Positive-Sum Growth: Why It Matters to Esker & What It Means to Your Company

Franz Kafka once said, “Isolation is a way to know ourselves.” Obviously, a global pandemic is not the kind of provocation the 20th-century novelist had in mind; nevertheless, his sentiment rings true.   

In the last two years, we’ve all had more time to reexamine our place in life, to reflect on past decisions and future ambitions, and to better “know ourselves.”

Here at Esker, we took it as an opportunity to reassess what we offer our customers. After all, the world has changed a lot and so have we! Our goal was to clarify what truly makes us unique and find a way to clearly share that message with others.

After conducting interviews with Esker customers, partners, employees and investors around the world, Esker’s board of directors identified several common themes and used them to define a more befitting value proposition for our company.

The final result? Something we call positive-sum growth.

Defining Positive-Sum Growth

Here is how Eric Bussy, Esker’s VP of Marketing & Product Management eloquently summarised the term positive-sum growth: 

“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.”

Jean-Michel Bérard, Esker’s Founder and CEO also shared his uniquely informed perspective on the concept: 

“Positive-sum growth is the exact opposite of zero-sum growth. It not only serves the company, but all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, and even the community in which the business operates.

Technology Behind the Philosophy

What positive-sum growth offers is a smarter and more sustainable way to do business in the post-pandemic era. There are many ways to grow a business and even more ways to use technology to achieve that growth. However, doing so at the expense of those who contribute to your success is the fastest way to turn your business into a paper tiger — something that appears strong but inevitably crumples when facing serious challenges (e.g., COVID, supply chain disruptions, etc.). 

Esker helps companies avoid this with our global cloud platform that automates finance and customer service functions. The technology behind our platform is designed for much more than efficiency gains — it’s to drive value creation beyond the doors of the company. Some of these technologies include:

  • Multi-tenant platform that operates on MS Azure, AWS and more, ensuring business continuity and end-to-end connectivity
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) that gives new meaning to jobs by optimising data recognition and validation and, in turn, eliminating low-value tedious tasks
  • Multi-ERP integration that’s simple, secure and simultaneous, helping business streamline onboarding and scalability
  • Custom dashboards that display real-time KPIs and predictive analytics to improve decision making and long-term forecasting
  • Mobile capabilities that enable critical business functions to be performed anytime, anywhere for increased flexibility

Who Benefits from Positive-Sum Growth?

No man is an island, as the old saying goes, and the same holds true for businesses. It takes an entire ecosystem of individuals, teams and connective enterprises to nurture a foundation of long-term success. With Esker, all stakeholders create value together, and never to the detriment of another. These beneficiaries include:

Your business
It’s common knowledge that automation is great for improving efficiency, productivity and cost savings. What’s often overlooked is how effective it is at keeping your business competitive even during COVID-level extremes. Here’s how filling the manual gaps in your cash conversion cycle translates to business benefits:

  • Unlock more value across the enterprise by removing manual inefficiencies
  • Retain and attract top talent by offering more fulfilling, strategic work
  • Improve business opportunities by strengthening relationships
  • Become a more agile and resilient business during difficult times

Your employees
Staying competitive in today’s business climate is hard enough. But trying to do so while hemorrhaging talent? Virtually impossible. If there’s one thing The Great Resignation has taught organisations, it’s that employee well-being needs to be a huge priority. What Esker’s solutions provide is exactly what today’s workforce is looking for:

  • Jobs with greater dignity & meaning
  • Less stress & more autonomy
  • Increased career-pathing opportunities

Your customers
In an era of increasing skepticism and cynicism, Esker empowers companies to be the one thing their customers want and expect them to be — easy to do business with. Positive-sum growth goes a long way, and for your customers that means:

  • Receiving invoices any way they want (email, PDF, fax, EDI, etc.)
  • Sending orders any way they want (fax, email, EDI, etc.)
  • Paying invoices any way they want (credit card, electronic, etc.)
  • Transparency & visibility throughout the customer experience

Your suppliers
The last two years have clearly underscored how important solidarity and relationship-building is with your suppliers. Esker not only brings efficiency to your company’s daily procure-to-pay functions, but it also delivers a significantly improved experience to your suppliers by offering them:

  • Freedom to send invoices how they want
  • On-time or even early payment
  • Transparency at every stage
  • Supply chain financing

The planet
Yes, even our beautiful blue pearl benefits from positive-sum growth. Although Esker would never claim to have an impact equal to a true environmental enterprise, there’s no denying that Esker’s cloud platform promotes sustainability. By reducing paper and equipment in day-to-day activities, Esker users are empowered to do their part in saving trees and reducing wasteful practices.

Learn More

Think positive-sum growth is missing from your business? Get more perspective on the topic, including customer success stories, right here.   

-Written by, Dan Rogney