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What Happened at the Serrala Summit Chicago 2018

23-04-2021 5 min read

chicago intercontinental hotel

This year Serrala launched its first in-person meeting for customers, partners, and prospects in Chicago with great success!

The event was an excellent opportunity for our North American audience to meet their peers, discuss the latest trends in finance and technology and learn about the latest innovations from Serrala.

The Chicago Summit took place at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile on November 7 and 8, and this beautiful historic hotel provided a dramatic backdrop for our meeting.

For those not familiar with Chicago, the hotel is a highlight of several of the city’s architecture tours and is known for having hosted several of the city’s most famous (Johnny Weissmuller, Esther Williams) and infamous (Al Capone) people alike. Conveniently located only a few blocks from the Serrala US headquarters, many colleagues had the chance to drop by the Summit during the day to mingle with the customers in attendance and participate in the sessions.

The day started with a welcome from Serrala’s CEO, Sven Lindemann and Chief International Officer, Kevin Grant who discussed the evolution of the company from the former Hanse Orga, e5 and Dolphin to Serrala.

Sven took the opportunity to introduce the group to the complete set of inbound and outbound payment solutions available from Serrala and introduced our latest innovations: Alevate cloud solutions, BCrest banking solutions, and our new Managed Service offerings.

Next, Bryan DeGraw of The Hackett Group discussed the company’s results for its 2018 Customer-to-Cash Top Performance and Best Practices report. Interestingly, the data shows that top performing companies spend 55% less on process costs and 53% less on staffing these roles. That’s a staggering amount of savings that companies can achieve by making a few simple improvements to their existing customer-to-cash processes.

hackett world class order to cash serrala

According to The Hackett Group, key differentiators between top performers and other companies are:

  • Ability to receive information in multiple formats
  • Integration of the entire customer-to-cash process to reduce complexity
  • Automation of processing using digital technology
  • Quality master data
  • Integration of customer information across the process
  • Workflows to manage exception handling and approvals

Clearly, this research demonstrates the benefits of the Serrala approach to fully integrated inbound and outbound payment solutions across SAP and other enterprise systems. In particular, Bryan highlighted the importance of having a proactive, strategic and automated collections process. Top performers in this category performed 75% more efficiently than their counterparts. With this approach, the top performers are able to ensure that customer interactions are service oriented that prevent disputes and aging AR. We at Serrala have seen the benefit of this service-focused approach, as illustrated by our customer Merck, who made customer satisfaction a key component of their collections process.

The rest of the day was filled with different tracks of sessions. The Serrala leadership and product management team took turns introducing various trend topics and diving into the latest product functionality available to our customers.

  • Brian Shannon, Marko Kling and Sven Lindemann delved into the biggest trends in the industry right now: Cloud, Blockchain, and Managed Services. These technologies will help companies bridge the gap between their existing inbound and outbound payments processes and the more modern, flexible processes that these companies will need to be able to scale and adapt to the rapidly changing nature of business in the future.
  • Dr. Werner Hopf and local consultant David Ludwick introduced the new vision for the Corestone solutions, expanding our data and document management capabilities beyond SAP systems and focusing on the need to decommission legacy systems to reduce complexity and costs while retaining vital historic information.
  • Jaime Ryan, Helgi Joensen, Yussuf Ali, and Peter Wolf gave the group a comprehensive overview of all the Treasury and Cash solutions available to our customers, from the newly announced Alevate TMS solutions, to our enhanced FS2 Cash Liquidity and FS2 Treasury products with new features for the US market and our broad set of SAP Treasury Consulting solutions.
  • Rob Jackson gave the audience an entertaining look into how Robotics will affect Order to Cash and Procure to Pay processes, illustrating how our customers are integrating intelligent automation today.
  • Michael Köhler and Marko Kling provided the high-level vision for our O2C solutions and provided more detailed information on the latest developments in FS2 Autobank and FS2 Credit and Collections.
  • Brian Shannon and local Chicago colleagues Victoria Kapke and Nayan Patel walked our customers through the latest developments in our P2P solutions, focusing on how FS2 AccountsPayable and FS2 JournalEntry can be used in combination with other FS2 solutions to drive greater transparency and control over outbound payments.

You can request a copy of these presentations using the contact us form.

As most of the day was spent in the hotel itself, we were spared the difficulty of battling the famous gusts of wind whipping down Michigan Avenue in early November. (The “Windy City” definitely lived up to its name that week!) Despite the blustery weather outside, we all enjoyed a wonderful day of education and networking with our peers and look forward to seeing everyone again at our next event in 2019!

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