A professional career widespread across the globe, working primarily in corporate finance and M&A, along with significant business turnaround projects on behalf of world banks, Suezann Holmes imprinted her mark in the business world with her expertise. Today, she leads with a vision of growing with confidence as the CEO of ScaleXP.
With a learning attitude, Suezann always grasped new skills, increasing her array of work in multiple roles. Amid her professional journey, she took a break to pursue MBA in finance at Wharton Business School, combined with the Spanish stream of their Lauder program. Her versatile approach to view the business allowed her to be the CFO of various corporations working out London before turning attention to high-growth SME business.
Suezann’s transition to a smaller but more aggressively expanding business led to the formation of ScaleXP. She asserts, “My single biggest surprise when working in this new arena was the complexity involved in accessing and understanding customer growth. I expected information in a click; my highest growth customers this year compared to last year and then in a few more clicks; an analysis of common characteristics (sector, size, location, the title of our contact). Ultimately allowing identification of similar companies to target as new customers, so as the CFO I could make a meaningful impact on growth.”
“This data is shockingly difficult to access and understand, but by my professional and tech experience, I knew that the problem could be solved,” explains Suezann.
Denting the Universe
As the CFO across corporates and highest growth companies in the UK, Suezann learned first-hand about the challenges of sustaining a 200%+ CAGR. More importantly, she learned how non-corporates are typically limited by the lack of affordable software solutions for unraveling and learning from their data.
Suezann expresses that diligent and hardworking companies wrestle with manually constructing complicated, error-prone spreadsheets to grasp the basics. Each ‘information cycle’ takes days. The information and derived insights generated by benchmarks and extensive KPI options should be instantly accessible and always at the fingertips of CFOs, CEOs, and the wider executive team.
Suezann mentions, “Combining my technical and finance experience, we have brought the power of software to bear; specifically, we have harnessed the accessibility and cost benefits of ‘Software as a Service” (SaaS). As a result, ScaleXP is becoming a game-changer in the B2B software space. Making automation and streamlining the reporting process affordable allows finance professionals to deliver insights with customer-centric advice. I would like to think that this groundbreaking approach is what led to my receiving runner up in the UK Female Entrepreneur of the Year awards.”
Grow with Confidence
ScaleXP’s mission is to help high growth companies, as opposed to large multinationals, use the power of their data to make the best decisions for their business. Large corporations have invested in multi-million-dollar systems and business units to focus on crunching their data solely. ScaleXP makes this capability affordable and operable by one finance professional – democratising the opportunity to gain business advantage from data.
ScaleXP’s cloud-reporting software integrates financial, sales and marketing data into one dashboard to facilitate data-driven decisions and fuel growth. It aims to help you confidently make well-informed decisions as a founder, startup, or investor. By using its interactive dashboards and insights, growth trajectories and potential impediments can be shared across your teams, the board or even investors.
The software includes over 100 automated KPIs tailored to your business type and industry – no need for manual calculations and formulas on your spreadsheets. Days, even weeks, are saved. ScaleXP vision is to be a must-have tool-set within the global high growth business community, opening up the power of internal data and putting it at the fingertips of all ambitious business leaders.
Suezann shares, “We are a business formed and forged against a backdrop of disruption and confusion. Our culture is one of persistence and dedication in exposing information that leads to self-understanding and awareness; both for ourselves as members of the ScaleXP team, ScaleXP as a company, and for our clients and users.”
The Technical Edge
ScaleXP is a deep tech platform, integrating data from accounting and sales systems to automate dashboards and reports.
The platform provides a comprehensive business picture by integrating data from accounting systems (Quickbooks, Xero, Sage) and sales systems. Its CEO and CFO dashboards highlight issues. Impressive and comprehensive presentations no longer take hours to prepare. The graphs and financials are prepared for you. You add the commentary, saving literally hours of tedious admin. All of which is achieved on its servers, then delivered to the user via the Cloud, i.e. as a SaaS solution.
Data Analytics Shift
ScaleXP’s fundamental mission is to democratise what has been the expensive preserve of larger corporations. Systems Integrators have been installing and operating analytical systems sitting on complex and convoluted data warehouses, data marts and data lakes for decades.
Suezann states that early stage, high growth businesses don’t need to wait until they can afford a data analytics department operated by 50+ people operating these legacy systems; they can bypass all this and start now thanks to the progress of technology. She shares, “A major change which is set to deliver huge benefits in the ‘data-driven industry’ is AI-powered business analytics or intelligence. ScaleXP already partners AI leaders in academia where we collaborate in very practical research.”
Above and Beyond
ScaleXP’s immediate focus is to continue to deliver an awesome product and a growing army of high growth companies across the World. It will continue to explore, research, and deploy enhancements and best practices that further de-risk its clients’ ambitions, but it also learns from its community of users as they uncover new situations.
“In the longer run, I very much would like to see our client community becoming a point of value in itself; like-minded professionals open to a mutual understanding of how their relevant sectors are performing, where the opportunities and threats lie,” clarifies Suezann.
Guiding the Next Generation
Suezann understands that a journey of an entrepreneur is intensely personal and has its unique factors. She says, “Armed with a great idea, you should assess what areas you most need help with; make a thorough, honest appraisal of what skills you don’t have. Then go out and find your partners who complete the skill set requirement. But be aware that this is very, very hard; personalities, ability, and dependability are difficult to measure. In many ways, this is your greatest challenge. Many VCs will tell you that they would rather back a great team with an okay idea than a weak team that has invented the next wheel.”
“But assuming you have a great idea and a great team, have created a product and have initial users, I have to say (with a little tongue in cheek bias) that when it comes to raising money, you really need your business’s metrics on hand, and presented coherently, in short, you need ScaleXP.”
“As an aside, in February 2022, ScaleXP hosted an event for entrepreneurs’ Funding in 2022: What the experts are saying’. In the event, we had a panel of industry experts based in London give their input to the key areas like invoice factoring, venture capital, and how to reach out to investors,” Suezann concludes.