AP Automation

Basware have just made a very interesting announcement and launched Alusta, a “cloud-based platform for business-to-business transaction collaboration." According to their announcement yesterday, Alusta (Finnish for "platform") provides "open, centralized access to all Basware services via a scalable, secure, open collaborative commerce ecosystem for buying and supplying organizations of every size and location." If it lives up to half of the hype, this will be a truly impressive platform. Alusta isn’t ground breaking. It isn’t even new thinking but what it promises is to bring together a wide set of leading edge tools technologies and techniques to create a purchase to pay platform that could be world beating. That’s the promise anyway. So what’s it got that’s so impressive?

Today, we're delighted to welcome a guest post from Lars Rolf Jacobsen - Financial Solutions Manager at Tradeshift. Size matters. Throughout history, it has always been the case that the bigger company in a relationship has all the power. And financial transactions are no exception to this rule. But the rise of the internet has leveled the playing field in some aspects of business. Now, any small company can use Skype to communicate for free with suppliers and buyers across the world. Whole workforces can be recruited and managed through the web, meaning that talent is cheaper and easier to control. And with e-commerce, any company can market and sell a product to a global audience.

Let's get something straight at the outset. I'm not about to suggest that users of e-invoicing networks will want to use them to play Farmville. But what I can see is that the transactional platforms will become free to use as service providers offer other value added services and I want to explain why.

Ready for the new year, Patrick Harbin has published and amazing 50 ways to reduce costs in accounts payable.  They say about new year’s resolutions that you should ensure they are achievable so for those that think 50 major change management  programs in one year - that’s 1 per week – is a little too much, you might want to consider the first 5 because we think the first 5 are the best 5.

The dust hasn't settled on the decision by the UK to turn its back on the EU when a freedom of information request submitted by Basware makes it look like Great Britain is making a habit of being left out in the cold. While much of the world is embracing technology to reduce the cost of doing business, HM Treasury, the UK government counting house, still receives 80% of it's business invoices on paper and 83% of local government authorities are in a similar situation.

OB10 can make some great claims. They might like to claim to be the biggest and they'd certainly want to claim best. I think they can legitimately claim to be the first. But these superlatives are very much double edged. "First" also means oldest and "biggest" can mean least agile. So how can OB10 maintain their leading position? Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Luke McKeever, their new CEO, who told me.