Vena has announced the latest version of its integrated planning solution. The aim is to deliver a planning app to a wider audience inside organisations.
ET spoke to Rishi Grover, Co-Founder and Chief Solutions Architect about the release. He commented: “The release is centred around integrated planning. Integrated planning is the utopia state for organisations in how they do their planning process. Traditionally centred around the office of finance, integrated planning tries to get every part of the organisation really embedded in the planning process.”
Recent research by has shown that 40% of companies invest in CPM software for integrated planning. Of these, few believe that they are actually delivering integrated planning that engages successfully with all departments across the business.
What are the changes with integrated planning?
Vena is taking a slightly different approach to Adaptive Insights who also recently released an update to its software. Vena is improving the way in which users outside the finance teams interact with the software. The user interface is simplified, ensuring that when users access the dashboard they see only the templates they need to update and the latest up to date reports.
The company has also recognised that users outside finance do not always want to log into a new system. Vena is therefore now able to push reports to users via email. These, according to Grover, can either be an Excel or PDF version that will enable staff to view them remotely or interactive real time views of the current report. The latter is accessed through a link that brings the user back into the Vena solution.
Once inside the task manager, users are able to chat as well as add supporting documentation, with additional commentary. Grover sees this ability to add any type of document as an important collaboration tool. It enables users to add files such as photos, invoices or anything to support the updates they make.
Enhancing the value to finance
The key to the improvement seems to be about improving the ease of use for the end users and delivering more and better information to finance teams. Vena has also improved the ETL functionality in the software. This allows users outside of finance to connect more of their source systems, data and models to the planning system.
From the finance teams point of view this delivers a significant advantage. Grover explained: ”When finance looks at the data, in aggregation to easily be able to drill down into a number and see all the details behind that number, all the models that support that number very easily to perform their analysis.”
Users are now able to see both the summary data that they uploaded and the detail behind it. The additional functionality that Vena brings can enabled departmental users to view that information in a different light. For example, the reports might break the information down by region from within the planning solution. Bringing all the data together should help teams coordinate better with each other producing a more accurate and complete view of past and future projections.
What does this mean
With the latest release it is clear that Grover believes Vena has taken a step closer to “Utopia”. For the customer he sees two clear advantages:
- “To overcome or minimise change management. It is the biggest hurdle to integrated planning”
- “Users get quick time to value”
The first of these is addressed by Vena adopting a user interface that is simpler to use and enables non-finance teams to bring in their own data sets and supporting documents easily. The second is accomplished through delivering reports and more information into the hands of those users quickly.