Recently, Yooz participated in five industry conferences in five weeks as an exhibitor, session presenter, sponsor, or all of the above. In Part 1, we sat down with Melissa Hendrick, VP of Marketing for Yooz North America, to learn more about why these particular events were chosen and what she learned along the way.
In Part 2 of this series, we found out what excited attendees most about the Yooz solution and what surprised us a little.
Now in Part 3 of this Q&A series, we’ll learn what is trending in AP automation, how Yooz is staying ahead of these trends, and what’s up on deck for 2019.
Q: What trends did you discover about AP automation? Is Yooz keeping up with these trends?
A: The answer to this question is two-fold: In recent years, there were some early adopters of AP automation that thought the solution they found was the perfect tool. With advances in AP automation, and platforms like Yooz that are leveraging emerging technologies such as A.I. and OCR (optical character recognition), these early adopters are now discovering better tools that more fully and seamlessly integrate with their financial systems/ERPs, and that offer complete, end-to-end invoice payment processing.
Second, there has been a trend towards automation in mid-market firms, indicated by the sheer exponential growth and demand for solutions that were previously only accessible by enterprise firms. This has resulted in an increased level of interest and ultimately adoption. We witnessed this trend first-hand during our panel session at the Sage Intacct Advantage conference where the questions from the session attendees were thoughtful, educated, and more advanced than even just since last year. Finance and accounting professionals are better prepared when searching for AP automation providers and better able to articulate their needs, business goals, and expected results.
With regards to Yooz keeping up with the industry trends: We are not only keeping up, we are setting the tone and pace that establish trends in the widespread adoption of AP automation. And we continue to work diligently on educating and guiding finance and accounting professionals through the buyer’s journey.
Finally, while this may not be a trend per se, we continue to see that the pain points related to manual finance workflows are agnostic across industries, industry size, and type of company. One of the many reasons why the Yooz solution is so desirable is that it too is agnostic across industries, industry size, and type of company. Readers may learn more about this in one of our recent blog series, On Common Ground.
Q: How much of the conversation in each of the conferences was centered around technology in finance and accounting?
A: At the Fall APP2P conference and at Sage Intacct Advantage most of the topics were centered around technology. At the AFP Treasury and Finance Conference there was some discussion, but the primary topics were related to treasury. And, surprisingly, at the LeadingAge and RFDC events, there was minimal reference to technology.
Q: Why do think that was?
A: There seemed to be misconception about emerging technologies such as AP automation as being included in existing management systems; consequently, they are not exploring and learning about other software solutions with specific functions. I will say, however, that restaurant franchisors and franchisees are starting to become more aware of the importance of automating their AP workflows and what options are available to them.
Q: What will you do differently next year…besides spreading out your conference schedule?
A: As we plan for 2019 we have the benefit of 18 months of bringing Yooz to the North America market behind us, learning which industries have moved through the education and discovery phases of the buyer’s journey and are now ready to adopt AP automation. We will focus on those industries.
We plan on increasing our footprint in those targeted verticals by continuing to:
- Produce relevant thought-leadership content
- Enhance our brand’s digital footprint
- Collaborate with industry experts and education- and research-based organizations
- Have a pragmatic focus on customer engagement and a delightful customer experience
Oh…and spreading out the conference schedule!