In the Financial Accounting world, leaders are creating a centralized platform environment for their organizations; using systems such as SAP Business One to SAP S/4HANA as their focal point. They are challenged to centralize the data from a widely disparate but necessary collection of applications, with data in the cloud, in vertical market systems, in front-end productivity applications, and in spreadsheets and databases. To achieve their objective of a centralized platform, they need their applications to interact and share data in meaningful and often complex ways.
John Toman, Chief Product Ofﬁcer, and Cher Pearsall, CEO, are the cofounders of Pivot Payables. This is their third software as a service company in the expense and invoice automation space. After their exit from the second company, they both joined the SAP Concur team.
At SAP Concur, John was one of the founding creators of the SAP Concur Platform. As the principal designer for its web service APIs, John clearly understood that the innovation of these APIs greatly reduced the effort and expertise necessary to create complex workﬂow automation and data integration tools; functionality that drives directly to the realization of a centralized platform.
“Pivot Payables has deep bench strength in workﬂow design, accounting best practices, and integrationspeciﬁc SAP Concur methods”
So, John pitched Cher to start Pivot Payables to build compelling apps and services that would extend the value of SAP Concur customer investments.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Insights Success and Pivot Payables:
Describe your company and its SAP solutions which address all the needs of your customers.
Pivot Payables delivers solutions to ﬁnancial operations problems related to accounts payables, accounts receivables, and purchasing business processes.
There are two types of solutions we deliver. The ﬁrst is a specialized, cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) called PivotNexus. It facilitates integration between ERP/accounting systems and SAP Concur solutions, making it as easy as possible for SAP Concur customers to share data across these applications.
Other solutions are productivity applications that extend the value of SAP Concur, such as PivotPrime. This application extracts data from Concur Expense and Concur Invoice, and automates the process of creating organized billing statements that assist clients in billing back expenses and purchases to their customers, while retaining backup receipts and invoice images.
How do your solutions differ from others?
At Pivot Payables, we call it: “We speak native Concur.” Certainly John’s heritage in founding and designing the SAP Concur Platform is a key element. Unlike most other SAP Concur partners, this means all Pivot Payables solutions leverage the SAP Concur Platform web service APIs to ensure tightly integrated solutions for our customers.
John and Cher also bring years of speciﬁc knowledge about SAP Concur product strategy, technical capabilities, functional conﬁgurations, and company operations. More broadly, they bring decades of expertise in the expense and invoice automation space, in related general accounting practices, and importantly, in workﬂow automation.
Our solutions differ because of this extremely rare combination of expertise – it is the raison d’etre for Pivot Payables – to create high-value apps that improve ﬁnancial operations productivity, timeliness, and results.
Give a detailed description of the featured person’s inﬂuence over SAP or data solution sector.
John’s career includes nearly a decade at SAP Concur where he leveraged a 20-year technical, business, and sales background that uniquely positioned him to inﬂuence SAP Concur solutions.
At Workﬂow Solutions, the ﬁrst company founded by John and Cher, he led the development of expense management solutions for The Boeing Company, United Technologies Automotive, and other Fortune 50 organizations. In a private-label partnership with Bank of America, he drove the strategic innovation, development and launch of the ﬁrst SaaS expense management application. When their second company was acquired by Fidesic, John led the product strategy and development of Fidesic’s full product suite, adding expertise about electronic payment processing and accounts payable automation products.
Joining SAP Concur in 2005, he was responsible for the product management and launch of Concur Invoice, an invoice management application that automates the collection, processing, and approval of payables invoices. Another notable assignment was his role as the principal designer of Expense Pay, SAP Concur’s B2P payment solution that reimburses employees for employee payables.
In 2010, John was assigned his most important role, as a founding member of the SAP Concur Platform team and the principle designer of its APIs. He spent the next ﬁve years helping to guide and build this platform that would enable developers to create and deliver new apps and solutions.
Now, at Pivot Payables, he uses the SAP Concur Platform to deliver solutions built on that platform. These solutions drive productivity improvement possibilities for SAP Concur’s more than 40,000 customers.
How are advance technologies bringing disruption in data processing?
Using web service APIs is disruptive because doing so greatly simpliﬁes enterprise application integration. It makes practical the ability to create meaningful integrations that otherwise would not be possible, dramatically speeding the path to achieving digital transformation and the success of centralized platform initiatives.
Another key technology is designing an iPaaS optimized for a speciﬁc ecosystem, such as the SAP Concur ecosystem. Unlike a general purpose iPaaS, PivotNexus is optimized to process the data ﬂows found in the business problems addressed by SAP Concur solutions.
What technologies are you leveraging to make your solutions more resourceful? Web service APIs in general and the SAP Concur Platform more speciﬁcally. These allow real-time, bidirectional access to data. That in turn allows faster and better integrations. It provides administrators useful information to troubleshoot problems that can arise when integrating SAP Concur with other applications. Perhaps most importantly, these direct connections eliminate a lot of complexity found in traditional, ﬁle-based integrations.
What are the company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals?
PivotNexus currently provides direct connection integration for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, as well as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Presently, PivotNexus also uses traditional ﬁle-based integration to provide services to dozens of other ERP/accounting systems.
Our strategy is to focus future development on accounting and purchasing applications that offer web service APIs, thus using PivotNexus iPaaS services to provide direct connections to a continuously growing list of marketleading ERP/accounting systems.
“Our audit results proved our suspicion of lost project expenses. $1.35M was spent over 18 months and not reimbursed by our clients. The accuracy and detail of the PivotPrime reports, combined with shorter turnaround between spending and invoicing has improved cash ﬂow and increased proﬁtability. Reimbursements increased by $500,000 in the ﬁrst 6 months with PivotPrime and now we are able to bill back every dollar.”