TMCnet Feature
October 02, 2013

Esker CEO Honored as Entrepreneur of the Year for Innovation Efforts

By Daniel Brecht, Contributing Writer

The Wall Street Journal on September 30 reported that France's oldest news magazine, L’Express, and the professional services organization Ernst & Young has named Esker (News - Alert) CEO Jean-Michel Bérard, a well-known leader in document process automation solutions, as this year’s winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award for the French Rhône-Alpes region.

Mr. Bérard is not new to this award; in fact, he was previously honored in 2000 at a national level for his commitment to innovation.

Esker is a company that has helped companies, since 1985, with on-demand document automation solutions by supporting their IT needs in document processing. They offer a truly integrated cloud automation solution (either through a software, infrastructure and platform infrastructure) that better responds to their customers' needs, strengthens business processes, provide agility and operational efficiencies.

The company also addresses other basic needs of companies from accounts receivable to orders management on to sending a variety of business documents. The 80,000 companies that have become Esker’s customers have used its solution to reduce manual processes and paper waste, which has increased proficiency and contributed to cost reduction.

Committed to innovation, Esker has become one of the most important SMBs and software vendors in France, while, at the same time, acquiring valuable international experience. With customers located in 3 Continents and headquarters in Lyon, France and in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., Esker has been able to cater to a variety of international companies and has been able to generate 40.3 million euros of revenue in 2012.

According to CEO Bérard, 67 percent of the company sales revenue actually comes from businesses outside France. He believes his company’s strength is the ability to listen to clients and understand their needs in addition to being able to anticipate trends, utilize innovation and, through targeted acquisitions, take advantage of other companies’ expertise.

Bérard enlightened how in the early 2000s, the company had been able to stand out in the document processing automation market and was able to leverage on the cloud technology early on (in 2004) when Esker became a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. This allowed the firm to assist customers to automate core business processes.

CEO Bérard was an integral part of the growth of Esker and of the success of its business strategy. He is not only the driving force behind the push for innovation that has helped Esker to become one of the most successful IT SMBs in France, but he is also actively engaged in building and grow long-term customer relationships: He frequently deals directly with customers and overseas facilities abroad, including the Asia-Pacific branch.

For his leadership capabilities, exceptional customer relationships and role committed to excellence, he was, again, honored as a leading businessperson. Bérard is flattered by this year’s award.

As a true believer of personal involvement and hands-on leadership, he made this statement for other entrepreneurs to remember: “If there are more than three levels between you and the ground, the true value of what you are trying to accomplish is lost."

To know more about the services and innovation brought by Esker, you can visit their official website. Information and news from the company can also be obtained through its blog and Twitter (News - Alert) account.

Edited by Ryan Sartor
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