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Is it time to refresh your behind-the-scenes tech stack?

Now that we’re well settled into the quarter, it’s a good time for businesses to overhaul their tech stack and ensure they have streamlined and progressive infrastructure to support them getting to 2022’s finish line. 

This period of stability before the end of year rush is an opportunity for every business leader to consider whether their company is well-equipped to operate in an increasingly digital environment. If the answer is no, how will you quickly get up to speed without having to make a huge investment or tackle a steep learning curve?

From modernising HR operations to automating invoices, a range of emergent platforms and utilities will allow businesses to deal with evolving demands – and now is the right time for organisations to integrate them into their operations. With new tech systems being introduced from an institutional level, like PayTo’s instant account-to-account payments that will change how Australians pay for services and transfer funds, or new government guidelines such as work-from-home recommendations, advice, and a clear direction are more important than ever.

Here’s a curated list of tools across a range of business functions that can instantly boost a business’ competitive edge. We’ve all heard of the Slacks, Zooms and Jiras that manage day-to-day activities; however, it’s important to ensure the tools behind the scenes are also up to scratch. 

Nobody wants another app to use, but introducing a few strategic tech tools could seriously eliminate common pain points, automate unnecessarily time-consuming processes and ensure your mission-critical systems are future-proof. 

HR, People and Culture

If you don’t have the budget to bring on a dedicated HR person, your team isn’t large enough to warrant one yet, or your HR team needs a little less admin, here are a few options to help simplify HR and culture measurement, whilst still keeping it professional:

Employment Hero- for managing your people

Being a small business owner is hard. There are many things to stay on top of, and, more often than not, business owners aren’t aware of their HR and payroll employment requirements. 

Employment Hero is the world’s leading HR, payroll, and benefits platform for SMEs. Its total employment management solutions cover four key pillars: Talent Solutions; Core HR; Payroll; eBenefits. 

Compliance is at the heart of Employment Hero’s platform, as it has built modern awards into its technology to save business owners the headache of staying on top of these awards themselves. 

Manual, paper-based set-ups no longer cut it for small businesses looking to implement effective and efficient processes to grow their business. Not only does Employment Hero reduce HR administration time by up to 80 per cent, but the technology allows small companies to fulfill their obligations as employers whilst equipping them with the best tools and resources to attract, retain and keep their workforces happy.

Relativity- for checking your cultural blind spots 

Whether an incidental requirement or part of an ongoing commitment, all businesses must engage with complex legal processes at some point, particularly when it comes to HR.

Relativity is an eDiscovery platform that helps legal teams solve complex data problems during litigation, investigation, and compliance projects. For organisations like legal firms (or for in-house counsel) Relativity can manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, investigations, and compliance efforts.

Relativity’s AI platform can be a valuable tool for creating better, more inclusive workplaces through eDiscovery. Their unique Unconscious Bias Detector analyses employee demographic information and performance reviews to help users understand the context and reveal patterns of potential bias – presented in a clear, readable report.

Relativity also offers a swathe of tools and features that can significantly cut down the time and commitment required to keep compliance, processes, and checks moving, thanks to refined templates, tools developed by experienced professionals, and a comprehensive and powerful AI platform.

The power of this tool is that through a very straightforward integration, a business can let data guide the  improvement of its culture without having to undertake significant (and potentially public) audits. 


Whether you’re an agency or professional services firm billing a monthly retainer, a SaaS company, or an eCommerce brand, payments can make or break relationships with customers. Here are a few options to automate and manage those systems, whether you’re transacting locally or with international customers. 

GoCardless- for international payments

Administrating recurring payments and subscriptions, particularly for international customers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            can significantly drain businesses’ time, money, and resources. Fragmented infrastructure and restrictive bank debit schemes can lead to tangled processes, missed debits, and compromised customer experiences. 

GoCardless has built the first global network designed specifically for international recurring payments, developed to remedy this all-too-common issue. GoCardless enables businesses to settle international payments using a single bank account in their local currency with full transparency over fees and foreign exchange rates, without needing to set up new banking entities in various markets.

By moving away from cards in favour of bank debit, businesses using bank debit have an average 4 times lower failure rate, also reducing the amount of oversight and admin required to ensure accounts are paid.

For businesses experiencing increased overseas business (or are planning to expand abroad), GoCardless should be a top-of-the-list consideration.

Zepto- for instant account-to-account payments

Zepto’s instant payments system is essential for businesses wanting to work to maximise efficiency in payments. 

Zepto offers several solutions to make payments simple, secure, and fast. With instant payments, businesses can receive real-time data-rich payments, maximising cash flow and benefiting from automation and automatic fraud detection. For any business where timing is crucial, for example, trading or investment platforms and exchanges where customers fund their accounts based on market movements, this technology is particularly useful.   

Zepto can also be used to issue instant payouts, for example, real-time payroll payments, so staff don’t need to wait a couple of business days to get paid. 

Zepto’s solutions also reduce manual admin, eliminating expensive pain points for businesses such as reconciliation, process inefficiencies, unauthorised payments, and funding lags. Zepto allows the delivery of funds into a business account with 100 per cent data accuracy, real-time messaging, settlement, and reconciliation. 

Tech development 

Building tech is neither cheap nor easy, especially for non-technical founders. Customers now use many digital tools that they expect to be in sync, meaning that it’s not only core features developers have to worry about, but integrating their product with many systems.

Codat- For reducing unnecessary development work with universal APIs 

For startups building software, stretching engineering resources as far as possible can make a massive difference to your burn rate and your speed to market- two make-or-break factors for emerging businesses.

Keep in mind that more often than not, there’s usually not much value in re-inventing the wheel. In other words, if your team is getting caught up building integrations that already exist, you’re likely wasting resources.

For complex, data-driven processes like collecting financial information from customers, it makes sense to use universal APIs like Codat to fast-track your ability to tap into multiple systems securely. 

Codat benefits both the tech provider and business end-user by providing standardised access to over 30 accounting and commerce platforms (covering 97 percent of those used by Australian SMBs) in a single location. It means businesses don’t need to build new tech, or process documents manually, and for the customer, it removes the admin burden of endlessly rekeying the same data into multiple different systems.

This is especially relevant to tech startups building financial software for businesses that they need to ‘play nice’ with compliance tools like Xero, or for fintech companies who need accurate risk and compliance data to offer their services to small and medium businesses.

What’s more, if you’re asking your customers to share sensitive financial data via email, you’re exposing them and your own organisation to significant security risks.  Lost and insecure business data can be devastating for an organisation when they’re still growing. It’s a safer bet to integrate purpose-made technology into your product than use up pricey engineering hours building tech that isn’t unique. 

Concepts App- for sketching out wireframes before you build

Regardless of whether you’re developing an app, desktop page or software, mapping out what it looks like and the user flow is crucial before you start building 

Concepts works especially well on an iPad paired with an Apple Pencil because you can sketch as if you were writing on paper, except everything is held digitally for you. If you need the tactile feeling of drawing you can also buy a matte, paper-feel screen protector that emulates the same sensation as sketching on an expensive notepad.

Concepts is free and has a few handy tools, like automatic straight lines so that everything looks clean, even if you’re not a Picasso. 

The ability to visualise the product before you build it can save hours and hours of development work that might otherwise end up in the bin because what worked well in your head didn’t translate well onto a screen. 

Loyalty and trust

Loyalty and trust go hand in hand in a relationship. It should be no different to that of a relationship with a brand and its customers. If you are a business that is looking at ways to increase customer retention, here are some strategies that focus on building and maintaining loyalty and trust with current and future customers.

Yotpo- for creating sticky, return customers 

Any eCommerce brand serious about loyalty should have a customer loyalty program. Yotpo offers a range of communication and marketing services to elevate sales, better communicate with customers, and maximise customer loyalty and retention. For small businesses, it’s free to use and simple to scale. 

From SMS marketing and subscription programs to loyalty, reviews and referral programs, Yotpo has all of the tools a brand needs to turn one-time shoppers into customers for life, and nurture relationships. 

Shoppers expect more from brands than ever before, and if you’re still using a hole-punched loyalty card, or a points system that doesn’t actually drive any real rewards, it’s probably time to up your game. Yotpo can customise loyalty and referral programs to the brand to align with how you connect with your customers without feeling gimmicky. For example, a loyalty program could look like a three-tier points-based system that rewards customers for spending with vouchers, discounts, birthday gifts, and other exclusive offers. 

Refundid for instant refunds to give customers peace of mind 

For businesses selling goods online, building trust can be harder than in a bricks-and-mortar store; customers can’t physically touch or inspect items before they checkout, and if returns policies are too inflexible, customers are more likely to err on the safe side and abandon cart. Brands that offer their customers simple returns, exchanges, and refunds give shoppers peace of mind- and often find customers are more likely to spend and return next time. One bad returns experience will not only write off that customer for life, but they’re more likely to tell their friends.  

Refundid is a tool you can add to your online store to provide instant refunds on eCommerce purchases, a simple way to communicate trust to your customers.  The world-first solution issues refunds in under 60 seconds, before the item is returned, so customers don’t need to wait weeks to get their money back. It also provides super simple shipping options and customers have up to 10 days to send back the order. The process is also risk-free to the retailer, with the ability to debit the money from the customer’s account if the item is not returned. 

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Felicia Coco

Felicia Coco

Felicia Coco is the Director & Co-founder at tech PR firm LaunchLink Communications. Felicia has a decade of experience advising high-growth tech companies from Silicon Valley to Sydney on media, communications and growth-hacking strategies that create impact. She focuses on Web 3 technologies, fintech and B2B SaaS solutions. Find her on LinkedIn Linkedin or Twitter.

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