Goodbye Hanse Orga, Hello Serrala
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
As of today, 5 June 2018, Hanse Orga Group has become ‘Serrala’ – a new brand for a technology-driven world, but one that still embodies the core values that clients know and expect, says Sven Lindemann, CEO, Hanse Orga Group. As well as rebranding, the company has also launched a new cloud solution for cash visibility, accounts payable processing and accounts receivable automation, and is now offering white-labelled solutions to banks as well.
Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI (EH): Before we talk about the look and feel of the new brand, and what treasurers can expect from the company going forward, tell us a little bit about the drivers behind the rebrand. Why was a new name needed?
Sven Lindemann (SL): Since 1984, the Hanse Orga Group has provided intelligent software solutions for corporate treasurers. What began as a humble family-owned business soon turned into an international organisation synonymous with SAP expertise. So successful has the company been, however, that is has now outgrown its own name.
Our growth strategy is highly acquisitive, since we recognise the need to continuously improve our offering and stay ahead of market trends, such as the hybrid cloud. But as a result of numerous acquisitions made in recent years, we were operating with seven different brands: Hanse Orga, Soplex, SYMQ, Cogon, Dolphin, e5 and Tembit.
Each brand had its own go-to-market strategy. And it was increasingly tough to deliver that in a cost-effective way that also made sense to the market, since we wanted to make sure that clients could easily recognise all of our solutions as belonging to our corporate ‘family’. Driven by the desire to present a unified, seamless experience to our clients across the globe, and looking at the same time to refresh our messaging and visuals for the modern world, we felt it was time for a rebrand.
Of course, this wasn’t a decision we took lightly. Brand equity is such an important concept today, but we knew that, with the right approach, we could not only achieve our goals around refreshing the brand, but also hold on to the core values that existing Hanse Orga clients appreciate and expect. We also felt that a new brand with more of a cosmopolitan feel would bolster our global expansion plans going forward.
EH: Could you talk us through the process of the rebrand? How did you decide on the name ‘Serrala’, for example?
SL: First off, we enlisted the help of a US firm called Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA), an award-wining independent design-led branding agency. We knew it was vital to get outside expertise to help us deliver on our objectives.
The rebranding project officially began at the beginning of 2018, starting with a number of creative workshops and naming sessions. It might seem hard to believe but we actually began with 800 names to choose between! After much discussion, we drew up a short list of 20 possibilities. Some of them naturally excluded themselves, as they were either already taken, or simply did not fit with the ethos of the company.
As part of the founding family of Hanse Orga, I was keen to ensure that the new brand had more than just face value. For me, getting the right storyline behind the rebrand was critical. The inspiration for the name ‘Serrala’ comes from a mountain range in Spain but the word also means ‘simple’ in Hindi. This was a perfect fit with the messaging we wanted to convey, namely that we provide trusted, clear, simple solutions for our clients – and that we will move mountains to help them solve their challenges.
In fact, our new strapline is that we bring clarity to complexity. Hopefully, though, the new brand and logo (a stylised mountain range) also reflects the values that we have built our success on – such as reliability and passion. The new brand values also echo our heritage, since the idea is that customers get the best of both worlds: the Hanse Orga quality and service that they already know, together with the modern technology-driven Serrala identity that leverages fintech to deliver the best possible solutions for corporate treasurers.
EH: On that note, what can treasurers expect from Serrala going forward? What will your strategic focus be and are there any new solutions in the pipeline?
SL: Using the momentum of the rebrand, we will look to focus our future plans very firmly on the universe of payments – with the aim of providing corporate treasurers with clear efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. After all, nearly every treasury task ends with a payment. Even cash visibility, for example, results in payments because cash has to be centralised. We will therefore look to deliver transparency and efficiency, security and compliance across the universe of payments.
Serrala will offer treasurers both robust, ERP-integrated, solutions and cloud solutions. What sets us apart from many of the vendors in the market is combining those two worlds into hybrid cloud solutions. For those not familiar with the term, the hybrid cloud is a cross between an on-premise ERP solution and a cloud solution which allows users to see everything that has happened in both worlds, yet have one central source of data because both solutions communicate 100% automatically with each other all of the time.
ERP-integrated solutions are still popular, of course, but we see the hybrid cloud as an important evolution for our clients. Treasury departments do not always want to be strong-armed into working in the ERP environment and many corporates want to extend the value of their ERP – both of which are possible through the hybrid cloud.
In tandem with rebrand we have also launched our new cloud solution for cash visibility, accounts payable (AP) processing and accounts receivable (AR) automation. Through this solution, we aim to go one step further than the offerings from many other vendors, automating everything around invoice processing, data archiving, and incoming payments processing, including credit collections and dispute management. So, all of that is integrated in new our cloud solution, which we are extremely excited about.