Businesses need to wake up to Automation

Published Monday, November 20, 2017 4:38 PM by Dean McGlone, V1

Automation is set to transform every corner of the business world. But, with new research from Future Advocacy suggesting it poses a threat to the workplace and the jobs people are paid to do, many organisations fail to see the positive disruption that automation can bring.

The reality is that people shouldn’t be worried – it’s this scaremongering that is clouding organisations’ perceptions and hampering the adoption of new technologies.

Automation needs to be seen as a force for good in business, and something that will only adapt jobs, and even create news ones as Gartner suggests. Perceptions are already changing, albeit slowly, in a wide range of industries including finance, with global research from Sage revealing that accountants have a huge appetite for automation.

Automation is an opportunity

The good news is that some finance departments have already quenched their thirst for such technology. Purchase Invoice Automation (PIA), for example, has become a key part of many organisations finance transformation plans. Accounts payable teams get more time and so can focus on higher value activities and, in many cases, this leads to organisations looking for finance teams with higher skillset levels. So automation is an opportunity – not a threat – to the workplace.

But how can the channel help in waking businesses up to the fact that automation is a positive disruption? The answer is in collaboration, integration and education.

We live in a connected world and, as a result, businesses are far more likely to purchase a product that can integrate tightly in their existing product portfolio. This means that technology vendors need to work better together and demonstrate how their products can provide businesses with one end-to-end solution for automating key business processes.

Vendors also need to work more closely with distributors and resellers to provide their customers with ongoing education and awareness. It’s about the channel working as a collective and offering a package that makes automation both accessible and positive. The consequence is that like-minded channel partners will see a significant increase in sales.

V1’s partnership with Sage

A great example of this is Sage and V1, a partnership which meets the evolving needs of businesses looking to take advantage of automation. Our PIA solution is integrated tightly into the core of Sage X3 – a market-leading business management solution that is helping thousands of enterprises change and grow in the digital era.

With this level of integration, many resellers are reporting that automation has helped them increase average order values and win new business for Sage. This increased demand also means we are constantly signing up new resellers in the Sage channel wanting to take advantage of automation. In fact, in the last few weeks alone, we have signed up 10 new customers. What’s more, Sage X3 resellers are quickly realising how easy and beneficial it is to add PIA as a key integrated element. The fact that V1 is named a highly coveted ‘Rockstar’ for finance automation also reinforces the capabilities of our solution.

We strongly believe that automation is an opportunity not to be missed (or feared). But it’s up to the rest of the channel to build confidence among organisations looking to automate key functions. As Sage and V1 demonstrate above, partnerships encourage mutual business growth and, if we can achieve that, we can wake more organisations up to automation and turn those pessimistic reports on their heads.

Businesses need to wake up to automation – and the channel can help by