PwC’s cloud based accounting platform, PwC Next, is looking to work together with Australian and New Zealand based tech startups. The accounting and consulting firm aims to leverage the startup mentality, as well as its sometimes disruptive innovations, to support the development of its new cloud based platform for clients.
The cloud market has shown considerable potential in recent years, on the back of benefits including a reduction in the need for an IT infrastructure, while providing clients with standardised offerings and a lower Total Cost of Ownership. A number of advisory firms have invested in providing cloud based offerings in a range of domains, including West Monroe in the banking sector, Capgemini in the telcom industry, while consultancies have too been buying their way into the market, with Accenture’s acquisition of cloud based service provider Cloud Sherpas one of the many examples.
PwC Australia recently announced that it will be working with a range of startups on the development of the firm’s cloud accounting open platform, PwC Next. The professional services firm is seeking to leverage the entrepreneurial and innovative capacity of startups in a bid to create a range of new cloud based products to its clients.
The first deal in the programme has already been made. PwC's recent announcement that it is collaborating with enterprise app store Maestrano, a small tech startup founded in 2014 in Sydney Australia. Maestrano has developed a range of cloud based solutions for small and medium businesses, including Connec!, which is an API that allows companies to automate data sharing in real time between disparate applications through the cloud. PwC will leverage Connec! for the API and integration layer of its platform.
"We chose Sydney-based startup Maestrano as the engine for PwC's Next due to its highly innovative approach, agnostic capabilities and market-leading technology, which seamlessly integrates cloud applications," says PwC Private Clients' Leader David Wills. "In line with the federal government's National Innovation and Science Agenda, we're building a culture around collaboration and embracing the talent and skills of Australia's startup community.”
The move to acquire a startup mentality reflects wider changes in the market in which tech startups and their sometimes disruptive offerings are projected to add $100 billion Australian dollars, or 4% of the country's gross domestic product, by 2033. PwC is currently in discussion with a number of additional startups and data providers in Australia and New Zealand, that may be able to provide solutions to issues faced by business through a cloud based platform.
"There's a phenomenal amount of innovation happening in the local cloud environment – having an open platform that allows us to continuously bring on best of breed solutions for our clients is absolutely critical," adds Wills. "Our work with local startups is a great example of how larger businesses can collaborate with agile startups and emerging companies to create unique solutions for the Australian business community. And by collaborating with these innovative companies, we can harness PwC's deep industry expertise and collective experience to give our clients insights far beyond what the market is currently delivering."