Full Webinar Transcript
Welcome, everyone, to today’s special announcement sponsored by Celigo about our upcoming expanded partnership with Acumatica. I’m Jordan Fladell. I’m the vice president of alliances and channels, and I can’t wait to talk to you about why we’ve chosen as a company to double down our partnerships between Celigo and Acumatica. Today, I want to just cover a few things, which is our agenda. What are we going to cover today? We’ll give you a brief intro to Celigo. I will tell you as a little preview tomorrow, for all of you partners, we have a special enablement session where we’ll dive deep into why about the partnership, why Celigo, and why it’s important to Acumatica. If you haven’t seen an invite, please do let us know in the chat or feel free to email us afterward and ask for an invitation. We’ll cover what the announcement’s all about. I’ll tell you what this means to you as a partner and why it’s important, then we’re going to have some very special guests. I’m privileged to announce that Jon Roskill is going to bless us, the CEO of Acumatica, with his time, as well as Peter and Loni from Curran, two great people who happen to both be Acumatica and Celigo customers. We’ll have Seth Kuhn from SWK Technologies. Seth is a partner of Celigo as well as Acumatica. He’ll be sharing his story. And then last but not least, Jan Arendtsz, the CEO and founder of Celigo, will wrap us up and let us know why he’s excited about this partnership. So enough with the agenda. Let’s kind of talk a little bit about who is Celigo and why does this matter to you. So just so everyone knows, Celigo is an iPaaS platform. What does that mean? Integration platform as a service. We are Acumatica certified, and we’re highly recommended by all sorts of sites, from G2 to Gartner Insights and more. What the real power of our platform is, is we allow you to easily connect applications to the ERP, or to any store system, and truly make it one source of the truth for integration to manage your customers. The application platform was built with a mind’s eye to leverage a business consultant with a technical bent, so you don’t need to know how to code to necessarily use our platform. And if you’re a lightweight developer, you can jump in there as well as a power developer. So we clearly cover all your needs. Before I jump into painting a picture of where this journey leads to, I’d also like to dive a little deeper into what the partnership’s all about. So what we’ve elected to do– what Acumatica and Celigo have gotten together to do is put the Celigo iPaaS platform into the price book. So you as partners now can order directly from Acumatica. The beauty of this is we’ve also designed a special SKU. This SKU gives you the Acumatica endpoint for free. It simply enables you to do more complex integrations. So the next time your customer says, “I have multiple storefronts. I use Salesforce for my CRM, I have a third-party logistics provider, and I use Zendesk for customer support,” you don’t need to worry about that. You simply need to go to the price book, work with our Acumatica partners who you already work with today, they’ll get you connected, and we’ll get your order processed. So enough about this. Today is all about hearing from others besides me. And without further ado, I’d like to welcome Jon Roskill, CEO of Acumatica. Jon, thank you for joining us today as we announce our new partnership with Acumatica. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us, as well as the partner community, about really why Celigo and why this partnership matters to the Acumatica community. Okay. Well, first of all, I’ll just say we’re very excited to be taking our partnership– which is an existing partnership, but we’re taking our partnership with Celigo really from both sides to the next level of commitment. And as part of this, what we’re announcing is that Acumatica, through our sales mechanisms and our extensive global partner channel, will be reselling Celigo alongside the Acumatica solution through that partner network. And so it’s really just making everything easier, taking friction out of the system, and providing much broader access to this legal technology natively with Acumatica. Well, John, that’s exciting and we’re excited too about the change in the relationship and the ability to support partners via the price book. As you started the partnership with Celigo a couple of years ago, and now that we’re extending that and more investment, really why does Celigo matter to Acumatica and to the partners and to your customers? Well, Acumatica was designed as an ERP for the modern cloud era, and we always believed from the start that unlike some of the other vendors in this space, their perspective is close walls and try and make things proprietary. We believe the successful part of cloud is this notion of connected cloud and that if you look at most businesses today, they already have many clouds that they’re running. And it could be that they’re running things like Office 365 from Microsoft, they could be running Salesforce for their CRM and something like Acumatica for the ERP. And so if you’re living in a world where all you’re doing is taking silos and moving them to the cloud, you’re not really accomplishing the true vision and capabilities of cloud services and digital transformation. And so that goes back to this whole notion of the connected cloud, and we believe very strongly in open cloud interfaces and APIs, as does Celigo. So we massively agree on that. And what this is about then is letting the customer pick what are the right cloud services to bring into their business? And be able to easily connect them up with what is typically their system of record, which is the ERP solution. And that’s what Celigo is enabling broadly. Well, that’s awesome, and that’s great to hear. And John, I had a chance to be at the Acumatica summit this year here and hear the story around the digital journey, or as you like to call it, the digital journey to the digital transformation. But you mentioned many cloud apps. When you think about the partners that you’ve brought on board, you have many, so many great partners, too many to name in this opening short little conversation we’re having. What do you think the impact is to partners now to give them a tool like Celigo in addition to a tool like Acumatica to kind of help them help their customers have a platform that really fits their need and how they can build services and strengthen that relationship with customers? Yeah, it’s a number of different fronts for partners. On the sort of just pure transaction side, it makes things, as I mentioned earlier, more frictionless. It’s just very easy for them to as they’re working with a customer on their order for what might be a number of different products and services to just include Celigo alongside that. And that always is helpful. But more broadly what it means is you can take Acumatica and with Celigo and the hundreds and hundreds now of connectors that are built that Celigo has as part of your native solution, it’s very easy to be able to walk into a customer with confidence that you’re going to be able to connect whatever they might have into the rest of the overall cloud solution. And that just takes a huge amount of concern and difficulty off of the partner. Well, John, thank you so much for today. I’m going to ask one more final question for you before I let you go and wrap up, but I’m sure you’ve got a busy day with the rest of the schedule coming up. What excites you most about this partnership with Celigo and how do you think that your partner should rally around that, that you kind of built this great rapport with? Well, I think both companies, as I mentioned, have a clear vision of this open connect to CloudWorld. And so it always helps to look to companies that are partnering around a similar vision. And I think that that’s sort of the starting point. But it’s also Celigo understands this notion of partner networks and how to drive things at scale. And that’s a space where Acumatica has been innovating for years now. We’ve built one of the largest global partner networks. And so the fact that Celigo is able to come into it with its partner-friendly vision and just plug into that with Acumatica is going to make everything very easy for everybody involved. And so I’m just very excited about this. I have no doubt it’s a good thing for our customers. It’s a good thing for our partners. And I’m really excited to see what comes off of it because it’s going to just enable whole new solution sets. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about is helping customers solve problems. Well, John, thank you so much. And I know you’re super busy, really appreciate the time, glad we always get to connect, brings up lots of good memories for me, super excited about what we’re going to do together in the rest of 2021 to ’22, and look forward to seeing in January again in this upcoming year. So thanks a bunch much for your time. Absolutely. Yeah, we’re just getting started, so it’s going to be a great, great 2022. I have no doubt, okay. Thank you, Jeff. Now we’ve heard from John Rosco. I think it’s important that we get an opportunity to hear from a customer so they can tell their story. And we’re privileged today, as I mentioned, to welcome Lonnie and Peter. Lonnie, who’s the accounting manager, and Peter, who’s the operations manager at Conran, a very specialty furniture store, a European specialty furniture store. They’ll get a chance to share their story. They’ll tell us why they chose Celigo and Acumatica to solve their business challenges. So I’d like to welcome Peter and Lonnie. Thank you for giving us your time today. Thanks for having us. So before we get started and talk about that, I’d love to just take an opportunity for everybody here at the event to learn more about your business, what you do because I know I was quite fascinated when I spent time on your website learning about kind of what you guys sell and what you guys offer to the marketplace. Yeah. We are an online boutique retailer of high design furniture and flooring, specializing in natural and synthetic Size well carpets. We provide a curated selection on high-touch engagement with our customers. Awesome, awesome. And so what type of–? I mean there’s all types of furniture. I’m a little bit curious here. Obviously, I mentioned a little bit in our pre-discussion that I’m engaged in my own little reconstruction project. Is there a specialty type of furniture, you guys deliver a certain type of clientele you guys work with? Give a little more background maybe on that. Yeah, sure. So, yeah, we specialize in so European-designed or European-inspired furniture. So we’ve got these fine brands from Italy and Spain. So if you think about really excellent, the high, high-end resort, we’re bringing back that vacation feeling back to your own pool area or deck patio, that sort of thing. You can see sort of behind me representing one of these brands here. Awesome, awesome. So, I’m not sure which one of you want to take this, but I’d love to maybe dive into– obviously, you’re a Acumatica customer, and you’ve chosen them to be your ERP. And as you selected that ERP, I’m sure the next thing that came to mind was you had a bunch of business processes and you needed to do integration. Can you talk a little bit about the challenge once you deployed this ERP, what you saw in front of you and what kind of integration challenges you kind of had to deal with as a business? Yeah. One of the first things we wanted to connect was our website. We have a customized website with a custom API, which is always something that’s harder to maintain yourself. Celigo was a great solution to that. We could easily keep that connection flowing, all of our orders, our customer data flowing into the ERP. Awesome. And my understanding is you didn’t stop there. It wasn’t just with the website, right? You guys, were there other areas where you might be looking to automate your business processes. Were there any other opportunities you guys kind of saw to expand or challenges you look to solve? Sure, yeah. So one thing that– yeah, so our company is only about 26 people, so our tech resources are limited. And so Lonnie and I are not coders or developers. And so once we got in and saw how Celigo works, then we saw other opportunities for us to take and to be able to solve some problems for ourselves. We’ve started working with our marketing team and connecting to our Google Analytics connections and do Google ads, so doing direct connections there, as well as connecting our sales order and our customer data going back and forth between our website. And so what is the impact of this kind of integration investment? You mentioned you’re 26 people. Obviously, primary business is not coding, your primary business is integration, or, in that case, running an ERP. So talk to me a little about maybe the benefits you guys have seen from this automation or investment in integration. Yeah. So obviously, the investment in Acumatica was sort of the foundation of this. And now sort of are scrutinizing all of our other systems and sort of thinking, “Well, if we can’t connect it, then how can we replace it?” And so the Celigo really sort of gives an opportunity for us to have impetus in those connections, leaving our developing team to really focus on enhancing our heads on our website and customer experience, which is sort of the focus and the core of the business. And so, yeah, Celigo really just– we get excited about seeing the different ways that we can connect and keep what has been really separate, isolated departments and their tools and having it all funnel back into the core, which the Acumatica. One of the main– Google Ads is one of the first things we connected. And the ability to bring Acumatica data with Google Ad costs and sales has been tremendous for our team. We are pivoting and able to spend more in the right areas now, which we were not able to do before, and Celigo was the main driver of that. Well, awesome, awesome. And you guys mentioned you’re a small team. Did you happen to work with any partners in the journey with this, or did you guys go at this Han Solo, as I like to say? Yeah. Are our var for Acumatica is PC Bennett. And so we’ve been working with them for close to two years now on sort of launching Acumatica as well as, obviously, helping us connect and take advantage of the other integrations. And so we first we first heard about Celigo at the Acumatica Trade Show– Summit, sorry– and then sort of circled back to them after PC Bennett suggested that it might help us with one of our connections. Awesome, awesome. And so as you look towards the future of your business and now you’ve got this great foundation, Acumatica, you’ve got a good iPaaS platform and you have a great partner, PC Bennett. What do you guys see coming next from your standpoint of– where do you see you continuing to evolve? I’ll borrow John’s words, right, on this digital journey to transform your business to become a digital enterprise. What do you think is next for you on the horizon? We have many future software products that we’re hoping to bring on board and Celigo will be what kind of connects the whole system together. In this day of all software being in the cloud, it’s crucial to have that kind of an API system that’s easy to use. Awesome, awesome. Well, Peter, I know you guys run a business and the last thing you want to do is spend all your time with us, but we really appreciate you spending a few moments of your day sharing your story. On behalf of Celigo, we are thankful that you’re a customer, and I know that if John was here, he would be saying the same thing on the Acumatica side. I’ll speak on behalf of PC Bennett, we’re all super excited to have you on the team. And again, we really appreciate your sharing your story with our friends here in the VAR community of Acumatica. So thanks again for your time. Hope you guys have a great rest of the day. Thank you. Thanks, Jordan. Wow, what a great story from Curran. I really appreciate their time. I think it was also really important today that we get a chance to talk to one of your community partners, Acumatica, who also happens to be a partner to Celigo, as I mentioned earlier. I’d like to thank Seth Kuhn from SWK Technologies for joining us today. Thank you, Seth, and welcome to the event. Yeah, it’s good to be here. Thanks for waiting until after a quarter-end. I appreciate it. No problem. Well, all of us are focused on closing out a quarter. Hopefully, your quarter was a good strong one and you’re here celebrating today. So, Seth, at this event today we’re really focusing on the story about the Acumatica/Celigo partnership. But before I dive into the SWK relationship with those companies, I’d love for you to just share maybe with all of our attendees today a little bit about SWK, your business, and what you guys kind of do. Yeah, yeah. So SWK Technologies, we’ve been in business since the ’80s. We’ve grown very big through mergers and acquisitions and just doing business well. We’re actually traded on the Nasdaq under SilverSun Technologies. That’s a so that’s a little atypical for a partner, but a large Sage reseller for many years and then moving to Cloud ERP. We really chose Acumatica to be the horse. It has the best technology. It’s just a really great platform. And then we’ve been also pleased to add Celigo to our toolkit. You know, Acumatica has really great APIs to connect with different things, and they have some integrations they’ve built, which are also great. But then having Celigo to be able to connect to really any web application out there or any data source has really been great and will really continue to be as we solution these systems for our customers. Well, Seth, super impressive. You guys have been business since the ’80s and I love how you saved the relic, one of the typewriters from the 1980s to keep this part of your day-to-day. I was just telling a little story about how my daughter and I were talking about the typewriter and the word processor and the evolution and how she found me archaic. So, glad to see a typewriter right away. Seth, to build a little bit on that opening there. You know, obviously, you’ve been a partner of Celigo for quite a while now and had an opportunity to work with the technology. Maybe a little bit of background about why Celigo’s iPaaS platform really helped you at SWK from a business perspective and why that platform versus maybe hand-coding or some of the other technologies in the space. Yeah, sure. So we have customers moving from each products or prospects. We’re looking to create a tight solution for them with the different systems they might have. And sometimes they might use a module that Acumatica has, or sometimes a department needs another web app out there. So it’s really great to have a solution in Celigo that’s finite and has a cost that’s controlled, and we feel confident in saying, “We can definitely integrate that and get the data in real time with the proper controls so that you can get the reporting and insights that you need,” so whether it’s HubSpot or other CRMs, whether it’s Concur or other expense management tools, and then even shopping parts other than the integrations that Acumatica has. It’s a great tool with great support, and it makes these integrations more advanced configuration that consultants can handle versus custom development, custom integrations. Cool. Thank you, Seth. That’s a really awesome background. I really appreciate you talking about that time to value and the ability for your business analysts and other traditional consultants to now participate in the world of integration. So as we got on today, one of the things we talked about is the change in model with Acumatica. Celigo’s made the decision to become part of the price book. As a longstanding Acumatica Var, how do you think that will impact you, and why does that excite you in the coming year, into 2021 and going into 2022? Yeah. I think it’s a great, great thing. Really, the more that you can standardize things, templatize things, it really just makes it better for the consultants knowing what they’re doing, for the customers being able to modify things and get things implemented more quickly. So yeah, it’s really great to just kind of have things more in a box, have that relationship be tighter. It’s really great for us and I think for the whole Acumatica ecosystem. Awesome. Well, Seth, I want to thank you for your time. I want to give you one more opportunity to share your ticker symbol because I’m sure many people here attending the webinar today didn’t know you guys are a public retrader available on the Nasdaq, probably going to search for SWK to go make some purchases in the stock exchange. If you want to share your ticker symbol to everybody, I’ll give you one last chance to increase your stock price value while you’re on this call. Yeah, I appreciate that, Jordan. Yeah. SSNT, SilverSun Technologies. We actually became one of the leading partners of Acumatica. We’ve partnered with them for two years and also Acumatica distribution partner in the last year. We do e-commerce, manufacturing, distribution really well, and field service construction too, so. Thank you, Jordan. I really appreciate it. Well, Seth, thank you again for your time. I’m going to let you go and get started on the fourth quarter so hopefully you’re not spending New Year’s Eve trying to wrap up and read your numbers. So I appreciate your time. Thanks again for joining us. I look forward to a continued great partnership with you. Yeah. Thanks, Jordan. Have a good one. So, wow, what a day we’ve had. We got a chance to hear from John Rosco. We’ve had a chance to hear from Peter and Lonnie from Karan and Seth from SWK Technologies. But the day wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t get a chance to hear from Celigo’s CEO and founder Jan Arendtsz. So Jan, as we’ve kind of talked to John earlier today from Acumatica, you guys have been in partnership for about 24 months, and we’ve all made this agreement to change the model, right, to change the model to allow Acumatica partners to order the price book. Why did we make this change? Why did you make this change to Celigo? Why does it excite you about the potentials of the partnership with Acumatica moving forward? Yeah. So it’s actually something that we’ve discussed for a while, and then Acumatica came to us and wanted us to be a part of their price book. So just taking a step back, think about a typical ERP implementation. Given the nature of an ERP, the fact that it’s the system of record for multiple business objects such as the customer, the sales order, the vendor, purchase order, so on and so forth, by that very nature that means that an ERP is the glue that a number of other smaller set of business applications revolve around and they need to be able to connect to the system of record. So if you think about it in those terms, every ERP implementation is going to likely require some type of integration. And so when you put that lens on that, you think, “Well, every ERP implementation needs integration of some form.” That means partners need to be able to offer an integration solution out of the box. And hence why we came to this particular partnership. Yeah. And that’s great. And as you talk about integration – and in particular, I know this will be passion to your heart here – John talks about a lot in the Acumatica journey about the digital journey toward digital transformation. And to me, integration is at the core of that, right? And if you think about the world that we talk about– in the world of business process automation, in your experience having worked both in the ERP space and obviously, now running an iPaaS company, how important is business process automation to the end customer? And why is it valuable to partners to kind of push on that button and make sure that they’re driving down that path with their customers? Right. So if you really think about the internals of a company, every company has numerous different business processes, such as quote-to-cash, procure-to-pay, customer 360, support-to-resolution, so on and so forth. And especially, as I said before, when it comes to any ERP, given that it has such a large footprint when it comes to these business objects being the system of record, then– look, back in the day, if you had an ERP, likely a lot of these business processes all occurred within the ERP itself. But in today’s model, companies invest in all these different SaaS applications. You may have a different business application for expense management, another one for office productivity, for emails, for collaboration, for billing, for you to be able to sell on a third-party web store. And a typical business process, if I would take one as an example, let’s say order-to-cash, that’s going to touch the ERP. It’s going to touch a third-party web store. It’s going to touch a third-party marketplace. It may include reverse logistics in case these customers need to accept returns, so on and so forth. And as a result, this business process now spans multiple different systems where the ERP typically tends to be the hub. And where Celigo has really built a reputation – you can say it’s our pedigree, so to speak – is that we’ve really mastered the art of being able to take these business processes and be able to automate those and prioritize these business processes and offer it as a package solution that still can be tailored to various different customer needs understanding that every business is different, and they have a different way of running these business processes. So we’ve really been able to simplify complex business processes, productize it, give you the ability to be able to configure and customize it so that anyone who’s implementing it, if it’s the end customer, if it’s another third-party SI, a VAR, we make it really easy for partners, especially to come in and be able to implement and automate these business processes. And that’s great. You actually touched on what will be my last question for you because I know you’re super busy. And again, as we close this session out together, why should Acumatica partners bet on Celigo moving forward? Right. Great question. So first off, I would like to say that Celigo once upon a time before it was Celigo, there was a precursor company where we were an SI and a VAR in some other different ecosystems. So we’ve been there. We’ve done that. We walked many miles in your shoes as a VAR ourselves. So when I founded Celigo back in 2011 and we started this SaaS company and we started building this iPaaS platform, we knew that the partner model was going to be incredibly important. It’s just the nature of integration. You ultimately rely on partners. My mantra is that we want to be able to– we want to truly partner with VARs and other different types of partners in a way where it’s a two-way relationship. We understand the importance of these partners in our business model. And as I said before, we’ve been there before. We understand, for the most part, how partners think, what’s important to them, what drives their particular business model. And that’s a key reason why we are making some very significant investments to be able to scale our partner programs, and why I’m excited with this particular relationship with Acumatica. Well, Jan, thank you so much for joining us. I want to thank you on behalf of the partners who’ve also joined us today for taking the time out of your busy day. And I’m sure if they were all able to say thank you themselves, they would. So appreciate the time. And I’ll let you get back to work now. Thank you, Jordan. Okay, everyone. Well, that brings us to the end of our day or the end of our quick 30 minutes together where we had an opportunity to hear from John, to hear from folks at Curran as well as SWK and Jan Arendtsz, of course, the CEO of Celigo. I want to take an opportunity to open the floor for Q&A. It’s a few moments here. I did get one question coming in before we got started, and that was a question related to do you offer training and enablement, which was a great question to get. I’ll remind everybody that tomorrow, we have a second session, which is solely focused on enablement. It’ll be on the ability to sell service and talk to you about the changes in the program and how it benefits you as a partner. So I highly encourage you to block it on your calendars. And of course, it will be recorded. With that being said, with no questions being in the queue and being on a tight timeline, I want to thank you again for taking the opportunity. Look forward to continuing to expand our partnership with Acumatica and of course, with all the partners in the Acumatica community. I can’t wait to meet you in person at the next summit in Las Vegas or potentially just like we’re doing today via Zoom call or we, in this case, are going to meet on a webinar. So thanks again for your time, and have a great rest of your day.