HOW OUR ADVISORY SOFTWARE SELECTION PROCESS
ALIGNED BUSINESS GOALS WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCT
Sometimes an organization discovers an issue
that is actually a symptom of something greater.
When Cleaver-Brooks approached MindStream
about replacing an outdated business
intelligence platform due to a lack of dynamic
reporting, MindStream offered Advisory
Services for Software Selection. The result? With
a holistic view of the system, we discovered the
need for increased dynamic reporting was just a
symptom. The true remedy was not just a new
planning tool, but a broader reporting solution.
With the benefits of software-agnostic perspective
and industry expertise, MindStream guided
Cleaver-Brooks through a reliable evaluation
process that ultimately aligned their business
goals with the right product: a unified financial
reporting, consolidation, budgeting, and
THE CHALLENGE: AN OUTDATED
SYSTEM FOR A DYNAMIC BUSINESS
Cleaver-Brooks was struggling with a legacy
reporting tool that was not set up for dynamic
reporting for both Actuals and Planning data. For
the organization seeking to plan and manage data
faster, a lack of dynamic reporting was creating
too much lag time for their dynamic business
needs. In their changing manufacturing
environment, agility and ease of planning during
critical business events, like acquisitions, is key,
and a tool that could keep pace became more
critical. In addition, the organization thought it
knew the product it was looking for, initially
seeking expertise on a single vendor. The
organization thought that a single planning tool may resolve the issue, but needed more insight.
THE SOLUTION: SOFTWARE SELECTION ADVISORY SERVICES
With a wide variety of practical enterprise performance management implementation knowledge,
MindStream recognized what was needed was holistic software selection advisory services to determine
not only the ultimate vendor, but all vendors, that could meet their needs. With an unbiased
perspective, colored in by a deep understanding of what it takes to implement and maintain technical
solutions, we helped the client navigate a sea of enterprise performance management vendors to find
those that best met their business and technical requirements, including their initially suggested vendor.
The process and deliverables included:
- System analysis & requirements definitions
- Solution assessments, including SWOT matrix
on multiple vendors
- Vendor validation, including independent
- Coordination of demonstrations and proofs of
concept for senior management and subject
matter experts (SMEs)
- Vendor contract negotiation.
After a system assessment, it was determined the key requirements of the new tool included:
- Functional Ownership. Ideally, the solution could be owned and maintained by the business,
with minimal IT support.
- Real-time Analysis. The ability to forecast on the fly was important to replacing a manual process
that used to take days.
- Adaptability. A tool's ease of data Integration with thirdparty
systems was important internally, as well as the ease
of integrations of new mergers & acquisitions.
- User Experience. Ease of use, ease of maintenance, and
ease of training; ease of finance users to add/upload data.
THE RESULTS: AN UNANTICIPATED
With our methodology, MindStream helped Cleaver-
Brooks recognize that their divisional Controllers needed
better Actuals reporting, as much as Corporate needed
better budget and forecast reporting. This significantly
changed the course of evaluations toward the final
solution. Ultimately, the client chose a solution that was
beyond their initial consideration.
Leveraging MindStream's insight at the intersection of Finance and IT, we were able to provide Cleaver-
Brooks a trustworthy software selection process. Cleaver-Brooks was assured they achieved a solution
that gave it the autonomy and capabilities it sought in a unified tool when it chose OneStream software,
an unexpected ending to a thorough evaluation.
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