Bundling strengths to conquer new markets
BY GABRIELE MATTHES
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2016)
OpusCapita Group Oy’s acquisition of the jCatalog Software AG has gone into effect on 1st May 2016. Founded in Finland in 1984, OpusCapita is a market leader in the Nordic and other regions for the management of digital invoices, documents, financial processes and cash management. Its turnover is about 260m euros. The firm operates one of the leading networks for e-invoicing and its 2,300 employees serve 8,000 customers in more than 50 countries. OpusCapita is part of the Posti Group Corporation which essentially belongs to the Finnish state.
JCatalog Software AG based in Dortmund is one of the leading providers of PIM/MDM systems, catalogue management and procurement solutions internationally. Founded in 2000, the company employs 130 people at its facilities in Germany, UK, Austria, Denmark, Belarus and USA. Its solutions for master data management and product information management are designed to deliver consistent product information across all output channels. Hartmut Schell, jCatalog’s Sales Manager for PIM/MDM, here talks about the background of the acquisition.
Mr. Schell, jCatalog is a German company and OpusCapita a Finnish one. Which common values connect them?
Hartmut Schell: I cannot put it any better than a colleague from Finland has upon arrival: “The Germans and the Finns have a very similar mentality. If we agree on something, you can rely on it.” CEO and co-founder of jCatalog, Stephan Albers, sees it as follows: “It is obvious that the two companies fit well together – with regards to both their offerings as well as the corporate culture and regional aspects. We are pleased to join forces.” On a similar note, OpusCapita CEO Patrik Sallner commented: “We are pleased that in the future our clients will benefit from our extended skills with jCatalog and warmly welcome our colleagues.”
From a corporate perspective, which were the reasons for the merger?
H. S.: For both companies this step means an addition to their respective product lines. We have the solutions for e-commerce, master data management, procurement processes and supplier management on the one hand, while we possess the portfolio for purchase-to-pay, including invoice automation, cash management, financing and connectivity on the other. Together, we now offer a consistent solution for trade-related payments and procurement.
jCatalog has been operating in Germany and internationally for 15 years and showed a 20-percent growth rate over the past two years. Why has the company been sold now?
H. S.: Of course, we could have continued to go on alone. But we want more. We wish to provide our clients with functions that our solutions alone could not cover, in order to assist them in their source-to-pay processes even better. Again, I would like to quote Stephan Albers, who said: “Our solutions in product information management (PIM) and master data management (MDM) provide product information, which increase user acceptance and allow users to optimise automated processes. All in all, interesting possibilities open up and result in a complete picture of the buyer-supplier relationships within the supply chain.”
In this context, which key figures of OpusCapita can you provide?
H. S.: The company has been working for retail and distribution organisations for more than 30 years. It delivers more than 600 million transactions for its customers annually. Around 200 million of those transactions are being processed electronically.
Which objectives is the new owner pursuing?
H. S.: Apart from combining the common services, the opening up of new markets internationally is one focus. The intent was stated very clearly: our new owner wants to increase its revenue by 25 percent together with us. Patrik Sallner puts the aim as follows: “The combined offerings of both companies provide our customers access to a complete purchase-to-pay chain. The result is an automated, transparent and secure shopping experience. As a specialist in catalogue management and procurement, jCatalog can be perfectly merged with OpusCapita. The product portfolio connects to our solutions and services, not only from a buyer’s but also from a retailer’s perspective, and is tailored to suppliers” product information management demands. With these comprehensive solutions for automation, we want to assist our clients – including buyer or seller organisations or those running a document-intensive business – with highest end-to-end user-friendliness to increase their productivity and effectiveness significantly. This acquisition will strengthen our base in the DACH region and Central Europe, while OpusCapita will also open the door to the U.S. market.”
Which information is crucial for your clients regarding the merger?
H. S.: We are now part of a large, internationally active and profitable company with 2,300 employees. Our constant and stable growth is thus elevated to a new level and strengthened. Our clients and partners profit from the expanse in resources, products and services. And, with a comprehensive employment and location guarantee, the points of contact our clients know remain intact.
How did your clients react to the acquisition?
H. S.: Positively throughout. We pointed out the advantages and our customers have understood that we are now able to offer additional services but from one source. We already scheduled first meetings to explicitly address options to optimise source-to-pay and order-to-cash processes with regards to a client’s individual situation.
What will happen with your software? How does the merger effect service, support and further development?
H. S.: Stephan Albers is to manage OpusCapita’s entire product development and thus becomes part of the company’s senior management team. For our product portfolio it means that it will be adopted, supported and further developed as a whole.
In which way will your clients benefit directly?
H. S.: OpusCapita is a leading provider of e-invoicing and cash management and brings 30 years of insights in the field. The company has extensive experience in all sides of corporate action, i.e. both P2P and order-to-cash processes. Plus, our customers can now access a large network with a couple of 100,000 suppliers. They can thus enhance their source-to-pay process significantly. Our PIM/MDM solutions create high-quality product information that minimises the error rate in invoicing processes and thus improve automated processes.
JCatalog Software AG is a leading provider of software and cloud solutions for master data management. The sales and marketing applications include PIM, cross-media and multi-channel commerce.
jCatalog Software AG
Picture credits © Alex Linghorn/Getty Images