How a great idea became Wiise

A year ago, we launched Wiise with a big ambition ‒ to give Australia's small and medium businesses access to the same tools and insights available to large corporates. We wanted to level the playing field. Would we deliver on our mission?  

With a year under our belts, a lot of hard work and many late nights, I’m delighted to say that we’ve got a lot to celebrate. So happy birthday Wiise! It feels like an appropriate time to reflect on how far we’ve come and remind ourselves why we’re here. 

Since our launch, we’ve established a new brand in market with great cut-through and recognition. We’ve initiated a strategic distribution partnership with rhipe and developed and trained a network of trusted resellers. On the product front, we’ve added new features, including automated bank feeds, e-payments, landed costing for larger importing businesses and Single Touch Payroll. And we’ve scored a finalist award for Microsoft’s Business Central Partner of the Year, globally. That’s just for starters.  

But most importantly, we’ve got to know and help a fantastic group of Australian businesses along the way. I honestly couldn’t be prouder of the Wiise team. 

The benefits of a strong partnership 

Australia's small and middle market was woefully underserved from a technology and banking perspective. If we could help businesses by providing the tools and insights they needed, they could thrive and grow. 

So, in 2017 KPMG Australia partnered with the Commonwealth Bank and Microsoft, bringing together deep industry expertise and accounting knowledge, banking know-how, and the latest technology. And in August 2018 we launched Wiise with a clear goal ... 

We wanted to make it simple for Australian businesses to access business management technology. And we wanted to offer this solution at an affordable subscription price with a tonne of customisation that’s ready to go. Underpinned, of course, by the peace of mind that comes from a product developed by leaders in their fields. 

The Wiise difference  

I get asked a lot about how Wiise compares with Xero or NetSuite. The fact is that Xero is great accounting software for micro and small businesses. But, as businesses grow, they add complexity and start facing more challenges ‒ they begin to outgrow their accounting software. So, they start looking at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. 

Wiise sits in the middle. In a good way! We bridge the gap between small business accounting software and enterprise grade ERP technology, and help businesses move to a solution that manages their growing needs. 

So, Wiise isn’t accounting software. It’s a full business management solution that handles inventory, warehousing, projects, invoicing, payroll, manufacturing, CRM and more. 

The differences between Wiise and other ERPs in the market come down to setup time and cost. And to the value we create through the ongoing development work we’re doing in Wiise, driven by the market, our customers and our collective experience across accounting, tax and advisory, technology and banking. 

An unfair advantage 

I’ve spent the last decade working with executives at global corporates and mid-sized enterprises as a strategy consultant. I know first-hand the advantages that large corporates can enjoy with access to a decent budget, focused expertise, breadth of experience, a top tier ERP and technology infrastructure. These things help them to prosper and thrive.  

In contrast, I could see that the opportunity for growth at small and medium businesses, from all industries, was different. They’re at a disadvantage. 

The good news is that barriers to starting a business are lower than ever before. With solutions like Shopify to set up eCommerce and Squarespace to build a website, more people are becoming their own boss. And whether they’re a wholesale distributor, project-based business, or manufacturer; or they’re dealing with inventory, forecasting, or payroll, these businesses are more diverse and sophisticated than ever before. 

Equally, established businesses are facing an increasingly competitive landscape, compliance and regulatory changes and the need to keep pace with technological change; they need to be able to adapt quicker than ever. 

We know that business owners are dealing with the same complexities and challenges as large corporates. But there are gaps. They’re managed by fewer people who need broader skill sets and perspectives. They can’t afford to hire specialists for everything they need to do. And they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on top tier ERP software. 

Level the playing field 

With Wiise, we wanted to remove this disadvantage. So, we took a Microsoft platform and built a new, more affordable business management solution for businesses whose needs had become too much for their existing systems ... 

Enterprise level technology that not only helps business owners manage and streamline day-to-day operations like cash flow, talent retention, and inventory, but also lets them take control of their business. That saves them time so they can do what they do best. And that gives them clarity and insight to improve their decision-making. 

Because it’s insight that’s the key ‒ when people can see and understand their business clearly, they can make decisions with certainty. 

And that’s when businesses can start, and continue, to grow. 

Join the Wiise conversation 

Guiding Wiise through from development, launch, start-up and now scale up has been a hugely rewarding experience for me personally – and it wouldn’t have been as much fun without a few challenges on the way. I may be a little greyer ... I’m definitely a lot wiiser. 

A year on, our core purpose hasn’t changed ‒ we’re passionate about giving businesses the tools, insight and wisdom they need to thrive. And we’ve learnt a lot by staying agile in our approach, listening to our customers, and working alongside them as they face their challenges head-on.  

We’ve levelled the playing field, but we’re not finished. We’re working on new features and tools to offer even better reporting, deeper insight, and smarter ways to do business.  

I know the whole team is excited for what’s next. It would be great to hear your thoughts. What’s working well for you as you scale your business? What do you want to do better? Join the conversation and watch this space ... great things are happening at Wiise.