Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

How Effective Is Your Company’s Planning for Long-Term Investing?

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 27, 2012 11:24:58 AM

Effective capital planning and capital investment are vital to a company’s long-term success. The choices a company makes – how much to invest and in which facilities or projects – have a profound effect on its long-term success. For that reason, companies take pains to ensure that these decisions support their long-term strategies and are made as rationally as possible. Because Ventana Research is frequently involved in software acquisition discussions, return on investment is a topic we frequently see raised.

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Topics: Planning, Office of Finance, Reporting, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), capital budget, capital spending, FPM

Salesforce Helps Midsize Company Dreams Come True

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 21, 2012 11:42:57 AM

I cover the meat-and-potatoes aspects of corporate computing. I also pay attention to the special needs of midsize companies (by our definition, those with between 100 and 999 employees), which are unlike those of either small business or large corporations. After attending this year’s Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com’s annual user meeting held this week in San Francisco, I can appreciate how difficult it is for executives and people who work in back office functions to cut through the technology hoopla to find the utterly practical (but certainly not dull) reasons why the cloud can help them run their businesses better. In fact, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings can give midsize companies a leg up in ways that on-premises alternatives can’t. Here are four big ones that top my list.

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, ERP, Office of Finance, CRM customer service, SMB, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Dreamforce, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Security, FPM

Rethinking Budgeting for 2013

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 7, 2012 11:16:54 AM

Budget season is about to open at most companies that operate on a calendar year, so this is probably as good a time as any to rethink the process. Almost all companies will undertake the construction of a budget this year the same way they did it last year, despite widespread complaints that it is a monumental waste of time. One major reason why budgeting never changes is that it isn’t important enough to be worth serious rethinking. Another reason is that too many vested interests are aligned with the status quo, especially because compensation is tied to budgets. Despite this, I think companies can do better, evolving the process from a finance-centric activity to one that serves the needs of broader business interests as well.

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Topics: Big Data, Planning, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Reporting, Budgeting, Controller, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Compensation, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), cash management, FPM, Integrated Business Planning

Tagetik Offers a Suite Spot for Financial Performance Management

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 5, 2012 11:49:56 AM

If you’re considering purchasing a financial performance management (FPM) suite, you shouldn’t overlook a recent entrant in the category, Tagetik (which sort of rhymes with “magnetic”). The company, which was founded in 1986 and is based in Lucca, Italy, began by focusing mainly on Europe, but has extended its efforts in the United States in the past two years. Tagetik 4.0 is an elegant implementation of a financial performance management suite running on Microsoft’s SharePoint infrastructure.

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Topics: Big Data, Planning, Office of Finance, Reporting, Budgeting, close, Consolidation, Controller, SharePoint, XBRL, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Dashboards, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Tagetik, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), FPM