Overall Satisfaction with Vena Solutions
Our business department heads are responsible for their budgets. So we are using this across the whole organization with our Corporate Accounting Department coordinating the activities with the administrators to execute the workflows. It resolves the issue of emailing and receiving back numerous Excel files and working tediously to be sure that everything is updated in the correct order.
- Uses Excel as the primary user interface.
- Allows business users to create templates and pull out the data easily.
- Provides some reporting about when tasks are late.
- Needs better reporting on the status of tasks.
- Should notify users when they have a past due task.
- Does not work well if you have too much data (intersection points).
- Hard to audit user security when you have 200+ users.
- Difficult to manage a large process with many activity blocks.
- We have user security to ensure that sensitive data stays in the hands of the business owners.
- We have tasks that the user has to submit (even if it is blank) to acknowledge that they have completed their review/input of data.
We had an issue that the original sales team underestimated the effort for our implementation causing a lot of trouble as we worked through the design phase. We had additional negotiation that was required after beginning the project. But the vendor's support team stayed engaged. There was also turnover on the vendor implementation team but handled that with ease.
We have not yet had the opportunity to expand our usage to daily decision making or various scenario analysis. We are using it for annual budgeting across the organization. They do provide the flexibility to assign data to a specific scenario to keep original budgets in tack and will be using that as time allows.
At the end of the day, Vena offered great value without having to involve IT. It was an easy to implement system for us. We could query the data from our financial system and created a process to send it to Vena using Box and Microsoft Power Automation (formerly Flow). Because of the extensive use of Excel and the primary end-user interface, it helped with the change management so that we did not have to do extensive training with the roll-out of the new process.
This is a great solution for a smaller to mid-sized company that does not have a large number of data points (tens of millions). Using Excel as the primary user interface helps with change management because users are already comfortable with that tool. It is less appropriate for very large companies, as there can be performance issues. And if you have a large number of users (100+) it becomes cumbersome to audit the security and manage the processes with that many tasks.
Vena Feature Ratings
Vena Solutions Attributes
Do you think Vena delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Vena's feature set?
Did Vena live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Vena go as expected?
Would you buy Vena again?
The help desk has been very responsive when we have reached out. But the implementation team brought the score down. We are now having to re-work some of the templates because they were not initially created with the most efficient methods. We are frustrated that time is being spent to make these updates when Vena's team created them.
We have many tasks and each has to be manually updated. This allows for nice customization but makes the administration of these tasks cumbersome as there are so many for us to manage and update. There is not great audit tools for us to review that everything was set up correctly. It has a great visual workflow so that you can see the structure of tasks leading to review but you must double click on each one to review the details. It does provide a table view of this visualization but that becomes cumbersome to try to audit. It is hard to restart tasks as the processes have to be paused (preventing the users from saving/updating data) before we can restart a particular task. The end user is not able to see the workflow and does not know who submitted the task. However, if the individual templates are set up well, it makes it easy for the users to update/view the data.
Using Vena Solutions
220 - We require our individual department heads to be responsible for their own budgets and to participate in filling out their assigned templates. Almost all users are only contributors. We have very few administrators. We have a few power uses that are allowed a view of the workflow to assist with monitoring the status but they are not allowed to make updates/changes to the process.
5 - We have 2 administrators who are responsible for managing the security and permissions for all 220 users. The administrators also are responsible for setting up the workflow and assigning the tasks. We have 3 template specialist that are responsible for managing the Excel templates. These three have more advanced Excel skills with formula usage and formatting. All 5 of us are able to manage the model and add dimension members when required.
- Budgeting at a detailed level
- The use of line item detail to describe what makes up the amount being budgeted
- The flexibility of managing our own templates and workflow
- Using Excel as the primary input method for our end users
Do to the size and complexity of our processes, Vena presents some challenges that we are likely to overcome only with a different solution. However, the low cost compared to large enterprise solutions make it inviting to stick with for the short term. We will be reviewing other solutions to see if we can find something comparable with the ability to handle our large amount of data and tasks.