Business intelligence blog

    Chairman’s Statement - FY 2017/2018

    It's been another productive year at Phocas during the 2017/2018 financial year


    • We continued the successful development of our worldwide partner program
    • We enjoyed another year of strong organic growth with earnings and profits substantially increased; reflecting the 115% rise in sales of end user licences
    • We established an artificial intelligence (AI) working committee involving some of our best minds and customers to ensure that Phocas encompasses the benefits that this technology can bring to our customers
    • We were pleased to welcome leading industry expert, Dr Michelle Deaker to our Board


    Phocas appreciated another excellent year of organic growth with income up 15%, profits up 27% and end user licence sales up by 115%. All three trading organisations saw good results with the strongest income growth coming from the US company, with an increase of 21% on the prior year.


    A key element of Phocas’ strategy is the recruitment and nurturing of reseller and referral partners in all regions. Excellent partnerships facilitate continuous and scalable increases to income and our reach. The success of the program is borne out by the successful finance figures above. Our established partners were instrumental in our increase of end-user licence sales of 115%, with the strong performance of our strategic partner Epicor being particularly notable with 85% penetration of all Epicor new deals. We were also very pleased to welcome a number of new partners around the world.

    People and Culture

    People and culture is of core importance to Phocas. This year saw continued investment in our people with training programs rolled out to sales and marketing teams, and an ever-increasing number of employees benefiting from the 360 professional development program. The UK business established a graduate recruitment program in the customer services department which has proved to be very effective. So much so that this will be extended to the sales and marketing functions.

    The Executive

    Towards the end of the year were delighted to welcome Michelle Deaker as a non- executive director to the Board. Michelle is a successful entrepreneur and business executive with 20 years’ experience in IT enterprise businesses targeting finance, retail, media, security and education. She has served on the Boards of major listed and unlisted companies across media, healthcare and information technologies in Australia and North America. Her advice and experience will be invaluable in helping us further develop and grow the business.

    Product and Platform

    We’ve made steady progress in developing data solutions that simply and usefully address data-related pain points in the market including: rebate, customer, financial analysis management. In addition, product R&D has been busy releasing richer features, and integrations with more, and new ERP and other operational data sources; greatly broadening the attractiveness of Phocas, while delivering fast time-to-value for customers.

    We are very excited to announce our artificial intelligence (AI) thinking practice which is led by Dr Liz Crawford. In her previous role as CTO of Birchbox, she built the engineering, product and data science functions (growing the product development team from nothing to 60 people). Liz's view is that AI needs to be incorporated in all our customer problem-solving aims and therefore seamlessly unified in the Phocas user experience.

    Our cloud platform went from strength to strength with more than half of our customers worldwide now reaping the benefits from being in the Cloud.


    Our marketing efforts are bringing more people into the Phocas fold. We market successfully via digital avenues and industry watering holes and events. Joint marketing with our larger partner network is yielding excellent results. There’s certainly a growing interest in wanting to understand how to use data to sell and operate better, smarter and more sustainably. We’ve seen more business coming from the consumer goods sector and generally the range of job roles showing interest is widening. Every professional wants and needs to access, understand and augment their own expertise with data insights these days, especially in manufacturing, distribution and retail, where margins are tight, and competition is intense.

    Customer Experience  

    More customers are engaging in our Phocas User Group (PUG) activities including the chat forum, user conferences, video tutorial academy, site visits and collaborative working groups. In particular, we’ve seen amazing attendance in our online training series covering everything from 101 for beginners to administration to combining streams for advanced users.

    In October we will release (currently embargoed) results in the BARC survey – which is the world’s largest independent survey of BI users – this year our users have rated us even higher than last year (which we didn’t think was possible). The dedication of our implementation and support teams always pays off.

    Financial Year 2018/2019

    2018/2019 will see us continue to implement and develop our core strategic plan across all functions of the business. We will invest in the best people with an increase in staff numbers of approximately 15% over the coming year. We expect to see strong profitable income growth across all parts of the business from an expanded suite of product offerings.

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    Written by Paul Magee
    Paul is a perennial entrepreneur with a flair for delighting customers. He is a co-founder and the current Chairman of Phocas.
    Paul is a perennial entrepreneur with a flair for delighting customers. He is a co-founder and the current Chairman of Phocas.

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