Very rarely you find a company that wants to provide a value proposition for the small guy, especially in the e-invoicing and EIPP space. I believe Transcepta is one of these companies, who understands and has found a way to overcome the barriers faced by SME’s joining the e-invoicing evolution. ebdex also understood that without helping the small guy, the level of market penetration by e-invoicing and EIPP vendors with respect to paper will remain negligent. ebdex was about upsetting the status quo. It seems Transcepta is thinking in the same lines. Therefore bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry.
The trick is in getting SMEs to participate in the e-invoicing and EIPP evolution. You need a secret weapon for this. ebdex called it “ebdex ePrinter”, which our development team struggled to develop. Accountis calls this “ebPrinter”, which Rhys Jones developed whilst on holiday. Transcepta does not call this by any name, but have simply built their business around it. At Causeway Technologies, we are also working on a solution, perhaps plug in an existing product! In ebdex’s case, it was just another tool, but was expected to be an early winner. In Accountis’ case, this is a bid winner (e.g. DHL). But Accountis’ model still seems to be about targeting large companies (don’t get me wrong, everyone wants high transaction volumes), therefore without a clear marketing strategy for the small guy. I for one applied for Accountis ebPrinter account and yet to hear from them (perhaps they know me too much to create me an account). In summary, it is no point having the functionality if your sales and marketing plan does not support it. It’s down to either creating a buzz or just been a “me too”. As I said always, a new comer could easily overtake the market incumbents with a clear value proposition for the small and the large guy.
Another closer similarity between Transcepta and ebdex is that they are both partner led. Transcepta is busily adding partners to its network, especially from the accounts payable integration side, e.g. 170 Systems. But still to date, I do not believe anyone has thought about this to the extent ebdex had. ebdex built (or tried to built!) its product from the ground up with partner led sales and marketing model in mind. We created a partner module that allowed our trusted partners to undertake projects from a thought to trading partner roll out to operations and maintenance without ebdex ever been involved. Only a startup could come up with a strategy as simple and yet convincing as this is. Enough said about how great ebdex was! As Phil Brown said once, on paper it is easy, delivery is another ball game all together!