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Critical Capabilities for Cloud FP&A Solutions According to Gartner

When an organization begins an evaluation of budgeting, planning and forecasting software applications, the first step is usually identifying potential solutions that are available and deciding on a short list of vendors to evaluate. But what’s the best way to identify your vendor short list? Call your friends? Do a Google search? Hire a consultant? Those approaches can be helpful, however an approach many organizations often use is to study IT industry analyst reports.

Critical Capabilities

The most well-known among the IT industry analyst firms and reports is Gartner and their Magic Quadrant (MQ) reports. While the Gartner Magic Quadrant reports cover a broad range of vendors in the market and position them as Leaders, Visionaries, Challengers or Niche – they don’t differentiate the vendors based on their fit for different sized companies, or specific use cases.

That’s where the Gartner Critical Capabilities reports play a valuable role.

Written by the same analysts and research process as for the MQs, the Critical Capabilities reports provide numeric scoring of vendors across several use cases. These reports, in conjunction with the Gartner Magic Quadrants and Gartner Peer Insights ratings, are recommended by Gartner to identify the key vendors that are best suited to address the specific requirements of a client.

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Gartner Critical Capabilities for Cloud FP&A Solutions

Shortly after they published the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) solutions1, Gartner published their 2020 Critical Capabilities Report for Cloud FP&A solutions2. In the report, Gartner evaluated 12 vendors across 9 critical capabilities:

  • Financial budgets and plans
  • Complex financial budgets and plans
  • IFP and modeling (Integrated Financial Planning)
  • Ease of implementation
  • Ease of use and maintenance
  • Application governance
  • Reporting and analytics
  • EMEA support
  • Global support

These critical capabilities were then weighted across six use cases and the vendors are scored based on this rating and weighting system. The vendor scores are determined by the analysts based on customer surveys, combined with the analysts own knowledge and view of the vendors.

The six use cases by which cloud FP&A solutions were rated in the report include:

  • Lower midsize organization — Small public or private organizations with between $50 million and $250 million in annual revenue
  • Upper midsize organization — Midsize public or private organizations with $250 million to $1billion in annual revenue
  • Large organization — Large public or private organizations with $1 billion to $5 billion in annual revenue
  • Global organization — Large public or private organizations with more than $5 billion in annual revenue
  • Business unit — Individual business units within large organizations
  • EMEA-based organization — Organizations operating in the EMEA region

You can see how this methodology makes sense, given that customer requirements vary based on the size and complexity of the organization, and the region(s) of the world in which they operate.

Key Findings in the Report

One of the interesting parts of reading Gartner reports is hearing the analysts’ views on key market trends. In the 2020 Critical Capabilities Report for Cloud FP&A Solutions, Gartner highlighted that the market for cloud financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solutions is maturing rapidly as vendors offer largely similar functionality, albeit differentiated by its suitability for different use cases.

financial planningAccording to Gartner, FP&A solutions have become more widely used throughout organizations and are gaining deeper integrated financial planning (IFP) capabilities. This reflects vendors’ efforts to expand their planning capabilities beyond traditional financial planning domains and into areas such as HR, sales and operations, in line with Gartner’s view of the emergence of “extended planning and analysis” (xP&A).

In the report, Gartner recommends that clients evaluate how FP&A solutions can transform their finance processes by examining the six use cases covered in this report and determining which best describe those of their organization. They should review the critical capability scores that relate to their potential uses for cloud FP&A solutions. Then select the top vendors — at least three and no more than seven — for these capabilities as strong candidates for further review, as part of a comprehensive evaluation and selection process.

OneStream Rankings in Critical Capabilities for Cloud FP&A Solutions

This was the 3rd year OneStream was evaluated in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud FP&A Solutions as well as the related Critical Capabilities report. In the 2020 Magic Quadrant report, OneStream was pleased to be recognized as a Leader, which positioned us as one of the top 5 vendors in the market. The 2020 Critical Capabilities report provides a more granular view of where OneStream matches up to specific customer use cases.  

Here’s how OneStream Software was scored:

  • One of the top 3-scored vendors in the Large, Global and BUs of Large Organizations use cases
  • One of the top 4-scored vendors in EMEA-based and Upper Midsize Organizations use cases

We believe OneStream’s high scores across these use cases is based on the top-quartile score we received for reporting and analytics, as well as upper mid-quartile ratings for several other critical criteria including support for complex financial budgets and plans, ease of use and maintenance, application governance and EMEA support. These capabilities are all more critical for larger, and more sophisticated organizations.

Based on the scoring across these use cases, OneStream should be considered as a higher priority for upper midsize, and larger organizations with extensive EMEA and/or global operations as well as BUs of large organizations.

And recognizing OneStream’s market leadership and strong capabilities in financial consolidation, close and reporting OneStream should be considered for organizations that also have complex financial close needs.

Learn More

cropped platform graphicA growing number of enterprises worldwide are selecting OneStream’s cloud platform for financial planning and analysis. By unifying financial planning, consolidation and reporting in a single platform, OneStream customers are eliminating multiple point solutions and realizing significant savings in time and cost. In addition to being recognized as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud FP&A Solutions, earlier in the year, OneStream was also recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Cloud FP&A Solutions.

So before you create your organization’s short list for cloud FP&A solutions, download the Gartner Critical Capabilities report, and check out Gartner Peer Insights to see how OneStream stacks up against your requirements. Then contact OneStream and we’ll be happy to demonstrate how we can transform your planning, budgeting and forecasting processes, help increase alignment between finance and operations, and help your team get back to business!


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1 Gartner Magic Quadrants for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions, Greg Leiter, Robert Anderson, John Van Decker, 6 October 2020

2 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions, Greg Leiter, Robert Anderson, John Van Decker, 13 October 2020

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

John O'Rourke

John O’Rourke is Vice President of Product Marketing and Communications at OneStream Software. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry, including 20 years of experience in product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in corporate performance management. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems and Decisyon. John has a BS in Accounting from Bentley University and an MBA from Boston College.