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It should be easy to run a business and focus on what you are best at, not everything else

Fortnox Anna Wretlind om the race for connectivity

Guest blogger: Anna Wretlind from Fortnox shares her thoughts about ecosystems for businesses,
integrations and what we call the race for software connectivity.

Entrepreneurs want to run their business as simply as possible without having to create large IT
projects, interpret technical process maps or bookkeeping experts. So as platform and SaaS solutions developers for small and medium-sized companies, we must be even better at explaining the direct value of integrations and solutions that involve multiple systems, give concrete suggestions based on what works well, and make it easy for customers to try new things. It is also incredibly important for anyone who has any kind of software or SaaS solution for businesses to understand their role in the business ecosystem and identify the relevant collaborations and ways forward for them.

You have to define your role in the ecosystems of the future

A key ingredient for success is when software can be used together in a simple way to create what
we today often call a company’s ecosystem. I hope that all software vendors think seriously about
what role they want to have in their customers’ ecosystems and act accordingly. If we fulfill this
function, what place will we have in the future? Should we build our own, join forces with others,
etc.? This applies just as much to us at Fortnox. How should we interact with major players in the
market? How should we manage our offering in relation to them? Businesses will want to manage
their administration in one and the same flow regardless of whether several systems handle
different parts of the flow. It’s important to plan for that scenario and act accordingly.

A SmorgAASbord of software

In the same way that large companies have done so for many years, smaller companies are now
seeing considerable potential in integrations and automation of repetitive tasks between multiple
systems. This need has increased as more specialised SaaS solutions have changed the way a
company wants or has to run its business. The challenge has historically been that smaller
companies are neither willing or able to pay for large, complex, tailored IT projects as part of an
overarching solution.

Given that we already have a relationship with our entrepreneurs, if we’re able to develop the platform with systems and solutions that are quality assured, can be purchased and activated via our platform and bring together all the administration of entrepreneurs’ system flora, then we offer an
excellent customer experience and real value to our entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs want flexible, but competent, solutions in which the technical work behind the scenes
has already been done. They want the freedom of choice to choose system/SaaS solutions and ways of working from a larger smorgasbord.

Apps that meet genuine needs, not tech for tech’s sake

Few business owners really want something as technical as integrations. They just want their
problems solved as quickly as possible. In order for them to get started, they need to understand
what problems we’re solving and want a solution that is very easy to use.

By offering apps that are easy to try, we want to overcome the perceived obstacles that an overly
technical approach can bring. Nobody wants to sit and get frustrated about how difficult it is to run a
business; it just has to be simple, intuitive and contribute clear value.

Collaboration drives progress

You can’t be the best at everything. Our customers often have some form of business system and
niche systems for specific tasks such as payments, time reporting, inventory, logistics and till
systems. Their overall experience must be as good as possible. In order for them to succeed, we
would like our partners to talk to each other and come up with new smart solutions. We are of
course happy to help. In our platform, we can see what works and what doesn’t, and give our
partners insights that they otherwise wouldn’t get. Insights that in turn drive progress and increase
value growth for our customers.

Acquisition strategy to become a natural focus

Fortnox has gone from being a financial system where you manage company finances and
accounting to becoming a platform from which you create, run and grow your company. Through
the acquisition of Lagerbolag, Monto/Capcito and Offerta, we can now offer driven entrepreneurs
everything from a turnkey warehouse company, to fast and easy financing for growth. If you want to
grow, you have the opportunity to attract new customers and business via Sweden’s largest
marketplace for services, Offerta; if you need systems to optimise your business, we have an
ecosystem of partners. In other words, what we have now is a platform where more can be
managed via Fortnox.

This places greater demands on expanding the number of collaborations and offering a wider variety
of solutions in the future. Our scope has widened.

This benefits us, our partners, and last but not least, all the hundreds of thousands of businesses
that just want to avoid all the hassle and create successful companies.
Read more about how SaaS companies use Zwapgrid to provide integrations to their business customers