Picture: Morgan Brown, CEO and Founder of Enterpryze
Morgan Browne is CEO and Founder of Enterpryze, a company providing scalable and flexible cloud-based business management solutions with mobile apps available to help small medium businesses optimise their processes and increase cash flow. Browne saw a void in the market, realising businesses required an on-the-go and easily accessible system. Browne has successfully expanded the business to nine countries, including the UK, Singapore, and Poland. With a staff of over 95, he explains the difficulties the company faced during COVID and working remotely.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
To support the leadership team and to help drive marketing activities. I find it best to let the team run the business day to day and focus on strategy, innovation and promotion. I always believe in hiring people that are better than me at their job. Ultimately my role is to drive revenues, ensure customer success and focus on developing the team so that they can work to their best level.
What are your biggest challenges as CEO?
Currently my main challenge is meeting the demand as we grow post pandemic. This challenge is heightened because we can’t travel to our regional offices, so we are currently recruiting and training new people remotely. This can be difficult when trying to find employees that perfectly match our culture.
Growth right now is at 30% per month and that brings with it many challenges that need to be met. Thankfully we have been recruiting to prepare for this growth. However planning for this trajectory is a challenge.
How do you keep your team/ staff motivated?
We’ve got an amazing People Ops team that organises constant engagement through virtual events, town halls and casual catch ups. Beyond that, it’s just about fostering a culture of recognition and positivity. We encourage open communication and make it a point to introduce newcomers to the rest of the department, other departments, and even senior management in the first week itself – remote or not remote.
Our culture is amazing despite being based in 9 countries. The team works very well together and are very supportive to each other. I think the fact that we are in an exciting growth mode helps, but we are very particular about who we hire into the business to make sure we have a group that strives to help each other.
What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?
Malware, phishing scams, and other data threats are something every cloud solutions provider must stay ahead of or risk falling prey to these attacks. As a cloud company, we make it a point to set up stricter role-based access, vigorously vet through all our integrations and partners and continuously enforce safe remote working controls within the staff.
It goes beyond just the infrastructure being expensive, but we must consider the price of hiring the right talent
Another challenge is also monitoring our expenditure of tools necessary to maintain our cloud ecosystem. It goes beyond just the infrastructure being expensive, but we must consider the price of hiring the right talent to secure our systems and provide training.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
Mobility is becoming more and more important. We spotted this trend a few years ago, which is why we built up the suite of mobile apps to ensure that different users could access the tools they needed on the go.
Still, it’s a misconception of many business owners that their best work can only be done on a desktop – and that mobile apps can only support a handful of basic functions.
We challenge this thinking, and we’ve built Enterpryze’s apps to handle complex processes, to employ a powerful dashboard, and to be user-friendly enough to be used 24/7.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
Southeast Asia is a ripe market for digital payments, Quick Response (QR) codes and such. Businesses are already used to the idea of scanning and paying through mobile apps – which is easier and cheaper for users and merchants.
It’s something we hope to see picked up in Europe, a region that still prefers swiping debit and credit cards. It takes days to see amounts paid in this method in a merchant’s bank account, whilst digital payments can be instantly accessed.
We also see a trend towards e-invoicing and accounting automation, and we are very excited to see nations take these initiatives on.
As an employer are you finding any skill gaps in the market?
The speed at which new digital infrastructure is coming outgrows every day. In the software market especially, we narrow the gap by upskilling existing employees first and then going into the market to find those who have experience with cloud solutions. We would love to see some more basic training programs for staff too. Not everyone needs a university education to enter the IT space.
Not everyone needs a university education to enter the IT space.
How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?
We realised that businesses were avoiding spending hundreds of thousands of euros on ERP because they didn’t know if their company was going to be still running in a few months.
That’s where the idea of Enterpryze comes in, and it took off because organisations and SMEs were hungry for solutions that are on-demand, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.
Flexibility is key and the ability to grow your solution simply was a cornerstone of the architecture of Enterpryze.
How has Brexit affected you?
It gave us a window to reassess our expansion plans and sales strategies. Overall, in the software market, it was necessary to review what kinds of data are stored and whether the way it’s managed is according to EU GDPR and UK’s regulations. Brexit also presented a challenge for our UK customers but other than that, from a technology perspective it has been business as usual.
How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business/sector?
Of course, there’s the fact that our workforce all around the world had to start remote working.
Since we’re a software and cloud-based company that handles sensitive data on a regular basis, we needed to ensure that all our employees were well-versed with what to do and what not to do (security-wise) while working in lockdown.
But in that time, we saw a great deal of SMEs and growing businesses across the world start to realise the importance of cloud solutions. They wanted a platform that would also allow their employees to work seamlessly during remote work, was secure, easy to use, and inexpensive.
We went on to work with Singaporean government bodies under the Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB) initiative aimed at supporting SMEs as they try to accelerate their digital adoption.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Commitment, knowledge, and the need to always innovate. I believe that SMEs are the lifeblood of the modern economy and creating opportunities for them to get on the better side of digitalisation without expensive capital is what drives me.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
Create a big ambition that scares you and learn not to be afraid of it. Make sure you hire in line with your culture.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
There were many incredible personal challenges faced, including losing loved ones and having to deal with the mental and physical impact of COVID.
I think for any business just surviving the last year is a major highlight. However, for us I think it is how we rallied as a team and grew the business in the face of COVID-19’s challenges. We expanded our localisations to more countries and looked to innovate new features that would help our customers drive efficiencies through automation.
One highlight that stands out for me is how well the team managed the challenges of COVID and maintained their composure through it all.
There were many incredible personal challenges faced, including losing loved ones and having to deal with the mental and physical impact of COVID. But through it all they stayed focused, committed and a great support to each other. That for me is a major highlight.
What’s next for your company?
We have 4 core product focuses for the next year, including integrations, AI, micro vertical innovations and machine learning. Having built the core functionality to manage most aspects of a business’ critical accounting and inventory management, we are now focusing on how to leverage technology to help SMEs improve margin, cash flow and processes.
We are also expanding our localisations to rollout the solution to North America and the EU to be able to provide more companies in more counties the benefits of Enterpryze.
So, innovation, geographic expansion and integrations are the next steps in providing more options for SMEs to run their businesses better.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
The start of this year has been about strengthening partner relationships and consistently rolling out improvements for existing Enterpryze users to support their businesses during the age of cloud solutions, remote working, and digital payments.
Up until now there has been a large focus on providing SMEs with accounting solutions or larger SMEs with ERP solutions in the cloud. There’s a large void to be filled there.
We want to be the go-to provider for SMEs that want more than just accounting software at a price point they can afford. Instead, we want to provide SMEs with a solution that helps them run their business as it scales without having to settle for basic tools, or having to pay over the odds for complexity.