LSA Solutions have spent almost 30 years embracing Financial Performance Management solutions, as an accredited Partner and Value-added Reseller (VAR) with the worlds’ leading software Vendors. From the early days of what was originally known as Decision Support Software (DSS) through to the emergence of Business Intelligence (BI) and then the exploitation of Artificial (?) or rather Augmented Intelligence (AI) alongside Machine Learning (ML). The age of automation and predictive analytics.
There are many software vendors, each with individual Performance Management solutions, largely because there is no ‘one single prescribed’ methodology, but rather differing opinions as regards 'best practice' for performance measurement and monitoring. Individual vendors tend to focus upon the particular unique selling points (USPs) that reflect the processes of storage, retrieval and reporting that the software solution offers. These vary from point solutions to global reporting.
Throughout, the one consistent message has been the need for a software application that provides one version of the truth and enables a systematic, auditable approach, towards data collection and the processes of reporting from a unified database layer. This has particular significance within the 'Office of Finance' where the focus is upon accuracy, speed and simplicity (end-User experience) throughout the Consolidation, Financial Reporting and Analysis (ad-hoc, statutory or management) Budgets, Planning, Rolling Forecasts, Strategic Plans and the Disclosure Management requirements.
Whether, proprietary software, SQL, Oracle or Unix databases are being proposed, the over-riding message is that, the most common, widely used performance management tool, i.e. Microsoft Excel is not a system! Reliance upon disparate spreadsheets, often with poorly understood formulae and macros, could, and potentially would, lead to errors of omission or misstatement. Many examples of the infamous “spreadsheet from hell” were, and still are, quoted. The objective was to remove a need for any MS Excel spreadsheets. Despite this approach, Vendors have created the Excel Add-in.
Microsoft continues to proliferate throughout organisations and with the advent of Office 365 and 'cloud' solutions, it is reassuring therefore to identify a Performance Management vendor who has the approach of embracing the MS Excel spreadsheet as a fundamental tool within their solution for both Input and Reporting from integrated relational SQL tables and bespoke OLAP cubes that share a single metadata layer for the utopia of that trusted data source and 'single version of the truth'.
Vena Solutions is unlike traditional CPM/EPM offerings that attempt to replace Excel. Vena drives adoption by embracing MS Excel and empowering it to do all the things you thought that it should. Workflow and approvals, version control, collaboration, and being your single version of the truth, with full security and access management of underlying database layers and spreadsheet templates.
Vena leverages existing MS Excel spreadsheets, formulae and business models (dimensions), which means you can carry out multiple complex budgeting calculations, data collection processes and reporting from within your trusted application.
And, since most users are already comfortable with MS Excel, you can implement and be up and running quickly, with very little training or change management. LSA Solutions consider Vena to be very strong market contenders within the Integrated Performance Management space, especially for; FP&A, Management and Regulatory reporting.
For more information contact Alan Sutton.