Updated on February 2012
Company: Host Analytics
Located: Redwood City, California
Markets: Financial Performance Management
Customers: AT&T, NexTag, Crocs, Thule, Otis Spunkmeyer, Schumacher
Website: Host Analytics
Blog: Host Analytics Blog
We asked Jon Kondo, Host Analytics Chief Executive Officer a few questions about his business and his view of the SaaS market in 2012.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
We started out as a founder and angel investor funded, on-demand service in 2000, that enabled our customers to run our innovative budgeting and planning solutions on a hosted application. We launched our SaaS based service in 2005 and expanded our solution to include a comprehensive and integrated Corporate Performance Management suite. In 2008, we secured our first round of venture capital funding and introduced editions of our SaaS solution targeted to the needs of small to medium sized businesses, departmental enterprise users, public sector and non-profit organizations.
Why do your customers buy from Host Analytics?
Host Analytics helps organizations streamline the performance management process, align the planning process with business strategy and effectively measure performance and manage change. As a SaaS delivered solution, Host Analytics customers realize fast time to value through quick implementation of solutions, the highest levels of user adoption, effective empowerment of business users and a continuous flow of Host Analytics provided solution innovations and improvements. Businesses relying on error prone, complex and inefficient spreadsheets for budgeting and planning experience improved productivity and effectiveness by converting to Host Analytics’ integrated suite of corporate performance management solutions.
Host Analytics’ “Excel in a Browser”, user interface style, minimizes the learning curve for finance, accounting and managerial professionals and helps to deliver fast time to value. Businesses with complex performance management requirements find Host Analytics solutions to be cost effective, easy to learn and fast to implement while delivering the required corporate performance management functionality when compared to legacy in-house and on-premise license based software solutions. Host Analytics is the only SaaS-based integrated Corporate Performance Management solution suite available for businesses of all sizes and industries.
What do you see as the key trend emerging in the SaaS industry?
The biggest story in Cloud is the impending impact of Cloud computing. The combination of Cloud based corporate performance management and Cloud computing will make “Plug and Plan” a reality. “Plug and Plan” budgeting and planning is an integrated approach to business planning. Data from multiple sources like ERP, HCM and CRM systems is quickly and transparently integrated into a Corporate Performance Management solution to extend and optimize budgeting, revenue planning, financial consolidation and score carding processes. This allows businesses to convert their planning from an annual or semi-annual event to a continuous process of timely and current adjustments.
What is your outlook for 2012?
A new year brings new opportunities for businesses to excel, as long as they have the right tools to do so. One of the longstanding barriers to business success, however, is dealing with increasingly unpredictable economic conditions. Some companies have begun to turn to financial planning to combat the uncertainty and enable better business success.
In fact, a recent survey by Dimensional Research explored the correlation between strategic financial planning and business success, with 72 percent of businesses surveyed reporting better business results through financial planning. However, the survey also found that sophisticated financial planning capabilities that can drive business results are still lacking in many organizations.
Financial planning will play an important role for businesses in the new year, as well as many other factors. The following is a list of the top predictions for businesses around financial initiatives in 2012, compiled by Host Analytics, the leading provider of SaaS corporate performance management (CPM) solutions.
Top Predictions and Themes for Finance in 2012
The Cloud CFO: A modern breed of CFO to bring finance to the cloud for larger and mid-size enterprises.
The role of CFO will become more strategic than ever before through the adoption of cloud computing. Finance departments from the world’s largest global organizations will reap the benefits as they catch up with mid-market businesses and enterprises already integrating the cloud into their strategic financial processes.
Next year’s business climate will push corporate finance and CFOs to take on more important responsibilities in planning and decision support for potential risks and opportunities. This trend has already begun. Sixty-four percent of businesses revealed that the CFO is more likely to be involved in strategy discussions now versus five years ago, according to Dimensional Research.
Organizations, large and small, will struggle to deliver business advantage if they are not enabled with the tools and processes to conduct strategic financial planning and analysis.
Financial Landmines: Financial missteps to have greater consequences.
Economic uncertainty and the clock speed of business will continue to accelerate in 2012. The penalties associated with the risks of missteps will increase greatly, leading to a constant struggle for companies to keep up with their accelerated pace.
Planning for the future and anticipating alternate decisions depending on the potential business drivers in the economy will not only be a necessary evil, it will be a main driver for all companies. The most successful companies will blend self-reflection of internal operations with external benchmarks and economic indicators to better anticipate the volatile swings in the economy and use advanced planning techniques to monetize those risks and rewards.
Business Introspection: More business self-reflection with business intelligence applications.
As businesses begin to realize the necessity to plan for future/alternate decisions based on business drivers, the need for business applications that shed light on their inner workings will greatly increase. Interest in and innovation around finance and business intelligence technologies will surge, especially as more vendors offer their solutions via the cloud.
Business users will be more comfortable consuming applications as services, if one of the main drivers is business agility—because the cloud means data and applications are always available and up to date. Cloud finance and business intelligence applications will significantly increase the performance of organizations.