Salmon Software: The TGold Standard – John Byrne
Due to steep pricing, there are still communities of corporate treasurers operating without treasury management systems. Salmon Software's John Byrne talks to Finance Director Europe about how its trailblazing cloud-based solution can help them to outsource complex server maintenance and IT applications at a much lower cost.
Being a corporate treasurer can be a laborious affair. In addition to having to adhere to seemingly endless regulatory standards, many continue to be bogged down by unwieldy spreadsheets when managing company cashflows.
In spite of this, most treasurers are still more likely to choose to fill in gaps on an Excel worksheet rather than make use of automated treasury management solutions. This is down to the high costs associated with in-house software systems, which have seen companies make six-figure investments in software, hardware and implementation.
In response to this, Irish software company Salmon Software has launched TGold, a new cloud computing treasury management solution (TMS). Capitalising on 25 years of market experience - its flagship product, Salmon Treasurer, supports a diverse range of treasury operations - the company has invested roughly €500,000 in the system, which is its first cloud computing offering.
Running on salesforce.com - the trailblazing platform for cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) - TGold allows businesses to automate, manage and increase the accuracy of their foreign exchange transactions by making payments in local and foreign currencies; book money market and FX trades; access management reports on currency positions and balances; and provide an accurate audit trail of trades and payment instructions.
"TGold came about due to there being a number of corporate treasurers out there who don't have a value big enough to justify the cost of implementing an on-premise solution," says Salmon Software CEO John Byrne. "We recognised this and developed the solution so these treasurers could pay on subscription and wouldn't need to bother engaging with an IT department. We also took into account that not all businesses run their treasury operations in the same way. It often depends on the type of trades they execute."
Due to the recent flurry of mergers and acquisitions within the TMS market, corporate treasurers are also facing an additional headache of limited choices at elevated costs as suppliers battle it out over market shares. Bearing this in mind, Byrne is resolute in his belief that now, more than ever, there is a need for independent suppliers such as Salmon.
"Recently, we have seen the element of choice in the markets diminish radically as a lot of competing products have fallen into a single banner," he says. "Subsequently, with the choices for corporates being so narrow, we feel it is important to make sure that they can select something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and can be implemented quickly."
While Salmon works with the likes of Ryanair and Securitas, the software is not exclusive to blue chip companies; organisations of all sizes can subscribe - TGold offers a 30-day free trial - in order to better manage their forex transactions. Other key benefits include its ability to produce a suite of management reports including confirmations, instructions and maturity ladders.
Such perks do not come at the expense of satisfying the aforementioned regulatory measures demanded of corporate treasurers. As the International Accounting Standards Board continues to urge treasurers to implement IFRS 9, which stipulates recognition of outstanding derivatives such as forward foreign exchange contracts at a fair value, TGold produces a market-to-market revaluation that satisfies this standard.
Protect and serve
Despite there still being some concerns within industries over the potential regulatory and security risks associated with cloud services, where personal data is stored internationally, Byrne also has no doubts over salesforce.com's dependability as a supporting platform.
"Aside from the straightforward pricing model, it really ticks all boxes when it comes to data protection, which is an absolute necessity," he says. "We appreciate that all clients need to be sure that when they are entering into the cloud it is safe, secure, protected and backed up. Nobody does this better than Salesforce."
Byrne attributes Salmon's overall success to its emphasis on research and development; adopting a close-to-client approach, it has successfully installed well over 100 TMSs to date. In honing TGold - which also comes with remote iPhone verification - he is also quick to laud the contribution made by Enterprise Ireland, a government agency that supports Irish manufacturing businesses.
"It has a presence in a number of regions such as North America and the Middle East, which are markets we are trying to infiltrate," he says. "We were incredibly fortunate to receive financial assistance from them, which has allowed us to conduct research into these areas at a much lower cost."
It has been an auspicious start for TGold. In addition to winning the EuroCloud Ireland Best Start Up Award 2011 in June, Salmon Software recently announced a partnership with ID Consulting in Prague, with the hope of further permeating the Central and Eastern European markets. Unsurprisingly, Byrne is sanguine when contemplating future projects.
"We are looking to develop other solutions geared towards interest rate swaps, debt and cash management," he says. "We are also interested in producing journal postings for various systems such as Oracle, Peoplesoft, SUN, SAP and others. This will be the next phase of our development. It is an exciting time for us. Right now, there is no other company offering a service like TGold to the marketplace. "
However, he believes there is still a little way to go before corporate treasurers finally sound the death knell of the spreadsheet.
"While there has definitely been a general worldwide move towards improved corporate governance, we haven't seen the end of the spreadsheet - not by a long shot," Byrne says. "In some areas they are still proliferating, both at a corporate and banking level."