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Riding Australian Tech Waves

Profile:

MyFirmsApp is the “World’s leading and largest App developer for financial service firms”, which specialises in providing the only “compliant, approved and endorsed accountancy App” MyFirmsApp has a global 24/7 client base, “all employees are hired in the UK” and the time scale for building an App is 5 to 6 weeks”, in case you were wondering.

Fintnews: How has the brexit decision impacted myfirmsApp, if at all?

For MyFirmsApp Brexit was a “great decision,” although initially it saw a global impact as many other UK based companies have done, which caused uncertainty and delayed decision making. In fact, the World’s response was a sterling weakness, which created an uncertain environment to operate in for lots of companies.

Nevertheless, MyFirmsApp operates constantly and as Joel puts it, they “don’t really have competitors based in the UK.” Expansion plans into Australia are in progress where the demand is highest, with America coming in at a close second.

Why is Australia such a strong market?  Well according to Ian Pollari, Global Co-Lead Fintech, from KMPG:

“Australia and Sydney’s fintech sector continues to go from strength to strength, highlighted by a more than five-fold increase in the number of fintech companies over the past 3 years and more than 10 times the amount of capital being invested into the sector, another dimension of this evolution is that increasingly international fintech companies are recognising Australia as a core part of their offshore expansion plans. This has seen the likes of Square, RateSetter, OnDeck, Spotcap, OurCrowd, Ripple, Harmoney and many others enter the Australian marketplace.”

According to Joel, MyFirmsApp were in a unique position being “first to market,” and “have built more Apps than all of their competitors combined.” Joel credits their “innovative roadmap” as being a key to their disruptive business model, along with their “significant pioneering R&D.” It’s not all easy riding though, “We’re hiring in a broken planet… hiring skilled staff is very challenging, especially in the area of R&D. However, we’ve defeated these skills shortages with constant recruitment from within the UK and our world class apprenticeship scheme.”

Fintnews: speaking of disruption… Is there a formula for it, in your understanding?

“Challenging an existing structure or behaviour… being able to identify a pain point and resolving it using tech… after looking at behaviours of end users and customers.”

In their own words: “MyFirmsApp is ‘turning the professional services industry on its head.” The sector is moving away from necessary face-to-face meetings to an App that accountants needed to grab and share data with the end user. The push notification feature enables ‘hyper connected communication.’

For example, “a professional service organisation can be put in the middle of the data flow… geographic targeting can enable the client’s mileage to be calculated using GPS, this information can then be sent straight to the accountancy service for processing their expenses claim, for example.”

Fintnews: what future developments and challenges do you see developing in your industry?

Joel believes that the future disruption for his industry will revolve around the understanding of  “who owns the App relationship?” One client services firm can either create “a series of 6 – 15 Apps, which clients download individually to their devices”, or there is “one App that the client services company owns” in the App store. Joel is “selling the intangible,” so who is the owner of the App in the App store? Joel likens the situation “to what domains were 10 to 15 years ago… it’s quite fragmented who owns the data flow.”

“We’re just a few years from streamlining the collection of data from the financial services sector and evolving it from annual reporting to live real-time reporting using real-time connected data.” Joel predicts that the financial services sector front end will be dealing with AI in our Apps within 12 to 18 months’ time…Amazon are already using Ai.

“Companies are surviving their own disruption… cannibalisation… they don’t realise how quickly their projects are going out of date… at risk of disruption from their own creation!” For Joel, speed will be the main challenge in the future, but what will happen when the growth begins to slow in the future? Joel brings up the example of the internet “bringing a whole wave of disruption… it all happens in a cycle.” Going on to list some of the “giants created out of disruptive phases” in history, Joel highlights “Yahoo vs Google… Apple vs Microsoft… it (Microsoft) is coming back though… and look at Kodak, they had the technology” but they were too comfortable and were reluctant to “change the way it was working” ultimately leading to their downfall.

Only time will tell what the extent of the damage will be when the next technological wave hits and the new disruptive tactics that will be employed by the tech giants to ride out the wave. I hear surf’s good in Australia though.

Joel Oliver, CEO, MyFirmsApp http://www.myfirmsapp.co.uk/

Originally printed in the 15th edition of The FintechTimes

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