Basware Get Busy – Financial Results, Finnish Disposals and “Mobile Discussions”

The announcements have been coming thick and fast from eInvoicing and networked “source-to-pay” solutions specialists Basware over the past week.

Their annual results were announced on February 2nd, and showed a continuing evolution of the firm from an on-premise software and services business to a true cloud solution provider. Their Board will be pleased with the fact that 53% of their revenue was cloud-based in 2017 – up 20% from 45% the previous year.

But the transition has meant taking a hit to the bottom line, which was forecast, so the firm had an “operating result” showing a loss of some €6.7 million for the full year in 2017 (similar to 2016) on the 149 million turnover.  And given the fundamental switch in the nature of the revenues, it is hard to judge quite how the broadly flat sales performance year-on-year should be assessed.

However, investors are happy, and there is plenty of cash on the balance sheet, which are probably the two most important factors for the firm at this point. The share price hardly moved on the announcement, and indeed has stayed very solid though the current weak of stock market gyrations!

The same day, the firm announced that it had “an agreement to sell its Financial Performance Solutions and Banking businesses to Verdane Capital, an active owner of technology-enabled growth companies in Northern Europe”.

That’s interesting, we thought, is this something to do with their developing supply chain finance offering? No, not at all, Basware explained.

“These disposals do NOT relate to Basware’s working capital financing service solutions. Basware Banking is a Finland-only solution for customers consolidating and approving their payment files ahead of sending to their relationship banks. The product is not sold outside Finland. FPM is a financial consolidation accounting tool, consolidating management reporting under Finnish accounting rules. Again, a Finnish-only product so no changes to Basware Pay or any of our working capital solutions, which continues to be part of our strategy”.

Like most observers, we had no idea these products were part of the Basware offering, and the sales are just a minor tidying -up exercise by the look of it.

The third announcement was more interesting. Basware “announced the availability of mobile discussions, a capability that allows people working in procurement and accounts payable to collaborate more efficiently on-the-go”.

This supports mobile discussions related to “specific purchase requisitions, orders or invoices by using a mobile message sending and receiving functionality. The goal is to enhance productivity of individuals by ensuring that any open questions or issues can be handled in a timely manner – regardless of time and place. It makes document-related discussions simple to access for just about everyone involved, leading to faster, less cluttered communication that translates into more work, less talk”.

Now this feels like we need to see it in action. I mean, we have email, we have text, WhatsApp, even the good old-fashioned telephone. Why do we need another means of communication? On the other hand, if Basware really have come up with something better than these options then … might  that rule the digital world?

Sami Peltonen at Basware said:  “If business users need an accounts payable clerk’s advice or they want to agree how costs are shared between company functions, they usually start an email discussion or call the relevant stakeholders. Although these methods work, they take a lot of time, zap energy from people, and significantly hamper productivity and efficiency.”

And maybe we are looking here at something that is also about having a robust audit trail for invoice related decisions? That might be useful.

As Basware say; “mobile discussions consolidate messages in a single hub and store information where all users can access it. Employees who need to reference the mobile discussions search for key terms and phrases to query relevant messages instead of digging through old email chains. This also eliminates disorganized internal communication, making it easy for users to find what they are looking for without exerting too much effort or spending too much time on the search”.

So definitely one to look into more – and a sign of Basware being more innovative perhaps, as well as continuing to be a strong, established player particularly in that purchase-to-pay and eInvoicing world.

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