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Corporate Finance Technologies Webinar - The Need for Speed

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Corporate Finance Technologies WebinarCFOs often have too little AND too much information at the same time. What they need is the data to make a great business decision fast. CFOs tell us they're not getting enough (or timely) information from their enterprise systems. Simultaneously, they're drowning in data from their customers or suppliers with even more information in the offing. Unfortunately, the tools that support great decision making have been lacking. How does the finance executive of 2012 sift through an exponentially growing pile of internal and external data to determine the best way to integrate and channel information to the right decision makers, at the right time, while maintaining appropriate controls over critical enterprise data? In this Corporate Finance Technologies webinar, you'll learn how cloud technologies can help CFOs pinpoint opportunities and build more confident plans, accelerate financial analysis and increase process accuracy with immediate access to over 13,000 drivers - continually updated from a variety of trusted sources. In this session, we explore some of the current trends in information management and enabling technologies, how these are impacting the finance organization, discuss some examples of what companies are doing, and identify ideas you may be able to take back to your organization.

This video is from the Proformative webinar "The Need for Speed: How to get Data to Make Great Business Decisions - Fast" held on October 24, 2012. The webinar features presentations from Michael Huzinec, Director, Business Analytics, Baker Tilly and Kevin Coonan, Manager, Business Analytics, Baker Tilly.


Corporate Finance Technologies Webinar


John: Okay. A couple quick learning objectives which I won't go through one at a time here. Basically, at the end of the day, we want you to be better informed about how to gather and effectively utilize information at your company. specially given the flood of information coming all of our ways through all of our various sensors throughout the enterprise, whether it's ERP, websites, CRM, you name it.

That's what we'd love to be able to help everyone with today. To help us get there today, it's my pleasure to introduce our two speakers. First I'd like to introduce Michael Huzinec. He's a Director in the Business Analytics Group at Baker Tilly. Michael is a Director in the consulting group of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.

Before we get started with this Corporate Finance Technologies webinar, I just want to ask a question. Is it just me, or are things just a little bit chaotic or a little bit crazy out there? Every time I open the news it's something new. Jobs are coming back, now they're not. Now they are again. Consumers are spending. That's up. No, wait. Now it's not again. Europe is in trouble, it's in worse trouble, or maybe it's not as bad as we thought.

For me, specifically, a whole host of new technologies that I'm personally just trying to stay on top of. I think if we took one of those CPU polling questions that John mentioned now and asked if you were overwhelmed or if you're uncertain about what to do next, I think I know what the answer would be. That's really what we're going to talk about today.

We're going to dive into some of those changing market dynamics, what's different out there, some of the challenges that our companies are facing, and how they need to adjust. Companies that are doing well at it and also companies that have struggled with it, we'll look at that a little bit more in detail.

Then, Kevin is going to talk about the era of big data, and really using information and some of the new pieces of information that are out there as a competitive advantage, and how you go about doing that. Then, really in this era of big data, rethinking your analytics capabilities. What's new? What's out there? What should you use? What shouldn't you use?

We'll talk a little bit about how you go about doing that and then really hone in on the role of finance in driving and managing these opportunities. Like John said, I'm a CPA. I've got experience in the finance realm, really uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in this area, so we'll dive into that as well.

What do we see that's causing some of this chaos? What are some of the major pressures that organizations are facing? There are a lot of different ones. What we find to be before common pressures are macroeconomic forces, new and disruptive technologies rapidly getting introduced into the marketplace, really shifting and changing competitive landscape. Then also just new demographics in the workforce. These four things are really common across all the organizations that we work with.

What do we mean by each of those? When you look at macroeconomic forces, that's things like energy and new energy. Things like rising gas prices, what's that doing to your effect on your supply chains, the effect on delivery routes? What's that doing to consumer purchasing patterns? Things like government regulations, how do we need to adjust to that?

Just the economy in general, it's a very global economy now, very interconnected, lots of uncertainty. It's things like that, largely things that are out of our control, but that really do have a material impact on the business.

The second force is rapid new technology and disruptive technology. What do we mean by that? Well, that's things like mobility and Apple, and all the different sort of applications that are out there creating lots of new touch points to the customer, new ways that we go about business across a wide variety of market sectors.

Things that Google are doing, one thing that's come out recently is Google Goggles, and the ability using your mobile devices to scan barcodes and do comparative shopping in-store. We're starting to see that take hold now. Different enterprise collaboration software, so how people are communicating internally within the organization, things like Hadoop and how you're harnessing the power of big data., really creating a 360 degree view of your company, giving your recruits and really your employees different insights into your company. A whole host of new Cloud technologies, and a whole host of new mobile technologies to go along with it. Yes, one of the big trends that we're seeing is really around Cloud and mobility. This is one of those every kind of 15, 20 year things that really come together and create new platforms for growth.

Those two and combined, we're seeing a lot of growth around. What that's really giving rise to is just a shift in competitive landscape. We're seeing a lot of things happen there. What are some examples of that? That's companies like Netflix and RedBox really coming in and putting a lot of pressure on companies like Blockbuster.

Companies like Amazon leveraging the Internet to put a lot of pressure on Borders. Now we're seeing companies like BestBuy also struggling. Some big, big companies in big, big trouble due to some of these macroeconomic forces and new technologies that are coming into play.

The fourth one that we find a lot of challenges around is really your workforce and some of the dynamics there. What that covers is around how do you find the right people to do the right job, given that your business models are shifting, that competition is shifting? What's really in play

There are really three different factors. You've got the millennials coming in. Who are they? What's important to them? A different set of expectations, different expectations around how they want to work, how they want to collaborate. Then, you've got the baby boomers, due to some of that economic uncertainty staying in the workplace longer. Then all of that mixed in with Generation X.

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There are three different demographics, all with different expectations around how they want to use technology, what they're able to do with technology. Different expectations about how they want to work, different
insights into the client, really struggling with how to pull the people lever within an organization and really apply the right people to the right jobs that you're going after.

Those forces really are the major pressures that we're seeing across the organization. The question really is how does the company in the middle manage all of these questions? It's hard. There's no question. It's really hard, but there are some common characteristics that we found in organizations that are successful.

Before we get into those, let's put this into some real terms and look at some real companies and what they've done when faced with those pressures or opportunities. We've got these rapid changes, and we're going to look at it across really two disruptive technologies. The first is the Internet, and the second is the Cloud.

Everybody is talking about the Cloud right now, so we'll look at it and what it's done to Blockbuster for your entertainment needs, BestBuy for consumer electronics, and Borders for books. Very strong companies before the Internet came along, and then the Internet came along and a whole host of new companies came into play then.

You had companies like Netflix, which completely disregarded the retail outlet, and went to an online ordering process and took a very large portion of that market share for Blockbuster. Then you had Apple coming in with iTunes that's actually downloading entertainment directly to mobile devices, the start of kind of the mobile generation.

RedBox, another disruptive technology, a different point-of-sale system, also coming in and taking a pretty significant sized market share from Blockbuster. Companies like Amazon that leveraged the Internet to really be an online book retailer, but then quickly morphed into really just an online retail, so they're not only putting pressure on Borders, but also putting pressure on companies like BestBuy.

Then the Cloud came along. Remember, this is all in the space of ten, 15 years max. You've got the Cloud coming in, so now you've got cable providers getting into the entertainment space with On Demand and streaming videos to DVD players. So, really putting pressure on Netflix, a company that has done really well in a short period of time, but now facing their own pressures, also putting pressure on iTunes. Apple coming in and saying, "Okay, we're going to redesign what we're doing and start to get more of this entertainment sector."

Then, Amazon, continuing to evolve and actually getting into the mobility space with their own mobile device, so really two very disruptive technologies causing a lot of change within the marketplace in a short period of time. The question for that is, how do you navigate it? How do you navigate all of that complexity? How are you more on the Amazon side versus the Borders side?

Really what we found is the answer to that is organizations need to become what we call "dynamic enterprises". They're the only companies that can really successfully and consistently navigate this complexity, which leads us to the next question. Okay, so what's the dynamic enterprise? What are the characteristics that they share to be able to succeed in this rapid pace of change?

End partial transcript: Corporate Finance Technologies webinar.


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