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Scanning the Market

from  July 25, 2022 | 4 min read

At the start of June, Unit4 was delighted to announce the acquisition of Scanmarket. It’s always exciting to bring two businesses together, but especially so when organizational values match so closely.

By acquiring another people centric company, whose technology adds to our capabilities, we are also expanding our opportunity to reach different stakeholders within our customers’ businesses – from the CIO, through to the COO and, increasingly, the Chief Financial Officer. I caught up with Unit4’s own CFO, Matt Bagley, to discuss the deal and how it plays into requirements of the Office of the CFO.

MIKE: So, Matt, we are delighted to welcome Scanmarket to Unit4. You were, of course, involved in the deal. What else can you tell us about it?
With technologically advanced cloud-based solutions, and a raft of global customers, there were many reasons why Scanmarket appealed to us, but of particular significance was the fact that it is another company built with people at its core. For me, one of the other key points is that the additional global strategic procurement capabilities also open up a new audience for us, particularly in finance, and another opportunity to deliver greater value for our customers.

MIKE: This deal further extends our reach into finance and procurement teams and, recently, we have seen more CFOs approaching us looking for solutions – why do you think this is?
Today’s CFO role touches every part of an organization, with the consequence that the function has moved way beyond the back office to the front and strategic centre.

If we look at my team, for example, we have evolved from ‘just’ being focused on finance, to becoming intertwined with broader organizational strategy and, therefore, having a wider purview across the entire business. The same applies for many of my industry peers and, as a result, CFOs need technology and software solutions which are more sophisticated, but also easier to integrate with the broader application software stack.

MIKE: So what does today’s CFO need?
The Office of the CFO analyses not only finance data but also operational data, sales data, people data, marketing data and more. Therefore, it helps if there is a single lens to do so - a software platform which gives an overarching view of the entire business. This ensures easier and quicker informed decision making, and technology really is the enabler here.

MIKE: So how is tech helping you?
Well, everyone is talking about the move to cloud which should not be viewed as a cost saving exercise for businesses - it is about radically redefining how a business operates for the future. Collaboration across teams and standardization of processes is easier and more efficient with cloud-based ERP and SaaS solutions.

For me, and most CFOs, it’s also about having a single source of truth for company data. Automation plays a key role, so a platform that automates data reconciliation and combines information from multiple sources is a vital asset to help unify an organization’s data and improve processes.

CFOs have always focused on analytics but, as well as looking at scenarios for finance and forecasting, we also require tools to enable modelling and analysis across the entire business, to look at efficiencies, drive decisions, uncover growth opportunities and create savings and value.

It’s been well recognized that the Office of the CFO is instrumental in using corporate wide data to guide business operations…but we need the right tools to help us do that.

MIKE: Turning to look at the Scanmarket deal, we are a company focused on growth – and I am often asked if M&A is how we plan to achieve this. What’s your take on this?
Sure, it’s one part of our strategy, and one which will open up new markets and industries, and it will also accelerate Unit4’s transition to a cloud-first software company.

However, it’s just one facet of that strategy. There are other ways in which we will achieve our growth targets - of course, by winning new business, driven by our cloud based ERPx solution, plus working with our existing customers – many who have been with us for decades – to support their journeys to the cloud, and expand their adoption of the Unit4 portfolio. This latest acquisition positions us well to support our customers across every part of their journey, and helps Unit4 to touch every part of their business.

Mike Ettling - Chief Executive Officer at Unit4

Mike Ettling

Unit4 Chief Executive Officer

I’m a CEO, Investor, builder of world class teams, champion of diversity and continuous learner, and I’m passionate about people. From my first leadership role in the Boy Scouts, to exec positions in the tech industry, my career has revolved around elevating, engaging and enabling people. I joined Unit4 to get the market as excited in our unique approach to enterprise tech as I am. We’re building systems that change how people experience work, and the impact will be huge.

Outside of work I’m a proud father, Liverpool supporter and South African.