Reval’s Clear Focus on Serving up the Cloud
An interview with Justin Brimfield, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP Corporate Strategy, Reval
In late April of 2015, Reval launched its Reval Cloud Platform and introduced new packages and services. TMI caught up with Reval’s Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Corporate Strategy Justin Brimfield to find out more about the provider’s offerings and its developments in the treasury market.
You’ve said that Reval has moved from a product strategy to a platform strategy. What does that mean, and why is that important to the market?
When Reval integrated cash and liquidity functionality into our popular risk management capabilities in 2011, we created the first all-in-one, single-version treasury and risk management application, delivered through the software-as-a-service model. Clients were asking for an all-in-one, and they would have purchased this kind of offering when they bought their treasury management systems years ago, but none was available until Reval developed one. Also in play now is the growing popularity of the cloud. More companies are recognising the value of cloud-based offerings, like software-as-a-service (SaaS), and research is showing that – while adoption is at different stages in different countries – cloud-enabled offerings are on the rise in many industries.
As a cloud-based, multi-tenant SaaS from the beginning, Reval has built up a rich foundation of best practices from the most innovative companies in the world. With this foundation, offering treasury’s most needed capabilities along with straight-through processing to best-of-breed trading and investment portals, banks and market data providers, Reval offers more than a product to the market. We offer a user experience. The Reval Cloud Platform brings the user experience front and centre because it is highly configurable and scalable, allowing us to deliver different packages for different markets and usages. We have the platform: now the focus is on delivering its functionality in ways users want to engage with it.
One of those packages you have introduced is Reval CORE™, which caters to the mid-market organisation. Why the mid-market and why now?
Increasing complexity is driving the mid-market to technology. Whether these companies are global or not, the forces of business are global, and that increases the complexities for CFOs and their treasury functions in this market. Finance professionals in these companies are finding that their spreadsheets and bank portals can’t sustain the growth they are experiencing, so are looking for technology that they can implement quickly and grow with.
Many are having problems from growth through acquisition. Their organisations are inheriting legacy technologies that they are now stitching together, and they are jumping between more bank accounts and bank portals. I had a conversation recently with a company that was no more than $30m just 10 years ago. They are now over $700m, having grown primarily through acquisitions. They currently have over nine different ERP systems and are struggling to get a consolidated view of cash.
Globalisation and the need to manage working capital efficiently – especially in a rising interest rate environment – are driving the need for a consolidated view of cash. Meeting this need will help mitigate the inefficient borrowing now occurring, as funding costs will continue to rise. Opportunities in this environment will also entice net new investors looking for higher returns. So again, their need for understanding and managing working capital is more pressing. I was at an event in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was sitting next to a $48m automotive manufacturer who was doing business in over 15 different countries, which demonstrates the scale of some of these mid-market organisations.
How is your Reval CORE offering being received?
Very well; we see a lot of opportunity because of the sheer size of the mid-market and its limited use of treasury solutions to date. They are looking for pre-defined solutions that meet the core functions within treasury – bank positioning, bank polling, liquidity planning, consolidated reporting, and some of them have risk – foreign exchange or interest rate. They want the same functional power that a large organisation has available to them, but they want it pre-configured to industry best practices. And they want it at a price that fits their size.
Also, the mid-market need for treasury technology doesn’t appear to be just a regional phenomenon; we see demand in all the regions we serve. This market segment is also gravitating toward the cloud because they don’t have the legacy mindset of ‘I have to own this licence’ and manage it in their own infrastructure.