CFO’s Tech Companies to Watch 2018: Major Disruptors

These 10 companies aim to disrupt and remake some key enterprise technology markets.
David McCannMay 15, 2018
CFO’s Tech Companies to Watch 2018: Major Disruptors

We combed through websites, interviewed tech experts, and researched a host of product categories to assemble, once again, the roster of 20 companies that make up our annual “Tech Companies to Watch.”

In the process, we uncovered a wide range of technologies and products that would be valuable to finance chiefs. We also discovered a wealth of innovation going on in “traditional” finance-related tech categories.

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The entirety of the list appears in the April/May 2018 edition of CFO magazine. Write-ups of the first 10 companies have appeared on CFO.com. They are Pymetrics, PrattleTipalti, UiPathExabeam, x.ai, EmagiaAdaptive Insights, Duo Security, and Symbiont.

Today, we reveal the second 10, a group of companies aiming to be major disruptors in key enterprise technology categories.

Catalant Technologies

Category: On-demand business expertise
Consultants may spend days or weeks learning about a client’s industry or project type. Catalant, launched in 2013 as HourlyNerd.com, matches subject-matter experts with organizations in need of specific expertise. The company uses a “smart matching algorithm” to scan its 50,000-expert database and make recommendations. A dashboard lets users find out more information on candidates, as well as schedule interviews and compare proposals. Post-engagement, they can rate an expert’s performance.

major disruptorsSignifyd

Category: Fraud protection
Like other kinds of cyber attacks, e-commerce fraud is a deepening problem. Signifyd offers an antidote with an eyebrow-raising feature: Customers — online retailers — are guaranteed 100% payment on pre-approved customer orders, even when a credit-card provider demands a charge-back. There’s a complete shifting of responsibility, as Signifyd (not its customers) decides whether to approve each order, based on the plethora of data sources it mines.

Host Analytics

Category: Corporate performance management
This top-tier provider of cloud-based CPM solutions still hasn’t pulled the trigger on its long-expected IPO, but perhaps Host Analytics‘ latest gambit could unlock the earnings it needs to go public. Dubbed “Project Orion,” it’s the first enterprise performance management system designed for business users rather than finance professionals.


Category: Communications
A startup in the truest sense, Spoke was gearing up for general availability of its product in early April, following pilots. The workplace request platform simplifies internal ticketing for everyone from IT to HR. It uses AI and natural language processing to route and resolve internal requests, while learning with each ask. The system integrates with Slack, email, and text.


Category: Accounting
FloQast close-management software provides a single location for activities related to closing the books, with visibility for everyone working on the project. It claims to shorten closings by an average of three days by automating repetitive, time-consuming processes and integrating with both ERP systems and Excel. Among FloQast’s hundreds of customers are Twilio, Nutanix, Zillow, and The Golden State Warriors.


Category: Predictive analytics
RapidMiner’s analytics platform for data science teams is well-positioned, given the exploding development of AI and machine learning applications. Gartner rates RapidMiner a best-in-class performer for its ease of use and its “wisdom of crowds” guidance for developing a predictive analytics process. The guidance is based on input from the platform’s hundreds of thousands of users.


Category: Cloud-based VoIP
Nextiva’s claim to fame used to be its affordable, user-friendly, enterprise phone system. A dozen years after its founding, Nextiva reportedly has 150,000 business customers. It has ratcheted up the stakes in 2018 with its new NextOS, which unifies fragmented enterprise communications technologies — phone, CRM, chat, surveys — as well as analytics into a single platform. The aim: souped-up customer sentiment analysis.


Category: Enterprise resource planning
With its cloud-based ERP system aimed at small and midsize businesses, Acumatica has a host of competitors. But none of them, arguably, is growing faster than Acumatica, which Nucleus Research recently ranked first in usability among all ERP platforms — including enterprise market leaders SAP and Oracle. Those two lead in functionality, but in usability Nucleus rates Acumatica ahead of notable competitors NetSuite, Epicor, and FinancialForce.


Category: Payroll/HR
It takes guts to battle a dominant market player, but Paycor has been looking up at ADP since 1990 with its payroll and HR services for small and midsize companies. Things have changed along the way, with the once-tiny Paycor having sustained meteoric growth for a decade-plus and achieved annual revenue exceeding $200 million. Highlights of 2017 included new data visualization and learning management solutions.


Category: Customer experience management
Customer experience initiatives are hot. Enter Medallia’s cloud-based customer feedback management platform, which helps companies collect and analyze customer interactions from the web, social media, SMS, and other channels. The insights can be distributed across an organization in real time, and built-in workflows help employees close the loop with customers. The information from Medallia can also be used to identify coaching opportunities and experiment with innovative ideas through A/B testing.