Industry

Asteria builds liquidity management solution for SMBs on IBM Cloud

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Small businesses operating with lean teams face many challenges, including being distracted by paperwork and planning. These tasks are necessary, but shift focus away from the actual work of the business. Company owners might worry about questions such as

  • What products will sell next month?
  • When will I receive my payments?
  • Do I have enough capital on hand to pay salaries?

These questions are especially relevant for businesses such as construction companies, or any company with a good deal of invoice handling that are working-capital intensive, meaning they need a high volume of production to provide an adequate return on investment.

To simplify business administration and financial planning processes for small and medium businesses (SMBs), Asteria developed Smart Cashflow, a cloud-based liquidity management solution that we sell to financial institutions and they, in turn, integrate it into their online offerings for entrepreneurs.

Smart Cashflow employs APIs to fetch information from accounting software including taxes and salaries, records from invoicing software and data from the bank account. We apply machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze this data and forecast cash flow.

The dashboard uses color schemes to help people visually understand business spending, how income is derived and their account balance. Clients can see their future cash flow as well as get suggestions about banking products and visualize how they might impact liquidity management.

Creating the solution for liquidity management

Our team was introduced to IBM through an accelerator program in the Nordics. The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program helped give us a platform to start the liquidity management solution and grow the business.

We are a cloud-native software development company, not a hosting company. We never considered any other option for hosting and data storage than the cloud, and we couldn’t have created such a robust solution for our clients without the IBM Cloud.

We need the scalability that the IBM Cloud offers, and, in turn, we use the IBM Cloud Object Storage service to scale data storage. We run everything in a Kubernetes cluster using a microservices architecture and docker containers for version management. The IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service framework lends flexibility and enables us to work from remote locations and across multiple hybrid clouds.

Asteria believes strongly in hybrid clouds. It is especially important for companies like ours who service financial institutions because a hybrid cloud architecture better enables us to maintain geographic control of data and keep it secure.

Additionally, the reputation that IBM has as a company is important for working with financial institutions: the IBM reputation for trustworthiness is unparalleled.

Preparing for future financial services with AI

AI already plays a significant role in the financial industry and that significance will continue. In the next five to 10 years we anticipate seeing changes created by AI in everything from the public sector and small business owners, to governments and large enterprises. Everyone will start exploring AI opportunities to make better decisions, to make more money and to save more time, ultimately with the goal of making people’s lives easier.

As we look to this AI-driven future, we’re evaluating additional machine learning and AI technologies to further our offerings.

Read the case study for more details.

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