As part of our “They do data” feature, Sébastien Le Neve, commercial director at Sage XRT agreed to take stock of the past year and the major challenges of the new year.
LeBigdata.fr: Can you talk about the past year?
In 2021, our business has, perhaps paradoxically, remained very dynamic. We are experiencing a very strong growth since we are on +49% on the SaaS activity. This trend can be explained by several factors. The most important one is the arrival of state-guaranteed loans that companies have been able to benefit from. This has put the spotlight on the treasurer’s job, which has been in great demand and has needed relevant tools for this period. Treasurers can sometimes feel a little isolated within a company’s organization. This pandemic period has given this function more visibility.
Did you adjust your strategy during this period?
Yes, of course! For example, in my team we had to adapt our deployment method. We had to rethink our whole implementation strategy. This was not too difficult thanks to Teams and solutions like this, overall we were not too disturbed. Today, we are starting to reintroduce face-to-face meetings. In addition, in this period of crisis, we have focused on customers with whom we were already working, on subjects such as the cloud. Today, 90% of our sales are in the cloud.
What are the major challenges facing your sector at the beginning of the year?
We regularly draw the challenges of the profession in the Observatoire du Trésorier, we published the 4th recently. We recently published the 4th one, in which we interviewed 1,500 treasurers in France and about 200 clients. The issues that emerge are mainly related to cybersecurity and in particular the security of financial transactions. We know that today, there is a whole network that tries to divert cash flows and our role is therefore to secure transactions with specialized anti-fraud software, whether they are internal or external. The cloud also helps to deal with these issues, so it’s worth moving towards this solution. Then, to talk about the very recent news, we are facing a new phenomenon linked to the war in Ukraine. This concerns, in particular, exchange rate risks and currency volatility. We are proposing a solution that allows us to cover and anticipate this type of risk.
What are your challenges for the beginning of the year?
Our challenges concern the acceleration of the digital transformation of our customers to bring them to full cloud solutions. We want to change their practices. We note that we are in a sector where the cloud has become a standard, but there are still obstacles linked to certain so-called sensitive business activities such as banking or defense, for example. At Sage, we know how to offer solutions in hybrid mode, which is what we did with Swiss Life, for example.
One word to define your objectives for 2022?
I would say “serenity”. We went through a difficult period with covid, now there is the war in Ukraine. I think we could all use some serenity in 2022.
Interview by Amandine Durand