Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Innovation for Finance - A Breakthrough!

Dynamic words we are obsessed with: optimization, reduction, alignment, integration, operational execution, performance, flexibility, planning, forecasting, budgeting…

Wait, the last three words don’t really fit in the paradigm of the others. If we played a word association game, how can we link three dynamic critical applications - on which every finance department worldwide is focused, with the prior words which denote cohesion and a level of perfection in process that is only dreamed about? Until now, there was no way to link all these seemingly disparate concepts together. An army of consultants and programmers were your only hope of creating a single tightly coupled view of all your finance assets (even if you only purchased products from a single vendor). As of April 7, 2009 we are changing the game in Finance. Welcome to the true source of innovation in Finance. Today Star Analytics is launching the Star Finance Command Center. A breath of fresh air to the gloomy economic climate that has left us: devoid of manpower, riddled with gaps in availability from IT-delivered services, saddled with applications that have become lethargic and over-burdened with code fixes, data that seems inconsistent and stale, having to do business with vendors that merge and divest so fast it makes your head spin, and with the incongruous explicit need to be flexible, nimble and time-sensitive to drive profitability. What a conundrum.

The Star Finance Command Center delivers a technology platform imbued with a priori finance knowledge to provide a visual roadmap to your data and processes that drive the applications and reporting needs of the Office of the CFO. Any application from any vendor can easily be added as an ecosystem to share and process events and data to any other application. Applications such as global cash management, foreign exchange rates, strategic performance management, expense management, revenue costing, GAAP and IFRS reporting, and incentive compensation management can easily share data and integrate with the planning, budgeting and forecasting and consolidation applications which are the mainstay of finance.

Transforming code-based scripts and integrations into widgets and automations eliminates the need for technologically-savvy finance team members and reduces reliance on others from outside the department. We have customers with defunct and legacy applications, the latest releases, and one-off homegrown solutions simultaneously integrating and sharing data with Oracle, SAP, SAS, IBM Cognos, live data feeds and others. Most any data source one can imagine can be identified and named to help deliver laser-focused precision on defining a financial environment that drives your profitability.

The beauty of the system is that it can be deployed immediately in your current environment with little or no tailoring. Immediately you will see improvement in your business process and reduction in your operation’s costs. While implementing, you will be able to redeploy expensive manpower to other critical tasks. Your efforts with Master Data Management and Governance, Risk and Compliance initiatives will be supported out of the box and none of your previous work will be discarded or made obsolete until you choose. You can increase your level of sophistication with the Star Finance Command Center over time and take advantage of the finance-rich capabilities and simplify your existing code and integrations as you mature in achieving your goal to become a sleek, responsive, innovative and profitable organization.

This day marks the starting point of a new era of finance data integration and management. Welcome to Star Analytics and the Star Finance Command Center. http://www.staranalytics.com/

Monday, April 6, 2009

A letter to the CIO we'd like to see...

Dear CIO,

I bet you never thought this day would come…me writing with good news that my team in Finance will be submitting fewer IT requests. Go figure (pun intended).

Turns out there’s a new way for my staff to manage more of the data, processes and workflows that your team has been handling for us from the finance and BI systems. No more resources needed to manually code and manage this. We can automate most of it while working within the security and data integrity parameters that IT has in place.

Let’s discuss two action items:
- Cancel next week’s sales meeting with our ERP vendor. The allure of standardizing on one supplier is no longer appealing. We’ll save a bundle using the systems we’ve already got and sticking with a best-of-breed approach for financial data management.
- Let’s schedule a roundtable for the IT and Finance teams to strategize on the initiatives we’ve been tasked with by the CEO: Expense and Revenue Management, Performance Management and our adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Gotta run - my weekly 1-1 meeting with the CEO.