News & Views | CPM

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

Prophix Interview

Business Intelligence, CPM

I recently spoke with Andy Amalfitano CPA, CA, Director of Sales Central Region for Prophix about changes at Prophix and his perception of the cloud. Prophix (http://www.prophix.com/) is one of the leading solutions for Corporate Performance Management (CPM). Prophix includes:

  • Budgeting, analysis and forecasting
  • Financial, statutory and management reporting
  • Financial consolidation
  • Profitability modeling & optimization, cash flow and revenue planning
  • Operational and strategic planning

Prophix targets organizations with revenues between $50M and $2B who want to evolve from being dependent on Excel for their key financial processes. Prophix recently announced the latest version of its CPM solution, one that will provide their customers with more choice in terms of how they implement the software. Some users will want to continue to have part or all of their financial processes on premise, while others will find it advantageous to move to the cloud. Andy pointed out that one reason customers choose an on premise solution is so that they will be able to drill down to transactional detail. Andy also noted that customers are becoming more comfortable with security in the cloud but they will have the option of an on premise solution or a blended approach, where the most sensitive data is stored locally.   

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BI, CPM, and budgeting survey 2015

Business Case, Business Intelligence, CPM

June 1, 2015 from CPA Magazine and written by Michael Burns – “Every year, we reach out to vendors of BI, CPM and budgeting systems to see where they are headed. Last year, some of the big trendsetters were big data, mobility, cloud computing and in-memory processing. Those technologies are still very much with us. But this year, we’ll go back to basics and see whether there is a business case to invest in BI and CPM systems in the first place…”

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The Difference Between BI And CPM

Business Intelligence, CPM

April 25, 2012 from CFO – “Enjoy this complimentary white paper built for non-IT professionals to learn about the differences between business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM)…”

180 View – The report was written by Prophix, one of the leading CPM solutions which includes BI. We do like their definition of CPM (CPM consists of 1) Budgeting, planning and forecasting, 2) Software for financial, statutory and management reporting, 3) Applications used for formal financial consolidation, 4) Software used for profitability modelling and optimization and 5) strategy management software.) but have used a different and broader definition for BI. We define BI as transforming data into information useful to make decisions and it could include dashboards, OLAP, ad-hoc reporting, and report writers. Technology marketers are always trying to differentiate their products with new buzzwords and technology continues to evolve rapidly blurring the lines between products.

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User Survey Analysis: Customers Rate Their CPM Vendors, 2012

Business Intelligence, CPM

June 4, 2013 – “Gartner’s survey of 275 customer references from 13 corporate performance management vendors between September and November 2012 has produced valuable insights and benchmarking data for IT leaders assessing CPM solutions. Don’t just focus on the megavendors when evaluating prospective providers…”

180 View – This analysis from Gartner is provided by LongView, which scored really well. There are also 13 other vendors included in the report consisting of:

  • IBM
  • Prophix
  • Board International
  • Host Analytics
  • Longview
  • Oracle
  • Tagetik
  • Bitam
  • KCI Computing
  • SAP
  • SAS
  • Infor
  • Prevero
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BI, CPM and budgeting survey 2012

Business Intelligence, CPM

April 2012 from CAmagazine and written by Michael Burns – “Business systems used to be criticized for being data rich and information poor — for spewing out loads of data with no framework or interpretation. But judging by our new business intelligence (BI) survey, it would be hard to say that anymore. The market is now swimming in tools that will slice and dice and interpret your data however you want. The flip side is that these tools often overlap and are so powerful that they are difficult to use…”

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Developing An Effective KPI Plan

Business Intelligence, CPM

November 29, 2010 from Dashboard Insight – “When looking at the BI landscape and available solutions, dashboards give the biggest bang for their buck. After all, with high levels of interactivity, strong data visualizations, and general capabilities that provide the quickest way to monitor performance and manage what is happening within the organization, it stands to reason that dashboard use would be gaining in popularity.  Despite the positive aspects of making BI and analytics easier to access and to interact with, the reality is that effective dashboards don’t design themselves. Simply implementing a dashboard and monitoring metrics does not mean that decision makers will benefit from their use.  Businesses require an effective action plan that ties into the organization’s vision in order to drive long-term success…

180 View – There is some useful discussion. I would add that metrics should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely. Without being specific, the numbers are ambiguous and there can be many ways to interpret the results. You should not choose metrics that are can’t be measured accurately or take a huge effort to obtain. Actionable means that the metric is easily understood and that it ties back to a specific team that is being measured. Relevant metrics are linked to strategy. Companies that need to wait a month or more for their metrics are in deep trouble. Real-time should be the goal, but accuracy objectives will cause a delay to make sure the numbers are right. You should be shooting for days – not weeks.

As well some measurements are inherently lagging indicators, which tell you about historical results – sales, gross profit, customer satisfaction… The most important metrics are leading indicators, which foreshadow things that could happen. For example rising error rates in shipping or longer time to ship often precede declining customer satisfaction.

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Beyond budgeting

CPM

November 15, 2010 from FSN – ““The annual budget is an artifact rooted in managing feudal governments in agrarian societies,” declares Robert Kugel, analyst and research director for financial performance management at Ventana Research, and although many organisations are putting aside some of the assumptions that are usually associated with this (such as ever-increasing expenses) and ramping up the frequency of budgeting revisions and forecasts, the latter can prove problematic for the many more that are using inadequate, ineffective and inappropriate software and systems…

Fortunately, the tools to make budgeting and planning more efficient are increasingly accessible – even for those determined to retain the much-maligned spreadsheet as part of the process. As FSN has previously highlighted, the collaborative nature of cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office 2010, Google Apps and various other online productivity tools can make collaborative processes such as budgeting much easier to manage, by removing the need to distribute data via email, and eliminating the confusion and complexity that can be created by version management during the collection and consolidation phases…

The next level up is purpose-built budgeting software. It was once the preserve of the very large and those with very deep pockets, but cloud-based offerings are making these specialist systems more widely accessible and affordable…

180 View – Many organizations go through hoops to complete their annual budget using inadequate tools. The article suggests a number of alternatives and suggestions for improving the budgeting and planning process.

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