FinancialForce has announced a deeper partnership with Vena, the fast growing corporate performance management software company. The announcement came in a blog by Don Mal, CEO of Vena and a joint press release. Vena will bring additional financial and accounting capabilities to FinancialForce. These include: budgeting, planning and forecasting, financial and management reporting, and financial close management.
Vena has completed development work that has deepened their integration into FinancialForce. A FinancialForce spokesperson commented: “With this partnership Vena has developed a bi-directional integration between FF and Vena which will create a seamless user experience as well as reduction in implementation/configuration time typically allocated for integration tasks.”
Together the companies believe that they had a complete financial solution that will meet the requirements of mid to large size enterprises. For Vena, it will enable them to increase the number of opportunities that they gain. Clark Muse, vice president of corporate development, Vena Solutions commented: “Vena looks forward to working closely with FinancialForce to deliver the most comprehensive corporate cloud finance and accounting solution to customers worldwide. Our partnership represents a great marriage between two industry leaders, and a powerful value proposition to our existing and future customers.”
So what is the partnership
One never quite knows when organisations talk about new partnerships what they mean. At first glance it appears that Vena solutions have done all the work. The company is also a platinum sponsor at Community Live, the FinancialForce annual user conference in Las Vegas this week.
There will be some joint marketing initiatives, such as sponsorship at each others conferences. Vena recently held their main conference in New Orleans. Neither company, however, will sell the others products. According to FinancialForce there are also no existing joint customers. Vena does already have some significant names such as Berkshire Hathaway Inc, BlueCross BlueShield, McDonald’s Canada, Major League Baseball and Ocean Spray.
Whether this new relationship will open up opportunities in the Vena customer base seems unlikely. Analysts seem to agree that the solutions will be stronger together. Craig Schiff, president and CEO, BPM Partners commented: “The solutions from Vena and FinancialForce are strong enough on their own, but a powerful combination together. From the general ledger to dashboard reporting, the new, unified solution offers everything that corporate finance and accounting teams need.”
While the FinancialForce commitment makes Vena their preferred Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) partner it does not stop them working with anyone else. This might lead to a conflict of interest in the future and FinancialForce will not endear themselves to some of the other FP&A software companies.
So why are they stronger together
The combined integrated solution bring together the operational and strategic finance functions. The integration allows users to leverage automated budgeting, planning and forecasting with workflow as well as version control from the FinancialForce solution. This also includes a complete audit trail for later review. Vena also recently announced integration with Office365 bring three cloud solutions together. The software also integrates with existing Excel spreadsheets such as financial statements, budgets templates, forecast models and reports. Its software can also assist with close management delivering its functionality from anywhere using both desktop and mobile solutions.
Raphael Bres, general manager of financial management solution for FinancialForce commented: “As two companies who are successfully transforming the financial management space, FinancialForce is very pleased to partner with Vena for budgeting, planning and forecasting. Vena’s flexibility, Excel interface and advanced reporting and analytics features are a great fit for our mutual customers.”
What does this mean?
For FinancialForce this is yet another partnership with a cloud vendor. It is a move away from the more isolationist policy that threatened Frankencloud. It sees the company forming partnerships that will enable it to grow faster, providing they are the right partnerships. Vena may be a risk but it is growing fast and has several blue chip companies as customers already. While there are no joint customers Vena would hope to gain some leads in Las Vegas. The real test will come when they jointly implement solutions onto a green field site. If by Dreamforce later this year they have some customer wins, this could be a significant step for both companies.
It is also possible that FinancialForce will add to its list of partners at Community Live, its user conference held in Las Vegas, USA this week. It will be interesting to see if and who they partner with.