Cloud-based CPM applications for enterprise planning, financial consolidation, management and regulatory reporting, and budgeting and planning analytics are implemented by us to address the challenges faced by clients dealing with unwieldy Excel spreadsheets and the need for autonomous IT operations.
Companies often try to use a single product to support business processes that are very different. Still, it is essential to note that software vendors often promote their solutions as one-size-fits-all. When encountering such claims, it is crucial to consider that there is typically a conceptual alignment with an all-purpose platform. You should be wary of the very high costs that come with these sites. Frequently, this stems from a lack of understanding regarding how modern technologies effectively support various business processes. We have seen companies spend much money on platforms that aren’t very specialised to solve problems that could have been solved with purpose-built apps for a fraction of the cost. So, in today’s business world, finding the right tool for each business need is more important than ever.
There appears to be considerable confusion surrounding the term “analytics.” Executive stakeholders seek to adopt a cost-effective, platform-centric BI strategy that experiences strong user adoption. However, they often become perplexed by the array of products and terminologies that sound similar when presented by salespeople. To alleviate some of this confusion, it is crucial to understand the fundamental differences between Corporate Performance Management (CPM), Business Intelligence (BI), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These three technologies should coexist harmoniously, each serving their respective roles.
ERP – CPM – BI: the definitions per Gartner
a. According to Gartner, CPM is an umbrella term that describes the methodologies, metrics, processes, and systems used to monitor and manage the business performance of an enterprise. The most commonly used functionalities include financial consolidation, reporting and disclosure, budgeting & planning, and analytics.
b. Gartner defines BI as an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance. Commonly used functionalities include data discovery, visualization, and big data.
c. ERP applications automate and support a range of administrative and operational business processes across multiple industries, including line of business, customer-facing, administrative and asset management aspects of an enterprise.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is not Corporate Planning Management (CPM)
The company supported CPM functionalities concerning data collection and data validation through the utilisation of ERP technology. Similar to many companies in Singapore, certain overseas subsidiaries employed a different ERP brand compared to the platform utilised at the head office.
Consequently, data collection became a daunting task for these overseas subsidiaries. The monthly reporting had to conform to a journal entry format to align with the corporate ERP. Mapping the local chart of accounts to the corporate chart of accounts and translating the functional currency to the corporate functional currency were carried out using Excel. This resulted in a convoluted process that lacked transparency and was highly susceptible to errors. The overseas subsidiaries had to exert substantial effort to deliver the monthly reporting to the corporate centre. Non-financial reporting, such as headcount figures, had to be generated outside the corporate ERP and typically relied on Excel.
Business Intelligence (BI) is not CPM
A company sought to use BI technology to help CPM support financial unification functions. However, the BI tool could not cope with the currency conversion of equity at a historical cost. Consequently, their worldwide operations always had to recalculate the consolidated equity and especially the currency translation reserve in Excel.
In addition, the BI tool didn’t have any features for process control. Its database would always have the most current data set, so the business centre would always aim at a moving target. Since reported times couldn’t be closed appropriately, corporate reports usually show data that is constantly changing because prices are always changing.
Shearwater & Workday Adaptive Planning
As you can garner, it highlights the importance of addressing the corporation’s business processes, each with the right technology. Neither EPR nor BI is meant for integrated Business Planning & Analytics applications. With prominent CPM solution Workday Adaptive Planning and Shearwater’s professional service, you can enjoy best-in-class enterprise planning software that gives you the unique power to plan, execute, and analyse in one system. You can make better strategic decisions more effectively and achieve greater business efficiency, agility and growth.