The new UNIT4 – Five reasons to get excited about the future

At its UK customer conference in Edinburgh earlier this month UNIT4’s CEO José Duarte made no secret of the business’s ambition to lead the way in making technology more aligned with the seamless, convenient and easy to use digital lives we all enjoy in our home and leisure time. This move supports the fact many of us face the daily frustrations and challenges of ineffective, non-integrated and collaboration resistant business systems and solutions that seem to inhibit our ability to work optimally in any location, at any time, with disparate teams, or on any device.

UNIT4 has been aware of this reality for some time having developed a portfolio of mobile enabled functionality such as time sheets, expense management, reports and task management, which have enabled far greater freedom to an increasingly remote workforce. But users are demanding a new generation of enterprise software delivering even greater social collaboration, mobile capabilities, role based intelligence and ‘cloud their way’.

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Building blocks and solution capabilities for spend control

Following the latest pre-Customer Conference blog: “No Automation without Transformation – Turning Spent Control into Spend Control, PROACTIS Marketing Director Simon Dadswell discusses the main building blocks and solution capabilities needed for Spend Control (a structured business process that dramatically increases the control and visibility you have over what your organisation spends for all types of goods and services) that work hand-in-hand with existing UNIT4 systems:

  • Information management and access
  • Workflow and business rules
  • Guided processes
  • Secure web access – both inside and outside your IT firewall

Information management and access

An eProcurement solution to support Spend Control business processes is built around management of, and access to, good quality base information – a ‘single version of the truth’ of suppliers, contracts etc. Most of that procurement and supplier-related information is probably not required or currently held in your financial management and operational systems, such as the details about supplier qualifications and credentials, supplier contracts, RFx documents and related supplier responses, and supplier catalogue content. Basic information like supplier IDs and G/L account codes are shared between your financial management and operational systems and PROACTIS, but most of the information in PROACTIS is additive. By combining the information management and access capabilities of PROACTIS and UNIT4, organisations can close the process and functional gaps of Finance, Procurement and Accounts Payables.Workflow and business rules.

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Mobile to trump social, cloud and analytic technologies, live poll of business leaders at #U4CC2014 reveals

Mobile will have the greatest immediate influence on business of the four SMAC megatrends. That’s according to a live poll of more than 400 senior delegates at the UNIT4 Agresso Customer Conference in Edinburgh last week.

The audience, which comprised senior technology and finance professionals from a range of public and private sector organisations primarily based in the UK and Ireland, were asked three questions focused on the major technologies shaping the future of business today.

When asked which technology will have the biggest impact over the next two years, 45% of respondents said mobile, closely followed by analytics with 30% of the vote, (the attached images show live responses during the polling, not the final result).

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Reversing the Digital Downgrade – José Duarte’s opening address to #U4CC2014

The 21st Century will be remembered as the century when the world went digital. Future generations will recognise that the first years of this century were the ones where the digital revolution became all pervasive. They will also recognise that this is when the winners and losers of the digital revolution were decided.

The pace of change has accelerated hugely from a relatively slow first 60 years. This has been powered by the emergence of smartphones in the last half decade. Their emergence has comprehensively ended the era where corporates drove the development of digital technology. Consumers are now in the lead and this lead is huge.

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The skills to pay the bills – Get equipped to take advantage of new the ERP reality

As growth returns to the economy we have witnessed an uptick in demand for accounting systems, ERP, budgeting and BI software professionals to lead or support systems replacement or upgrade projects. During the downturn and the following long period of slow growth many back-office systems projects were delayed, however as companies start to hunt for growth in new markets, from updated business models, and via M&A, many business systems are simply not up to the job.

The competitive landscape, digital disruption, and regulation have frequently outpaced investment in ERP and the issues that we have witnessed in recent months are not new: manual intervention, and re-keying of data is causing errors, management frustration is high due to an inability to access basic MI, work-arounds and spreadsheets are pervasive, and data is often not trusted. Commonly many of our clients are now fixing problems they thought they had fixed 5 or 10 years ago, finding themselves still supporting multiple GLs, procurement systems and ERPs as acquisitions and tactical change have typically required a “patch-up”approach when budgets have been constrained.

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