On the flip side of the record pace of mergers and acquisitions over the last couple of years is the rapid growth in companies divesting of product lines. Seeking to drive greater focus on core products, meet financing needs, and keep pace with market changes, companies are pursing divestitures at a record pace– with more than half of those surveyed in Deloitte’s M & A Trends Report, 2016 Edition reporting that they expected their companies to divest business lines over the next 12 months. That’s up from 39 percent last year.
For the company being divested, breaking up with its parent can often break it. The stressful dance of retaining talent, making difficult staffing decisions and managing messaging is also accompanied with the need to build an entire new IT infrastructure from the ground up. Many companies bow at the overwhelming task of standing up new systems when they’ve relied on those of their previous parent for decades. Making fast decisions on an appropriate technology foundation will not only support the new business, but empower it to evolve at the pace necessary to compete in the future, can separate the winners from the losers.
It was in this spot that Quicken Inc. found itself in March of 2016, when Intuit announced it would divest of the 30-year-old, flagship personal finance software to sharpen its focus on small business.
But instead of meeting the situation with fear, Quicken viewed it as an opportunity filled with potential. CEO Eric Dunn told ComputerWorld that he was not only certain the product would endure, but that in a couple of years from now, users would say, “this is the best Quicken ever.”
A big part of solidifying that future was building the new company on a foundation that was agile and scalable enough to move at the pace his industry demanded. Quicken had only six months to move off the on-premise legacy software that had supported its finance and accounting processes for decades, and onto something that would help it grow and evolve its product to support its users’ needs for decades more.
Seamless transition, on-time and on-budget
Quicken’s new controller – Gary Hornbeek -- had 25 years of experience with financials and ERP systems, leveraging eight different ones during his career that ran the gamut from QuickBooks Online to SAP. There was little doubt in his mind as to what would be the best fit for the new leaner, more agile Quicken – Oracle NetSuite.
“It’s not too complex, it’s not too simple. It’s flexible and powerful, but still easy to use,” Hornbeek said. “It’s just right.”
The company was sold on NetSuite’s fast implementation timeline, robust functionality and integration, ease of use and scalability. With NetSuite OneWorld, it could seamlessly support a lean accounting and finance operation of 10 running two offices in the United States and Bangalore.
On October 1 – on time and under budget – Quicken seamlessly transitioned to NetSuite OneWorld. That balance of “not too simple, not too complex,” was immediately apparent to users. Accounting could complete complex tasks, such as consolidating financials from multiple entities and locations, and recognizing revenue from online and physical product streams, yet could accomplish transactions with a few clicks in a single screen, something that was previously impossible because of the lack of integration in its former systems. Simple integrations with third-party applications already in use – like Bill.com -- expedited adoption.
“We’ve been very happy,” Hornbeek said. “It saves us time, and because of the power of the system, we’re able to operate with a much smaller team than we might otherwise be able to.”
Hornbeek plans to leverage NetSuite dashboards and reporting to lend the CEO rich access into metrics defining the health of the company in real-time – positioning NetSuite as his first stop in the morning, even before he checks his email, and his go-to for insight-driven business decisions.
In turn, Quicken’s plans to re-architect its own product to run in the cloud are bolstered by Oracle NetSuite’s agile cloud platform. Quicken can easily turn on functionality to accommodate complex requirements for revenue recognition as it moves to subscription-based licensing.
“As our business evolves, we’re capable of handling the changes,” Hornbeek said.
Learn more about NetSuite for Software companies.