Business intelligence blog

    Chairman’s statement - FY2020

    Phocas continues to grow profitably, invest in the future and work closely with customers.


    • Growth in revenue of 22% year-on-year plus 3% profitability
    • Strong new sales growth and customer retention despite covid-19 
    • Continued strong investment in the business, with 50 new people joining the team
    • New product added to portfolio to build on identified growth opportunity in finance teams 
    • The Executive team strengthened with new talent  


    No review of a fiscal year ending June 2020 can be written without reference to the covid-19 global pandemic which focused our attention on the wellbeing of our people and commitment to customers. In many ways, this challenge brought us closer to our customers as manufacturing, distribution and retail companies used data more to address changes occurring every day in their businesses. 


    Despite the impact of the pandemic, the business maintained its strong performance during the whole year, delivering revenue growth of 22% year-on-year plus 3% profitability. These are very pleasing results, considering the last quarter, which was impacted most by the shutdowns of the pandemic. We continued to see new sales growth, and although some of our customers were severely affected, we saw minimal customer churn. The importance of access to good quality data became clear to existing and potential customers alike. I want to say a big ‘Thank-you’ to our teams throughout the world for their resilience and agility.

    Product and platform

    We had some exciting developments in product and platform under the guidance of visionary Chief Product and Technology Officer, Blair Cassidy. Phocas continued to invest in the future, and the development team has grown significantly to support our customers and add value to the product, now including a Christchurch office consisting of 18 people and additional talent in Orange, New South Wales.  


    In June 2020, we released the new Financial Statements product. It has been well received by customers and the broader market, with sales exceeding forecasts. Financial Statements is one part of our strategy to develop business intelligence solutions for finance teams, which we believe is an excellent growth opportunity and helps our customers drive more accountability for financial performance across divisions. We are also excited about the upcoming release of the Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning product to continue to strengthen our offer to the finance segment. 


    Our existing products are regularly updated and refined, and significant resources are invested in using the latest technologies to solve customer problems. For example, we are working on using Artificial Intelligence to help users make timely and more effective decisions by automatically identifying and sending latest information and insights they need to perform their role. 

    Executive team

    The Executive team strengthened further this year. In the US, Rick Toepfer moved into the position of Senior VP Partnerships, and Jay Deubler has settled in well as the President, US Division. Jay has 20+ years' experience in the IT industry with previous executive roles at Epicor, Sage, Infor and Avalara. Dave Boorman joined the team as VP, Corporate Development based in Sydney. Dave adds a wealth of global financial experience with listed and multinational companies. Blair Cassidy, the Chief Product and Technology Officer started in October 2019 bringing more than 19 years' of product experience and knowledge to the team.  


    Phocas achieved fantastic results within the BI analyst and review community. We ranked top in 34 categories across three peer groups in the global-leading BARC BI Survey 2019 and was the clear leader in the Gartner owned, Software Advice FrontRunners 2020 BI quadrant. 

    The Phocas website revamped to offer an enhanced user experience and inbound lead generation is automated to improve the customer journey and ensure ongoing collaboration with the global marketing and sales teams 

    We had a significant uptake for online courses where Phocas experts and customers came together to share knowledge and experiences during the ongoing disruption. 


    People and culture

    We are immensely proud of our culture at Phocas. In September 2019, Phocas won a Culture Transformation award from Human Synergistics for achieving a constructive culture during three years of significant growth and change. Consequently, our co-CEO and Chief People Officer are headline speakers at the 2020 Human Synergistics Asia-Pacific conference. We continued to expand our employee base with another 50 people starting this year. The People and Culture team has played a vital role in coordinating, supporting, and communicating with our people throughout the ongoing health crisis. 

    Phocas operating businesses


    The Phocas operating businesses performed strongly — especially the UK — which increased new licence sales by 43% year-on-year and worked successfully with buying groups and our European partner expansion in Scandinavia. The US led the way in our strategy of growing our partner base, by showing how Phocas business intelligence fosters decision enablement. Australia continues to perform profitably while expanding activities in both Asia and New Zealand.


    Business intelligence marketplace

    We still see significant growth in the BI software market augmented by a stronger desire in the mid-market for digital transformation. Its expected to reach US$49bn by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 10%. In a world where global IT spend is predicted to hit US$3.8tn, organizations are increasingly looking to data and the back office to drive efficiencies and democratize the business decision-making process. This trend is accelerated by the need for data to cope with ongoing change.  

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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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