Basware Connect on The Trends Shaping Finance and Procurement – An Overview

We're a bit conference-heavy this week having attended various events this mid-conference season - with Peter over in Madrid and Sheena Smith (VP Client Services over from the US) and me covering London, we've tried to spread ourselves out to get you as much diverse coverage as possible. We were sorry not to have got to Berlin and Manchester - too many clashes.

Yesterday we were at Basware Connect at CodeNode near Moorgate - by the way, really good modern venue, lots of nice open spaces for networking and plenty of smallish rooms for more intimate presentations. Basware had about 100 people, but what was interesting, and good to have, was a well balanced mix of customers and prospective customers, and some big names too. So Basware are definitely being sought out and considered to replace legacy systems, especially now that its solution package is wider. We saw a good presentation from Scanmarket to exemplify this - which we'll report on next week.

Speaking of good presentations - they were all good! Basware have very natural, well versed speakers who really demonstrate that they know what they're talking about - that came through in the Q&A sessions. They talk to you, rather than present at you, which made it feel relaxed and engaging. We thoroughly enjoyed every session. We joked that it was like being at college, going from lecture to lecture with breaks in between, but learning something useful at each one. So we have loads to deep dive into next week - but for now here's a quick overview of what we saw, and learnt.

'The mega trends shaping the future,' what they mean and how they apply to Finance and Procurement was delivered by Eric Wilson, VP P2P at Basware. He talked about  Robotic Process Automation, AI, and Blockchain (which we got a really good, simplified view of in a later talk from Simon Taylor of 11.FS), the opportunities they bring you and the skills you will need to take advantage of them. He then went on to discuss the criticality of data and how to turn it into competitive advantage. We also listened to another of his speeches later on which was on future proofing your tech investments and staying ontop of 'relevance.' Eric is a great speaker, clearly knowledgeable but able to put the most tricky concepts into simple business context. We'll have more on him next week.

Andy Stevenson, Head of Finance for East of England Co-op gave a good outline of just how he managed to put together a winning business case for P2P. This was an opportunity to learn from someone else's experiences, with a positive outcome, which gave clear takeaways for anyone attempting to do the same.

Then we got into some Basware, P2P 'hacks,' tips, or shortcuts to saving money for existing users. It did reveal some really quite clever stuff - delivered by Sam Purches, senior pre-sales consultant.

So more on all of this next week. We couldn't attend every session and we know we missed out on some seriously interesting insights, like Theresa Lacey, Senior Product Manager, on new functionality and future plans, and Paul Taylor, Senior VP Global Sales on what's new at Basware - maybe we can persuade other delegates to submit a post on their experience of those sessions?

A big success story of the day was the talk from Matthew Syed, who delighted us with a thought-provoking approach to high performance coming from his experience as author, journalist and sportsman. We're looking forward to telling you all about that.

So a very well spent, enjoyable day with lots to take away. Well organised too - well done Basware on keeping everything running smoothly and to time.

As well as potential customers we met existing users who were considering renewing and updating. Maybe they didn't have the most current capabilities, or through growth wanted to scale out to other regions - so the conference was a good mechanism for them to corroborate the latest offerings through presentations, demos and meeting other users. We're sure they would have come away impressed.

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