16 Jul 2021 | 09.56 am
Can Enterpryze Crack The Business Mass Market?
‘Bonkers’ Morgan Browne set up SAP Lite platform in Singapore
16 Jul 2021 | 09.56 am
Morgan Browne makes good money installing SAP systems. With his new Enterpryze product, the entrepreneur is targeting a much larger market, writes Gerry Byrne
“Bonkers,” is how Morgan Browne describes his decision to pick Singapore for the launch of Enterpryze, an innovative new business software product. Then, equally “bonkers”, he also launched it in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Dubai. Singapore was three years ago and Enterpryze is now in 36 countries, including Zimbabwe. Yet it is only being rolled out this year in Ireland.
The product was conceived five years ago when Milner Browne was almost exclusively a reseller of SAP, the German Enterprise Resource Planning software. SAP was designed for corporates and mid-size and large SMEs. Browne’s idea was to develop a sort of SAP Lite, a platform that can add ERP functionality as the user’s business expands.
Browne landed in Singapore because UOB, the leading local bank for SMEs, was looking for a software partner to help digitise its customers’ accounts to interface with the bank. As UOB was looking for a scalable micro-product, SAP recommended Browne’s new Enterpryze suite.
“I had never been in Asia in my life but I hopped on a plane, walked in to the 47th floor offices of OUB and I was blown away by the dynamism, the fast-moving decisions, and the hunger for innovation,” Browne recalls. “Within two months we had an agreement, and the government rolled in too. All of Singapore’s SMEs signing up for bank accounts were given our solution, paid for by the government for the first year, to help them on their digital journey.”
That’s not all. The Singapore government now pays a bonus to accountancy graduates who learn how to use Enterpryze so they can help spread the word about the product among their clients.
“It was probably the most expensive way of launching the product,” says Browne. “If we had launched in Ireland or the UK, where we had an established business and reputation, things could have moved faster. But there was just something so exciting about Asia, and Singapore in particular. With the benefit of hindsight, I would probably do the same again, because I had a lot of fun. I loved the adventure, and we now have 40 people based there, and Enterpryze is growing at a fantastic rate.”
Formerly the sales manager at Intelligent Information Systems, Browne staged an MBO in 2008 and rebranded as Milner Browne. He says he paid too much for the company, on the eve of the financial crisis. “Five months after the deal it was all falling apart. All we had to do was ignore the banks, I suppose,” he quips.
“We were selling big ERP systems, and nobody was going to spend hundreds of thousands when they didn’t know whether or not there was going to be a business in a few months time. Then we went into the cloud and we started seeing the demand from people to be able to access their data and carry out complex business processes on mobile devices. That’s when the Enterpryze idea took shape.”
Enterpryze was launched in 2016 as a mobile solution for SAP Business One, and product development didn’t happen overnight. “It takes a long time to build a platform as intricate and functionally rich as this,” says Browne, instancing electronic invoicing. “We have a QR code-based payment system on our mobile version and portals on our browser to enable you to make payments account to account by just taking a picture of the QR code.”
The Enterpryze pricing model starts with a free online sales and purchasing invoice system that can also handle customer and supplier details, generate tax reports and link to bank accounts. Accounting functionality costs €20 per user per month for a minimum of two users, and here Enterpryze is going head to head with Sage, QuickBooks and Zero.
The next optional add-on is inventory management, priced at €40 per user (minimum three users) and including the accounting module. At this level Enterpryze is in ERP territory, with capability to manage up to five warehouses or locations, with inventory reporting and real-time inventory postings. The final module is ERP, priced at €80 per user (minimum four users). This has all the accounting and inventory aspects, plus CRM and service management, with 500GB storage, more advanced purchasing and sales features, and extending to up to 50 sites.
According to Browne: “We have entered an age where people operate everything and anything on the go, including business management. Enterpryze makes mobile business management easier, and our main goal is to offer a service partnership that will drive growth, efficiency and success to businesses. It allows a company to start with a free invoicing and payment solution integrated into their bank and grow to a full ERP solution with a single click.”
Investment in the product has been substantial. Operating company MB Enterpryze Cloudware Ltd booked a loss of €2.2m in 2018, bringing startup losses to €4.4m. The venture is funded by companies in the Milner Browne group, and Milner Browne Ireland booked Ebitda of c.€1.2m in 2018.
In the Irish market, Browne has pushed out the boat with an advertising campaign to raise visibility for the software.
“We see Enterpryze growing exponentially this year on the back of Covid. We believe that over the next two years we will see a huge shift to cloud software, and we think we are in the right place to take advantage.”
Does the entrepreneur bring anything in particular to the Enterpryze party? “I am a bit of a jack of all trades. I know enough about accounting to know how to design an accounting solution and run the business. I know enough about marketing and sales and customer support and those sort of areas.”
Above all, Browne says his love of innovation keeps him going. He ascribes this enthusiasm to his earlier years when he worked with his father. “I didn’t have the patience for college, so I worked with my father in the UK installing automated box office ticketing systems for a large nightclub group. This used dial-up modems to send back data to head office each morning.
“The potential of what you could do next intrigued me, and I never really lost the bug of innovation. We started working on camera counting systems that could count people going in and out of nightclubs for capacity control. That’s pretty mainstream now but it was state-of-the-art then, even though we were counting pixels on the screen.”
Does he have any shortcomings? “I’m accused of being a high energy individual and an optimist who believes that the job is already finished even though we are only halfway there,” he said. “But I believe it is that optimism which makes most entrepreneurs get up in the morning.”