In May of this year, we had the pleasure of hosting Howard Dresner, the founder and CEO of Dresner Advisory Services, as a speaker at the Prophix Conference in Nashville. In his session, he spoke about “a Modern Management System” that unifies and optimizes people, processes, and technologies to achieve higher levels of performance and accountability. Howard went on to explain that Performance Management underpins “a Modern Management System,” in that it fortifies the management cycle with enterprise-class modeling, planning, BI and analytics in a single system. This perspective and expertise are based on his ongoing analysis of the Enterprise Performance Management Market.
For the past five years, Dresner Advisory Services has conducted an annual study of this sector and their analysis has become a key, go-to report for those looking to know more about this increasingly important topic. The latest version of the report was published on June 27, 2019, and includes a positive review of Prophix, positioning the company as an Overall Leader in the sector (2019 Edition: Wisdom of Crowds® Enterprise Performance Management Market Study – June 27, 2019, Dresner Advisory Services).
In fact, Prophix is the only vendor that has ranked in the top right quadrant of both the Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models, while also achieving a perfect recommend score every year the survey has been conducted. As part of their review, Dresner noted that Prophix’s overall score has improved from the previous year, while also continuing to be above the sector average. The report asserts that “with scores consistently above the overall sample, Prophix is an Overall Leader in both Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models. In 2019, it continues to improve across all categories of measurement including sales, product, technical support, consulting, and overall integrity.
The report also highlights that Prophix “is best in class for consulting professionalism and product knowledge.” Dresner Advisory Services reiterated this point in related meetings on the survey, during which they underscored that Prophix users saw professional and customer services as a key strength.
Both the report and subsequent briefings on its findings provided further insight into the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM/CPM) market. For example, the survey found that most respondents view Enterprise Performance Management as an important technology, with 87% rating EPM/CPM software as critical, very important, or important. Interestingly, the report also noted that only 9% of respondents would look to source Enterprise Performance Management from their ERP vendor. This contrasts with 41% of users who would consider all types of vendors, and 35% preferring to source these capabilities from a specialist Enterprise Performance Management vendor.
Not surprisingly, annual financial budgets are the main reason companies deploy Enterprise Performance Management software. In addition, respondents also rank more advanced capabilities such as rolling forecasts, strategic planning, and linking strategic plans to annual budgets as key priorities. With respect to modes of deployment, the study confirmed that users now have a clear preference for cloud Enterprise Performance Management solutions compared to on-premise implementations. This supports the trends observed by Prophix, where the majority of new deployments are cloud-based.
For the first time this year, the Dresner report also investigated the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies on the EPM space. It was interesting to note that nearly one in three users see significant potential in AI and Machine Learning (ML) as it relates to EPM/CPM. With that said, it’s still early days and many of the respondents see the technology as unproven, making it hard to build a compelling business case. While other respondents, albeit a minority, feel that users will resist the adoption of AI/ML as they feel it may replace human “know-how” in planning and forecasting. Dresner advises vendors to emphasize AI/ML is an “augmentation” to existing FP&A processes and is not replacing functions.
Anomaly Detection is one area of AI that is poised to deliver a strong return on investment in the near future. According to the recent Dresner report, Anomaly Detection will see even greater levels of adoption when it is more directly integrated with finance processes, and therefore more instantaneous.
One of the key takeaways from the latest analysis by Dresner is that there is an increased interest in EPM/CPM as an enabling technology. The report states that “current adoption levels indicate the market for Enterprise Performance Management is still maturing and has room for future growth…the majority of respondents (62 percent) are potential future users of Enterprise Performance Management software.”
More specifically, the mid-market is poised for significant growth. Many of the existing vendors in the EPM/CPM space are focused on the upper/enterprise segment of the market. However, this segment is more mature and is already father along in the adoption lifecycle. Overall, “fifty-five percent of organizations with 1,001-10,000 employees and 57 percent of organizations with more than 10,000 employees currently use Enterprise Performance Management, compared to 33 percent of mid-sized organizations (101-1,000 employees) and only 18 percent of small organizations.”
As the leading provider of EPM/CPM software to the mid-market, Prophix is extremely well-positioned to address this opportunity and continue to see significant growth in the years ahead.