|How We Started to Shine - Our History|
Shaun Pendrigh and Michele (“Mac”) Buson, the co-founders of Excel4apps, knew firsthand the frustrations of reporting tools for ERP systems. While management consultants for KPMG and prior to starting Excel4apps, they implemented Oracle E-Business Suite solutions and observed how end users struggled to create reports with traditional tools. They realized there had to be a better way.
During a 2002 OAUG Collaborate event, Michele was inspired by a session where custom Microsoft Excel functions were used to link Excel cells to Oracle data. He envisioned this concept as a means to create a reporting product that could benefit Oracle-E-Business Suite customers by simplifying the reporting experience and leveraging Excel skills. With Shaun as lead developer, they built a prototype of what would later become the award-winning GL Wand for Excel-based General Ledger (GL) reporting.
In 2004, Shaun and Michele began marketing GL Wand, with agreement from their employer (EOH), and signed their first customer, a London Stock Exchange-listed investment bank. The trajectory for globalization of the new product was immediate. By November 2005, they decided to pursue Excel4apps full time, without venture capital funding and from home offices.
Excel4apps and GL Wand were well received from the beginning. At an initial conference, a company presentation on the new GL Wand reporting solution drew such positive attention that it garnered the “Most Innovative New Product” award at the South Africa Oracle User Group (SAOUG) event. Fueled by passionate customer testimonials and word-of-mouth stories about the easy-to-install, easy-to-use software and responsive customer support, Excel4apps quickly added customers around the globe. The customer trend of enthusiastic endorsement for Excel4apps solutions continues today.
Michele and Shaun’s mission was to create best-in-class reporting and inquiry solutions for ERP system users. Another equally important goal was to lead a company of passionate individuals who were committed to making a difference while working hard and having fun, and that’s just what they did. Notable early hires through 2008 included Shirley Riddick, David Grant, Dean Jones, Richard Savill, and Chris Meyer. Grant Peterson also joined in 2008 and built GL Wand for SAP, released in 2009.
In 2016, Chris Meyer, the company’s President for the Americas and Europe, became the new Global Chief Executive Officer. Michele and Shaun will now lead the company’s new Innovation Center with a purpose of identifying and selecting the best available technologies and integrate them into innovative products and solutions to help deliver immediate business benefits to both our customers and internally.
Excel4apps has continued evolving its portfolio of user-friendly, Excel-based products for use with SAP and Oracle. In addition to GL Wand for SAP, other SAP products include Reports Wands (2013) for reporting data from various modules in addition to the GL and Planning Wand (2015), which uses Excel as a front end to SAP cost planning functionality. Notable Oracle releases include Budget Wand (2008) for easy, accurate budget uploading, Reports Wand (2009), and the Oracle Wands Suite V5 (2014), which includes Java-based versions of all Oracle products featuring a zero-client installation, and Journal Wand (2016) to provide the easy uploading of journals.
Excel4apps has grown into an award-winning organization, with offices in seven countries. To serve more than 20,000 users worldwide, it also established an expansive global support network. Through Shaun and Michele’s tenacity and perseverance, the company’s solutions are fast becoming the “silver bullet” for streamlining the ERP experience.