Italian priest, theologian, and philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is famous for, you guessed it, being a saint.
One of the ideas he put forth in his life that boosted him into sainthood was his Five Proofs for the Existence of God. These proofs absolutely shocked the world. There had never been such compelling evidence for an entity that, for much of eternity, had just been an idea in the mass’ minds or stories passed down through generations. One of these proofs was centered around the idea that there must be an initiator or first being to cause something to happen. Think Newton’s Law of the Conservation of Energy: energy is neither created nor destroyed – only transferred. As such, Aquinas insisted that an entity was required for the world to be created in the first place. Someone that incited or excited the energy that in turn created the earth. He postulated that first being was God, and called that one proof ‘The First Mover.’
It is the First Movers that are responsible for most everything that we see today, and not just in the sense of the Divine. First Movers are the ones events build off of—they are visionaries, and they push innovation. First Movers are the ones who call for an opening in a new space where disruptive innovation is required. For example, it was First Movers that saw the writing on the wall that on-premise software licensing models were dying – no longer scalable, were inefficient, and uneconomical for the enterprise. They quickly developed and deployed new Software as a Service (SaaS) models, and as a result, SaaS has seen a rapid increase in adoption by companies over the past decade.
Take, for instance, the CRM industry. In 2003, 90% of salespeople were still using on-premise software to help manage and organize customer data and business interactions. With multiple salespeople using various desktop computing platforms, and operating systems with multiple versions of CRM software that oftentimes was not compatible with related applications, the tools, the data, and the management of the customer relationship were in shambles. Companies were losing crucial data at an alarming pace that was costing their companies in both resources and top-line revenue growth. Seeing the gap, and creating a new category of service offering, First Mover SaaS-based CRM company Salesforce.com took the market by storm. And at approximately $50 per share today, it’s market cap and stock price has appreciated accordingly. Enterprises called for a change to the bloated system, and it took a First Mover cloud-based company to answer the call, offering a menu of features at a choose-your-price type sales model. The CRM industry, which is now flooded with SaaS companies like Netsuite, SugarCRM, Highrise CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage CRM, and many more, will never be the same again.
Just like the CRM industry was flipped on its head in the past decade thanks to First Movers, the entire end-to-end Purchase-to-Pay (P2P), Order-to-Cash (O2C), and related B2B payments industries are being disrupted as well. eProcurement in general is expected to see a transition to SaaS at a clip of 12-16% CAGR between 2014-2017. More than that, experts at SpendMatters predict that by 2015 it will be a $1.5 billion market alone. Paystream Advisors, in their 2013 survey of global companies, revealed that with 1000+ e-invoicing companies emerging on the scene, we have now hit the tipping point in e-invoicing with SaaS being a key driver as well.
With SaaS now widely accepted as the new norm for enterprises, to drive higher efficiencies in their financial and supply chain operations, and more competitiveness in the market, the insanely slow moving, costly, non-transparent, and inflexible $300 trillion in annual B2B payments that are handled by banks and financial institutions really sticks out. And this is long overdue for disruption.
We at Traxpay fully subscribe to the First Mover theory put forth by Thomas Aquinas. Something or somebody has to be the First Mover to incite and excite motion in an industry. As a pioneer in real-time, 24/7/365 B2B dynamic payments in-the-cloud, we are excited at being the First Mover in this domain, helping to speed end-to-end financial transactions on a global basis. While Sainthood may not exactly be our goal, the proof we are putting forth is shocking the world of B2B, and our customers, partners, and investors definitely think pretty highly about what we are up to.