We are excited today to be a part of Bay Area history as we ring the closing bell at Nasdaq’s brand-new West Coast headquarters in downtown San Francisco. This opportunity was presented to us by Deloitte as the result of our placement on the 2015 Deloitte North America Technology Fast 500 List. It is most definitely an honor to be named to this prestigious list for the fifth consecutive year, but beyond that we are celebrating something that seems even more important—the list indicates that a growing percentage of the industry’s fastest growing companies are implementing corporate performance management (CPM) software.
Guest blog by Christine Lau, Manager, Management Consulting and Advisory, KPMG Australia
“By 2016, at least 25% of enterprise finance organizations will move to the cloud for specific CPM processes, and many will use a hybrid approach through a combination of cloud and on-premises solutions.”1
This prediction from Gartner—along with the total cost of ownership for cloud-based solutions that’s an average of 77% less than that of on-premises software solutions—makes me believe that the corporate finance space is at a tipping point of finance transformation that clearly leads to the cloud.
So what does this actually mean for modern finance leaders and departments, and what are some of the trends that modern CFOs are starting to recognize?
Traditionally, less mature finance organizations gravitate towards on-premises spreadsheets to handle the majority of their financial budgeting and planning processes. While a spreadsheet is easy to use and does not incur additional cost, it is not an easy tool to scale up to share large amounts of data or perform complex calculations. It is difficult to use as a collaboration tool among teams, and it is not secure. Moreover, using spreadsheets alone to manage the entire business is manual, slow, and prone to errors.
Modern finance leaders have evolved into a force to be reckoned with. They are taking on multiple roles across the organization, are responsible for driving strategic decisions, and are quickly becoming business leaders as well as the right hand to the CEO. However, going from number cruncher to finance superhero is not without obstacles. Many of today’s CFOs face a plethora of data without the adequate amount of time to analyze it.
That’s where SaaS comes in.
What’s so special about cloud-based SaaS solutions? After all, it’s the mind behind the money that is the real strategic powerhouse, right?
Hey, even superheroes need help too — hello, Batman and Robin! — and there are four main reasons why SaaS is inevitably the best sidekick around for an innovative finance leader.
That’s right. For third time (and the second year in a row), Adaptive has won an SIIA CODiE award. What’s a CODiE exactly? It’s a series of awards given out each year by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) to recognize the best of the finest software products and services of the year. Continue reading
Guest blog by Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners, an Adaptive Insights investor.
Having now experienced several market cycles as both a founder and as an investor, I’m often asked if the current “exuberant” market environment is good or bad for entrepreneurs. My answer is always the same: There has never been a better time for entrepreneurs looking to found a technology-centric business.
There’s a lot to be excited about: Start-up costs are shockingly low, new growth markets are plentiful, and seed capital is often just a coffee chat away.
Don’t get me wrong; founding a company is never easy. I’ve always believed that it’s the hardest job in business. And while the current market condition is ripe for tech entrepreneurs, things are a bit more nuanced for those trying to build a lasting and dominant company. The playbook for building relevant organizations is unquestionably evolving.
In discussing the characteristics and skill-set of the modern CFO, it’s normal to try to select a single person as the prototypical example of how a finance leader is supposed to act, work, and lead. But one of the key learnings from our Adaptive Live global user conference last month is that CFOs can have success and make a strategic impact within their businesses in a variety of ways. And though they’re making the same transition from number-cruncher to strategic difference-maker, there are many ways to make that change, and many different factors that inspire that transition.
The varying styles of the modern CFO were most evident during Day 2 of Adaptive Live, during our Future of Finance: A CFO Panel discussion that featured three CFOs who each took a unique approach to becoming more valuable members of their companies’ decision-making teams.
If I were to briefly sum up my learnings from years of experience in building channel partnerships, it would be much simpler than you might imagine:
If it takes a long time to explain the value of the partnership to either party, it’s likely not that valuable to them. And if it seems too complicated to understand the concept of the partnership, it will be an exceptionally difficult one to execute.
Ultimately, measurable and scalable success comes not from two executives agreeing to an idea, but the ability to honestly mobilize two different companies with distinct plans to move toward a common goal. And when you can inspire two discrete organizations to have aligned objectives and goals and row in the same direction, look out, because it’s both unusual and virtually unstoppable.
Building great software companies is hard work. But the end result – the satisfaction that comes from building something relevant and changing the way businesses use technology and access data – is what all of us in the software industry strive for.
There is no universal definition of “relevance” for a successful software technology company. We build our own definitions based on personal experience. And having had the opportunity to be a part of some incredibly successful and impactful technology companies during my career – from Rational Software, to Apptio, to Citrix – I’ve developed my own idea of what a relevant company looks like, and what it takes to build one.
I believe that uniquely relevant companies are founded on great products and amazing teams. Other elements of the business may change over time, but these two elements are essential to companies that have a lasting influence on customers, partners, employees, and investors. Such companies continually earn the right to exist by doing a superior job for all of their stakeholders. Leaders within these organizations know that exceptional financial performance, great returns, and high revenue are all byproducts of that superior performance. They understand that, ultimately, their long-term relevance will be measured by their importance, endurance, and level of customer success.
Each New Year marks the inevitable onset of new trends, jump-starting the unofficial task of establishing a new set of do’s and don’ts. In 2014, some projections focused on the impact of skyrocketing mobile usage on businesses, Bitcoin’s volatile but consistent growth, and how user-driven marketplaces would continue to flourish as venture potential. Others concentrated on predicting the growth rate of the overall cloud market, the changing role of cloud service providers, and how much companies would spend on big data analytics.
And as is the nature of trends, the idea of what will be impactful in 2015 most definitely differs from what was considered influential in 2014. In a Fortune Magazine column last week, Sergio Monsalve of Norwest Venture Partners, an Adaptive Investor, offered his predictions as to which technology megatrends will define 2015. Adaptive Insights Senior Director Paul Turner also weighed-in with his 2015 cloud industry forecasts.
Here’s what we think are the five of their most interesting trends to track throughout 2015. You can find the full set of predictions from Paul and Sergio in the Adaptive News Section.
Reaching a billion dollar valuation means entry into an exclusive club for private tech startups; one that The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource closely track to put together their “BIllion Dollar Startup Club” members list.
There are three main criteria for membership:
- Must be privately held tech company
- Must be valued at $1 billion or more with at least one venture capital firm as an investor
- Must have raised financing within the past three years
The latest list includes 30 tech startups worldwide, six of which are Adaptive Insights Customers; yet another sign that the fastest-growing, most innovative companies are using the Adaptive BI & CPM suite to manage and grow their businesses. Here’s a look at the six Adaptive customers in the Billion Dollar Startup Club.