Ep. 152: Nishant Nair - Modernizing Legacy Systems

November 18, 2021 | 15 Minutes

Nishant Nair, CEO and Founder of RecVue, an enterprise-grade recurring billing and revenue management platform, joins Count Me In to talk about the value and importance of modernizing your legacy systems and streamlining your corporate structure. Nishant has spent 20+ years helping companies embrace quote-to-cash, subscription, and consumption-based processes and technologies to drive business growth. He has strong experience in leading business process and systems transformation at high growth, global companies including LinkedIn, Yelp, Pinterest, Dropbox, Lumosity, Equinix, Fujitsu, Walmart.com, Openwave, and Laserscope. Nishant is also a frequent speaker at leading industry events and a valued contributor to the Forbes Technology Council. In this episode, Nishant speaks with the IMA team about implementing new financial systems, trends in the financial services industry, and how these modernizations will ultimately lead to newer innovations. Download and listen now!

Contact Nishant Nair: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ninair/

Forbes Technology Council: https://profiles.forbes.com/members/tech/profile/Nishant-Nair-CEO-RecVue-Inc/329296c5-b50e-4cfc-a7dd-c6813580978d

Fintech Times article: https://thefintechtimes.com/recvue-dont-let-outdated-systems-become-your-legacy/

Global FinTech Series interview: https://www.recvue.com/blog/qa-with-recvues-ceo/?utm_content=172261129&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&hss_channel=lcp-6640106

Adam: (00:05)
 Welcome back to Count Me In, IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. This is your host, Adam Larson, and you're now listening to episode 152 of our series. The guest speaker for this series is Nishant Nair, CEO and founder of RecVue, a modern order lifecycle management solutions provider. In this episode, Nishant speaks with Mitch about the value of new financial systems over traditional legacy systems and the importance of streamlining your corporate structure to enable further innovation. Nishant believes businesses are walking when they should be running through today's business landscape of adaptable digital technology. So keep listening to hear more of what he has to say as we head to the conversation now.
 Mitch: (00:54)
 Why is it important now more than ever for companies to implement new financial systems within their businesses?
 Nishant: (01:01)
 Oh, that's a great question. Which, a simple way to explain this would be with an example that we are all too familiar with. Now, we don't go and get our movies from Blockbuster anymore. We have Netflix, we have Amazon, we have Hulu. Essentially we are in a digital economy and companies are changing the way they do business. They're not selling products anymore. They're converting the product into a service and selling services. So if you look at the financial and audit systems that were essentially designed for the Blockbuster world just does not meet the needs of the Netflix business model. I mean, they're just not designed for it. And it requires a completely new technology architecture and thought process.
 Mitch: (01:53)
 Now with this new technology, these new thought processes, obviously there are a lot of opportunities. So for those businesses who are working on traditional legacy systems, what are some of the main issues that they are really coming across today?
 Nishant: (02:11)
 Sure, sure. So the main, the main challenge, right, that we see with a traditional legacy system, it's its inflexibility, inability to scale and the need for an army of IT resources and business analysts to maintain it. Now compare that to modern cloud-based server-less platforms that lets companies be agile, right? Modern platforms built on cloud technologies make businesses nimbler and more flexible to meet the customer's need. I mean, if you look at, you know, these modern cloud platforms take away the whole operational aspects of running and managing huge software applications so that companies can now solely focus on growing the business, introducing new revenue models and making the customer successful, and then modern systems don't require an army of people to maintain it as well. So a lot of things that a, you know, a lot of challenges that we see with traditional legacy systems that, that, that we don't, or that can be avoided by transforming or with modern technology.
 Mitch: (03:31)
 Now you've mentioned some of the challenges that businesses are facing. And again, the opportunities, the more streamlined new approaches that are available for listeners in business who are interested in taking action, right? What are some of the key actions? these business leaders can take within their organizations to accomplish a more streamlined, you know, simplified corporate structure, where the army is not needed, as you just said.
 Nishant: (04:01)
 So it all starts with aligning your finance, your it, and revenue operations team towards a singular goal of transforming the organization and, setting the course to innovate and win in what we call a digital economy, right? And, that requires, fostering a culture that is receptive to change. That's going to be very important, right? To streamline operations. And even for these digital transformation projects to be successful, finally, it's the, it's the people that's going to make or break any transformation, like this.
 Mitch: (04:48)
 And now you provided a great analogy, right? Going from say, Blockbuster to Amazon and the trends that are happening all across business. In general. I'm curious if you have recognized and seen other trends, you know, are there other things happening and obviously, particularly in finance financial services, what are some of the trends that are really exciting you and things that our listeners should be aware of? Maybe a little bit more interested in.
 Nishant: (05:19)
 Yeah. From a, I mean, that is a lot of innovation. I mean, a lot of innovation that is currently happening in the financial services industry it's happening across, but specifically in the financial services industry, there is a lot of innovation that's happening that I'm really excited about. Right? I mean, if you look at, you know, if you, if you go back 10, 15, 20 years gone are the days when you had one or two large financial systems doing a mediocre job of all the different business processes. Now what I'm seeing is companies coming up using these modern cloud technologies and focusing on one particular business process and excelling it and being the best at it, right? I mean, if you look at, Cooper is a good example for procure to pay. And if you look at RecVue, which is for order to cash are prime examples of cloud technology being used to essentially improve or optimize a particular business process. And another area that I see is with cloud technology and API based architecture, it actually allows different systems to seamlessly talk to each other, and that's driving a lot of adoption as well. I mean, people, especially the next generation users are no longer compromising on any business process. They want a system that is the best for that particular business process. And today with the cloud technology and all the different integration platforms that are available, it is possible, right. And they want the best solution for each and every business process. And that is resulting in a lot of innovation in the financial services industry. It's a very exciting times with both, you know, technology and the business knowledge pretty much aligning with each other.
 Mitch: (07:25)
 And what happens if businesses essentially don't take your advice, right? Everything we're talking about here, if a business chooses to continue using its legacy, the antiquated processes and systems, if they haven't gone digital, what are the risks? You know, what would you predict will happen to these businesses?
 Nishant: (07:46)
 The world is changing. The world is changing. We all recognize that. I know the common example is obviously Blockbuster to Netflix, but what I see is that same change happening in each and every industry that we operate in that particular change. And, with the legacy systems, the most common phrase that I hear from businesses running legacy system is that they are there to keep the lights on. Right? And that's the most common phrase that I hear when we talk about legacy systems, what are you using your legacy systems for, or they are just there to keep the lights on now, companies can differentiate, accelerate the growth and own the digital economy by just keeping the lights on, you've got to change. Companies have realized it, that companies have to change. They've got to transform or essentially risk being obsolete. I mean, those are the, I believe the two to two choices that companies have in a digital economy where things are changing so rapidly, new revenue models are being introduced. More complex revenue models are being introduced every day. So you better have a system that can handle it, that's agile and scalable enough to take you into the next, you know, that can make you leaders in the next, I would say, in this economy.
 Mitch: (09:22)
 Now, obviously the current state of, you know, the global business economy, we went through a lot right in the last year and a half or more with the pandemic and a lot of businesses. I'm sure a lot of those who were on these, you know, traditional systems, had to make major adjustments. They had to adapt very quickly and hopefully, you know, most did. And with that being said, assuming that, you know, anybody in business is aware of the possible consequences, as you just said, of becoming obsolete, what is your vision for business? You know, finance post pandemic, how do you see things potentially rebounding and, you know, what will this global business competition look like again?
 Nishant: (10:10)
 Sure, sure. I mean, I think the pandemic, right. Pandemic, I mean, people talk about pandemic and it's true that what was going to happen in 10 or 20 years timeframe, the pandemic has definitely accelerated that whole process. Right. And then that whole process of cloud adoption, where we are looking at, we are no longer looking at a hundred percent going back to offices, everybody's talking about hybrid remote models, and working remotely. And that essentially brings in the need for modern collaborative platforms on, right. I mean, if you're running an old legacy, on-brand solution, that's no longer connected to the world. You're not going to be able to run your businesses anymore. Right. And it's not collaborative. And it doesn't scale plus it doesn't you know, it does not work, when most of your employees are global and working remotely, and that's a huge change. And I think that that's going to bring about an acceleration in the adoption of, cloud technologies and modern platforms, which we are actually seeing it today. We are seeing a huge demand post pandemic for modernizing legacy applications all across the financial services space.
 Mitch: (11:45)
 So I just have one more question to wrap up our conversation today. And I think you've shared a lot of great insights on this topic. you were just talking about modernizing legacy systems and, and allowing for business to rebound and, you know, employees to collaborate teams to work together remotely. I'm just curious if you have any thoughts in regards to other possible innovations when it comes to modernizing these systems, you know, are there certain opportunities that you see that you think businesses might start to take advantage of as they begin to implement some of these either more modern systems or, you know, potentially new ideas?
 Nishant: (12:32)
 Yeah. So, in terms of, in terms of new ideas, I think everybody all, I mean, like I said, the ecosystem for innovation is ripe at this point, right. And companies are innovating and obviously, right. There's a lot of talk around artificial intelligence and automation technologies like RPA. So I see those two areas, which is very interesting. That's essentially right. I mean, what you want to do is you want to do two things, right? You want to give people the information or the insights that they need at their fingertips. That's one, and you would want to automate any repeatable tasks, any tasks that can be, can be automated and that's repeatable, you would like to automate it that rather than a human actually going through that processing back. Right. And then those are the two areas that I see are ripe for, you know, for disruption now is mainly the areas of artificial intelligence where, you know, you can get more of a predictive capabilities in different areas. And, and even, you know, just like you have self-driving cars, we, in the next step one or two years, you're going to have self-driving. And then some of, some of the features that already come out where there's going to be a complete self driving financial systems, that's going to operate on its own. And it's going to require human intervention only when there is an exception, right? And that's the world that we are going towards. And that, that is one space that's pretty exciting.
 Closing: (14:18)
 This has been Count Me In, IMA's podcast providing you with the latest perspectives of thought leaders from the accounting and finance profession. If you like what you heard and you'd like to be counted in for more relevant accounting and finance education, visit IMA's website at www.imanet.org.