CODA, which has developed an on-demand financial application built on the Force.com platform has inked a partnership deal with Corefino, the Sunnyvale CA. based accounting outsourcer. Dubbed Corefino2go, the service sees CODA providing the technology requirements for Corefino's people, place and platform offering.
Karen Watts, Corefino's CEO explains: "I started this business because I was stuck in the vortex of number crunching and could not do the strategic things needed of a modern CFO. So what we're doing is solving a pain point. It's in our best interests to partner with companies that are closely aligned to our view of the world and CODA fits that well."
I was interested to discover what differentiates this from other go to market deals of this nature. Jeremy Roche, CEO CODA said: "We got the deal done in around eight weeks, in part because from the early meetings, it was clear that we have similar objectives."
Corefino operates in four main verticals: healthcare, alternative energy, electronic gaming and municipalities/non-profits. These are not markets with which I particularly associate CODA and wondered how the partnership might work: "We're not anticipating a lot of customizations being required inside CODA2go because many of the 500 financial processes are not really about how the technology handles things but about the way we address specific problems," said Ms Watts.
What's striking about this deal is that while Corefino represents a channel to market for CODA2go, Corefino will be the customer as their people will be operating the software on behalf of end user organizations. "We'll be running our business on this and will be providing quarterly feedback to the CODA team to make sure they know what needs working upon," Ms Watts continued. Corefino has around 40% of its customer base in companies that have an international element to their operations. CODA2go built international requirements functionality from the get go, making it a good fit for these types of business.
As to the specifics and from the press release, the partnership hopes to deliver the following benefits::
- key business processes and applications implemented, managed and maintained by specialists leaving the company free to focus core business activities
- reduced reliance on internal and frequently scarce IT and administrative resources so that organizations can ensure their people are working on more strategic business processes
- a cost-effective means to access a best-of-breed finance system, delivered via the internet and charged on a per-user, per-month subscription basis
- ability to benefit from affordable business process outsourcing
- rapid deployment and return on investment
- secure anytime, anywhere access to financial data for a complete view of business performance none of the issues related to on-premise software, such as ongoing maintenance, post-implementation changes or system upgrades.
A sign of CODA's enthusiasm for the deal can be taken from CODA's announcement that it is hiring staff for the Valley area. "There will be some staff working in Corefino's offices," said Mr. Roche.
I asked Ms Watts to talk to the issues around outsourcing in the current economy: "In 40% of the deals we closed in the last quarter, the CFO was initially skeptical about whether we could truly reduce cost, asking about how we do it and how would we integrate with what they are already doing." The reality is that as saas becomes better understood by end user organizations, the opex versus capex argument is proving powerful in a cash strapped economy. It's also reasonable to say that cloud computing techniques allow service providers with new opportunities to develop business models where value can be added of the kind Corefino is developing.
See also: Brian Sommer details the choices that CFOs have to make and the place that Corefino occupies in this space.
Disclosure: CODA is a sponsor at my personal weblog and has been a recent consulting client albeit on unrelated matters.