Host Analytics, the leading provider of scalable, cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions, today unveiled Fall17 – the latest release of its award-winning technology for financial planning, modeling, consolidation, and reporting. Host Analytics Fall17 features the powerful new Model Manager; Host Dashboards module; enhancements to reporting, planning, and consolidation functionalities; and updates to Online Help. With an eye on innovation, Fall17 continues to link financial and operational planning for improved organizational and strategic alignment.
The solution aligns financial plans with operational plans in areas of sales, marketing, and supply chain, for accurate, big-picture financial planning and analysis across the organization to drive peak performance. New modeling capabilities streamline future scenario analysis, while Host Dashboards supports delivery of real-time insights to the organization for better, faster decision making.
According to a Gartner report, “by 2020, at least 75 percent of organizations will seek to improve the accuracy and actionability of financial planning and analysis by using operational data from multiple business domains.” The report continues, “by 2020, at least 25 percent of organizations will achieve more collaborative, continuous and consistent financial planning and performance management by closely linking key operational and financial planning processes.”
“The need for businesses to understand strategic planning and modeling of future scenarios has never been more crucial,” said Ron Baden, chief product officer at Host Analytics. “This is driving a shift in EPM to provide new functionality to empower finance departments in becoming forward-looking business partners that capture and analyze data to assess opportunities and drive new value.”
Model Manager Supports Strategic Planning with Ease for the Road Ahead
Fall17 introduces Model Manager, a powerful new tool that radically simplifies the development of financial and operational models. With business factors constantly changing, the operational side of the business is more dependent than ever on finance to produce real-time information on business drivers and the potential outcomes of different strategies.
Model Manager offers breakthrough ease of use that eliminates the need for IT involvement and custom scripting language. This dramatically reduces time and effort and enables line of business leaders to leverage modeling for a wide range of use cases, including sales bookings waterfall, marketing demand generation, professional services utilization, call center agent productivity, inventory depletion, and long-term plans. Through increased modeling adoption, organizations can unify and integrate operational models across the organization.
“Model Manager will drive even higher adoption of Host Modeling in finance and across the business,” said Ian Vishnevsky, senior manager of FP&A at Machinima, Inc., a next-generation video entertainment and gaming network developer. “That's huge because it will help increase the speed and accuracy of our business models and allow them to be integrated into our financial plan.”
Visualize Data with Self-Service Dashboards
The Host Dashboards self-service interface is flexible, configurable, and easy to use, so any user can build and share dashboards. It allows monitoring of key performance indicators and top-level metrics to gain insights into how the company is executing against its plans. Line of business leaders are now able to further investigate anomalies via built-in data drill-down capabilities, reducing the burden on finance to produce ad hoc reports while maximizing user adoption.
Online Help Offers Contextual Self-Service Guidance
Consistent with Host Analytics goal of standardizing the use of EPM throughout the organization, the new release offers comprehensive online help to improve time-to-value and streamlined enterprise-wide deployment. Building on the product’s already robust library of use cases, the new release includes more advanced use cases geared to address more complex EPM customer needs. Built with the user in mind, Online Help is available on any device and provides in-context content to deliver assistance right when users need it most.
Reducing Complexity in Reporting and Planning and Shortening Cycle Time for Consolidation
“In an increasingly data-driven environment, financial planning and analysis groups spend too much time on repetitive, mechanical tasks that add little value,” said Rob Kugel, senior vice president and research director at Ventana Research. “Sixty-eight percent of finance pros surveyed in our recent finance analytics benchmark research study say they spend the greatest portion of their time doing data preparation; while only 28 percent spend the bulk of their time doing what they’re most qualified to do – financial analysis.”
Fall17 features include a new CTA Proof Report and enhancements to Dynamic Journal Entries and Mass Currency uploads, which help reduce audit fees and reduce manual efforts to speed consolidation. A more intuitive user interface provides improved performance for offline users, and updated Subline Planning and Subline Validation make planning and forecasting alignment easier and faster than ever before.
“We continue the drumbeat of innovation, enhancing every aspect of our product line,” said Dave Kellogg, CEO of Host Analytics. “Our Host Analytics flagship product continues to evolve, offering an improved experience for finance users as well as superior functionality to make the solution more intuitive and easy to use for line of business leaders with the understanding that EPM is not just for finance anymore.”
 Gartner, “Critical Capabilities for Cloud Strategic Corporate Performance Management Solutions,” Christopher Iervolino, John E. Van Decker, 04 September 2017.