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Advice in Looking for CPM Solution to Accommodate Growth

Bill Mongan's Profile

We are searching for a CPM solution (consolidation/reporting, planning and budget tool) to help with consolidation and budgeting, as we have had some recent acqusitions and need a better tool.  We are looking at several vendors in this space - INFOR, Oracle HFM, Longview. Any suggestions or advice on the selection process would be appreciated.

Bill Mongan

VP-Finance

Generac Power Systems

 

Answers

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

The Oracle HFM (Hyperion products such as Pillar) was the classic solution in this space. They maintained the SEC reporting requirements, supported the budgeting and data modeling needed, and had solid financial reporting. I haven't kept up with it as much after the Oracle acquisition - so you would need to review how it works with or without their ERP solution.

The solution sets will generally fall into three categories:
1) ERP Solutions. You can look at what is offered by your ERP provider for consolidations. Often these focus on the close process (CTA computation, eliminations, hard close vs. soft close).
2) CPM Solutions - where you could include Oracle. Adaptive Planning has lots of fans as a cloud based solution. There are others ...
3) Business Intelligence Solutions - if your focus is really on the reporting and modeling (say your ERP is already handling the mechanics of the close) then you can look at BI solutions. Examples in this category include IBM/Cognos TM1 or Solver's Bi360.

Bob Scarborough
www.tensoft.com

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Hi Bill,

Here's a free white paper from the vast Proformative Library, that might be of some help:

Driving Sustainable Growth

By the way, whatever you're evaluating, you can find solutions, reviews, specifications and more in Proformative's new Marketplace.

Enjoy!

Best... Sarah

Roger Whitham
Title: Managing Director
Company: Bassett Bridge Associates
(Managing Director, Bassett Bridge Associates) |

Before investing in a CPM solution make sure that the organization has fully embraced CPM as a performance enhancement strategy. Without proper buy in from top and middle management across the organization your investment could yield less than satisfactory results.

But check the Advance Performance Institute resource tools for comprehensive list of EPM/CPM software solutions.

Sunil Aghi
Title: Consultant
Company: TRC Consulting Inc
(Consultant, TRC Consulting Inc) |

Define your key requirements, some examples - Inter-company reconciliation, Consolidation of Investments (COI), detailed reporting - within system / outside external links / dashboards, ETL (extraction, transformation, data load automation), volume of data, GRC (Governance and risk management-worldwide legal issues), different security levels for read / write access to data, posting of reclassification entries, SaaS, different options in currency translations, footnote related data, management reporting.
Once you know what is critical to you, with a few detailed scenarios, evaluate and have your conversations with vendors accordingly. All the top tier vendors -view Gartner reports- can do everything, but cost more too. The choice of implementation partner is never under-estimated. Hiring an adviser may be money well spent.

Rick Bryant
Title: Senior Director
Company: Column5 Consulting
(Senior Director, Column5 Consulting) |

I agree with Roger's comments on embracing corporate performance management (also referred to as enterprise performance management) as a strategy. Gartner Group recently said that over half investments in Business Analytics (CPM/EPM is included in this category) will be wasted. That said, it sounds like you are looking for a solution that can handle both planning and consolidation processes. Not all of the solutions you mentioned can do both. HFM for example is strictly a consolidation tool. You would need to purchase Hyperion Planning in addition to HFM in order to meet your requirements. In addition to the vendors you and others have mentioned I would add SAP's Business Planning and Consolidation solution.
Other's have mentioned good sources of information for evaluating vendors another good resource is The Forrester Wave Report for Business Performance Solutions.

Gerry Anderson
Title: President and Founder
Company: Logicon Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(President and Founder, Logicon Solutions) |

I would first recommend that you define your requirements and your scoring system, particularly in terms of must haves, nice to haves and optional. After you have your requirements defined, define how you want your demos to go (i.e. how the vendors software will handle your processes). If you need more details on the selection process, please email me.
The vendors you mentioned all have their strengths and weaknesses. They are all client server though. You might also want to check out Prophix. If you are open to web based systems, you may want to check out Adaptive Planning.

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