Editor’s Note: In this blog interview, Kyriba welcomes Cheik Daddah, global head of value engineering, to the team. Cheik discusses what value engineering is, why it’s important in choosing a treasury management vendor, and how CFOs can use technology to spark the finance transformation they have been chasing for years.
Hi Cheik, welcome to Kyriba. Tell us a little about your background and what your new role is here at Kyriba.
Thank you. My role is to lead the global value engineering organization at Kyriba. My background has been value engineering over the past 20 years, where I have worked with some of the largest enterprise application providers such as SAP, Oracle, and Teradata to name a few.
Tell us more about value engineering – what is it, and why would companies want to engage?
Put simply, the value engineering team works closely with clients and prospects to develop a plan to maximize value from Kyriba. We view value engineering as a process that encompasses three major phases: value discovery, value monitoring, and value realization. We help our prospects as well as clients buyin additional services, understand, track and demonstrate tangible business outcomes, so they can feel very comfortable about their purchase. Those who go through the process typically exit with an actionable case and clear roadmap to implement transformational change.
Our team is comprised of highly qualified consultants with deep treasury domain expertise, industry experience, management consulting skills and a passion for assisting clients solve transformational challenges. Our mission is to help our prospects and clients adopt best practices and optimize their time-to-value so they can drive bottom line value at their organization.
Can you share any initial data from your engagements thus far?
Kyriba has a deep understanding of what the CFO needs to deliver value to the organization. With the data we extract from our engagements, now more than 100, we can clearly demonstrate how to address gaps and optimize opportunities for our clients. We can accelerate the time to go live by 25 percent, simply based on the decision to implement. In fact, typical treasury management projects delivered in partnership with Kyriba deliver up to 15X ROI with time-to-value for initial phases in 60 to 90 days.
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We also know that, especially for clients who are moving away from spreadsheets, there is massive time savings coupled with strategic advantages. Early reports show millions of dollars of savings, and opportunities to impact the organization as a whole. These are the data points that chief financial executives respond to. Too often, treasury teams build productivity-based business cases whose value does not permeate the entire enterprise. When engaging early and gaining executive access, most organizations are not able to demonstrate the value of higher level strategies such as working capital management, fraud prevention, risk management, or payment factories.
You talk with a lot of senior executives. What is top of mind among today’s CFOs? What are their challenges and opportunities?
CFOs are the stewards of value for their organization. They are driven by a desire to outpace their competition and become a true partner to the CEO and board by providing sound financial insights that propel growth. In other words, they want to be a growth partner. To do this, their objective is to ensure their companies pursue profitable growth while eliminating waste and unnecessary spend. In order to achieve these business objectives, finance needs to have access to the right information, at the right time, and in the right place.
Unfortunately, finance organizations have been constructed on a highly manual set of legacy processes that hinder their ability to spend time analyzing the business and drawing valuable insights they can leverage to drive decision-making. Most finance organizations have been forced to focus on the past. Most of their time, upward of 80 percent, is spent assembling data and information about what happened yesterday (e.g., reporting…).
The main objective of strategic CFOs is to standardize and automate underlying processes to free up staff time to focus on data analysis and insight generation. That is truly the miracle recipe for earning the right to become a strategic, profitable growth partner. Better agility and visibility drive better decision-making, and ultimately business outcomes. The focus ought to be to “automate the past so that one can innovate the future!”
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CFOs have been chasing finance transformation for years. How can treasury technology be used to spark this transformation?
Transformation has become more elusive but more imperative than ever. The digital era has brought with it the need to be quick and innovative. Business now moves at the speed of light. New digital and highly disruptive business models are emerging every day. Being a follower is no longer an option. Being the disruptor in an industry is truly the most viable survival option.
The reason Finance transformation has struggled for many years has to do with the critical function it plays and the underlying structures of its business practices and technologies. Revamping an entire ERP platform and processes is a daunting task. It is going to be long, expensive, risky and highly disruptive.
That’s where I believe digital treasury management can play a catalyst role in enabling a digital conversion. Typically, treasury functions are smaller in size and do not, therefore, have as much change management risk as a full enterprise –wide finance transformation carries.
Treasury transformations are not as costly and provide a very high return when measured against required investment. Time to market is also a critical factor as the typical Kyriba implementation is carried out in 60 to 90 days, not several months or years as is the case for ERP transformations.
Treasury is typically an under-invested area of Finance. Most treasury departments operate a razor-thin budget and have not benefited from sustained investments, making them ripe for accretive transformation.
Finally, most companies struggling with finance transformation should think about launching their digital journey with Treasury as a way to build their digital organization muscles while delivering value back to their organizations. This is very exciting news and one of the key reasons I decided to join Kyriba.