Modern finance leaders are leveraging integrated business planning (IBP) as a management framework that enables them to align financial goals with operating plans across the enterprise, work more closely with business partners and achieve strategic goals.
In our blog article titled “Integrated Business Planning – Driving Business Action with Agility,” we offer a business case for how IBP helps sophisticated enterprises collaborate better and increase agility to navigate through uncertainty. Additionally, we provide an overview on why enterprise-class IBP requires more than run-of-the mill cloud-based planning applications to achieve optimal results.
To support effective IBP, sophisticated global enterprises are turning to purpose-built corporate performance management (CPM) platforms to simplify financial processes and align financial goals with operational plans within a singular application. This approach enables organizations to collaborate in real-time to create focus on driver-based analysis and dynamically see the impact on financial plans – empowering business leaders to make decisions with confidence.
Function-Forward with a SmartCPMTM Platform
New technology investments should have the capability to replace current systems and provide more advanced functionality, not less. As one of our executives says, “would you upgrade to a new smart-phone with less functionality than your current one? The same is true for corporate technology investments. New investments evaluations should accommodate for all current functionality and capabilities – and more. Organizations should never move backwards in capability. Instead, technology investments should be “function-forward.”
While cloud-based planning solutions can help small- to mid-size businesses or divisions from larger companies move away from spreadsheets, they’re not designed to support IBP for sophisticated organizations. Indeed, global companies with multiple business units, dispersed functions and operational plans that need to be aligned require an effective IBP platform – and that requires function-forward features that technically enable real-time collaboration between finance and operational leaders. Here are some of the key features:
- Data Blending
- Financial Data Quality
- Purpose-Built Applications
- Flexible Reporting and Analysis
As our “Integrated Business Planning – Driving Business Action with Agility” whitepaper illustrates, sophisticated companies like Guardian International and Dril-Quip are experiencing the benefits of IBP by taking a platform approach to CPM with OneStream. By doing so, their financial results, business plans and detailed operational plans are completely aligned and unified within a single application – across the entire company and in real-time.
To support enterprise-class IBP and break free from the limitations of legacy CPM applications – modern finance leaders are choosing OneStream Software.
OneStream XF for Integrated Business Planning
OneStream goes well beyond “connected planning” with a unified SmartCPMTM platform that has replaced disconnected spreadsheets, point solutions and legacy applications for hundreds of medium- to large-sized global enterprises. These organizations, such as Guardian Industries and Dril-Quip, have streamlined planning and reporting processes, improved visibility into their businesses (see figure 1) and increased alignment between finance and operations. In the process, they’ve drastically reduced their total cost of ownership.
OneStream supports multiple CPM processes within a single application – including financial consolidation; financial, statutory, and management reporting; planning; forecasting; and analysis. To enable a seamless, unified experience for IBP, OneStream is designed with built-in, function-forward capabilities that include guided reporting for end users, Extensible Dimensionality®, relational blending, user-defined calculations and workflows, formatted and ad-hoc reporting, Excel-based analysis and interactive dashboards.
The OneStream XF MarketPlace also contains powerful solutions for sales planning, capital planning, cash planning and people planning that extend the capabilities of the OneStream XF platform. Those downloadable solutions enable business users to create driver-based plans that are dynamically updated with financial data – all within the same application. They also allow finance and business leaders to review assumptions and make decisions in real-time with full drill-through ability, from financial statements back to operational metrics.
OneStream XF: The Recipe for Effective IBP
To support effective IBP for sophisticated, global enterprises, OneStream leverages several function-forward capabilities to allow business users to align and unify financial goals with operational plans – and do so with optimal application performance. OneStream creates a specific user experience for those in sales, operations and HR, one that helps companies drive enterprise-wide accountability on the critical initiatives required to achieve corporate goals. By leveraging a unified platform (see figure 2), business leaders will have a clear advantage and simpler user experience vs. using fragmented point solutions or legacy CPM applications.
Some of OneStream’s critical platform advantages to support effective IBP are illustrated below:
- Extensible Dimensionality® – OneStream’s extensible platform enables sales, product management, marketing and operations to plan at a granular level, such as a business driver, while still adhering to corporate standards for corporate planning and
- Relational blending (e.g., data blending) – Data blending aligns both cube and relational database technology to IBP processes by enabling users to develop operational plans that dynamically impact financial statements in real-time.
- Financial data quality – Financial data quality ensures accuracy in data integration and adds depth to variance analysis and business insights by providing transparency and drill-through back to source systems.
- XF MarketPlace – OneStream’s XF MarketPlace generates value for all IBP business partners in finance, sales, HR and operations with specialty applications to capture plans at the opportunity level (sales planning), by capital project (operations) and with detailed human capital data (HR).
- Flexible reporting and analysis – Once detailed plans are complete, finance and business leaders build scenarios, conduct sensitivity analysis and leverage dashboards to align financial and business plans for IBP executive reviews.
As modern finance leaders take on expanded leadership roles, many are leveraging IBP to create additional opportunities to collaborate with their business partners and facilitate recurring business reviews. This creates alignment between financial goals and operational plans throughout the organization – helping the enterprise focus on the business story behind the numbers while maximizing time and attention on the highest priorities and decision needs.
For sophisticated global enterprises, IBP requires a technical solution that is flexible and scalable across the entire organization while enabling the business to plan without compromise. OneStream’s unified architecture, function-forward Extensible Dimensionality®, and relational-blending features offer the ideal solution. Why? It supports IBP, enhances collaboration and helps organizations achieve optimal return on investment for IBP. With OneStream, finance and business leaders will spend less time “connecting” and managing data – and more time on value-added analysis and planning for the future. OneStream helps them “get back to business.”
To learn more about why OneStream is the ideal solution for IBP, download our whitepaper “Integrated Business Planning Gets Unified with OneStream.” For additional information on why IBP is essential to optimize business performance, don’t miss our companion whitepaper titled “Integrated Business Planning – Driving Business Action with Agility.”