Technology Reseller v61

SOFTWARE 30 01732 759725 iplicit is looking for resellers to help disrupt the accounting software market. James Goulding reports reseller partners. “We brought in a colleague last year who’s establishing strong relationships with accountancies across the country. They know their customers’ business and can either recommend iplicit to them or work in an outsourcing BPO-type arrangement where they manage the books for them using iplicit,” explains Gorton. “I look after channel resellers, and they are critical for the growth of iplicit, mainly because nobody knows the customer better than channel partners themselves. They've got these longestablished relationships with customers and understand their pain points, their challenges and the systems they're currently running. “What we hear from prospects and customers is they want something they can access from any browser at any time of the day and get a real time picture of their business. They're looking to improve their month-end processes, where they could be spending hours and hours in Excel spreadsheets trying to consolidate multiple entities. The automations within iplicit can save people so much time, so much effort, and ensure their books are accurate and up to date.” SaaS appeal As a true cloud solution, iplicit helps overcome the limitations of on-premises systems that as well as being hard to scale may not have the appeal of software-as-aservice for the next generation of business leaders – something that Gorton says should be of interest both to resellers and their customers. “There are around 90,000 customers in the UK still using on-premises systems and there are many partners out there still just selling on-premises systems. Yet we’re getting to the point where it's not only the next generation of workers, but the next generation of decision-makers who have grown up in the digital world will expect any business they work for or run to be using the latest systems to ensure greater efficiency and to give them that foundation to scale into the next decade and beyond.” He adds that for ambitious partners looking to attract new business, perhaps with a view to a future sale, there are other benefits in selling a cloud system that is going to be around for the next 20 years or more. “I think it's very evident that there's a big difference to an investor or potential buyer when they're looking at a company’s books between having 100 on-premises customers and 100 cloud customers delivering guaranteed, predictable, repeatable, annual recurring revenue.” Referral opportunities Gorton says that while the ideal iplicit partner will be experienced in selling ERP solutions or financial management systems, there are opportunities for partners that might not have the expertise necessary to become a reseller or implementation partner. “Not every business is going to be in a position to be an implementation partner or a full reseller but they may have conversations on a daily basis with customers who may need a new system. And if they're in a position to be able to recommend iplicit we have a very, very generous referral programme, which gives them a cut of the initial deal size when we close that deal.” He adds that iplicit can also help referral partners move to the next level. “The referral programme allows an MSP or IT company that does cybersecurity, Microsoft Office, network and communications to tap into wallet share they’ve not previously had access to. If they have resources in-house they're not utilising or are looking to build a practice around selling an implementation of financial management systems, which some MSPs actually do already, we're there to support them with that as well.” In the four or five months since iplicit launched its partner programme, it has already recruited five partners, with more in the pipeline. “It takes time to build a channel. It takes time to build momentum, but we've got that now. Deals are closing, more partners are coming on board. It's an incredibly exciting time for iplicit and for our partners.” For businesses and resellers, it is time to move on from on-premise accounting software and embrace a true cloud solution – and not just a hosted legacy system. So says Alexis Gorton, Channel Manager at iplicit, a self-styled cloud accounting disruptor that has ambitions to become the Xero of the mid-market, which he defines as growing businesses with £10 million to £15 million turnover or 20-50 employees as a minimum. iplicit fills the gap between entrylevel cloud solutions, such as Xero and QuickBooks, and enterprise-level full ERP systems that offer more advanced functionality than many will need and 60 to 100-day implementations they might not have the budget for. “iplicit is ready-made for businesses that have been through the initial stages of growth, have a solid foundation and need a system they can rely on to support the growth of their business into the next decade,” explains Gorton. “The key premise of iplicit is that we try to make the complex, simple and accessible. We're providing what we believe is enterprise-level functionality to the mid-market, at a consumable price.” Launched just over four years ago, iplicit has grown quickly from a handful of employees to a workforce of 63 serving more than 900 customers in 72 countries with roughly 10,000 users logging into iplicit daily. New partner programme To begin with, the company relied on a direct sales force to generate business, which, as Gorton points out, makes a great deal of sense for a software business. “We started off with, and continue to have, a direct sales team. That's obviously very important for any business starting off in this space because one thing you really need to do is ensure you're very close to your customers from day one and can take those customers on a journey with you as you improve the solution and iron out any challenges.” Now that iplicit has achieved a level of maturity and validation, it has launched a partner programme addressing two distinct communities – accountancy partners and Has-been counters beware Alexis Gorton