Industry analyst reports are often a key source of information buyers leverage when they are identifying and evaluating potential enterprise software vendors who can meet their needs. But not all industry analyst reports are created equally. Many of them are based mostly on analyst opinion, and a few customer references. But some are based more on customer surveys and reviews, providing a clear assessment of how actual customers view the software vendor and the value they are getting from their solutions. This is often referred to as the “wisdom of crowds.”
A good example of an industry analyst report that is driven mostly by customer reviews is the recently published Dresner Advisory Wisdom of Crowds® 2021 Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Market Study.
Leveraging the Collective Wisdom of Crowds
The Wisdom of Crowds® EPM Market Study builds on the previous six years of Enterprise Planning and EPM Market Studies published by Dresner Advisory and reflects the shift in the market towards a more holistic approach to performance management vs. relying in individual point solutions.
According to Dresner Advisory, an enterprise performance management system is a key element of performance management. It allows an organization to plan for the impact of various internal and external factors on its future performance and business outcomes. This includes strategic, operational, and financial planning and forecasting. EPM systems also include reporting and analytics capabilities that allow organizations to set goals and objectives and monitor performance against those objectives.
EPM systems can vary significantly in complexity and automation capabilities, from relatively straightforward spreadsheet replacements to sophisticated multi-user systems that support collaborative planning, provide a wide range of analytics, and use advanced technologies such as in-memory computing and machine learning.
What’s New in Enterprise Performance Management?
This year’s report highlighted several key market trends, including the following:
- Enterprise performance management remains an important technology. In 2021 the percentage of respondents rating EPM as critically important is up by 3 percent to nearly 25 percent.
- Finance climbs back to the top of the rankings in 2021 as the function rating enterprise performance management most important overall, most likely due to its role in helping organizations navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
- The 2021 data show a continuing trend towards sourcing of enterprise performance management solutions from specialist vendors regardless of their affiliation with any ERP vendor, up to nearly 49 percent in 2021.
- The top three planning priorities remain unchanged from 2020 (annual financial budgets, cash-flow forecasting, and headcount planning). These likely reflect the capabilities that are most valuable in navigating the COVID-19 crisis.
- Rolling forecast adoption appears to have peaked as adoption levels fell slightly in 2021. It does not appear that rolling forecasts will replace annual budgets as the primary control mechanism for enterprise performance management.
- There is a slight shift in attitudes to AI in 2021, with resistance to AI-based forecasting and planning softening somewhat (down to 14 percent from 20 percent in 2020).
- Respondents prefer cloud enterprise performance management solutions compared to on-premises deployment.
OneStream Leads the Pack Again
What’s unique about this study is that the results are based 100% on surveys of customers using EPM software. Vendors are evaluated based on 33 criteria covering:
- Sales/Acquisition Experience
- Value for Price
- Quality and Usefulness of Product
- Quality of Technical Support
- Quality and Value of Consulting Services
- Vendor Integrity
- Whether Vendor is Recommended
This was OneStream’s fourth year of inclusion in the Dresner Advisory Wisdom of Crowds Study and, once again, the results were outstanding. Each vendor was evaluated on 33 criteria, and as you can see in the spider chart below, OneStream Software is substantially above the overall sample for all measures, best in class for 9 measures and we received a perfect “5” recommend score.
Dresner Advisory provides two models to help clients understand the EPM market. Their Customer Experience Model positions vendors based on their combined scores on Product/Technology vs. Sales and Service metrics on two axes, positioning vendors into one of four quadrants.
Their Vendor Credibility Model considers how customers “feel” about their vendor, plotting value for the price paid against the integrity and recommend measures, creating a “confidence” dimension. The upper-right quadrant in both models contains the highest-scoring vendors, and those considered leaders in customer experience and vendor credibility.
Based on our scores, OneStream was positioned as an Overall Leader in both the Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models. Here’s a view of how the various vendors are positioned in the Customer Experience model.
Commenting on OneStream’s results in the study, Howard Dresner, Founder and Chief Research Officer at Dresner Advisory Services said, “In 2021, OneStream remains consistently above the overall sample for all measures and is an Overall Leader in the Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility models. It is best in class for product robustness/sophistication of technology, reliability, scalability, ease of upgrade/migration to new versions, support professionalism, support product knowledge, support responsiveness, and time to resolve problems. It maintains a perfect recommend score.”
Achieving 100% customer success is key mission of OneStream Software and is our top priority companywide. Being named a leader in Customer Experience and Vendor Credibility by Dresner Advisory Services validates our approach and recognizes the ability of OneStream to address the advanced planning and performance management requirements of global enterprises.
To learn more, download a copy of the 2021 Dresner Advisory Enterprise Performance Management Market Study.