One user's experience with Prophix
July 25, 2014
One user's experience with Prophix
Score 5 out of 10
- Business Process Manager
- Template Designer
Overall Satisfaction with Prophix
Prophix is being used as a point of consolidation for global forecasting/budgeting/reporting across the entire finance organization within the real estate function. It helps provide some level of automation and a level of uniformity in the way that the data is collected.
- Empowering non-IT resources to manage their data without IT assistance - Some of the other tools I've worked with require IT support when wholesale type of changes are necessary in the system. Prophix has a fairly robust process where you can copy/manipulate/transform data across multiple versions for scenario modeling/backup/etc. The exception to this would be if there are lots of data sitting in a SQL staging database feeding Prophix, where you may still need to engage with IT resources to add additional metadata fields or modify dimensions.
- Familiar UI - The user interface is intuitive and reminiscent of the Windows platform, such as the ribbon. The templates/reports that are generated can easily be exported to Excel.
- Modeling Capabilities - The tool can carry out fairly complex calculations based on sets of assumptions and inputs. This has been improved especially in the latest release of Prophix.
- Modeling Capabilities - I also listed this as a strength, however up until the latest release of Prophix (R11), we experienced user concurrency issues when one of our complex calculations. ie the time to complete the calculation was measured in hours and during this time all users in the system were locked out of the process manager module.
- Lack of Functionality in Workflow Manager - There is a workflow manager module that if some functionality were added, would vastly improve it's effectiveness. This helps track forecast tasks/activities and assigns responsible parties for input/approval. We do not currently leverage this area of the tool because of the inability to approve by individual line items.
- Inability to handle extremely large, complex data sets - We were unable to load into one of our data cubes, the level of granularity that was desired. Instead a custom tool had to be built to accommodate this need.
- I would say that Prophix has had somewhat of a neutral impact on the way that we do business. There are many times when I believe certain processes/tasks could be done more efficiently in a SQL database + Excel Macros, aka a custom-built solution. This most likely has more to do with the high levels of ambiguity causing lots of hedged, conservative decision makers to make the solution more complex than may be required.
Despite some of my negative feedback on this tool, I actually do quite enjoy the general intuitiveness of the product. I believe that this can be a very effective tool if design requirements are clearly defined from the implementation phases and the limitations of the system are well understood so that expectations can be managed. My opinion is that Prophix may be a tool that is better suited for small to mid-sized companies instead of a large company.
Ensure it is well understood the amount of data that the system is expected to handle during the selection process and the types of modeling that may be required. I believe that many of my frustrations with the application have less to do with the software itself, but rather ambiguity in the business requirements causing unnecessary complexity in the end solution. Before selecting a tool it is a good idea to ensure you understand exactly what you need it to do.