Esker All Access 2021 Recap: 7 Takeaways from the Virtual Conference

Dan Rogney

Esker All Access 2021 may be over, but the buzz of excitement and inspiration is still being felt.

Over the span of two days, conference attendees got a virtual experience that comprised 50+ speakers including individuals from Esker’s executive staff, sales staff and CX team, leading analysts from Ardent Partners, Hackett Group and APQC, and even a former Green Bay Packer and Super Bowl champion.

Yes, a lot of ground was covered but the conference never strayed far from the prevailing theme — smarter business growth.

In a period of disruption and risk not seen in decades, businesses need to be diligent in exploring new avenues for staying competitive and remaining resilient. As we learned during the conference, building and nurturing a strong digital foundation is a critical component to long-term growth. 

So, what did Esker All Access 2021 teach us about achieving these types of ambitious strategies? Here are seven takeaways that stood out to us:

  1. Success is not attainable without a healthy business ecosystem.  
    One of the biggest challenges facing today’s businesses is generating value even during difficult periods like the one we’re in now. This is where the idea of nurturing your business ecosystem (i.e., customers, suppliers, employees, even the environment) and pursuing “positive-sum growth” comes into play — topics that were discussed prevalently at Esker All Access 2021.

    As Eric Bussy, Esker’s VP Marketing & Product Management, explained during the Welcome & Company Strategy/Vision session: “In an increasingly uncertain world, business success is multi-faceted. More than just cutting costs, it’s about long-term value creation and relationship-building. Growth is not meant to be a one-sided affair. If everyone wins, you have created positive-sum growth.”

  2. It’s critical to optimize the processes that impact cashflow.
    Another lesson learned over the last 18 months is that cash is still king. Unfortunately, when times are tough for many businesses, getting paid can be a tall task. One of the reasons that made Esker All Access 2021 so promising is that a whopping 550+ people registered for the event and got to hear firsthand how Esker customers are using digital solutions to optimize their order-to-cash processes, as well as some of the best practices shared by industry experts.

    Some of the standout quotes include:

    “It (Esker) frees up so much of our time to dedicate more to customer experience, to having more time to talk to customers whenever they are having an issue — it’s a great benefit.”
    – Irma Pereles, Customer Service Manager, Florida Crystals 

    “The average time they [world-class organizations] are taking to do a [credit] review is one business day and 75% of their activities are automated.”
    – Bryan DeGraw, The Hackett Group

    “We went live with Esker about the time we were all being sent home for the pandemic. As we were going through this, we have a tool in front of us that can help meet the requirements that our client base is going to need today so the company can keep everything headed in the right direction. And we were able to do that.”
    – Colleen Nelson, Cash, Collection & Credit Director, Intrado

  3. Global companies need global solutions.
    When global companies grow, especially via mergers and acquisitions, it’s inevitable that complexity can arise due to the various ERPs absorbed along the way — this is especially true for procurement and accounts payable departments. Fortunately, as we heard during Esker All Access 2021, many companies have found success in using automated solutions to solve this issue and simplify their ERP environments.

    As Dustin Collins, Element Solutions’ Senior VP of IT said in his Reaching New Levels of Efficiency with AP Automation session: “The ability to have Esker do the automation and the process improvement that we get with the Esker platform allowed us to eliminate the barrier of finding resources that had a strong working knowledge of legacy ERP systems.”

  4. Data and analytics are everything.
    More than ever, knowledge is power. Successful companies are the ones who can connect different teams and departments seamlessly, can access pertinent data in an instant and without obstacles, and rely on analytics to make strategic decisions and solve potential issues before they arise.

    This was on full display at Esker All Access 2021, as many customers, Esker experts and industry thought leaders shared their thoughts on how digital solutions work to empower users and their teams. One quote that stuck out was from Bryan DeGraw, Associate Principal at The Hackett Group, during his World-Class Order-to-Cash Process KPIs session: At the end of the day, if you’re not measuring, it’s really a challenge to say, “Hey we need to improve.” The question would be, ‘Well, how do you know we need to improve?’ You need to be measuring; you have to have KPIs.”

  5. Humans and machines CAN work harmoniously.
    If you attended any of the Esker All Access 2021 sessions, particularly the ones headed by Esker Product Managers and executive management, you probably noticed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a prevalent role in both the current and future makeup of our solutions.

    The reason for this is simple: AI is instrumental in helping businesses achieve smarter business growth. It not only serves to eliminate tiresome and time-consuming tasks, but it also improves speed, collaboration and decision making throughout the business.

    In her session Simple Steps to Create a “Touch Less” Order Management Process, Esker CX Advocate Becky Mender summed it up best: “This is what our automation platform was meant to do: Bring people, process and technologies together to work in harmony, playing on one another’s strengths."

  6. Motivation, resilience and leadership are still essential.   
    “Success is a choice. You either find a way or you make one.” This was just one of the nuggets of inspiration shared at Esker All Access 2021 by Green Bay Packers icon Donald Driver. In his keynote presentation Strategies & Insights to Help Unlock Potential & Achieve Smarter Growth, Donald reminded us all that being resilient in the face of adversity often comes down to understanding your purpose, being unafraid of failure and taking advantage of opportunities. Thank you for the words of wisdom, Donald!
  7. If you have questions, ask the experts!
    Lastly, if Esker All Access 2021 taught us anything, it’s that having a team of supportive, knowledgeable and dedicated experts on your side is an invaluable resource when trying to establish long-term success. Whether it’s technical support, educational opportunities or reward programs, Esker’s CX team is here every day — not just during Esker All Access 2021 — to facilitate your customer experience and optimize your solution. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your advocate!

Interested in learning more about how your business can pursue and achieve smarter growth strategies? All the Esker All Access 2021 conference sessions are available on-demand right here.

Author Bio

Dan Rogney

As Esker’s Senior Copywriter, Dan plays a central role in creating thought-provoking marketing content designed to educate and engage audiences on the benefits of document process automation. When he’s not writing, you’re likely to find him poring over a good book, shamelessly playing with his daughter’s toys, or Googling the best ways to remove cat hair from clothing.

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