Newsletter: July 2023

Fluence and Pigment Partner to Offer Consolidation and Planning Solutions

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Fluence just announced that they have partnered with Pigment to enable organizations to combine their consolidation solution with Pigment’s planning solution. We realize this is yet another partnering announcement, and we see many of these in the technology world every day that never amount to much more than a press release. However, this one addresses a real need, and does have the potential to deliver value to customers. It also provides some interesting insights.

3 Key Takeaways

  • Consolidation continues to grow in importance as a key component of performance management. While we hear a lot about enterprise planning, FP&A solutions, xP&A solutions, at the end of the day it’s all about reporting: internal management reporting focused on actual performance against plan, and external reporting (where required). Consolidation is key to both.
  • Pigment and Fluence understand the market requirements and their own core strengths. This is impressive. I can’t tell you how many vendors claim to offer consolidation solutions but don’t fully understand what that requires. Pigment recognized the need for consolidation, but with their focus on rapidly expanding the capabilities of their planning solution, knew they wouldn’t have their own consolidation solution anytime soon. Fluence since its inception has had a laser-sharp focus on consolidation and has been partnering with FP&A vendors for mutual benefit. A perfect match.
  • A new category of vendor is emerging. Fluence has been pioneering a best-of-breed approach to performance management as demonstrated by this partnership and their previously announced one with Vena. The vision is of two focused solutions coming together to offer a compelling performance management solution that is greater than the sum of its parts. Most prospects prefer an all-in-one unified performance management solution, which we agree with, but there are certain things they may not be considering:
    • What may appear to be a unified solution in many cases is not, it is two separate products sold by the same vendor, often with different data structures and UIs, with at least one of the products typically having come through an acquisition
    • Only a handful of true unified solutions are equally strong at consolidation and planning, and it’s often the consolidation piece that is the weak link
    • If the FP&A group and Controller’s department are on different timelines, or have different needs (e.g., one of them is happy with their current solution), then a new unified solution may not make the most sense

To learn which category the vendors you are considering fall into speak with one of our experts.

Our Verdict

This partnership is Good for:

  • customers of Fluence and Pigment who can now more easily add additional components to expand the capabilities and value of their performance management solutions
  • performance management prospects looking for a comprehensive solution who now have an additional option (Pigment + Fluence) to evaluate
  • the performance management industry as two newer vendors team up to join the ranks of the more established solution suite vendors in delivering a broader offering

This partnership is Not Good for:

  • the shrinking pool of standalone FP&A vendors who still don’t have a consolidation strategy, unless they are content to focus on the lower end of the market where consolidation is not as critical

Learn more about Fluence and Pigment on their PerformancePlace pages (just click on their names), or for more details view our Vendor Snapshot reports.

Vendor Selection Advisory Services for FP&A Groups and Controllers

As the performance management vendor landscape continues to rapidly evolve with partnerships, acquisitions, new entrants, and product line extensions it is more important than ever to leverage an expert when selecting your own budgeting, planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics solutions.  Learn about our offerings here.