5 questions for Russell Glover about Finance Indaba partner Linxus

"The Finance Indaba is an ideal platform for Linxus to engage with key decision makers by demonstrating the value we can add to any business through our software products," says Russell Glover, managing director at Linxus, a a gold partner at the Finance Indaba next week. We spoke to him exclusively. Why is Linxus present at the Indaba? "Linxus is a Software Solutions business that specialises in the building and implementing solutions that drive operational efficiencies, reduce cost and mitigate risk. Our focus is on delivering appropriate and responsible solutions that are developed and implemented rapidly thereby addressing current business needs in a time frame that enables businesses to grow and or reduce cost, ultimately driving profitability in your business."

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"The Indaba is an ideal platform for Linxus to engage with key decision makers by demonstrating the value we can add to any business through our software products. Customers are operating in challenging conditions globally and business solutions focused on reducing cost and driving business process efficiencies are a key part of any CFO's strategy to keep building profits."

"There is an ever increasing consolidation and focus on improving operational efficiency and reducing operational costs within organisations. Linxus is able to assist CFOs in improving control of financial transactions and operations with financial services applications and workflows built with K2 and Linxus Accelerator."

What will you be talking about?
"We will be discussing K2 Business Process Applications, one of the Linxus core products, with the focus being on improving operational efficiencies and process optimisation. Along with this we will be looking at how K2 is able to assist in customer acquisition and retention and how operational costs can be reduced."

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"Within the financial operations department, organisations face more pressure than ever to optimise resources and better manage budgets and costs. We will demonstrate how K2 can help you maintain better control of your financial operations by incorporating line-of-business (LOB) data into customised applications and workflows based on results achieved at existing customers."

"Our experience in the market to date has shown how using K2 business applications can liberate finance departments to make more informed and faster decisions in line with proper governance, compliance and risk mitigation while reducing cost or increasing capacity of existing resources."

What can Linxus do that no other company in South Africa can do?
"Linxus has differentiated itself to its competitors by focusing on the underlying architecture of a system, fundamentally the processes by which they run. By retaining this focus and staying true to our philosophy we build business solutions and applications that drive efficiency and empower organisations to reinvent the way work is done. We do this using K2, a robust workflow and application toolset, and Linxus Accelerator, we apply custom code where appropriate and support our approach through effective change management and project management."

"We don't prescribe to our customers on where and how solutions should be deployed but rather leverage off our customer's IT infrastructures and investment strategies. Our solutions aim at adding value to the customer organisation as quickly as possible, in this sense our success with existing customers clearly shows the impact of this approach with real world results."

"Linxus, in addition, runs a fully fledged K2 lab environment which is hosted in the cloud for the building and testing of custom solutions that we later deploy to our customer's environments. This enables our clients the flexibility to commission new requirements without impacting or disrupting any current functionality in their own environment."

What will the challenges be for finance teams in 2020?
"A number of challenges exist in the marketplace today and these differ from industry to industry, however, in our view a few key themes are emerging in 2016."

"Cash Flow: The ability to manage cash flow and essentially risk is paramount to the survivability of any business today. The balancing act between customer retention, pricing/payment term competitiveness combined with the need to grow and maintain infrastructure is an extremely fine line. Finance teams in any business, irrespective of size, market or product will have this as a key agenda for the near future."

"Increasing profit margins in a challenging market: As local and global markets have come under pressure in recent years, the high growth numbers in turnover have disappeared and the focus has shifted to internal efficiencies through the business in driving down cost and improving profitability. As a key component of any business the Finance team is responsible for supporting the business by providing real time relevant information to steer decision making at all levels combined with C level strategy formulation. Gone are the days of "bean counters", finance teams are now key information traders and managing the transition to this new culture will be crucial in business survival."

"Business process efficiencies: While Finance is an essential component of any business, nevertheless it remains a cost centre and not a revenue generating activity. CEOs are always hesitant to reduce staff in areas that directly contribute to revenue, this leaves the service functions in the business as the areas to cut costs when under pressure. Therefore the effectiveness of this department as a whole will be increasingly under the spotlight and the need to drive business process efficiencies and real time information for decision making is fundamental for management."

"Appropriate Technology & Software: Legacy systems and the typical manual workarounds found in most business, cost millions each year in lost revenue or increased cost. The need to take stock of the real cost of ownership of these systems and their ability to meet business requirements is necessary. Often small changes in processes and the addition of a supporting system can transform this function."

"In addition to this the myriad of business applications, mobile platforms and all the other products currently available only create confusion in the market, finance has a key role to play in ensuring that IT systems drive business process and not the all too common scenario of the inverse."

"The real question remains can the finance team provide real time information to support decision making in the competitive business world of today?"

How can you help?
"Linxus is a software solutions company founded on the basis that simple solutions should be the link between people, processes and technology. We don't sell products, we sell real world solutions that allow your finance teams to focus on interpreting key financial data rather than managing it."

"At the end of the day our track record in meeting these challenges is in our ability to translate your business requirement into a software driven business process supported by your people. Come and speak to us about real world successes in each of these areas and many more."