The themes of both releases are enhancing user experience and deepening analytics, themes which will continue to be key going forward.
FinancialForce has made a pair of update announcements to their cloud PSA [professional services automation] and ERP software, with the general availability of their Fall 2019 Release and the pre-release of their Winter 2020 Release. The common threads in both – and in the roadmap going forward – is deepening the software’s analytics capabilities and further improving the user experience.
FinancialForce has been doing four releases a year since fall 2017. Their Spring and Fall ones are major releases, while the Winter and Summer ones are typically minor.
FinancialForce works closely with Salesforce, and its CRM software and is built on the Salesforce platform, although the companies are separate and FinancialForce has customers who are not Salesforce users. In addition, unlike Salesforce, FinancialForce has been historically focused on the midmarket rather than the enterprise.
“Overall, the companies that buy us tend to be services companies – like high tech, medical tech, and professional services,” said Dan Brown, FinancialForce’s Chief Product Officer. “The upper midmarket to lower midmarket is the sweet spot for our ERP – 100 to 5000 seats. It’s similar for our PSA, although we also sell that to very large companies.”
FinancialForce is focused on expanding its presence upmarket however, and sees the enhancements in the two announced releases as helping to drive that.
“We are moving upmarket,” Brown said. “We have been investing heavily in capabilities that are important to larger customers, with the addition of new workspaces and new analytics capabilities.
Workspaces, which first appeared in the Spring 2019 release, leverage the Salesforce Lightning interface from FinancialForce’s native Salesforce capabilities to provide a role-based environment that incorporates the functionality required for that role.
“We have made a lot of investment here in the user experience across the portfolio,” Brown said. “These role-based workspaces provide all the relevant information in one place, including alerts, key indicators, tasks, navigation and embedded analytics.”
The Fall release adds a Resource Manager Workspace to the PSA, Period End Close and Cash Management workspaces to FinancialForce Accounting, and Procurement Manager Workspace to Order and Inventory Management. The Spring release adds Billing Manager Workspace to Billing and Revenue Management, Accounts Payable Workspace to Accounting and Finance, and Order Fulfilment Workspace to Order and Inventory Management. There is also a foundational ERP System Administration for all modules.
The Fall release also adds three new packaged dashboards that use predictive analytics from Salesforce help organizations forecast and predict revenue trends.
“We have made significant investments in the analytics areas,” Brown stated. “Analytics is not a strong point for off the shelf software.”
The three new dashboards include a Revenue Trend Predictions Dashboard that empowers finance teams with predictive KPIs for income statement and balance sheet metrics.
“We have really leveraged Einstein, to provide confidence intervals from historical trends and what revenue will look like,” Brown said. “It applies a regression technique that uses Einstein capabilities out-of-the box.”
The other two new dashboards are PSA Billing Forecasting, which provides enhanced forecasting capabilities that support time and materials and fixed-fee percentage complete forecasting methods, and a Subscription Bookings Dashboard that lets SaaS companies easily track subscription revenue trends over time using advanced visualizations.
Other enhancements include new PSA integrations with SAP Concur, for multiple projects and assignments, and with Atlassian’s Jira project tracking software. New consolidated invoicing capabilities give FinancialForce customers the option of creating a single bill from multiple sources, including services originating from FinancialForce PSA. Project Gantt improves FinancialForce’s Gantt charts with more custom fields and enhanced filtering, as well as Gantt in Communities, which lets users bring customers and partners into projects.
Brown said the roadmap will continue these themes of enhancing user experience and deepening analytics.
“We are moving our financials more upmarket, and adding greater depth in enterprise scalability to our PSA product, which now serves some of the largest companies in the world,” he stated.