Following the recent launch of FinancialForce.com as a ‘spin out’ from Unit 4 Agresso and with investment from Salesforce.com, it’s been fascinating to watch the response of the competition. Straight after the announcement, various accounting software suppliers in the SaaS (software as a service) or ‘cloud accounting’ space rushed out prepared statements that tried to both welcome the arrival of a new competitor and dismiss it as more publicity stunt than serious threat. One competitor was so dismissive and unconcerned about the arrival of FinancialForce.com that it issued prepared statements to all of its executives to use in the press, with the strange effect that various individuals got quoted saying exactly the same words! Others got defensive and tried to spread some negativity on Twitter.
They all quickly realised that by talking about us so publicly they were having the opposite effect – giving us publicity and making it clear they were rattled! So they went suddenly quiet. But not totally quiet. We now hear that various companies and individuals are making negative comments to prospects and commentators ‘off the record’. They fall into two categories, both laughable when they are analysed:
- That FinancialForce.com doesn’t have many customers.
- That it is a ‘legacy product’!
Regarding customers, of course we don’t have as many on FinancialForce.com as some of the older vendors who’ve been around for many years… that’s what happens when you have a new product – you have to build up a user base. However, we have a growing and enthusiastic user base and some of them are helping raise our profile by adding their names to our example customer area, approving press releases or giving interviews with the press and for case studies.
Of course we’d always like more to do publicity, but we have to remember that customers don’t take FinancialForce.com to give us kudos – they choose it because it helps them to run their businesses more efficiently, and they’re all fast growing and dynamic organizations. As for the ‘legacy product’ jibe – what a joke! FinancialForce.com was developed from scratch on the Force.com platform, salesforce.com’s own enterprise cloud computing platform. It’s a new application – well, we’ve been developing it now for around 2 years, so it’s maturing fast and is now a highly functional, international accounting system.
It does benefit from CODA’s three decades of experience in developing accounting systems on a range of new (at the time) technologies – from HP3000 to Digital VAX to the IBM AS/400 and then open. client server platforms. So we understand all the challenges of developing an application that will not only do your bookkeeping, but also the accounting and financial management that growing organizations of all sizes need. And we’ve refined a ‘single ledger’ design that delivers true real-time accounting, regardless of your size, and is still the most modern approach to accounting on the market. That’s the result of experience – not legacy technology. Kind of ironic to get such jibes from vendors whose SaaS applications have been around for a decade, give or take. Which is the one looking long in the tooth?