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Prophix Launches Prophix One™

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

When organizations are in the market for a new financial performance management solution there are many competing priorities. The FP&A team is looking for a capable but easy to use budgeting and planning solution along with management reporting and analytics. Operational leaders are looking for an integrated business planning solution that is highly flexible, can integrate with numerous source systems, as well as store and analyze large volumes of detailed granular data with adequate performance. The accounting group wants a consolidation and close solution that is fast, accurate, supports global regulatory requirements, integrates seamlessly with their ERP or general ledger, can handle complexity with out-of-the-box functionality, and of course deliver trustworthy financial reporting.

Ideally, the CFO (along with IT) would like to purchase a single unified all-in-one performance management solution to address all of these requirements. Does such a system exist? Yes and no. There are many unified solutions available today. However, most of them are very strong in one primary area and somewhat weaker in the others. Some are unified in name only and are really a collection of disconnected modules. The best of the unified solutions can be costly and are targeted at the largest companies. Due to the unified nature and bundled pricing you can also end up paying for functionality that you don’t require today.

All of this has generated renewed interest in considering best-of-breed solutions focused on each major area. The challenges with this approach include contracting with multiple vendors, IT having to build integration between the various data models, and users that need to access more than one of the solutions having to sign in and out of each solution as well as adjust to their different interfaces. This leads us to Prophix One.

Prophix One™

The goal of Prophix One is to provide the benefits of a best-of-breed approach (products architected and optimized for specific use cases and audiences), but minus the challenges, by delivering solutions through a unified platform framework from a single vendor.  Have they achieved their goal? Let’s take a look.

In its initial release Prophix One, a Financial Performance Platform, offers solutions for financial planning, budgeting, financial consolidation with intercompany management, disclosure management (utilizing IRIS CARBON), and reporting and analytics. It’s a good start that addresses the most pressing needs of many organizations today. The next items on the roadmap to be delivered as part of Prophix One this year include account reconciliation, close management, and integrated business planning. On day one the Prophix One platform itself includes the following capabilities: a centralized starting point and single sign on for all solutions, centralized user management and authentication, seamless data integration and sharing across the platform, and a consistent user experience. The concept is certainly compelling, we’ll have to wait to see how well it all works in practice once it’s being actively used by Prophix customers.

   

The Future

The Prophix One approach will allow Prophix to easily add new solutions over time. In addition to the planned product releases for later this year, they will also be adding a solutions marketplace to greatly expand the offerings available as part of Prophix One. While Prophix One should be attractive to many companies, it would appear to be a particularly good fit for rapidly growing midmarket organizations. They can purchase and use just what they need today, and as their needs evolve, they can add new purpose-built solutions without having to worry about integration, setting up user security, or learning a new interface.

Learn More

Prophix PerformancePlace

The performance management market is rapidly evolving. If you plan to purchase a new solution make sure you don’t base your decision on outdated (or biased) information. Talk to us first, or better yet: add us to your team.

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.

The New Leaders: Budgeting, Planning, Consolidation and Reporting Solutions 2023

BPM Partners VLM 2023 w/notes

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

For the 20th Anniversary Edition of our Vendor Landscape Matrix (VLM) report we decided to add something that other analyst reports have had for years: categories for leaders, competitors, challengers, etc. Of course our VLM offers many things others still do not: a single report that covers budgeting, financial planning, operational planning, consolidation and close, as well as financial reporting and analytics, objective placement on the report grid based on measurable metrics: number of customers/deal size (for market momentum), and overall BPM Pulse customer  satisfaction ratings (for customer success), comparative pricing charts, along with the usual comparative customer satisfaction charts.

In the 2023 report Leaders are defined  as having an Excellent or Outstanding overall customer satisfaction rating combined with an Established or Dominant position in the market. Vendors that are both Outstanding and Dominant are categorized as Premier Leaders. Now it’s time to acknowledge the Leaders for 2023. You can learn more about them including their actual overall numeric rating, industry success, current offering information, latest news, analyst reviews, articles, blogs,  and current job openings by clicking on their name which will take you to their PerformancePlace page on this site.

 

Outstanding Customer Satisfaction

and Dominant Market Position

 

Target Market: Upper Midmarket to Enterprise

Wolters Kluwer CCH Tagetik

 

Excellent or Outstanding Customer Satisfaction

and Established Market Position OR

Excellent Customer Satisfaction and Dominant Market Position

Target Market: Upper Midmarket to Enterprise

Board International

OneStream Software

Target Market: Midmarket to Large

Fluence Technologies

Planful

Prophix

Talentia Software Group

Vena

Bonus: Top Rated Vendors in 2023 by Functionality:

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Budgeting and Financial Planning

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Comprehensive Consolidation

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Reporting

You can add additional filters to sort these Top Rated vendors by target market, price range, and more.

For each vendor’s complete chart of 16 detailed BPM Pulse ratings, plus Recommendation Rate and much more, read the 2023 Vendor Landscape Matrix report.

If you are part of an end-user organization you can request a report sample (Vendor Snapshots) featuring two vendors of your choosing.

Consolidation and Planning: Unified or Best of Breed

Sponsored by Talentia

  • For midmarket controllers and FP&A managers, integration matters but performance comes first.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: May 2023
  • Pages: 12
  • This white paper is available in both English and French versions
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.
  • View related webcast here.

Executive Summary:

The goal of all performance management ultimately is to report accurately and quickly on performance and facilitate making the best management decisions. Both consolidation and planning are integral to those aims. This white paper focuses on consolidation, but to avoid creating silos neither consolidation nor planning solutions should be chosen in isolation, without taking the other into consideration.

The Road to FP&A Excellence

Sponsored by Unit4

  • A guide to modernizing your financial planning and analysis: knowing when and where to begin, how to establish ROI, and what milestones to aim for.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: December 2022
  • Pages: 16
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.
  • View related webcast here.

Executive Summary:

It may be time to launch your Finance department’s journey to efficient, high-performing financial planning and analysis (FP&A). Asking yourself a few pointed questions about how finance processes are working at your company can probably reveal the answer quickly. The actual modernization of FP&A can be handled as an incremental evolution, a phase-by-phase extension of existing capabilities, or a full-fledged transformation of these functions. This whitepaper looks at the overall journey to more effective, modern FP&A, and should help Finance groups prepare for a successful transition.

Financial Consolidation, Close, and Reporting: Challenges and Priorities

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Most performance management research studies have tended to focus primarily on budgeting and financial planning, usually targeting the FP&A team for responses. This is beginning to change though as several vendors with a primary focus on financial consolidation have commissioned their own research to better understand the challenges and needs of the Controller’s department.

Let’s take a look at highlights from two of these recent vendor surveys, as well as our own BPM Pulse, to better understand what the challenges and priorities are when it comes to Financial Consolidation, Close, and Reporting.

Talentia Consolidation and Financial/Management Reporting Survey Results

Here are a set of facts from the Talentia survey that clearly tell the story:

55.5% say that the team frequently works extra hours to deliver monthly, quarterly, and annual reports

70.1% say that the internal cost to meet financial and management reporting requirements has increased over the past 3 years

50.4% still use Excel for financial consolidation and reporting

 (Source: Talentia)

The economic volatility of the past few years has made it necessary to update data and reports more frequently, respond more quickly to ad hoc information requests, and generally operate with greater agility. This of course has required the already overburdened reporting team to put in more hours to get the job done, which in turn has increased the internal costs. The fact that half of the organizations are relying on Excel and a labor-intensive manual process does little to address this challenge and may in fact be the primary cause of the time demands on the team which in turn generates additional cost.

Fluence Survey on the State of Financial Consolidation, Close and Reporting Among Mid-Market Firms

In the same vein here are some data points from the Fluence survey:

55% said consolidating financial data is more time-consuming and difficult than it needs to be 

72% of those surveyed are still suffering through manual processes to some degree 

69% of those surveyed said the post-COVID hybrid work environment has caused them to re-evaluate their financial consolidation and reporting process

 (Source: Fluence)

Respondents to the Fluence survey expressed similar concerns to those raised in the Talentia survey. They also highlighted the fact that the evolving approach to the office/home work model was an opportunity to revisit the entire process. 

BPM Partners 2022 BPM Pulse Survey

From the vendor survey results it is clear that change is needed, and would be welcomed by the participants in this process.  The BPM Pulse survey can help us understand what that change might look like.

Question: Where Should Financial Consolidation Take Place?

(Source: 2022 BPM Pulse)

The data shows that the majority believe financial consolidation (and by extension close/disclosure management and financial reporting) should be included as part of a performance management system alongside financial and operational planning. This makes a lot of sense since having the processing of the actuals in the same system that is already home to the planning data will make actual vs. plan performance reporting more seamless and less error-prone.

Question: What is Important in a Financial Consolidation Solution (5= Most Important)?

(Source: 2022 BPM Pulse)

Those that still believe their ERP or ledger is the best pace for consolidation should look at the top results for this question where  respondents rated the importance of various aspects of a financial consolidation solution (on a 1 to 5 scale). The top 2 responses in particular are not traits you would usually associate with ERP systems. Elsewhere in the Pulse survey more than half of respondents said they have more than one ERP/GL system. Consolidating data from multiple source systems is a core feature of performance management consolidation systems and not something easily accomplished in any one  ERP system.

Conclusions

Financial consolidation and reporting is an important area that companies recognize needs to be improved upon, is taking longer and costing more than it should, and is probably leading to both reporting errors and employee burnout. There is a solution, and it is not a standalone spreadsheet nor an ERP system. We believe that a modern, cloud-based performance management system that unites budgeting, planning, and forecasting with financial consolidation and reporting is the best choice to address the challenges highlighted by these recent surveys.

Source Material:

Talentia – Controllers; Consolidation and Financial/Management Reporting Survey Results

Fluence – Survey on the State of Financial Consolidation, Close and Reporting Among Mid-Market Firms

BPM Partners – 2022 BPM Pulse Research Study

Further Reading:

BPM Partners Financial Consolidation and Reporting Buyers Guide

The Top Rated Budgeting, Planning, Consolidation and Reporting Solutions for 2022

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Now in its nineteenth year, BPM Partners’ BPM Pulse is the longest running survey of trends and customer satisfaction relating to budgeting, financial and operational planning, modeling, forecasting, consolidation, reporting and analytics, and performance dashboards (collectively referred to as performance management, EPM, CPM, BPM, xP&A or FP&A solutions). Over the years thousands of companies have relied on these ratings as part of their vendor selection evaluation criteria, ultimately impacting purchase decisions for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of performance management solutions.

Now it’s time to acknowledge the top tier of vendors that earned the highest overall satisfaction ratings from their customers in 2022. You can learn more about them including their actual numeric rating, industry success, current offering information, latest news, analyst reviews, articles, blogs,  and current job openings by clicking on their name which will take you to their PerformancePlace page on this site.

 

These vendors received an Overall rating from their customers of 4.75 or above, out of 5.

The list is organized by target market and is in alphabetical order.

 

Target Market: Enterprise

Board International

JustPerform

Wolters Kluwer CCH Tagetik

Target Market: Midmarket/Large

deFacto Global

Fluence Technologies

XLerant

 

These vendors received an Overall rating from their customers in the range of 4.50 to 4.74, out of 5.

The list is organized by target market and is in alphabetical order.

 

Target Market: Enterprise

Acterys

Anaplan

OneStream Software

Syntellis Performance Solutions

Target Market: Midmarket/Large

IBM

Place

Prophix

Vena

Bonus: Top Rated Vendors (4.50 – 5.00) by Functionality:

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Budgeting and Financial Planning

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Operational Planning

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Consolidation

PerformancePlace Filter: Top Rated for Reporting

You can add additional filters to sort these Top Rated vendors by target market, price range, and more.

For each vendor’s complete chart of 15 detailed BPM Pulse ratings, plus Recommendation Rate, read the 2022 Vendor Landscape Matrix report, or request free Vendor Snapshots.

Focused Acquisitions for Fluence and Syntellis

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

While big acquisitions get all the attention, sometimes it’s the focused ones that add the most value for customers and prospects. This type of acquisition allows a vendor to further build on a unique strength, or close a gap in their offering. As a plus they usually come with minimal product overlap and business disruption. Two recently announced acquisitions exemplify this approach.

Fluence Technologies Acquires Sturnis365

Fluence Technologies has announced their acquisition of Sturnis365. Fluence is a fast growing leader in financial consolidation and reporting. They started with a robust consolidation and close product built by the same architects behind many of the well-known names in consolidation software.  Fluence then developed their own account reconciliation solution, acquired XLCubed last year for enhanced financial reporting capabilities, and now with Sturnis365 have added collaborative disclosure management and narrative reporting to the mix. In just a few short years, thanks to targeted acquisitions coupled with strategic in-house development, the breadth of their offering in this key area of performance management now equals or exceeds that of their competitors. Learn more about Fluence here.

Syntellis Performance Solutions Acquires Stratasan

With their just announced Stratasan acquisition, Syntellis Performance Solutions is building on a key differentiator – industry specific data analytics. Syntellis, through its Axiom Software suite, offers rich budgeting, planning, and reporting functionality coupled with extensive content for the banking, healthcare, and higher education markets. While other vendors have recently started to adopt a verticalized approach to the performance management market, Syntellis is way ahead of them when it comes to targeted data and analytics. Two years ago (while part of Kaufman Hall) they acquired Change Healthcare’s Connected Analytics which provides a range of data solutions for healthcare organizations and a set of tools that can be expanded to other industries. Syntellis has also delivered their own Syntellis IQ solution which is essentially a data science engine that collects market data from financial and operational source systems across more than 1,000 sites and applies AI/machine learning to deliver predictive and prescriptive insights to customers.  Stratasan focuses on strategic planners in healthcare organizations and delivers market intelligence coupled with advanced analytics to enable hospitals to understand where they fit in their marketplace and identify opportunities to better serve their patients and profitably grow their business. This latest acquisition further extends Syntellis’ lead in healthcare planning coupled with data and analytics capabilities. Learn more about Syntellis here.

Vendor Selection Advisory Services for FP&A Groups and Controllers

As the performance management vendor landscape continues to rapidly evolve with 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.

10 Key Reasons for Mid-Sized Companies to Modernize Consolidation

Sponsored by Talentia

  • Modern consolidation systems are not limited to legal consolidation, but can also support extensive management reporting as well as budgeting and forecasting.
  • Author: BPM Partners
  • Date: April 2022
  • Pages: 9
  • Request your copy today by completing the White Papers Request form.

Executive Summary:

Full-featured consolidation and management reporting systems were often seen in the past as reserved for large enterprises, due to their cost and complexity. Increasingly, however, they have become more accessible to mid-sized (midmarket) businesses as newer solutions have become available that address their cost, ease of deployment, and usability criteria. As we are reminded by corporate Finance groups each year with their responses to the annual BPM Pulse survey by BPM Partners, consolidation remains ripe for improvement and time savings. Nearly half (46%) of the Finance groups who answered the Pulse survey take two weeks or longer to complete their monthly close. Only 16% finish in three days or less.

Anaplan to be Acquired for $10.7 Billion by Thoma Bravo

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Thoma Bravo has announced its planned acquisition of Anaplan for $10.7 billion. Anaplan’s revenues for its most recent fiscal year were $592.2 million with a GAAP operating loss of $200.7 million. Those numbers show how impressive this valuation is. I believe this is the largest acquisition ever in the performance management space (see other recent investments in the space here). The investment of course factors in the huge potential for Anaplan as it continues its successful growth path in the hot performance management space.

Details

With this deal Anaplan will once again become a private company. Why would they choose to do this? The money of course, but there are other reasons. The stock market is brutal, regulatory reporting is painful and time consuming (which is one reason you should buy a performance management consolidation and reporting solution), and the pressure of having to achieve quarterly targets forces compromises to be made. So, not too surprising.

Anaplan is a leader, particularly in the rapidly growing operational planning (or extended planning and analysis) segment. It does have some strong competitors though. While SAP and Oracle are often cited as their chief competitors, you’re just as likely to see OneStream Software or Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Tagetik going head to head with Anaplan in deals, and getting their fair share of wins. While OneStream and CCH Tagetik were initially focused primarily on financial planning, consolidation, and reporting, over time they have added impressive capabilities focused on operational planning. Their combined financial and operational strengths give them an edge over Anaplan in financial planning-led deals that also include operational components.

Thoma Bravo is not new to this space. They are an investor in another performance management vendor, Syntellis Performance Solutions. Syntellis, with their Axiom product, combines financial and operational planning with comparative benchmark analytics. They focus almost exclusively on three verticals: banking and credit unions, higher education, and healthcare, with specialized content for each. While there is certainly overlap with Anaplan’s capabilities, we don’t often see them competing in the same deals. Thoma Bravo also owns Qlik, which several performance management vendors have partnered with for analytics.

Our Assessment

A rapidly growing vendor, a knowledgeable investor, a hot market. Seems like a recipe for success to us.

Further Reading: Hg Acquires Majority Stake in Prophix, Host Analytics to be Acquired by Vector Capital, Longview Acquired by insightsoftware, Adaptive Insights to be Acquired by Workday, Wolters Kluwer Acquires Tagetik