CODA and Corefino recently announced that they’re joining forces to produce what they’re calling a mid-market alternative to the traditional on-premise ERP offerings. Called Corefino 2go, the offering combines the Force.com-based CODA 2go accounting software with Corefino’s Triple-C Technology Platform.
I’ve come across Coda 2go previously – they’re one of the few vendors that have made a successful transition from installed software to SaaS, without significantly changing their product offering – for success in this difficult move they deserve some attention. Corefino however only launched last month and, according to its own blurb it;
offers a turnkey people/place/platform combination of outsourced accounting experts, outsourced technology and its Triple-C (Connect-Correct-Comply) Best Practices/ workflow framework. By removing the on-site technology and headcount headaches from mid-market CFO’s and Controllers, Corefino helps them to become ‘strategic accelerators’ capable of more meaningful business impact.
Which is a pretty impressive piece of marketing spin but would translate, as far as I can see, to Corefino being all about services – offering implementation and ongoing support to the software offerings they partner with along with some business process frameworks to drive some efficiencies (interestingly Corefino is already partnered with Intacct, EASi and ADP). CEO of Corefino, Karen Watts comes from a serial-CFO background and explained to me that, having put process in place in successive existing businesses, she realized there was a need for an outsourced offering that combined people, processes and software – hence Corefino.Watts was pretty upbeat about the offering saying in the press release that;
Before founding Corefino, I was a CFO myself. I’m well aware that routine accounting is a high-touch, people-resource-heavy, technology-centric function that adds zero value to a company’s strategic mix. What we are saying is, Give it to us – we are experts at this. Spend your technology and people resource money elsewhere on activities and strategies that are going to take your company to the next level.
I’m a fan of smart channel partnerships for accounting providers, especially when it combines implementation and professional service functions. Time will tell whether Corefino has the clout to bring customers to the table – they’re selling the deal on the following value-adds;
- key business processes and applications implemented, managed and maintained by specialists leaving the company free to focus core business activities
- reduced reliance on internal and frequently scarce IT and administrative resources so that organizations can ensure their people are working on more strategic business processes
- a cost-effective means to access a best-of-breed finance system, delivered via the internet and charged on a per-user, per-month subscription basis
- ability to benefit from affordable business process outsourcing
- rapid deployment and return on investment
- secure anytime, anywhere access to financial data for a complete view of business performance
- none of the issues related to on-premise software, such as ongoing maintenance, post-implementation changes or system upgrades.
Corefino, from the customer’s perspective, is an onseller of the SaaS products they offer – the customer pays Corefino one amount which covers the service element as well as the software provision. Watt’s told me that customers who choose to terminate their relationship with Corefino, will have their CODA 2go licence handed over to them ensuring continuity independent of Corefino.
This partnership makes sense for CODA. As an English company they arguable lack the contacts and the culture to make inroads in the US market, they also realise the costs involved in building their own sales channel. The Corefino deal gives them access to a pan-US channel. I do have some concerns however over the fact that Corefino is also partnered with Intacct – while Corefino can take the line that they source the best solution for any one particular business, the do run the risk of finding themselves conflicted and/or disappointing their software partners.
I’ve often said that the most important “S” in SaaS is the second one – this deal speaks to that contention by recognising that the technology is nothing without a wrapper of hep – with migration and implementation, integration and ongoing service – Corefino offers this.