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Financial management software vendors march ahead

Financial management software vendors FinancialForce, Vena Solutions and Model N have made recent moves to upgrade products, add third-party integrations or accelerate innovation.

New product announcements by FinancialForce, Vena Solutions and Model N show how midmarket financial management...

software providers use integration and innovation strategies to compete with the large ERP firms.

FinancialForce is doing more with Salesforce's AI capability, Vena Solutions is expanding its third-party integrations and Model N is working to accelerate innovation in its financial management software.

Here's a rundown of the latest announcements.

Model N introduces innovation lab

Model N, a cloud revenue management firm, is creating a customer innovation lab. It's called RainmakerDX, with DX standing for digital transformation.

The firm is inviting its customers to submit ideas for improving operations. Digital innovation labs aren't unusual creations. Vendors, as well as end-user firms, have been moving rapidly to create these labs. With this announcement, Model N is joining this trend.

This innovation work may help customers develop new business methods, services and offerings, said Neeraj Gokhale, chief product officer at Model N. "It's a way of driving breakthrough innovation," he said.

The effort could lead to industrywide or customer-specific outcomes. The innovation lab work may change "the way the industry interacts in general" or help a customer make "a significant difference in their offerings," Gokhale said.

This work counts as an R&D expense. Model N, which keeps the intellectual property but picks up most of the development cost, is seeking projects that have a three- to six-month development potential.

FinancialForce updates its major applications

FinancialForce's work includes helping develop subscription- and services-based businesses. A goal is to help customers get to a more predictable recurring business model. The financial management software operates on the Salesforce cloud platform. This also means utilizing Salesforce's AI technology, dubbed Einstein, in FinancialForce's products to help improve its financial automation.

We're not looking to have our customers go out and have to hire a bunch of business analysts or an army of data scientists.
David KraussGlobal solutions evangelist, FinancialForce

The ERP cloud vendor's spring updates include a new release of its Billing Central application with the ability to automate proration calculations and adjustments.

Increasing innovation and automation in financial management software is a major goal for FinancialForce, said David Krauss, the firm's global solutions evangelist.

"We're not looking to have our customers go out and have to hire a bunch of business analysts or an army of data scientists," Krauss said. Instead, the company wants to embed the analytical capabilities in its applications, he said.

The new updates also provide support for the latest IFRS 15 (International Financial Reporting Standards) and ASC 606 (Accounting Standards Codification) revenue recognition standards.

FinancialForce has also upgraded its Professional Services Automation. One change improves the speed and accuracy of resources assigned to a project.

Vena Solutions integrates with Sage Intacct

Vena Solutions, a company that makes cloud-based corporate performance management software, is now available on the Sage Intacct Marketplace.

What this move means is: "You can have tighter integration with the two software products," said Don Mal, CEO of Vena Solutions. The announcement also shows "our customers that we are broadening our horizon" through relationships, he said.

Vena has partnerships with NetSuite, a provider of ERP; CRM and financial management software acquired by Oracle in 2016; and FinancialForce.

One key feature that Vena said distinguishes it is its native Excel support.

Third-party products in the Sage marketplace are ready to integrate, providing a best-of-breed option for firms.

Vena, a seven-year-old firm, has over 200 employees and said it has 400 customers globally.

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