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Joel’s Main Stage at Scaling New Heights 2019

See Joel's Main Stage presentation at Scaling New Heights 2019.

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Transforming Your Business

So what I wanted to talk about today with this topic of transformation is what’s happening in technology. It’s always a moving target, and I think that this year is no different than it was last year or five years ago. It causes, I think, both opportunities to be presented to us, as well as challenges.

So when we think about from the top level-down, what’s transformation going to mean to me in my business, or to my customers, my clients? I think sometimes we think it might be an opportunity, sometimes you feel like it might be a challenge. And I don’t think there’s an answer to the, “Is it ‘or’?” It’s certainly not “or”, I think it’s certainly “and”. In some cases it’s an opportunity, in many cases, it’s a challenge.

And I think how we identify things coming at us as we’re being transformed, and forced to transform, and also offering things that can be transformative to our customers and clients. It can help that framework to decide how to go after these opportunities or challenges. Not all transformation is created equal.

Opportunities for your business

Joe has set up a great three-legged stool with a transformative advisor. Financial advisory, operational advisory, and technology advisory, these are not completely separate concepts, but they really intermix and are bound together. What I want to talk about today really from the technology perspective is what we see happening in technology that’s going to impact both challenges, and present opportunities for all of you as you transform your advisory services.

The first sort of scary stuff is what’s happening in tech compliance and security. A lot of things in the news, these are really externally-driven forces that bring requirements on us as technologists, potentially as advisors. They’re forces at play with our clients. A lot of work to do here. We’ve seen security breaches within our industry.

Everybody out there is obviously working hard, companies like ours are investing a lot of money in security and compliance. I think really that’s going to continue to happen. What we can do is give our customers the best advice we can. I think getting yourself to the cloud and getting support from vendors is very helpful, much easier, and more sustainable than doing it yourself.

In the other bucket are opportunities, I think. We’ve heard it already from Simon, we’ve heard it from others. What are our customers looking for? We’re all on a path to transforming the way we do business to help our customers and our clients transform their businesses, do less manual work, do more things through automation, free up data for insights, not just for reporting in the rear view mirror.

And I’m not going to go into detail here … All kinds of opportunities, whether it’s new products and services, when you look at how you can evolve your businesses, I would just say, listen to the customers. That’s where the opportunities that are right in front of you are most tangible, most accessible.

Expand current opportunities

Much easier to sell a new product or something enhanced, in my opinion, to customers you have, because they’ll tell you what they want. You’ve already started to build the customer love, you know you have a relationship, and you can build upon that. And I think that’s really the place to start before we run down the path of finding new customers for new services. Let’s think about what we can do today by extending our relationships before we jump completely into new territory.

An example of this is, where we were at Right Networks three years ago … We host QuickBooks Desktop, most of you know us for that. And really what we heard from our customers was, “Well, we need a lot more than that.” And I would say the vision of that is really what ended up being the seat drops that’s hopefully in front of you right now. Which was, we were told, “We need all the other applications along with QuickBooks, we need the workflows we do to deliver accounting solutions, tax solutions for our clients. That’s a lot more than QuickBooks. QuickBooks may be the core of that, but we need more.”

Watch the video to learn more.


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