As the solution is targeted at the finance folks there was an interesting mix of people and I must say that KPMG & Procurify were excellent hosts. The mix in the audience was an exceptional bonus to the event and provided the opportunities for many to have conversations that ranged beyond the traditional IT/cloud services discussions and talk about diverse business challenges and opportunities.
"Procurify...takes finance and accounting processes that take hours or days and reduces it to minutes..."
The presentation itself included a panel discussion of the service offering, including some quick case studies and a walk-through of signing up & using key functions.
The panel consisted of (L to R):
The elevator pitch for Procurify is that this subscription service which scales to any size business takes finance and accounting processes that take hours or days and reduces it to minutes by making the interface simple to use, and accessible where-ever the people who need it are.
The business workflows targeted by this solution seem to be procurement and travel or other expenses. The workflow was remarkably simple, and watching it in action made me a little jealous of those who have adopted it. I've had to work with the manual processes that this solution targets in the past and have felt the pain.
As paperwork and chasing people down isn't my strong-suite, the built-in receipt scanning/upload and automated expense submission/approval workflows integrated into the Procurify solution had me drooling a bit. You simply use the mobile app on your smartphone, take a photo of your receipt from the app, and upload it with a minimum of other information needed. I can see how this could be a game changer for increasing efficiencies and transparency for corporate spending.
"...biggest challenge with start-ups in Vancouver is getting support in your home town."
Praven Gupta provided some interesting insights on his real-life use of the service, but in the open Q&A afterwards, provided one of the most insightful quotes of the night. When the panel was asked what the biggest challenge as a start-up in Vancouver was, Praveen responded that the "biggest challenge with start-ups in Vancouver is getting support in your home town."
The observation was that while Vancouver is becoming a hotbed for innovative start-ups and increasingly provides great resources to bring the best & brightest entrepreneurs here, local-based business seem reticent to adopt their products and services - all the big and early sales go over-seas or outside of Vancouver. Praveen challenged Vancouver based business to better understand the service offerings being developed locally and engage with them.
"...biggest challenge with cloud offerings is integration..."
Earlier in the presentations, when giving an over-view of what a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution offering is, Norbert from KPMG made the observation that one of the biggest challenges with "cloud (offerings) is integration" implying that having multiple SaaS services can increase the likelihood of data integration and integrity risks. This is a valid point that I'd love to explore deeper with other cloud & SaaS experts - feel free to share your opinions on that matter please!
So in the end, a great and informative event, and I'm very thankful to Procurify and KPMG Canada for inviting me to attend, observe, and share what I've learned with you.
For more information on Procurify or KPMG Canada please check the links in this blog, or follow them on Twitter:
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