There’s more to evaluating your financial planning and analysis solution than budget and user friendliness. Above all, the vendor should fit within your organization’s mission and vision. The solution should meet your expectations both in terms of its capabilities but also its ability to react and adapt in a way that makes sense to your organization. As with all other business decisions, it’s important to work with other organizations that go above and beyond to meet your organization’s needs. Here’s how Gartner defines those terms in relation to the “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions” report.
Customer satisfaction ratings
Gartner qualifies customer satisfaction to include whether or not companies using the solution would recommend it to other organizations without reservations, as well as customer reference scores.
A strong sales representative isn’t just presenting packages and prices but rather taking the time to listen to each organization’s needs. The initial discovery call shouldn’t just be prescriptive, but should also display a level of expertise that is easy to follow and understand as required by your organization (see below).
Ongoing support and maintenance
Interaction with a vendor is likely not over after the implementation process. In fact, while respondents to the Gartner survey indicated high scores as not requiring additional help, organizations should consider ongoing support options when evaluating an FP&A solution since most software at minimum requires an update at some point.
Level of expertise
Just like you are an expert in your field, you want the representatives from your FP&A solution to exhibit a level of technical and product expertise before, during, and after the deployment phase that is not only exemplary, but also speaks to your level of understanding, no matter how novice or expert.
The bottom line is ultimately, you want to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth for your time and end results. If you’re spending seemingly endless frustrating hours on the phone with a representative from your FP&A solution to fix a problem or work on an upgrade, it might be time to consider a breakup.