Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite is being used primarily by finance, with individual department managers having access to input budget/forecast data into templates built for them. By having the department managers participate in the variable cost input, we are creating greater accountability across the organization.
- Most importantly, Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite takes the implementation very seriously and they spend a significant amount of time training you to become an expert with their solution. While this is an investment of your time upfront, it saves valuable time later as you fully understand the system.
- The Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite product has allowed us to create multiple versions of a forecast with little effort. We have several allocations based on headcount and with multiple headcount changes between versions, the allocation templates we created in Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite allow for automatic update of all allocations as headcount changes - this has saved weeks of man-hours.
- The Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite product has provided greater visibility across our organization of our true costs. Managers now have a detailed view of employee costs that includes all components of compensation (as opposed to merely wages).
- The ability to delete more than one employee (in the same department) at a time within the HR module.
- The ability for an admin user to create templates in a working scenario so you can see the impacts of formulas immediately. Right now you have to create a blank template in set-up mode, then move back to a working scenario to see if the formulas are what you expected. If not, you have to move back to set-up mode to adjust the formulas, then back to the working scenario to test again. Would be easier to make changes on the fly within a scenario.
- When adjusting a template in a forecast scenario that has several months of actual data, if you copy that template back to the default scenario to use for future versions, the default template is missing any formulas in months that has been populated by actual data in the forecast template. If changes are made to a template for forecasting purposes, when that template is copied back to default - all months should have the forecast month formulas.
- Increased efficiency of the finance dept to produce a forecast
- Increased accessibility of finance data to department managers
- Increased accuracy of forecasting
The primary reason for choosing Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite was their plan for implementation and ensuring we understand the build of our system and how the pieces work together. Their concept of making the user an expert in the foundation and use of the system ensures you understand how everything fits together and sets you up for immediate success. Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite has excellent training and support!! Another reason we chose Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite was their use of Excel based formulas. Since we were rolling this out across several departments, the system had to be user friendly and very easy to use. By having templates that mimic Excel, our users felt very comfortable with the new product. Other products we evaluated would require use of varying computer code to build formulas.
Obviously users have different needs and expectations for the product. We have not come across any situation that the system cannot handle yet. Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite has saved us tremendous effort in producing forecast scenarios, given us greater support behind the numbers and increased accountability across the organization.
Planful Feature Ratings
Evaluating Planful (formerly Host Analytics) and Competitors
Yes - We had purchased Budget Maestro and could not figure out how to modify data that was input in the early stages. The lack of training received with the purchase made the product virtually useless. We opted for the Host solution for their robust training and education that they provide right from the start of solution build and implementation.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
Training. We had failed miserably with a past product that did not include training. We could not suffer another bad investment.
We are very happy with our decision to purchase the Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite solution. We are in our second three year contract and I see this as a very long standing relationship. Host Analytics Cloud EPM Suite continues to innovate and offer additional solutions that make finance even more powerful.