Host Analytics: Reimagining EPM

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Host Analytics: Reimagining EPM

CIO VendorDave Kellogg, CEO Wouldn’t it be a dream come true for an organization to know that its year-end financial results match up exactly with the budget that was set at the beginning of the fiscal year? However, such instances seldom happen because change is inevitable—economic conditions change, industries are disrupted, and competitors change tactics. To survive and thrive in this volatile market, organizations need to have agile business processes that allow them to adapt and change in response to changing market. So Gartner advises organizations to move from conventional Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) models to hybrid approaches since the analyst firm predicts that very soon about 80 percent of new financial close deployments will be best of breed cloud. While the industry is attempting to find EPM systems that would link business cycle to the business users—in a platform that is user-owned and operated, Host Analytics is disrupting the traditional EPM market by offering a cloud-delivery model that ensures improved execution speed, broader organizational accountability, and deeper business insight of modern enterprise EPM applications.

“We’re trying to do to Hyperion what Salesforce did to Siebel and the entire CRM category. We’re a cloud disruption company,” states Dave Kellogg, CEO at Host Analytics. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, Host Analytics has been taking the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) applications market head-on with its cloud-based delivery model.

As a testimony, the company has introduced a migration program to shift ‘legacy’ Hyperion customers to its cloud-based financial service, and organizations like Earthlink, Quicklogic, Sanmina, and SkyHawke Technologies are few names which have already migrated to EPM in the Cloud with Host Analytics. “Our systems cost one-quarter of a typical on premises solution and customers can be up and running in a matter of weeks,” says Kellogg.

Having held positions as SVP and GM at Salesforce.com, CEO of MarkLogic, and head of marketing at Business Object, Kellogg speaks of the current CPM market scenario as one in which the opportunity is large, but there are still challenges to growing the business.

Today, every function within the enterprise has adopted cloud-based application solutions except finance which is the last department to go to the cloud. There is only one percent penetration till now for cloud-based finance software offering a massive opportunity to organizations to venture in this space.

Taking Finance to Cloud

Determined to attain a leading-edge in the EPM market, Host Analytics has come forward with a cloud EPM suite that improves financial and operational agility by empowering users within and beyond finance to perform speed-of-thought analysis and create advanced business models that align and link with financial plans and forecasts. The product enables flexible powerful forecasting, with the familiarity of Excel, in a unified and complete platform. Streamlining financial and managerial reporting has also been made easier with a drag-and-drop report writer and an automated report publisher that improves transparency and reduces compliance costs. The suite further offers automated consolidation that supports global accounting standards, flexible reporting, and personalized dashboards. Organizations can now unlock valuable insights using Host Analytics’ solution that is actually easy to use—without IT support—and enables one to create and manage company performance through interactive dashboards and scorecards generated at enterprise, department, and individual levels. And all these features are extended with the business agility, improved security, and cost advantages of the cloud to free finance from the headaches of managing a system, keeping them focused on their job and helping the company meet its goals.


Our strategy is excellence in EPM, taking EPM to the cloud, and we want to create an environment where the best people in EPM want to work


The biggest advantage that the cloud-delivery model offers is to allow customers to own the system. It’s a way around the dependence on IT and is more customizable and as such companies like NEC, Burlington Coat Factory and many others have placed their trust on Host Analytics to power their strategic financial processes. For instance, Zep, a provider of specialty chemical products, while approaching a new fiscal planning cycle discovered that their long-time budgeting and planning software, Hyperion Pillar had outlasted its technology lifecycle. Initially, the company pursued an upgrade to their on-premises vendor’s newer offering but as they realized that the upgrade could take more than a year, the company approached Host Analytics. In addition to addressing Zep’s business requirements, Host Analytics’ EPM suite added new functionality like Advanced Workforce Planning. The customer further implemented Host Analytics’ Consolidation and Reporting to meet management reporting requirements and adapt to business acquisitions. The implementation allowed the customer to seamlessly incorporate four acquisitions within a year and deliver complete information in the month of acquisition.
Reinforcing Value to Customers

Since its inception, Host Analytics has been delivering innovative new solutions for long-term strategic planning, integrating operational and financial planning, recycling Excel-based planning models into centralized, secure planning applications, and using cloud technologies to empower finance professionals, who could now own the evolution of their EPM applications. However, the company’s thought leaders believe that it takes more than just a powerful product to help customers succeed. Host Analytics has consequently designed programs to accelerate the adoption of its solutions for its customers. For instance, with the Oracle Hyperion Migration Program offered by the company, customers receive the same functionality but at a fraction of the cost. It also presents itself with flexible implementation options like a phased or a hybrid strategy since some organizations prefer a hybrid approach and leverage Host Analytics’ advantages without fully replacing their implementation. Host Analytics ApplicationLink for Oracle Hyperion enables automated bi-directional integration in these hybrid deployments. Another solution, the sales planning, helps customer achieve accurate revenue forecasts by integrating sales pipeline data with financial data. Host Analytics doesn’t stop there and extends a unique FutureFit Plan to customers intending to maximize the value that they get from the company. The plan is designed to fine-tune and optimize all aspects of the customer’s application, from integration and data loading to reports, modeling, and template design. It ensures an efficient application and better processes for planning and reporting.

One Solution, Many Benefits

Host Analytics’ Cloud EPM Suite is not only preferred for its cost effectiveness but also because of the application’s ability to handle customer’s complex accounting and financial needs. The increased business agility and flexibility makes the company’s cloud-based delivery model a more desirable product than its competitors. Organizations on recognizing the improved adoption and collaboration offered by the application, have embraced the fact that gaining input and intelligence of line of business managers becomes much more feasible with a cloud-based model. "Pretty much everyone has recognized that EPM buyers increasingly prefer the Cloud. Those buyers are turning to Host Analytics to get the same or better robust EPM functionality they love, but at a fraction of the cost of traditional on-premises EPM systems like Hyperion. What's more, when turning to Host Analytics they get both a true multi-tenant Cloud architecture that maximizes agility as well as a true Cloud business model that aligns vendor and customer interests," says Kellogg.

The CEO believes that Host Analytics’ culture is a major driving force behind its success. He describes culture and strategy to be highly aligned phenomenon that shouldn’t be practiced as independent exercises. “In our culture at Host Analytics, we’re super customer-centric. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been so successful. For us, our strategy is excellence in EPM, taking EPM to the cloud, and we want to create an environment where the best people in EPM want to work.”

- Syeda Tina Tabin
    November 14, 2016