What is Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution and why is it different from ERP & BI?
We are in the business of implementing cloud-based CPM applications for enterprise planning, financial consolidation, management & regulatory reporting, and budgeting & planning, analytics for clients who struggle with overgrown excel spreadsheets and a desire to work autonomously from IT.
It is quite common that some corporations try to support fundamentally different business processes through a single solution, but this should also be pointed out – software vendors all too often love to present their solutions as a one size fits all. Whenever you come across such a bold statement, just do remember that there is usually a conceptual alignment with an all-purpose platform but be careful of the exorbitant costs from these platforms. Often, the underlying reason is a poor understanding of how today’s technologies support a variety of business processes. I have witnessed companies spend dollars on non-dedicated platforms trying to solve problems that could be met with specific applications for purpose at a fraction of the cost. So, finding the right tool for right business requirements become essentially important in today’s business environment.
There seems to be a lot of confusion with this word “analytics”. Executive stakeholders are looking to adopt a BI strategy that is cost effective, platform centric, and has a strong user uptick but are getting confused with products and terminologies that all sound the same when coming from salesperson. I felt understanding the basics differences between Corporate Performance Management (CPM), Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) might help clear up some of the confusion I am seeing. These three technologies should co-exist.
ERP – CPM – BI: the definitions per Gartner
a. According to Gartner, CPM is an umbrella term that describes the methodologies, metrics, processes, and systems used to monitor and manage the business performance of an enterprise. The most commonly used functionalities include financial consolidation, reporting and disclosure, budgeting & planning, and analytics.
b. Gartner defines BI as an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance. Here, commonly used functionalities include data discovery, data visualization, and big data.
c. ERP applications automate and support a range of administrative and operational business processes across multiple industries, including line of business, customer-facing, administrative and the asset management aspects of an enterprise.
ERP is not CPM
A company used ERP technology to also support CPM functionalities concerning data collection and data validation. As is the case for many companies in Singapore, some of its overseas subsidiaries used a different brand of ERP than the platform that was used by head office. Data collection was a nightmare for these overseas subsidiaries. The monthly reporting had to be delivered in the format of a journal entry to fit into the corporate ERP. Mapping the local chart of accounts to the corporate chart of accounts as well as translating the own functional currency to the corporate functional currency was done in Excel. The result was a cluttered process that was both not transparent and very error prone. It would take the overseas subsidiaries substantial effort to deliver the monthly reporting to the corporate center. Any non-financial reporting such as number of headcounts had to be provided outside the corporate ERP and typically lived in excel.
BI is not CPM
A company attempted to use BI technology to support CPM functionalities concerning financial consolidation. However, the BI tool could not cope with the currency conversion of equity at historic cost. Consequently, the consolidated equity and especially the currency translation reserve always had to be recalculated in Excel by each of their world-wide operation. Furthermore, the BI tool did not feature process management functionalities. Its database would always reflect the latest batch of data – effectively presenting the corporate center with a moving target. As reported periods, could not be properly closed, corporate reports would generally present constantly changing comparative data as prices fluctuated.
Shearwater & Workday Adaptive Planning
As you can garner, it highlights the importance of addressing the corporation’s business processes each with the right technology. Neither EPR nor BI is meant for integrated Business Planning & Analytics application. With world leading CPM solution Workday Adaptive Planning and Shearwater’s professional service, you can enjoy best-in-class enterprise planning software that gives you the unique power to plan, execute, and analyze in one system. You can make better strategic decisions more effectively and achieve greater business efficiency, agility and growth.
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