This brief announcement was picked up in Yahoo Finance and provides an overview of a partnership enhancement between CSI, a Florida based division of Edenred that provides AP automation, and Advantage Software, a North Carolina provider of advertising agency solutions. In what seems to be a renewal and some sort of deeper relationship around an already 10 year existing partnership, the details of which are not disclosed.
We are familiar with CSI, which was acquired in 2018 by Edenred SA, a $1.6 billion France-based corporate with employee benefits, fleet, mobile and payables solutions. CSI has payables automation capabilities allowing for use of virtual cards, ACH, checks and cross-border payments. We are less familiar with Advantage Software.
‘…an enhanced and renewed preferred partnership with the Advantage Software Company to drive joint innovation and business development. Advantage provides an all-in-one software solution that allows agencies to better manage projects, media, billing, and finance functions, including payables, and is fully integrated with CSI Paysystems. CSI and Advantage work closely together to shape the future of payments in the advertising industry through enhanced automation and advanced technology.’
This is of course an interesting time, with the pandemic shining a bright light on digital business solutions (and lack thereof), and with many companies scrambling to improve their ability to efficiently and effectively manage working capital. Cash flow gaps have opened up across the supply chain, and SMEs in particular will be struggling throughout H2 2020.
So without having had a briefing as to the renewed partnership, we will assume that Advantage will be attempting to expand the CSI Paysystems reach beyond the indicated 20% of their agency portfolio, perhaps through agreed exclusivity and incentives. It would certainly seem to be a good time to readjust and move forward.
‘Ellen Coulter, CEO of Advantage… added, “CSI, Advantage, and our customers jointly meet on a regular basis to improve the payments process and collaborate on product enhancements. Payments automation including virtual card, ACH and checks allow our clients to increase efficiency, reduce costs and drive net new income. The partnership with CSI is the deepest system integration we have. I have complete trust and confidence in our ability to continually grow our business, customer loyalty, and innovative service offerings with CSI’s partnership.”
“We have the power to do more together,” said Liane Sanson, President of Advertising & Media at CSI. “Our partnership with Advantage is a testament to that and we believe this highly complementary partnership is a game changer that expands our total addressable market and creates meaningful value for both CSI and Advantage. With a clear path forward, we will further invest in technology and innovation to bring state-of-the-art solutions to Advantage and their customers. I’m proud that it’s been such a success.” ‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group