAB, Gedimino pr. 35, 01109 Vilnius +370 5 233 9007 NORWAY OpusCapita AS, Rosenkrantzgate 16, 0157 Oslo +47 22 72 84 70 POLAND OpusCapita Sp. z.o.o., ul. Poleczki 35, 02-822 Warszawa +48 22 461 25 00 SWEDEN OpusCapita AB, Löfströms Allé 5, 172 66 Sundbyberg +46 8 475 28 00 USA OpusCapita Software Inc., Balsam Way, Oakland, CA 94611 +1 510 595 6800