Baseball season is well underway and teams are starting to jockey to position for the few coveted playoff spots. But for the Boston Red Sox organization and other savvy businesses, it’s also a time for smart budgeting and planning.
As many of us are familiar, corporate and organizational budgets can take months to aggregate and finalize, leaving little nor no time for strategic and insightful analysis. Worse still, mistakes can be made and remain undiscovered, creating inaccuracies in the financial reporting that the executive team is viewing. The results can lead to wasted hours on data collection and verification that hurts the bottom line.
I’m very excited for our next webinar guest, Ryan Scafidi of the Boston Red Sox organization. The webinar is set for today, August 29th at 12pm PT. In this session, Scafidi, a member of the organization’s financial team, talks about how the Boston Red Sox recognized a need for better financial processes and management and moved beyond their tired old spreadsheet method to a modern cloud CPM technology approach for a home run in streamlined and automated budgeting and planning. Today, Scafidi and his team have quick and easy access and valuable insight into financial data.
This webinar will coach you in:
No doubt about it, the cloud is transforming and improving the way business is done today — from improving strategic planning (such as streamlined processes, access to real-time data, improved flexibility, reduced capital and corporate costs) to how services are delivered and much more.
Cloud technologies are having a growing and very positive impact on corporate finance as well. I’ll be digging deeper on this subject with special guest Paul Hamerman, a Forrester VP and principal analyst, in a webinar replay coming soon to the Host Analytics website. Paul will share his views on how the cloud is transforming today’s corporate financial management and offer first-hand guidelines and tips when selecting modern technologies such as the cloud to enhance and move businesses forward.
Specifically, our conversation will cover:
This past weekend I did a bit of “spring cleaning” at home. I thought a lot about what was working and what I should keep and what wasn’t working so well that I should rethink and/or toss. For any IT organization that isn’t already on the cloud train should this is an excellent time to apply this same philosophy to their technology plan and seriously consider cloud technology adoption for their business. Take a step back and consider what’s working, what isn’t and is there a better way to get the job done. I truly believe you’ll find success in cloud.
Business can be blissful in the cloud. Cloud computing has inarguably been behind a major business transformation – and CFOs, controllers and treasurers are watching with great interest.
But the jump from on-premise can be daunting, especially in a time of limited capital expenditure. With demands from the C-Suite for real-time insight, collaboration and support for decision making, sometimes the best solution is to take a leap of faith.
My conversation with David Gosell, Senior Director of Finance at Saba Software, a provider of people-centric enterprise solutions, offers a firsthand look at how one company chose to move finance and accounting to the cloud, and my own experiences as a cloud CIO. In our “Life as a Cloud CIO and Finance as a Partner” webinar, we offer an insider’s view of Saba’s decision to embrace the cloud and how benefits have carried over from the finance team to the overall business – which mirrors my own experience here at Host Analytics.
The conversation covers:
Cloud computing and Software as Service (SaaS) are absolutely re-defining today’s business landscape – and changing the manner in which tomorrow’s most successful companies will operate.
How much do you know about cloud computing? According to a 2010 Proformative white paper, revenue from cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has increased more than 16% since 2009, so it’s probably a good idea to brush up. Choosing the solution that best fits your business needs, from both a finance and IT team perspective, is critical. Barry Wilderman, CEO of Wilderman Associates, outlines the key dimensions of time, cost and benefits, before moving on to the first step of a software selection approach in his new white paper “Selecting Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Software.”
In a webinar presented by Host Analytics on August 1, we will first examine the best practices to make budgeting more effective and more efficient. This will lead naturally to the first step of a software selection approach.
Register now and join us for this free webinar! If you can’t join, follow the discussion on Twitter, #Wilderman
Economic growth remains sluggish, and it appears that corporations still face challenges and are recovering at a slower pace. According to an article in the New York Times, “The United States economy grew by a tepid 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, losing the momentum it had appeared to be gaining earlier this year.” It is therefore even more critical for finance executives to have the tools for their budgeting and forecasting processes. Specifically, the ability to track financial and operating metrics data is key in driving performance and keeping the company on track to deliver sustainable growth. Join Host Analytics on Tuesday, July 31 for the free webinar “Drive Performance Best Practices with SaaS Metrics and Benchmarking.” Lauren Kelley, CEO of OPEXEngine, will present key software industry benchmarks from OPEXEngine’s comprehensive financial and operating benchmarking report.
OPEXEngine, launched in 2006, is the leading aggregator of financial and operational metrics for software companies. Several hundred public and private software companies have contributed to OPEXEngine’s confidential database of over 50,000 data points along a multi-year reference base, which fuels OPEXEngine’s secure, interactive benchmarking portal.
Join us for this informative webinar to learn more about how the benefits of metrics-driven, fact based decision making can help you drive better performance and efficiency within your own organization.
What you will learn from this webinar:
Register and join us for the webinar! If you can’t make it, follow the conversation on Twitter, #OPEXEngine.
With so much marketing buzz around the term “cloud,” it can be challenging for financial decision makers to separate fluff from fact. The plethora of could-based solutions available today offers simplifications to both IT teams and business owners.
In a recent blog post on Forbes.com, Brian Galicia of Microsoft discussed the benefits of not only cloud based solutions, but the use of paired solutions to leverage even more productivity. According to Galicia, “The productivity experience is now more
than just giving workers tools like e-mail, document sharing and web conferencing. It is about equipping people with collaborative productivity solutions that are easy to use, easy to access, and work so well together that collectively they are worth more than the sum of their parts.”
The Schumacher Group, owned and operated by physicians, provides staffing and management for the emergency and hospital medicine operations of 187 hospitals in 23 states. Schumacher Group’s business grows 15 percent or more annually. The combination of growth and geographic span strained the manual way it used to do budgeting – using Excel spreadsheets circulated by e-mail. “The inefficiencies associated with that process were enormous,” CIO Douglas Menefee recalls. “In some years we didn’t complete our budget before the beginning of the new fiscal year.”
In a free webinar today at 8am PT, CIO, Douglas Menefee, of the Schumacher Group will talk about why they embraced the Cloud, Host Analytics, and what it meant for their Finance team.
In this webinar you will:
• Understand how to leverage Cloud and related technology to monitor and manage the metrics that empower better decision-making
• Use leading indicators to anticipate changes in your company’s environment
• Learn the significance of metrics driven organizations
The office has been abuzz lately over a recent Q&A series with our own CEO Jon Kondo. Beyond discussing Jon’s personal story as an entrepreneur, the seven-piece Entrepreneur Journeys series, written by veteran journalist Sramana Mitra, reinforces the one thing that matters most to him and to everyone else at Host Analytics: our customers.
As a CEO approaching his four-year anniversary at our rapidly growing company, it’s noteworthy that, in Jon’s eyes, customers remain first. “What customers really come to appreciate is that the responsibility of customer satisfaction falls on us,” Jon said.
So what does Host Analytics do to ensure customer satisfaction? As Jon explained, it starts at the beginning—understanding what a potential customer’s requirements and business needs are. “Philosophically, we want to make sure our customers are successful with our solution,” Jon said during the interview. “We are going to understand what they want to do and the best possible way to accomplish these goals.” This may include something like consideration of time-to-value in implementing a CPM product. Host Analytics’ ability to standup a solution takes probably a tenth of the time that the heavy, on-premises solutions require. Another factor that makes Host Analytics’ cloud-based CPM solution a standout solution: “we are about a third of the cost of on-premise solutions,” Jon explained.
Aside from offering a cost-effective alternative to the big guns, Host Analytics serves our users in being consistent in how we manage our product. Our team strives to provide enhancements that matter most to customers. To ensure customer feedback is translated effectively into new product offerings, Jon has led the way in mandating that our product management teams spend ample time with our customers. This effort is implemented from top-down, starting with the CEO himself as Jon makes a conscious effort to check in with customers throughout their use of Host Analytics.
“I want to see customers when they are at various stages. I want to see them right after they have bought, right after they have implemented and after they have been using the product for a couple of years. We work very hard across all levels of the organization to never lose customer intimacy,” he said.
To further build customer intimacy, Host Analytics created a customer success team earlier this year. This combines our support team and professional services so that they are better optimized to serve the needs of our customers. “Those are the things that keep me up at night and that I work hard on,” says Jon. “I want to take the organization to the next level.”
From the top down, Host Analytics knows the best way to do that is through enabling our customers’ successes.
For a full look at Jon’s Q&A series in Entrepreneur Journeys and his business philosophies, click here.
I wanted to let our loyal customers, partners and friends know about Host Analytics’ on-going praise from the industry analyst community. We’ve been recognized a half dozen times already this year for our leadership in the corporate performance management (CPM) market, for product innovation and more.
Most recently, Constellation Research recognized Host Analytics in a Quark Best Practices report titled Host Analytics – Planning, Reporting and Consolidation. The report said….
Host Analytics has earned its spot on customer short lists, especially for its detailed department level planning and rollups, its scenario management, and its robust consolidation functionality, all on a SaaS platform with good integration capabilities, even for disparate data.
Additionally, Host Analytics recently earned a position in BPM Partners’ report for delivering both an “Extended” and “Established” solution alongside the likes of IBM, Oracle and SAP. “The recent addition of embedded business intelligence capabilities to Host Analytics’ solution, unique for a cloud-based solution, allows for powerful operational analytics. Host Analytics is ideal for companies looking for a comprehensive on-demand performance management solution,” said Craig Schiff, CEO of BPM Partners and author of the report.
And finally, we’re also extremely pleased to be placed on Nucleus Research’s report for the very first time and highlighted as a vendor having a global presence and providing functionality in four core analytics areas: business intelligence, performance management, predictive analytics an big data.
As the number one provider of the only complete, cloud CPM suite for finance, our solutions help our customers make better operational and financial decisions, streamline budgeting and forecasting, and close books faster, with 100 percent precision.
Congratulations to our world-class engineers for creating such a visionary and complete cloud CPM solution, which has allowed us to win over customers across all industries, and grow a solid ecosystem of stellar partners. And a huge thank you to our customers for partnering with us in developing the vision that these analyst firms recognized.
The countdown is on. Today marks just three days out from the start of our annual customer conference, which will run May 14-18. This year, we’re going down south, holding the conference in Austin. I guess it’s true that everything is bigger in Texas, as this is by far going to be our biggest event yet.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Bridging the GAAP.” New research confirms CFOs have far too little time to conduct proper strategy. Something has to give. At the conference, we’re going to demonstrate through Host Analytics and partner best practice and customer presentations how a cloud CPM approach helps organizations make much better operational and financial decisions by streamlining and automating their consolidations, planning and reporting processes. You’ll hear from the likes of Groupon, Calypso, Check Into Cash, Acciona, Stylesight and more.
The days will be action packed and filled with fun events and also hands on training and breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including dynamic reporting, managing multiple currencies, getting the most out of rolling forecasts and much more.
And our keynote with Todd Buchholz, former director of economic policy at the White House, a managing director of the $15 billion Tiger hedge fund and an award-winning economics teacher at Harvard, is sure to be a winner.
I’m so looking forward to the rare opportunity of meeting face-to-face with our treasured customers at the conference and hear first-hand their stories about how Host Analytics has impacted their business and the bottom-line. Please don’t be afraid to approach me, I welcome the conversations.
See you in Austin!
More information on the conference can be found at: http://decisions2012.hostanalytics.com/
Less than two weeks until Decisions 2012! We are very excited to see our customers to share best practices and thought leadership around leveraging the Host Analytics CPM Solution. The theme of this year’s conference is “Bridging The GAAP”, and will include breakout sessions, demos, and networking–even an exclusive breakfast with Jon Kondo, President and CEO of Host Analytics. And don’t miss our keynote speaker Todd Buchholz, an award-winning economics and teacher at Harvard University. Buchholz targets his entertaining remarks to the cutting edge of economics, finance, and business strategy. He has advised President Bush, and is a frequent commentator on ABC News, PBS, CBS, and recently hosted his own special on CNBC.
Over 90% of last year’s attendees believe the improvements made to their business outweighed the cost to attend the conference. Understanding more about the corporate performance management application helped them take advantage of all the functionality in their application, get their organization more involved with the planning and reporting processes, and subsequently made better decisions and better managed cash.
And if that’s not enough …… the majority of attendees interviewed last year said they would recommend it to a friend or colleague, considered it a great value, and most importantly, they would like to return in 2012! If you have to first convince your boss that it is worth your time and the company’s money to attend Decisions 2012, make sure to point out how you will be able to solve immediate problems in your finance processes and understand how you can use technology in your longer term initiatives.
Customers sharing their stories
Customers such as Calypso, Stylesight, and Martin-Brower will share their stories of leaving behind the “organized chaos” of excel spreadsheets, and discuss how their business have benefited from Host Analytics, including implementation, functionality, and efficiency.
New to Decisions 2012
Coming new to Decisions2012 is the Genius lounge. You will have the opportunity to meet with our experts from our engineering and product management teams. You can test drive new functionality available now, ask those gnawing questions, and experience a sneak peek into exciting roadmap items. For example, have a hands-on look at our dynamic reporting functionality and our new business analytics platform. We also want you to provide feedback to us – we can’t wait to hear your opinions on new functionality and its utility within you organization.
Demo stations…. Using one of our products and want to see what else can take your organization to the next level? Take a tour of Host Analytics Consolidator, Decision Hub, Enterprise Report Manager or Host Analytics Budget and see what they can do for your organization with very little implementation effort. Grab some time at refreshment breaks at our expert-staffed demo stations for a test drive.
We are excited and thankful to our sponsors for this year’s Customer Conference which include:
We look forward to continuing to deepen our business relationship with all of you!
Interested in becoming a sponsor? There are a variety of sponsorship options allow you to meet your cost and ROI needs, including:
Dedicated showcase hours that optimize interaction time with our customers.
Whether you are demonstrating your product at the Partner Showcase or sponsoring the conference, don’t miss this valuable networking opportunity! Click here to view the sponsor prospectus.
Join the conversation
For up to date information on Decisions 2012, follow Host Analytics on Twitter using #decisionsconf, Like our Facebook page, visit the Decisions 2012 event page on LinkedIn, and of course the Host Analytics website.