denton andy 400

Demand for cloud-based services has exceeded expectations at global financial software provider Alfa.

The company revealed its ‘Cloud First’ sales approach last year and since then three quarters of customer wins have been securely hosted on the public cloud.

Customers are increasingly convinced of the cost benefits of outsourcing infrastructure requirements so that software runs on external systems provided by trusted third-parties, with data being held off-site.

Andy Denton, chief executive officer of Alfa, said: “Companies are becoming more amenable to the concept. We have been on this journey for a while, so the business is designed to meet this type of need.

“A cloud-based approach reduces the time taken to deploy Alfa systems, making us more competitive in the sales environment.”

Alfa is directing most of its product investment towards digital as the asset finance sector increasingly moves towards ‘Platform-as-a-Service’.

Denton said: “The future of enterprise software will favour those able to deploy a platform that is able to solve a wide variety of business problems through specific deployments, in combination with other services and technologies.

“[A platform solution] will make the user experience simpler and more focused for each deployment scenario, integrating new technologies and other services faster.”

Upgrades can also be implemented more efficiently to make sure customers have quicker access to the latest technological developments.

Alfa also reports growing demand for system consolidation, which benefits a cloud-first approach, as regions can access a cloud-hosted solution with a common core, but unique elements designed for each market.

Alfa, headline sponsor of the International Asset Finance Network conference and awards, is currently working on cross-border consolidation projects that cover territories ranging from three to 17 countries.

Other new contracts include an upgrade and expansion project with a leading retail bank as part of its plans in the UK B2B asset finance market.

However, as projects for its blue-chip client base are mission critical, the signing off process can be subject to delays, which has a short-term financial impact.

Alfa currently has five implementation projects, of which one was paused in the second quarter, compared to seven for the same period last year.

This, combined with currency fluctuations, meant H1 revenues were down 27% compared to the same period last year to £32.9 million. This was partially offset by previous customer implementations moving into the ‘ongoing development and services’ phase, where revenues were up 13% to £11.7 million.

Alfa said its sales pipeline remains healthy and its total contract value is in line with the same period in 2017.

Denton added: “We approach the remainder of the year focused on conversion of these opportunities and we are confident in the long-term prospects for Alfa.”

There is substantial potential for growth over the long-term, with Alfa estimating that it currently accounts for just 2% of the total addressable market.

Denton said: “Despite this bump in the road, there is still a huge opportunity ahead. We have a very strong proposition and a strong market position with a proven track record in project execution.”

Alfa Systems, the company’s technology platform, is at the heart of some of the world's largest asset finance companies. It supports both retail and corporate business for auto, equipment, wholesale and dealer finance, including leases/loans, originations and servicing.

It has more than 30 current clients in 26 countries, with offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States.