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Special Report: Corporate performance management trends and CPM news

Check out this special report on trends in corporate performance management (CPM) and forecasting, planning and budgeting software.

In this special report, get tips for evaluating corporate performance management (CPM) software vendors, read up on the latest trends in CPM adoption, and find out how the CPM and forecasting, planning and budgeting software markets are faring in difficult economic times.

Also, get insights from experienced users who have deployed CPM and forecasting, planning and budgeting software in their organizations, as well as tips for getting the most out of your CPM investment.

Key considerations for evaluating CPM software and CPM vendors
Corporate performance management (CPM) software usually is first purchased to address tactical problems, such as the need for better and faster budgeting or financial reporting in the case of financial performance management tools.

But forecasting, planning and budgeting software and other CPM applications have evolved significantly over the years, gaining new features and functionality. Now, even smaller vendors are offering suites of related products, in addition to the veritable CPM hotels sold by the largest vendors.

Before you embark on the deployment of a corporate performance management system, get expert advice on evaluating CPM software vendors and purchasing CPM software, including financial performance management tools.

CPM software adoption still low despite financial planning benefits
For a leading-edge semiconductor company, eSilicon's financial planning, forecasting and budgeting processes were anything but.

In fact, until recently, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company had no standard, enterprise-wide forecasting and budgeting processes at all, according to Larry Peyton, director of finance at eSilicon. At the end of each month, all of the company's departments would calculate their financials in Excel. The result was a lengthy, mostly manual, error-prone process that led to more than one embarrassing boardroom encounter.

The situation at eSilicon isn’t a rare one. Most companies continue to use Excel spreadsheets and manual processes over CPM software for financial planning, forecasting and budgeting, despite the potential value of using CPM software. Find out why.

BI market eked out growth in 2009, but CPM sales stagnated
The corporate performance management (CPM) market did not fare as well as the business intelligence (BI) market in 2009, with sales staying essentially flat year-over-year.

Total revenue for CPM software and maintenance fees stood at $2.2 billion for 2009, virtually identical to the 2008 level, according to a recent IDC report. The analyst firm expects growth to pick up, however, as more companies become aware of the benefits of CPM software and federal and state regulatory compliance requirements continue to increase.

“The need to comply with government regulations, including International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), will drive demand for updated consolidation and reporting software as well as financial governance, risk and compliance applications,” IDC’s Brian McDonough wrote in the report.

Poor performance sours city on financial budgeting software vendor
The city of Vancouver, Wash., has been using on-demand financial budgeting software from SaaS CPM vendor Host Analytics since 2006. And for Natasha Ramras, the city’s budgeting and planning manager, that’s just about long enough.

Among Ramras’ chief complaints with Host Analytics is the platform’s lack of stability. Even just a handful of users trying to access the Web-based software concurrently can bring the system down, she said -- that is, when it even works in the first place. But Host Analytics claims the city has been a “problem account,” unwilling to upgrade to a more modern version of the software.

To avoid problems with SaaS applications, many experts suggest that customers work out clear service-level agreements (SLAs) with vendors, with specific penalties for the vendor should the SLAs not be met. Of course, this is easier to do with some vendors than others.

Effective performance management, CPM software: Out of the shadows?
As organizations begin to shift their focus from surviving to thriving in an improving but still-uncertain global economy, corporate performance management (CPM) software may be poised to become front and center in the minds of savvy chief financial officers and other business executives.

But there’s still plenty of room for the CPM market to grow. According to Gartner, only about 60% of large enterprises and less than 30% of midsized organizations have adopted CPM applications thus far. And the consulting firm says that most users have installed finance-oriented point products instead of full-fledged enterprise CPM systems.

Learn more about the state of the CPM software market and why effective performance management techniques are getting more attention from some companies because of the weak economy.

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