Road Blocks, Momentum and why AE in a Box isn’t middleware

 In AE in a Box, Auto Enrolment

One of the things that drives me, both personally and within my businesses, is a desire to provide clearer ways to solve financial issues.

My firm belief is that the world of money is quite often overly and unnecessary complicated and I get a massive buzz from the challenge of taking the cloud of complexity and hopefully turning into rays of simplistic sunshine.

However sometimes these attempts hit a road block.

Let me share an example…

Over the past year I’ve been part of the team behind AE in a Box (the system designed to makes the process of complying with auto enrolment easy).

We believe that what we’ve done has the potential to help thousands of employers comply with auto enrolment simply.

However, and mainly due to the fact that we’ve taken a different approach from most others in the automatic enrolment space, some of the people we’ve spoken to about our proposition is confused…

You see most software in the auto enrolment space is ‘middleware’.

Middleware is software which usually sits between payroll and pension and performs many of the tasks required to make auto enrolment work.

However middleware in the upcoming market has an issue….

Increasingly payroll software is starting to take over the functions of ‘middleware’. Some of the main players in the payroll market, like Sage and Iris, have done this already.

The issue we have as we go out and about talking about ‘AE in a Box’ and what it can do is many assume that all software related to auto enrolment is the same. You see…

Many assume that “AE in a Box” is ‘middleware’. It’s not.

Many assume that the services “AE in a Box” provides can be currently provided via payroll software. They can’t.

“AE in a Box” is something different.

This video explains how…

You see at it’s core AE in a Box has always been designed to empower and assist employers with their automatic enrolment obligations.

It’s been designed to break an employers ‘tasks’ in complying with auto enrolment into bite sized chunks making the process simple. It also contains tools which fill the gaps of auto enrolment (you can read more about the gaps in the service provided in my recently written white paper).

However the AE in a Box team still faces a bunch of challenges…

Our challenge at AE in a Box is now to explain why our software isn’t middleware.

Our challenge is to explain why AE in a Box saves employers both money and time.

Our challenge is to explain that by breaking the auto enrolment process down we make it easier for employers to comply at a price which represents fantastic value.

Whilst currently our attempts to do something differently have hit a road block. A road block we didn’t anticipate but a challenge we’re confident we’ll overcome.

So day by day, article by article and even person by person we’re explaining why AE in a Box is relatively unique in what it does….

…and day by day it seems to be working.

Every day, we’re building momentum.

Every day, we’re constantly having conversations with people who ‘get it’.


Every day, we’re finding people who are excited as we are about what AE in a Box can do to support the market and help employers ‘do’ auto enrolment right.

After this article….I hope you’re as excited as we are.

If you would like to find out more information on AE in a Box please click here.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Duncan S

    I think the root of the problem here is that AE doesn’t come in a box! Also if middle ware is no longer needed because payroll companies have developed their own assessment tools, then what is there to get excited about?

  • Chris Daems

    Hi Duncan,

    We obviously disagree about this particular issue!

    The assumption is that assessment tools are all employers need to comply with auto enrolment whilst in reality employers need a lot more help and support.

    I also think there’s plenty to get excited about. In particular helping hundreds and thousands of employers meet their obligations!

    Thanks so much for your comment…

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