Prophix - To buy or not to buy, that is the question!
Updated September 30, 2015
Prophix - To buy or not to buy, that is the question!
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Prophix
Our organization uses Prophix to produce the operating budget. Every department has access to Prophix and inputs their respective operating budgets and reports are used once the budgets are input. We were using Excel and Access to create our operating budget prior to Prophix. Prophix addressed workflow and routing of the budgets by department. Prophix offers drill across capabitlies into our accounting system so actual activity can be viewed within Prophix.
- The workflow within Prophix is good. You can set up an owner, alternate owner, approvers and observers for each budget task. This helps any stakeholders for each task stay abreast of the budget data being input. The alternate owner feature is nice in case someone is on vacation or out of the office.
- The email reminders function is nice as well. You can set up various reminders throughout your budget cycle.
- The drill across feature into the actual activity in our accounting system is nice. As people are preparing their budgets they can drill into actuals to help with any trends, details, etc. about their activity.
- The line item details reporting is not flexible enough. I would like to be able to tailor the report output more and I can't because of the limitations of the system.
- We didn't realize when we purchased Prophix that it would really be customized to our needs, we thought we were purchasing a more off the shelf system. This is an issue when you call Prophix for support because our system is our system and I have to spend time every time I call just to explain how are system is set up and how it is supposed to function for us.
- Thankfully, I don't have to access the server ofen, however, when I do I have to rely heavily on our internal technology team when I have an issue to resolve. Usually involves a webex meeting with me, my internal technology person and the Prophix member. Can be time consuming to get issues resolved because of the coordination and effort, usually more an internal issue to coordinate time not an issue with Prophix.
- From an administrator perspective I don't know that it has saved me more time but my time is spent more on reporting and analysis, than set up and manipulation of spreadsheets. As long as your system is setup correctly the roll over process from one year to the next can be quite easy.
- Once you get your reports and templates set up, it's pretty easy to produce reports for various departments, business units, etc. quickly.
- I think using Prophix has saved the end users time, because I have the templates set up in a way that the data has to be entered a certain way and only certain cells are accessible by the end users, so I don't have the issue anymore of the end users messing up the templates like they did in Excel.
We evaluated several products including Chameleon, Neubrain, Questica, Longview, IBM Cognos and Clarity. The evaluation team scored the various products on several components and Prophix rose to the top on score and the demo. I think every system is going to have pros and cons and it's a matter of really honing in on the features that will best fit your respective organization and make sure you have a clear understanding of your needs prior to selecting vendors to demo and don't be afraid to really drill the vendors on the features that you need. Make sure to really have the vendors demonstrate each feature/function from start to finish, a lot of time the vendors have a "canned" demo and you really can't get a feel for how the system really functions and how much work is involved in getting it to where you need it to be and the look and feel of it, etc.
Be sure to find out what type of documentation Prophix will provide. We purchased a documentation package for $6,000 and it was not useful at all. Because the system is more customized the documentation is crucial especially the technical, as-built documentation and the documentation that is needed for the administrator(s) of the system. If your company budgets by line item detail the reporting may not meet your expectations. Also make sure the Prophix person that sets up your system and customizes it to your specifications is knowledgable and knows the best way to set things up in Prophix. We have found that there may be more than one way to do things in Prophix and one way may be better than another.
Prophix Feature Ratings
65 - Most of the users are end users that actually input their budgets according to the department they are in, the other users that don't do data input are part of the workflow approval process. We have 3 administrator licenses, one of those administrators strictly does personnel budgeting.
2 - Someone that is tech savvy is helpful, not to write code or programming or anything like that but can understand the basic concepts of cube technology and is willing to "play" around in the system to learn it. The more you use Prophix the easier it is to use and to take full advantage of the capablilities and functionality of the system.
- Annual operating budget
- Monthly department reporting, budget vs actual
- Annual Personnel budget
- Travel input, the travel is setup in such a way that the users can only select from a drop down list of conferences which force users to reach out to the administrator to add a new conference, also helps with consistency of conference titles. Also is setup to actually calcuate the cost of the travel, this helps with consistency of pricing travel.
- We will be implementing a rolling/forecast budget within the next several months.
- We will be implementing dashboards/KPI's in the next several months.
We have purchased the system and as I learn more about the functionality of the system and see how other customers use Prophix, I think it will continue to meet our needs. I am trying to learn as much as possible to fully utilize the features and improve our efficiency of using the product.
Evaluating Prophix and Competitors
Yes - We were using Microsoft Access and Excel to do our budgeting process. Of course we still have those tools we just don't use them for budgeting.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
We were looking for a robust system that had the ability to expand with our changing/growing needs, that was reasonably priced and wouldn't involve an enormous amount of internal technology support. That would be user-friendly and had the capability to do budgets by line item detail. That could also do reporting by various dimensions and that would pull data from our accounting system so we could have actual data to compare to budget data.
If there is any turnover in the staff assigned to the project whether internal staff or Prophix staff that can cause delays.
Yes - We implemented based upon the cubes we have, like personnel, travel, consolidated, financial and revenue.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled
The online support portal is very helpful, there are many topics on the website that may answer your question without even submitting a help ticket. If I do have to submit a help ticket, I get a response within the day or the next day. Very responsive, if the initial person can't figure out the issue they will escalate within Prophix until the issue is resolved.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
For the end users it has an excel look and feel, security features can be put into place so users can only see their respective dept data. Workflow is a great feature. The main point of Prophix is to have an adminstrator that really knows the system that will really enhance the experience for everyone.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
- The nightly process to pull actual data from our accounting system is seemless, it is scheduled to run every morning and only alerts me if there is an issue. Which is usually a customer has been added in our accounting system that is not in Prophix, we simply add the customer in Prophix and run the process again.
- Changing the dimensions for a report is easy, i.e. you have a report that is for a particular dept and you want to change to a different dept, takes seconds to do this.
- Sending out monthly reports to the depts is seemless when the reports are distributed using report binder.
- On the rare occasion that something on the server side needs to be changed, that involves coordination of my internal technology person and the Prophix consultant.