AP Automation

Bloggers and tweeters don’t go too far off piste normally but there is nothing quite like sub-standard telco customer support to drive even the most focused to go right off topic and declare their frustration at their mobile phone operator or ISP. Customer support only needs to be a little bit wrong to make a dramatic difference to user experience and we are all so used to expecting best in class service that even a 10 minute wait to be dealt with by a call center can get us really piste off. It’s not just consumers that need to be kept happy. Business software needs to deliver a great user experience too. OB10 will hold their hands up and admit that their customer support hasn’t been their strong point in the past and that’s why they’ve invested heavily in customer experience. Their newly unveiled portal is a massive improvement both in substance and style.

This week I had the privilege to see a demonstration of a technology that is going to fundamentally change accounts payable. Kofax announced the acquisition of Mobiflex in December last year. They announced at the time that this would bring Kofax Capture to remote workers allowing truck drivers, field engineers, architects and insurance claims assessors to capture data from documents in the field. We wrote about it here and I have to confess I was skeptical. But, after seeing the demo, skeptic no more. From an AP automation perspective, Kofax Mobile Capture is even better than even Kofax know. And here’s why.

It's ironic. The very statistics that show the compelling case for AP automation also show that AP automation is the last thing a business needs to be planning. Today at Kofax Transform 2012, Scott Pezza from Aberdeen (@scottpezza) presented a comprehensive set of numbers illustrating the compelling case for automation of Accounts Payable. One metric after another showed that best in class organizations stand head and shoulders above even average businesses in terms of benefits they derive from initiatives like e-invoicing and scan and capture. But as I listened to Scott's eloquent presentation, something nagged at me.

I was excited to read about Alusta last week – the end-to-end framework or platform that Basware have developed for their procure to pay offerings and I was keen to understand a bit more about it when I hooked up with Juha Häkämies VP Market Development, Rowan Lemley, product Marketing Manager and John Webster, VP Global Product Marketing What is Alusta exactly? Is it the purchase to pay panacea or simply vaporware – a new marketing spin on an old set of products?  Actually a bit of both – but in a good way.

Lexmark International have announced the acquisition of Luxembourg-based BDGB Enterprise, including its U.S. subsidiary Brainware for a cash purchase price of approximately $148 million. According to the report in Streetinsder this acquisition is "consistent with Lexmark's capital allocation framework of pursuing acquisitions to support the growth...

When Tradeshift launched a couple of years ago, their 'free invoicing' mantra wasn't actually a new idea. Many suppliers were already able to e-invoice for free albeit in a limited way, but Tradeshift made it a bigger deal and they have changed the e-invoicing landscape forever. We'll see more 'free' e-invoicing happen this year - and not just from the smaller players. But just as the electronic invoicing world is coming to terms with the Tradeshift model - they've done it again - this time in a highly original way. This is going to change the rules of the game big time.