FinancialForce, a developer of cloud software for services, finance, and customer success teams, last week introduced its Spring 2023 software update, featuring a dashboard for scheduling risks in service delivery and enhancements to its ERP Cloud application aimed at increasing productivity in financial functions.
The company summarized the enhancements as a means for customers to achieve greater confidence and visibility in order to deliver services efficiently and profitably. FinancialForce positions its software as a Services-as-a-Business (SaaB) platform that runs on Salesforce.
FinancialForce CEO Scott Brown delivered a business update along with details of the product release, underscoring its commitment to serving the professional services industry.
“We will continue to be absolutely laser-focused on the service economy. The service economy represents two-thirds of global GDP, and it is a great place to be because it is a highly under-vended part of the IT market,” Brown said. The company now has over 1,000 employees with more than 500 in research and development and “that’s why we can bring so much new innovation into the marketplace so quickly he said.” The company issues three product releases per year.
Professional Services Cloud, Customer Success Cloud Updates
FinancialForce’s Spring ’23 Professional Services (PS) Cloud release is headlined by a Scheduling Risk Dashboard designed to help project managers identify risk in scheduled work and its potential impact on services delivery. Leaders get alerts when projects are not tracking in line with plans and impacting revenue so they can take corrective actions. This should help with capacity planning, reducing revenue leaks, and increasing confidence in a firm’s revenue outlook.
Brown said the risk dashboard should particularly strike a chord with customers and he can see immediate applicability and benefits. “I would love to have that ability to look ahead, see the risk, see what impacts are coming in the future and be able to have an early intervention to solve those problems.” Brown speaks from experience: He’s a former FinancialForce customer who previously worked at Teradata and Cisco.
A new Skills Hierarchy function is intended to help organizations manage resources and skills at scale. Intended for use by resource managers and personnel, Skills Hierarchy makes it easier to find the right skill for a function from an extensive skills taxonomy. By keeping resources and skills up to date and accurate, PS Cloud can effectively allocate resources by identifying the best matches and building the best team for a project. This should directly impact customers’ satisfaction level with the services firm.
Other new features include:
- Estimate Export, which provides estimate details in a format that can be readily added to proposals or statements of work to deliver accurate estimates to prospective clients faster
- Work Planner, which provides visibility into “unheld” resource requests and scheduled work to ensure full staffing for committed work, presented in a modern UX.
FinancialForce has worked with customers to co-create key features of PS Cloud, specifically around a family of playbooks associated with managing the customer lifecycle. “Sitting down with a customer, partnering with the customer, identifying what the goals of the solution are, and then tracking that all the way through the customer life cycle with an intentional customer success plan and then a family of playbooks that are associated with that, that’s what we support today,” said Daniel Brown, chief product and strategy officer. A couple of these customers are about to go live with this new functionality.
Multi-cloud analytics provider Teradata has been using PS Cloud for a number of years. Jim Lewis, the company’s vice president of global customer service, said new and planned PS Cloud functionality should create better visibility in his organization. “If I can capture the demand in the pipeline and we document that in the sales cycle, and then look at what that has to do with our supply and demand, and then also be able to look at that when it comes to our revenue forecasting, it’ll be huge,” Lewis says.
ERP Cloud Enhancements
The company’s new ERP Cloud release provides end-to-end revenue recognition automation, so customers can configure their reporting and data by company, currency, or revenue stream while gaining greater visibility into expected revenue.
A new Advanced Versioning feature can be used by Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams to take budget snapshots, establishing version control and keeping a clear record of changes made and why they were made. Enhancements promise to slash budget configuration time dramatically by creating multiple budgets across all departments in a single process.
The updated Payments and Collections feature lets users edit payments prior to completion and reduces manual effort. An improved review and distribution process has been developed for customer reminders and statements.
The ERP Cloud upgrade establishes collection reminder rules that can be shared across all legal entities, and it will identify potential collection risks through built-in intelligence.
Daniel Brown described the company’s latest updates as building on the functionality of Salesforce’s software.
“The value proposition of being on the Salesforce platform is we get to take all of their innovation and surface it and move it to the next level. And this is a really great example of where we’re able to take their innovation and really extend it,” he said, referencing end-to-end automation. “You create a so-called set it and forget it revenue recognition so that when all those pieces come together and you’re delivering work or you’re delivering software, how does that flow through from your billing side all the way through and contract renewal and into revenue recognition?”
He added: “This is a pain point in a lot of companies and it’s one of the things that product-centric solutions don’t do well. We do it extremely well.”
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