Trends, transactions and talk of the future of accounting and consulting are what's news this week. Here's my recap of it all and of course my two cents.
On the vendor side:
Once again Acumatica is busy hiring executives, this time over in Russia where it conducts the majority of its product development, as it has brought on a new VP of sofware enginieering Oleg Shaikhatarov -- just one week after hiring a new CEO. Oleg's claim to fame is being a part of the research lab at virtualization product maker Parallels. Long and short here is expect some serious product development, in addition to trying to get bigger and better overall. The company is still aiming to grow its staff to 30 by mid-year and triple its annual revenue, which could happen if we see a big spike in channel sales. On that note, expect some more significant partner signings to come down the pike, probably of the Microsoft Dynamics channel variety but there's still plenty of VARs looking for cloudy, SaaSy products to add to their arsenal.
Speaking of channels, cloud-based BI/CPM product maker Adaptive Planning has picked up a former SAP executive Carolee Gearhart to fill the role of vice president of global channels and partners. Her experience there, as well as at PeopleSoft should serve her and the company well as it looks to beef up it's channel efforts as well. BI is a big deal these days, for practitioners and technology consultants alike. It's all about providing customers and/or clients with deeper insight into their business and helping them remain competitive through making well informed decisions about their future. Those who realize this will be sure to cash in sooner than those who don't, or maybe don't have the right tools for the job.
We've also got some good insights this week, standouts include a piece from Kashoo Inc.'s CEO Jim Secord on how to assess how "in the cloud" your clients really are. An important step if you are going to try to sell them on cloud accounting or other related services, it beats having to "drag" them there as I've heard some practitioners say they've done with their clients -- to some succcess, I might add. Hey it beats having to fire them, which is happening more believe it or not.
Also, the dynamic duo of XCM's Kimberly Hogan and Intacct's channel head Taylor Macdonald are back with a very useful piece on how practitioners, consultants and even vendors should be spending more of their efforts when hiring or taking on new business. Specifically, the focus should be on "the middle" and not the beggining or the end result. I'm usually a fan of baseball analogies and they get across a great one about even in perfect game, it's not about that last pitch but those middle innings where maybe your defense helps you out or you have to bear down and get that needed double play or pop-up.
Both XCM and Intacct, along with oh about two dozen cloud vendors, mainly accounting and business application-related products, are getting together next week in an executive roundtable hosted by CPA2Biz and the AICPA to -- as Greg LaFollette put it in his artcle last week -- have "coopetition drive innovation." His idea, and the reason behind this historic meeting, is so that competing vendors in cloud accounting, et. al. can share ideas, gripes, and experiences in the hopes that they can help move adoption and innovation forward. Sounds great in theory, I'll be present as a silent observer to see how it all pans out.
Hey look, thought collaboration even among competitors can't necessarily be a bad thing right? Not everyone is necessarily out to win exactly the same business, and even in cases where they are there's something to be said from learning what everyone is up against. Meeints like Winning is Everything and Boomer's Circles have a similar bent do them, so again I say let's see how this one works out.
Final thought of the day, or week: I've mentioned it before about watching for more mobile product news coming from business application vendors. My thought is that if you are in this space and do not at this point have a mobile strategy, what exactily is your strategy?