Spring Geese, Image by Elsemargriet from PixabayCertinia has announced the latest release of its software. The spring 2024 release contains improvements across PS Cloud, ERP Cloud and CS Cloud. Certinia has also continued to infuse AI across the applications under an ethos of pragmatic AI.

Enterprise Times attended a briefing where D J Paoni, CEO, gave an update on the company and the Certinia team. Dan Brown, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, then explained and demonstrated details of what is in this latest release and a glimpse of the future.

Company update

Paoni joined the company just prior to the last release. This was the first open briefing he has given about the company. He revealed that Certinia closed a strong fiscal 24 at the end of January. Customer Success Cloud continues to gain traction despite being in early adopter mode. It is likely to become generally available later in the year. There are several customers live and more implementing the solution. Certinia is still looking for early adopters.

Douglas (DJ) Paoni, CEO Certinia
Douglas (DJ) Paoni, CEO Certinia

While he shared little in the way of statistics, DJ Paoni revealed that the company had achieved a net promotor score of 40. With enterprise customers saying they have seen an increase in value from working with Certinia. Paoni shared that Thales, Celonis and UiPath have recently commented on that value and added two recent examples.

“Salesforce recently shared that they’ve experienced an increase in their billable hours by 14 million, and they’re pushing 2.5 billion through BS cloud. Siemens is another example. With PS Cloud, they’ve been able to better plan capacity and improve utilisation across 5,000 projects. The company has seen the highest billable utilisation rate in seven years.”

Enterprise Times asked Certinia whether it would share more quantitative information in future updates. These might include growth %, revenue, ARR, and retention to further evidence its success.

Mike Tomlinson, PR Manager, replied, “We’re working to determine a consistent reporting plan in concert with Haveli and will hopefully have more to share next quarter.

Looking forward at Certinia

Certinia has recently strengthened its leadership. Following Paoni’s arrival, there were several changes, including the recent appointment of Drew Chapin as Chief Marketing Officer. With a new team in place, Paoni gave his thoughts on the coming year ahead, saying.

“We’re bullish about the next era of growth for the company. We really are. Now, what especially fuels our momentum is the market opportunity in front of us, which is huge. Nearly two-thirds of all global economic activity is delivered through services.

“In working with our customer base, we know that the path to creating business certainty relies on three key areas, which serve as the strategic pillars for our product portfolio. First is running a connected business. The backbone of every business today must be digital. So we all know that, and it must always be connected.

“The second is delivering with intelligence. This is about smart automation, ensuring information flows seamlessly across the customer’s journey.

“The third point is you have to be able to convert services potential into profit. Automating repeatable processes and improving business visibility helps focus time and talent toward value creation, which ultimately leads to meaningful margin contribution.”

The Certinia product portfolio and the latest updates continue to support and strengthen these three pillars.

Key highlights from Spring 24

The Certinia Spring 24 release has enhanced several capabilities to help services businesses generate more accurate forecasts, make informed decisions, and boost team productivity. With the support of the prompt builder and copilot, users can quickly generate reports and content that might have taken hours.

Improve the turnaround of estimates

Processing an estimation can take about 32.7 days, according to Certinia. To shorten that time Certinia has introduced guided scoping. The new features enable a user to select various services and products. Then guide the user through a set of pre-configured questions for each line. Users can quickly build an estimate by answering simple questions such as whether an implementation project will be conducted off-site or on-site and if it is of low, medium or high complexity.

The advantage is that the data is kept on the platform. Certinia has also introduced an AI capability that then helps predict the chance of an estimate winning the deal. The user uses another new feature to simulate estimate win rates. The system uses AI and what-if scenarios to provide insights on how to win a deal. The user can opt to see whether introducing a partner to the project team will help win the deal based on historic projects.

This intelligence can give customers a differentiation and competitive advantage in tenders. Enterprise Times asked Chloe Stephenson, Senior Product Strategy Manager, whether Certinia would use GenAI to calculate and recommend the optimal estimate.

She answered, “We have been exploring Gen AI use cases to generate optimal outcomes across PS Cloud, and that includes creating estimates. We are targeting to begin productizing the highest-demand use cases from our customers in the latter half of the year.”

Resource management

A new allocation view will use the intelligent staffing algorithm. This will highlight the optimal resources for the estimated piece of work. The user can review the resource plan and adjust it depending on resource availability and utilisation.

There are also improvements to the work planner, which include the ability to adjust between hours and percentages. As well as new filters for matching resources based on skills and distance. Enterprise Times asked Stephenson how that distance is calculated. And whether customers can filter by time to travel, travel cost and CO2 emissions.

Stephenson replied, “When staffing resource requests, it is now possible to filter resources based on the distance between the address on their contact record and the address of the on-site work. It can be displayed in either miles or km. With the calculated distance sortable and displayed on the list of resources to choose from. Travel, travel cost and CO2 emissions filtering are great use cases. The support of which can be achieved in the product today through the use of custom fields.”

Connect delivery to project financials

A new project overview enables users to view information from three key dashboards scheduling, revenue forecast and budgeting and highlight areas of risk. The user can drill down to find information. For example, if there is a scheduling risk, then they can drill down, identify the issue and take immediate actions to rectify it.

A new PSA project billings dashboard summarises the transactional data within a project. It shows the work in progress across billing. It highlights elements that have not yet been billed, which may be disputed. With this information in hand, project managers can quickly identify the reason for late billing and take action to rectify the issue.

Time and resources

Projects always change, and the ability to push tasks back quickly is a given. However, Certinia identifies if a change to a task schedule will impact other tasks. For example, if a training session is delayed by a week because the customer isn’t ready, the user can see that the trainer is not available in a week but has time in two weeks. This eliminates the butterfly effect after the fact, where conflicts only emerge at the last minute.

Transform finance and ops teams into business storytellers

Across the application, the new generative AI capability gives users the ability to ask for and receive summaries of information from different points within the report builder. For example, it may be a project summary which leverages not just transactional data but also the machine learning insights from that data giving more value to the summary.

This new functionality works for both operations and finance teams. It will significantly reduce the time taken to produce reports and increase their value.

Orchestration of customer success

Within customer success a new Account Health score helps organisations to drive success against all customer success managers’ accounts. It is used to track how value is delivered to customers over time. It is made up of several metrics, such as revenue, support, and touchpoints. Customers will also be able to add additional metrics themselves if they exist within the Salesforce platform. These metrics are weighted to create the overall health score.

The platform also helps to orchestrate actions if a metric falls below a threshold. For example, if a check-in is missed, it might notify an escalation path. A playbook might be initiated if another metric falls below another threshold, with other contacts brought in or alerted to the issue. This orchestration of customer success brings greater visibility to the performance of the customer success team and also helps retention.

Integration to the PSA element of the Certinia Cloud is also enabled when actions from playbooks need resources. From within the playbook, the CSM can request the relevant resources for a specific task.

Certinia Account Health Score
Certinia Account Health Score

Enterprise Times asked Will Spice, VP of Product Management, a couple of questions about the update. How can users create what-if scenarios for weighting the health scorecard, or is there only one version?

He answered, “Today, there is one health scorecard per account, but by our next release, you will be able to have multiple scorecards per account. You will also be able to set up scorecards for different segments. So you’re tracking different metrics for your enterprise accounts than your mid-market accounts, for example.”

Are the health scorecards personalised by account?

Spice replied, “Yes, you can do this, although our focus is on health scorecards per segment so that you’re tracking, comparing and taking actions based on the health of similar accounts.”

Other improvements

The above are just some of the many features in this new release. Others include improvements to both the product and the implementation services. These were revealed by Dan Brown, Chief Product and Technology Officer.

“We’re driving digitization in the enterprise through mass action and consolidating billing and document management in one place. And then, last but not least, the way that we drive time to value by really expediting our customer success on their go-lives. We already have a very strong way of bringing our customers on board and updated on a regular basis. We’ve invested even more than that. Roughly 80% of our deployments now are automatable through pre-configured deployments.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Certinia has delivered another impressive update with a huge raft of improvements across multiple areas within its applications. Importantly, it is also possible to see where it will add further improvements to the platform. As it continues to invest in AI to drive productivity and competitive advantages for its customers.

For services organisations, time is money, and the automations and new generative AI capabilities reflect the pragmatic approach to AI that Certinia is taking. Many of the updates are focused on automating processes or reducing the amount of time the user needs to spend completing one.

Customers looking to access full details of the latest release can visit the Release Hub on Certinia Community.


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