Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Longview Tax Software Helps Tax Departments Be More Strategic

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 22, 2014 10:40:32 PM

Longview Solutions has a longstanding presence in the financial performance management (FPM) software market and was rated a Hot vendor in our most recent FPM Value Index. Several years ago it began offering a tax provision and planning application. I think it’s worthwhile to focus on the tax category because it’s less well known than others in finance and is an engine of growth for Longview. We expect larger corporations increasingly to adopt software to manage direct (income) taxes to improve the quality and efficiency of what today in most companies is an inefficient, spreadsheet-driven process.

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Topics: Analytics, audit, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, ERP, finance transformation, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FPM, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), GRC, Innovation Awards, LongView, Tax, Office of Finance

SAP Sets Course for Simple ERP

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 9, 2014 10:35:37 AM

The keynote theme at this year’s Sapphire conference in Orlando was Simple. Top executives from SAP, a software company associated with complexity, stated and restated that its future direction is to simplify all aspects of its products and the ways customers interact with them and the company itself. SAP’s longstanding and commendable aspiration to thoroughness in its software will be giving way to an emphasis on elegance in its engineering. This objective is more than admirable – SAP’s future competitiveness depends on it. Changing the fundamental architecture of SAP’s offerings – already well under way with HANA – is absolutely necessary. The design underpinnings in SAP’s ERP applications, for example, have been shaped by technology limitations that have disappeared, as Dr. Hasso Plattner, one of the company’s founders, pointed out in his keynote. However, the relevant issue facing SAP and the software market is how far the company can progress toward this goal  and how fast.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, ERP, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FinancialForce, HANA, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Kenandy, Microsoft, Mobile, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Plex, Professional Services Automation, PSA, SaaS, Sage Software,, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Unit4, Workday, Office of Finance, Sales

Finance Analytics Require Training to Improve

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 3, 2014 9:35:25 AM

Analytics has long been a core discipline of Finance, applied to analysis of balance sheets, income statements and cash-flow statements. However, as I’ve noted, most finance departments have not kept up with recent advances. Our recent research in finance analytics shows that few organizations are realizing the potential of more advanced analytic methods and tools such as predictive analytics and driver-based modeling. One reason for this sluggishness is that they have not looked past yesterday’s requirements to see what possible. Another is that they are distracted by the difficulties they face in simply doing tried-and-true analysis, which is the result of difficulties in accessing the necessary data and inadequate tools. A third reason is that people receive too little training in the application of analytics to business and the use of more advanced analytic tools and methods.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Controller, ERP, Finance Analytics, Financial Management, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FP&A, Office of Finance

Epicor Faces a Challenging Future

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 2, 2014 9:46:32 AM

Epicor used its recent user group conference to explain its strategic direction and product roadmap. The company is the result of multiple mergers of business software corporations over the past 15 years; its target customers are midsize companies and midsize divisions of larger organizations. Its most significant products are Epicor (ERP software aimed mainly at manufacturing and distribution companies) and Activant Solutions (software for small and midsize retailers, including a point-of-sale system). The company also has software that manages CRM, HR and human capital and supply chains,  and provides financial performance management (FPM) and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) capabilities. These components of the software suites are adequate for the needs of many of the company’s target customers and are not intended as stand-alone applications.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, communications, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, Epicor, ERP, Financial Performance Management, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FinancialForce, FPM, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Microsoft, Mobile, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Plex, SaaS, Sage Software, Social, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), UI, Unit4, Workday, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Office of Finance, Customer Experience, Sales