"We can help finance professionals to improve their ability to better utilise their time, by automating and simplifying remedial processes like data collection, allowing them to spend more time on analysis," says Anna Puzone, the head of enterprise performance management at information management company Zetta Business Solutions, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.
Do you want to hear how Zetta Business Solutions can help optimise financial processes? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2016.
Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"We have been partnering with the CFO SA organisation and community for a while now. We have enjoyed being part of the forum and networking with peers. We engage with a lot of customers through these channels and feel that we can share a lot of information in the tech space that will assist the CFOs with the decisions they have to make."
What will you be talking about?
"As an advisory business, we are very much engaged with our clients upfront in a tailor-made engagement. Our model is to understand our clients' challenges and what keeps them up at night. This enables us to have a relevant discussion and provide a service to suit them. We want to take the learnings that we've gleaned over the past couple of years and showcase how we think we can improve processes, technologies, corporate performance management, Big Data analytics and visualisations, along with trends in these areas."
What are the challenges you can help finance professionals with in 2016?
"I come from a finance background, so this question is close to my heart. I've spent a large part of my life reconciling and doing audits. We can help finance professionals to improve their ability to better utilise their time, by automating and simplifying remedial processes like data collection, allowing them to spend more time on analysis. Having to compile mandatory budgets and reports, finance professionals generally live from cycle to cycle - you knew that your family couldn't see you during those specific times of year because you had to get things out. We really want to try to find the best way to optimise these processes and provide the CFO team with an ability to analyse the information and actually drive the business. How are they going to do that if they don't have faith and value in the numbers? Transparency is another key point. We want them to know that the numbers they will be submitting to regulatory bodies or their board hold a high level of integrity."
What are the challenges of providing technological solutions across a number of industries?
"Our industry-specific knowledge can be both a pro and a con, but our strength is in applying these learnings across sectors. It is challenging to understand the different requirements, but our model supports this because we start with the client and apply all our learnings to their issue. For instance, considering how weather patterns influence the sale of products in the retail sector can provide insights into irrigation and logistics in agriculture. Sometimes the most seemingly irrelevant thing can have a profound effect on business. We often challenge clients with something they haven't thought of, which they incorporate into their thinking to see things from a different perspective."
What does the influx of Big Data mean for South African firms?
"Everybody is talking about Big Data, but what does it mean for individual organisations? We are still in an educational phase in South Africa. Big Data isn't just about volume, but how efficiently you are able to process the data at speed and getting up to date information. It is all about putting tools and structures in place to be able to analyse the information, rather than gather it, and deriving value from the chaos. You need to share it and make it visible to people who need to have it. As you grow, you also need to implement future-focused strategies to deal with the hunger and drive for information."