Introducing the Accordium Founders

Accordium Founders from left: Daniel Richardson, Barrington Russell, Andrew Whittaker, Alexander Brix.

At Accordium, we’re all about digitising your document-based workflows and making sure you’re running your business as productively and efficiently as you can.

We’re a SaaS company with offices in Copenhagen and Kuala Lumpur. We aim to be a platform that provides you with a live, reconfigurable and legally binding method of getting e-signatures, so you can both manage and accelerate your contracts and negotiations.

We said our first hello and shared what Accordium is in our very first blog post. Now we want to put the spotlight on the people driving this digital revolution. This post aims to give you a little insight into the thoughts on why we started Accordium, the pain points we want to address, the product itself and the industry we operate in.

What makes our founding team unique is that even though we all hail from different professional backgrounds, different industries and different countries, by virtue of dealing with paperwork in our own individual capacities, all four of us realised the need for a tool that not only collected e-signatures and automated workflows, but provided you with a collaborative, transparent and live working environment.

So without further ado, here’s the bunch who signed on the dotted line and decided to spearhead the Accordium story.

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Daniel Richardson

CCO & Co-Founder at Accordium

Former VP of Sales at Yotpo and Strategic Accounts Director at Trustpilot

For the last 15 years Daniel has been working in and leading sales teams around the world. With this wealth of experience he is acutely aware of the frustrations sales departments and their customers have to deal with on a daily basis.

“In sales there is an emphasis on understanding the prospect’s decision making process, optimizing the deal cycle, and naturally getting to a ‘yes’ — meaning a signature on a contract — as efficiently as possible. These are important operational aspects for any serious commercial team, as any delays in getting a contract signed can be the difference between winning or losing a month, a quarter or a year.”

After using many of the e-signature and contract management tools available Daniel realised this is a area of business that has not been fully developed or optimised. “We want to help our customers eliminating manual paperwork and transition to fully digital processes. This produces faster results, more revenue and gives your team the data they need make intelligent business decisions. The amount of resources, be that time money or people that this saves has a significant and direct impact on their bottom lines.

When first conceptualizing the idea, we knew legally binding e-signatures would be an important feature. But we also knew they wouldn’t be our defining product. Our ambition is to create a tool that makes business agreements significantly more efficient, while also delivering insights that can maximize sales velocity.

Working with the Accordium platform is meant to be a collaborative effort, it’s secure, it’s simple to use and provides actionable insights for sales teams to work faster and more efficiently. The exciting part is we believe this could open up many windows of opportunities not just for sales reps to close deals faster and bring in more revenue, but for cross department and industry disruption.

The way I look at it, Accordium is the answer for any sales department who wants to stay competitive, relevant, cost effective and productive as possible. It isn’t a question of if you should start digitizing your processes, but when and how.”

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Andrew Whittaker

CEO & Co-Founder at Accordium

Former Sales Manager at Trustpilot and VP of Revenue at TrustedCompany

Andrew too hails from a background of sales and understands the pain points of any sales manager. His most immediate concern however, is the legality of the entire process.

“Sending out contracts is a problem in general. There are a lot of legal issues you have to be aware of. I, for example, used to send out emails to get an okay in response and that would be considered a contract. The problem with that is, if need be, you can never take it to court. It’s not legally binding. But a lot of companies are still doing it because they are not aware of the issue. Signing these contracts therefore, requires something a little more diligent and compliant like e-signatures.

The biggest problem for me whilst using electronic signatures in the past was the fact that the systems were very slow, clunky and took a lot of time, which any salesperson can’t afford. If you’re in sales, you know it’s a constant negotiation even after you have sent out a contract.

There are terms that need to be negotiated, edited, changed and discussed again. There’s a constant offline negotiation that takes place before you actually get to an agreement. This process can take a lot of time, distract salespeople, hinders the sales process and is incredibly inefficient.

What we’ve done is looked at the sales cycle and asked ‘Okay, where can we actually improve and optimize this?’

Our findings have given us the insight we need to build software that help sales departments close deals faster, bring in more revenue and make the entire process highly transparent.

Accordium’s document workflow automation combined with the live editing and negotiation tool allows you to digitise the entire process. Theses insights allow Accordium customers to analyse and optimise the entire negotiation process, improving customer satisfaction levels, and salespersons productivity.”

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Barrington Russell

CPO & Co-Founder at Accordium

Founder of MetroMash, LoPoCo and former Technical Project Manager at TrustPilot

Being the CPO, Barrington is the bridge between the commercial vision of Accordium and its engineering. He works as the translator between what needs to be done in the market and the technology solution that needs to be delivered to get there.

His experience and overview of the industry brings its own uniqueness to Accordium as a product.

“I think there’s room in the document industry for an innovative new player to come in, open it up with a crowbar and make a huge difference. Everyone out there seems to be following the same cookie-cutter pattern. You upload a document, fill in some boxes and send it off. It’s a very rigid and narrow approach to the processing.

The architecture of current solutions is not designed in a way that’s extensible, or freely reconfigurable to your own designs and processes. I see Accordium as the next generation of integrated end-to-end document management tools. It’s about doing everything in one place, including your process management and contract negotiation, and never having to juggle multiple applications.

So the two pillars of Accordium — visually-driven extensibility and live negotiation — together make the product unique.

My job within that uniqueness is to understand the desired business objectives and then try and decide how best to channel that into a tangible product that can actually do something. I spend a lot of time daydreaming and thinking about what a solution to your problem would be in a technological sense.”

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Alexander Brix

COO & Co-Founder at Accordium

Former Venture Development Manager and Entrepreneur in Residence at FALCON Agency

Working with HR and recruiting, Alex had to deal with extensive paperwork, contract negotiations and onboarding documentation. He realised earlier on how using a simple e-signatures tool could have resulted in efficiency and better time management.

“In my experience, I have sent out hundreds of HR contracts. Unfortunately, every contract I dealt with, were physical paper documents. This made the entire process highly inefficient and prone to human error. Often times, it took us too long internally to agree and actually create a contract.

If you have several people who need to agree on a document, the negotiations can get really messy and there is no one place you can go to view the actual negotiation that took place because it either takes place offline or all the systems work in silos and don’t talk to one another. While the contract is taking time to be agreed upon, your potential hire may have five other offers on the table and so, he or she is not going to wait for you.

I could have saved so much time and energy by using a tool like Accordium. That saving of time and resources translates into a HR department saving money, faster time to recruitment and retention of talent. It cuts down on your onboarding time and you have higher security in terms of compliance and reduced human errors.

What makes Accordium different is that we try to combine features of different worlds or industries so that you have an entire ecosystem where you can create, send, negotiate and get the deal signed.”

Accordium has been designed to be that. A secure environment that is collaborative, reconfigurable, transparent, live and above all, legally enforceable with a focus on a visual representation of document-based workflows.

Ready to go digital and close deals 10x faster? Sign up for early access to the Accordium platform.

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Originally published at blog.accordium.com.