Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

FinancialForce.com Expands into Human Capital and Supply Chain Management

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 28, 2013 6:38:04 AM

FinancialForce.com, a provider of cloud-based financial applications, recently announced two pending acquisitions. One is Vana Workforce, which makes a human capital management (HCM) application aimed at small to midsize companies. The other is LessSoftware, a supplier of Web-based supply chain management (SCM) applications. The acquisitions are part of FinancialForce’s strategy to build a broad suite of applications that run on salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. The three companies already have joint customers, so they build on established use cases and relationships. FinancialForce.com itself is jointly owned by salesforce.com and Netherlands-based Unit 4.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Host Analytics Lifts Spreadsheets to Cloud for Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 27, 2013 9:49:35 AM

Host Analytics has introduced AirliftXL, a new feature of its cloud-based financial performance management (FPM) suite that enables its software to translate users’ spreadsheets into the Host Analytics format. I find it significant in three respects. First, it can substantially reduce the time and resources it takes for a company to go live in adopting the Host Analytics suite, lowering the cost of implementation and accelerating time to value. Second, it enables Host Analytics users who have the appropriate permissions to create and modify models and templates that they use in planning, budgeting, consolidation and reporting. This can enhance the value of the system by making it easier to maintain. Third, it can make it far easier to routinely collect and connect planning and analytical models used by all departments and business users as it has outlined in its planning cloud offering. Although it has limitations in its initial release, AirliftXL gives corporations a workable alternative to stand-alone spreadsheets and has the potential to substantially increase productivity and effectiveness of an organization in the full range of budgeting, planning, consolidation and reporting functions.

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Topics: Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Reporting, closing, Consolidation, Controller, Host Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Accounting, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Allocations, Financial Performance Management, FPM, spreadsheet

Finance Can Get a Big Advantage from Big Data

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 16, 2013 8:22:39 AM

All the hubbub around big data and analytics has many senior finance executives wondering what the big deal is and what they should do about it. It can be especially confusing because much of what’s covered and discussed on this topic is geared toward technologists and others working outside of Finance, in areas such as sales, marketing and risk management. But finance executives need to position their organization to harness this technology to support the strategic goals of their company. To do so, they must have clarity as to what big data can do, what they want it to do, and what skills and tools they need to meet their objectives.

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Predictive Analytics, Fraud, Governance, GRC, audit, Controller, process, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Operational Intelligence, Accounting, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, compliance, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), Risk, Financial Performance Management, financial risk management, operational risk

The Cloud Can Help You Get Smarter If You Let It

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 8, 2013 8:08:44 AM

One of the potential benefits of cloud computing to access business applications and data is its potential to improve the situational awareness of executives and managers. By this I mean their understanding of what’s going on outside their company in addition to what’s happening within it. Today people have access to a trove of information about their own company, which is the result of decades of investment in an expanding range of enterprise transaction systems (ERP, CRM and supply chain management, for example) and convenient data stores that make accessing data easier than ever. But although people have access to internal information, most have big gaps in their knowledge about what’s going on in the outside world. Take, for example, market trends, information about a competitor’s, supplier’s or customer’s financials or industry-specific demand forecasts. Our benchmark research shows that while two-thirds of companies are satisfied with their ability to integrate information from standard internal sources, only 39 percent feel that way about reference or competitive data from external sources and 36 percent about text data from social media.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud, Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Data Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), FPM

PROS Will Acquire Cameleon to Enhance Sales Effectiveness

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 6, 2013 8:50:23 AM

PROS Holdings, a provider of price and revenue optimization software, has an agreement in principle to acquire Cameleon Software, which offers configure, price and quote (CPQ) applications. The combined company is likely to benefit from a broader geographic presence (PROS is based in Houston while Cameleon is in Toulouse, France) for their sales and marketing efforts. However, the longer-term strategic value of the merger lies in the combination of the related categories of price optimization and CPQ to improve sales effectiveness and financial performance.

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Topics: Sales, FP&A, Operational Performance Management (OPM), PRO, PROS, yield management, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CPQ, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), CEO, FPM, incentive sales management, Price optimization, Profitability