The forerunner of Open Source business and user interface technology, Vaadin Ltd, suffered from slow reporting and a lack of transparency in terms of its finances when it decided to move from separate financial management solutions to a centralised system. NetSuite, which is delivered by Digia, proved to be an unparalleled solution for the company’s needs. It was a decision they did not have to regret.
Established in 2000, the Finnish company Vaadin Ltd is an international pioneer in Open Source business and user interface technology. Its open source web application development platform is the core for an active developer community of 150,000 members, in addition to which the company offers paid subscription services to companies that need productised additional features and support services.
Regarding Vaadin Ltd’s turnover, 90% comes from outside Finland, which is why it has subsidiaries in the United States and Germany. As the share of international business increased, it became apparent that in order to achieve transparency and efficient administration in all companies, it was necessary to harmonise the various financial management solutions that were in use.
Jurka Rahikkala is one of the company’s founders and has worked in many positions during the 20-year existence of Vaadin Ltd. When he was the CFO of Vaadin Ltd, he led a project that aimed to harmonise financial management systems.
“All our local companies in various countries were using separate financial management solutions, and the reporting from local accounting partners was not comparable. As a result, reporting was slow and we ended up having a lot of manual work, which is susceptible to errors. However, the most difficult thing from a business point of view was that we lacked transparency and control over the subsidiaries,” Rahikkala says.
What we did
What we used
We were in a situation where most of our company's turnover came from outside Finland, but we had inadequate visibility into the financial situation of foreign subsidiaries. We were able to operate, but our administrative operations were stiff and reporting was slow. The transition to NetSuite completely solved our administrative challenges and its deployment carried out with Digia’s help was quick and efficient. I recommend both without any reservations to all software companies aiming for the international markets.
Jurka Rahikkala, CEO & Founder, Vaadin
NetSuite was the only solution that met Vaadin Ltd’s requirements and Digia had a convincing vision
Vaadin Ltd was able to operate without a centralised financial management system, but the lack of transparency caused a lot of trouble for the company's management. Both the company’s management and board of directors also wanted to speed up reporting.
The challenge was to find a solution that met the requirements stemming from legislation in the USA, EU and Finland and for which both technical and operational partners could be found in all the required countries.
NetSuite was the only system that met all the requirements of Vaadin Ltd, and Digia was chosen as the supplier because it was the most credible of the options that were reviewed, both in terms of its vision and demonstrated achievements.
“There were no credible alternatives to NetSuite at that time, which I believe is still the case. We had discussions with a total of three suppliers, and Digia clearly stood out with its expertise and references,” Rahikkala says.
Digia helped Vaadin Ltd to orchestrate three deployments in four months
The deployment project was first carried out in the Finnish parent company, with the subsidiaries soon following suit. Digia's consultant led the implementation project and Digia’s team adapted NetSuite in accordance with the requirements of Vaadin Ltd by creating charts of accounts and banking connections and by building integrations with a separate invoicing system. Vaadin Ltd's own team handled data migrations.
After the initial preparations, deployment was carried out at a rapid pace. Deployment took place in Finland in May 2019, in Germany in June and in the United States in August of the same year. Digia also took care of user training in conjunction with the deployment.
The deployment project in an international multi-vendor environment was faultless and there were no significant challenges or surprises. The German subsidiary was the only one that had to change accounting firms, as the previous partner was not equipped to learn how to use the new system. However, a new partner was easily found.
“Digia's consultant was excellent at holding the reins at all stages of the project and mastered amazingly well even the special features related to the United States, and the whole operation was carried out extremely painlessly,” Rahikkala says.
Experience has shown that this was the right choice
Through the deployment of NetSuite, Vaadin Ltd achieved all of their objectives. The transition to a single system provided transparency for all companies. With the common system, all companies also started to implement the same financial management processes, which further increased the efficiency of operations.
Monthly reporting time was shortened by several days, claims can be monitored through a single view for all companies and the company's expenses can be better controlled as the processing of purchase invoices became more effective.
Overall, as a result of the project, Vaadin Ltd is now able to analyse and develop its own operations more effectively.
“NetSuite has fulfilled all promises. We use NetSuite as our core financial management system, for which purpose it is second to none. We couldn't even consider going back to the way things were, even though NetSuite is not exactly cheap,” Rahikkala says.
NetSuite guarantees transparency in Vaadin Ltd’s finances
The business growth of Vaadin Ltd will be built by growing the community and the number of subscribers for paid services. This requires sustained efforts, where transparency in the company's finances and the opportunity to analyse the company's operations in terms of finance are important.
The decision to deploy NetSuite as the common financial management system in all of Vaadin Ltd's companies was based on this need, and this has been the right choice for the company. Cooperation with Digia in the system deployment was efficient and flexible, and there have been no problems with the system or its maintenance after deployment.
“We were in a situation where most of our company's turnover came from outside Finland, but we had inadequate visibility into the financial situation of foreign subsidiaries. We were able to operate, but our administrative operations were stiff and reporting was slow. The transition to NetSuite completely solved our administrative challenges and its deployment carried out with Digia’s help was quick and efficient. I recommend both without any reservations to all software companies aiming for the international markets,” Rahikkala concludes.